- Project Director:Laurence Robinson
- Senior Associate:Gerard McCurry, Kate Reed
- Early Years Infrastructure & Management Coordinator:Nadine Klobucar
- Project Manager, Major Projects:Kristine Davison, Mark Tomasiello
- Architect / Bim Model Manager:Kesha Chakhvorostov
- Director / Landscape Designer:Evan Gaulke
- Landscape Designer:Clare Colson
- Structural & Civil Engineers:Intrax Engineering Consultants
- Project Manager:Nathan Benson
- Structural Engineer:Simon McCarthy, Richard Hu
- Civil Engineer:Eduardo Santos
- Project Director / Mechanical & Hydraulic:Peter George
- Project Director / Electrical:Robert Spenceley
- Mechanical Engineer:Paul Lynch
- Electrical Engineer:Amelie Bonnet
- Hydraulic Engineer:Tavis Myers
- Quantity Surveyor:Gareth Tiong
- Site Foreman:Paul Norrie
- General Manager:Scott Hassan
- Structural Engineering:Intrax Engineering Consultants
- Civil Engineering:Intrax Engineering Consultants
Text description provided by the architects. Hazel Glen Child and Family Centre uses a vibrant patchwork of glazed bricks, along with various timbers to create a welcoming family centre. This state-of-the-art building consists of four childcare rooms, maternal and child health consulting suites, various sized community rooms and a central flexible community gathering space. Located in the heart of the Plenty River Valley, the centre references the winding Plenty River in its meandering walls and verandah lines and with metaphorical flows and eddies through the central space, while the roofline responds to the horizon line of the distant Kinglake Ranges.
Hazel Glen Child and Family Centre was designed with a strong focus on environmental sustainability. While the building is a good technical example of sustainable design, the key conceptual intention was to root the building in its surroundings in a positive way and provide experiential connections with the natural world, encouraging learning through direct experience.
Brand Architects believe that the built form can contribute significantly to the educational environment, and we feel that designing sustainable buildings is the best way to encourage learning through the creation of well-functioning, spirited and purposeful spaces.
The local government client, The City of Whittlesea, was determined to deliver community facilities that provide an inclusive and healthy environment for all users. An innovative state-of-the-art development such as Hazel Glen Child and Family Centre wouldn’t be possible without the full commitment of the client at all stages of the project. The process of began during the architectural tendering process, where the council ensured they would be working with Architects and Engineers who were equally committed to designing quality community buildings, and was reinforced and monitored during the design process and through construction.
The brief developed by the City of Whittlesea called for a welcoming, vibrant and accessible integrated early learning centre, providing services, activities and opportunities for social connections. The centre was to include two kindergarten rooms, one long daycare playroom, one multipurpose early years playroom, shared staff amenities, a welcoming main foyer, family services program consulting room and two maternal and child health consulting rooms with associated waiting areas.
The cost of the project was $2,500 per square meter, for a fully enclosed covered area of 1480 sqm. For local government projects such as this one, budget restrictions do reduce the number of sustainable options that are available, however we also found that they resulted in a careful selection of environmentally sustainable design measures in order to achieve the greatest outcomes for the money available.
The Hazel Glen Child and Family Centre is located in an area of cool temperate climate. The building has been designed to reflect the fact that there are far more days that require heating than cooling in Whittlesea – hence the inclusion of a gas-fired hydronic in-slab heating system, thermal mass and evaporative cooling in the building. In a temperate client, careful orientation and shading of glazing is essential to maintain comfortable internal temperatures and daylight levels, this is complemented with double glazing and thorough building sealing to prevent air leakage.
The solar photovoltaic array on the roof provides 15% of the peak building load, greatly reducing energy use in summer. The heating system is gas-fired in-slab hydronic heating, which is the most efficient heating option for reducing energy use, and is particularly beneficial in a childcare centre where a lot of the learning activities take place on the floor.
Night purging greatly reduces summer cooling costs as the building is cooled down naturally at night using the colder air, this also ensures fresh air is available from the beginning of the day – in buildings that lack night purging spaces have to be shut up overnight, causing volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) to build up as materials off-gas. A weather station on the roof ensures that the building systems adjust appropriately to the external conditions.
Rainwater is stored in a 50,300L underground tank and reused in toilet flushing, irrigation and laundry washing. In addition, a small above ground tank is used for the children’s water play and education, this includes a hand pump that allows children to pump water manually from the tank.
The client wished to achieve a five star Greenstar outcome but it was decided not to fund the certification process. The design team, which included Greenstar professionals, tracked the design against potential credits using the Public Buildings V1 Spreadsheet as a tool. This process included gathering the required evidence for submission where there was no impact on program and fees. In addition, the design achieved ‘best practice’ when assessed against the SDS (Sustainable Design Scorecard), which is used by some council’s across Melbourne to as a basis for ESD in planning.
The City of Whittlesea is committed to following up the performance of the Hazel Glen Child & Family Centre with ongoing monitoring and performance analysis. The Council have a committed ESD team who plan to regularly visit the centre and who are in the process of implementing the necessary procedures for post-occupancy building monitoring.