THE 916 solar panels covering the roof of the Yawa Aquatic Centre reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 406 tonnes a year and saving $100,000 in running costs is impressive.
But it is water, not statistics, that is the main attraction at the new community pool in Besgrove Street, Rosebud.
After a lengthy lockdown, the centre opened to the public last week and welcomed a steady stream of residents keen to take the plunge.
“Yawa Aquatic Centre is a great example of how we have maximised sustainability in the design and build,” said the mayor Cr Despi O’Connor, adding that the shire’s environmentally sustainable design policy embedded those features into buildings, roads and even open spaces.
Yawa’s cost and energy efficient initiatives includes collecting up to 100,000 litres of rainwater in four tanks connected to the pool filtration system to top up the pools.
A boiler heats close to two million litres of pool water, there is thermal insulation around the pool shell, and high levels of air tightness improve the efficiency of the heating and cooling systems.
An air pressurisation system controls the air conditioning so that warm air flows into the pool areas and cooler air to the gym and cafe. It is claimed to work like a pool blanket, reducing evaporation and condensation.
Weather and occupancy responsive monitoring systems control lighting, heating and cooling; a building management system controls major systems, and energy efficient lighting uses less energy and needs replacing less often.
Sky lights allow in natural light and double and clear glazed windows let heat into the building during winter.
These systems aim to ensure Yawa delivers on the shire’s climate emergency plan. The centre also aligns to the policy for council buildings and civil works to embed sustainability into major infrastructure projects.
Cr O’Connor said the building was pressurised, much like a balloon – with few “holes” to let air in or out – so fans could run at lower speeds and use less power.
“By harvesting rainwater from the roof, we are able to replenish water in the pools organically – saving water and reducing energy use in the process,” she said.
“The design team has carefully balanced the use of existing technologies … to achieve a modern, energy efficient centre for the community.”