5-Star Green Energy TAFE Building

Client: Zauner (Principal)

Project: Upgrade of the Mudgee Learning Resource Hub for TAFE Western

Description: This $7 million project consolidated two sites into one to create a modern student hub, the first 5 Star Green Star Education design for TAFE NSW

Barnson’s Role: Data/asset capture, soil testing, concrete testing, structural design and inspections, survey and civil design

Time frameThis 12-month project was completed in June 2016


The existing Mudgee College comprises two sites, a 19th century two-storey building in the town that is no longer appropriate for VET delivery, and a rural site at Ulan Rd, approximately five kilometres from the town centre.

The project was primarily aimed at achieving significant improvement to educational delivery at the Mudgee College by consolidating two sites into one and building a new Student Hub to support improved service provision to students – particularly in relation to library, academic skills and counselling services – and the wider community. 

Other objectives included the reduction of the overall footprint of the Mudgee College, increased facilities utilisation rates and more strategic use of resources through the generation of economies of scale for infrastructure and equipment maintenance.

The Mudgee Learning Resource Hub is the first building of its kind for TAFE NSW, achieving a Five Star Green Star Education design v1 certified rating from the Green Building Council of Australia in January 2015, demonstrating Australian Excellence in environmentally sustainable design.
The Hub project was designed to allow TAFE Western to enhance and expand educational delivery in Mudgee. The Hub itself will serve as a ‘living laboratory’ to demonstrate excellence in sustainable infrastructure renewal and environmental performance to staff, students and other stakeholders.

Green Star Certification

Green Building Council of Australia is a national not-for-profit organisation, supported by government and industry in its mission to develop a sustainable property industry and encourage the adoption of green building practices. Green Star is the national rating system for design and construction of sustainable buildings and fit-outs. Mudgee Green Star is focused on design (two years) and as built (for life) using the Education rating legacy tool where 4 star = best practice, 5 star = Australian excellence and 6 star = world leadership.

 Some of the features that enabled the site to achieve the Green Star Certification included:

  • energy efficient lighting, heating/cooling systems, appliances and building materials
  • incorporation of non-toxic and recycled materials in construction products
  • use of low environmental impact concrete
  • optimisation of natural diffused light
  • sustainable transport options
  • state-of-the-art water harvesting systems
  • minimal use of organic volatile compounds.

The biggest challenge Barnson faced in this job was the compiling of the data capture and asset management systems including collecting information on built and non-built assets and incorporating this information into NSW public works databases. Barnson provided the client with technical support and all the compiled data sets within a very tight timeframe as soon as the works were completed.