McLaren Vale Green Hub

In a key location in picturesque McLaren Vale, and visited by a large number of residents and tourists alike, the Visitor Information Centre is being realised into our southern ‘green hub’ demonstrating ways to reduce energy and water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.   

The Centres energy use has dropped over 20% since 2009-10 and is a fantastic result made possible by the combination of swapping energy hungry appliances for energy efficient models, using innovative green building techniques and with smart behavioural changes and building use by the staff and volunteers.   Take a look around the building and lovely surrounding gardens and be inspired on changes you could make at your home to be a little greener and save money in the process.

Key green features

Passive design

  • Rammed earth construction technique used.  The stabilised earth walls of the Visitors’ Centre are made up of 300 tonnes of soil. The recipe was equal parts of soil from two different Fleurieu quarries, with 7.5% cement and 10-12% water mixed thoroughly together. It was compacted and arranged into a flexible curved framework and cured overnight before being unwrapped.  Rammed earth strengthens with age, outlasts all other components of the building, except maybe the stonework, and needs no further finishes producing weatherproof walls.
  • Over 200 glass louvers are used to help ventilate the building, in fact staff and volunteers are always within 5 metres of a natural light source and have access to fresh air, natural daylight and views. 
  • Materials used in the construction of the Centre were chosen to blend with the colours and textures of the surrounding landscape.
  • The timber beams and the timber posts in the building were sourced from a demolished wool store at Port Adelaide. 

Water

  • 50,000L of rainwater storage harvested for toilet flushing and underground rainwater system used for irrigating the lawn areas
  • Installation of water efficient bathroom and kitchenware
  • The vineyards are watered with reclaimed water as part of the Willunga Water Basin network

Energy

  • 22 kilowatt solar photovoltaic system, generating approximately 33,600 kws per year.  The electricity generated by these panels is a renewable resource with zero carbon emissions.
  • Replacement of inefficient refrigeration equipment with high energy star rating alternatives 
  • 2 evacuated tube solar hot water systems installed

Gardens

  • The dam creates habitat for frogs, a variety of birds and turtles
  • On the Coast to Vines bike trail
  • The surrounding gardens  contain fruit and nut trees, fruit, vegetables and herbs used in produce created and sold in the café and use a variety of drought tolerant native trees and plants throughout to aid water efficiency

Waste

  • Removal of hand towel dispensers from our bathrooms and installed high tech fast hand dryers to eliminate waste.
  • As well as using compostable tablewear for our takeaway customers and being aware of reducing waste at the source, we‘re closing the loop on food waste:

    Green buildings VIC - waste chart

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