Loving Hearts is arguably Australia’s most sustainable childcare centre, with over 42 sustainability innovations and features, many never found in a childcare centre before. Loving Hearts achieved Australia’s first UDIA EnviroDevelopment rating for a childcare centre, demonstrating its industry-leading credentials.
The client wanted to change the way childcare centres are designed and operated by providing a leading-edge example of what is possible, using passive solar design and the best technologies available.
“Loving Hearts uses low-emission materials to ensure the health of staff and children are not impacted by poor air quality. The high efficiency Panasonic air conditioning systems are connected to PeakSmart and a smart meter allows regular energy monitoring,” said co-owner Katrina Pridmore.
The owners set a lofty sustainability vision from the start, before the ideal site had been found. They also employed an independent sustainability consultant to integrate the sustainability goals in all aspects, before the feasibility assessments began. The consultant then worked directly with the planner, Cyber Drafting and builder to achieve the admirable sustainability targets.
“Loving Hearts has achieved more than we could have ever hoped. Its large 15kW solar energy system, low-emission Interface flooring and 54,000 litres of rain water storage have been benefiting the centre from day 1. The site and building are orientated close to north, which enables the centre to more easily control sunlight and heat ingress, with shading and glazing. This means daylight floods most of the rooms where needed, reducing the need for electrical lighting, reducing air conditioning costs and improving the children’s mental health. Building simulation modelling using Sefaira was leveraged to optimise the building’s design,” reported Ben O’Callaghan of Ecomplish Sustainability.
Upon completion, dedicated sustainable operations training was also provided to all staff. Since opening in January 2018, the building’s energy and water performance has been frequently monitored and optimised and is on track to achieve ambitious targets and operational cost savings. The centre is predicted to generate at least 78% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than comparable childcare centres.
The education building is a childcare and kindergarten with 96 places, which provides children with learning experiences and education-focused care. The building contains 800sqm of GFA and over 1000sqm of outdoor play area. The planning started in 2015 and it was opened in January 2018 after 8 months of construction by childcare experts, Jorgensens Builders.
The centre is located at the entrance to Piggabeen Road, Currumbin Valley, Queensland. The centre had a long waiting list after just 4 months of operation. www.lovingheartschildcare.com.au