Officially opened by Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham and WA’s Minister for Workforce Training and Development, the Hon Liza Harvey, Central’s new GreenSkills building has been designed to be the very embodiment of sustainable technology.
Sustainability Skills, also known as ‘green skills’, are the technical skills, knowledge, values and attitudes needed in the workforce to develop and support sustainable social, economic and environmental outcomes in business, industry and the community.
Every aspect of the building including its architecture, construction, landscaping, and engineering principles has been designed on sustainability principles.
It is completely self-sufficient in energy and water.
Upon completion, the $17 million project, jointly funded by the Federal and State government, earned a 6 star Green Rating for design by the Green Building Council of Australia. a rating which represents world leadership in environmentally sustainable design.
Items and structures that are traditionally hidden in buildings have been peeled back and made visible for training purposes, with an overall aim to provide a living laboratory that shows how such work is constructed and maintained.
The building is a multi-purpose learning space that will be used to train students, schools, industry and the wider public in sustainable practices that are an essential feature now in most industries.
Among the first users of the facility are students studying Environmental Monitoring and Technology. This involves students developing skills in plant and fauna identification, soil typing and chemistry, the collection of field samples and occupational health and safety.
The state of the art environmental laboratory at the Centre is equipped with equipment and instrumentation to support sample analysis and provide access to specialist staff and tools.
The facility was one of the first in WA to be constructed using 3D Building Information Modelling (BIM). Traditionally building design is largely reliant upon two-dimensional drawings, but BIM allows an extension of the three primary spatial dimensions (width, height and depth) with time as the fourth dimension (4D) and cost as the fifth (5D).
Workforce Training and Development Minister Lisa Harvey spoke of the importance of a Green Skills Centre for the future of the State.
“This, the State’s greenest building, ensures our graduates are at the top of their game in growing sectors such as sustainable building and construction”, she said.
Central MD Neil Fernandes was delighted to see the Institute open such a progressive, contemporary facility.
“This unique learning environment is a great reflection of where the VET sector is heading, with technology based, highly visible and flexible training facilities such as this that are capable of delivering the high level skills industry needs”, he said.
One of the first qualifications that will be delivered at the GreenSkills Centre is a new Diploma of Building Information Modelling (BIM) Technician course.
“This course is aimed at developing discipline specific skills and knowledge to work as a technical BIM specialist within a BIM design orientated environment and workplace. This will be the first formal BIM qualification to be developed and delivered in Australia”, said Building Design and Construction Portfolio Manager David Zanich.
“Central will also be delivering the national Certificate IV in NaTHERs (National Home Energy Rating Scheme) Assessor qualification as well.”