Castlemaine heritage building undergoing eco-friendly refurb
A refurbishment project at the heritage-listed former School of Mines building in the Victorian gold-mining town of Castlemaine will improve the building’s sustainability. A refurbishment of the heritage-listed former School of Mines building in the Victorian gold-mining town of Castlemaine is underway. It will include installing an easily accessible customer service centre, council meeting room and council business rooms, while retaining the building’s heritage significance and its streetscape presence. Other work that will improve the building’s sustainability includes improved ventilation and central ducted air-conditioning, a refurbished hydronic heating system, ceiling insulation, sunscreens to control solar heat gain, installation of skylights and systems to allow rainwater harvesting for use in toilets. Mount Alexander Shire Council’s chief executive officer, Phil Rowland states that the building’s refurbishment would enable all council staff to be situated in the centre of Castlemaine and provide improved one-stop-shop customer service for residents. “Our council is keen to ensure this refurbishment creates a building that becomes a hub for our thriving community and one that demonstrates the potential of heritage buildings to achieve high environmental performance,” he notes. The council, which was formed in 1995 from four smaller shires, acquired the School of Mines building to create a sustainable accommodation arrangement for its civic and administration functions. Low Carbon Australia is financing $105,000 of lighting improvements as part of a $2.6 million refit of the heritage-listed former School of Mines building to house the civic and administration operations of Mount Alexander Shire Council. The lighting upgrade is expected to help cut the building’s energy bill by about 40 per cent, and would contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of about 65 tonnes a year, according to Meg McDonald, Low Carbon Australia’s CEO.