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New Museum Project Pioneers Solar and Recycling Initiatives


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Photo courtesy of hassellstudio.com

The New Museum for Western Australia is a major construction initiative happening right now in our largest state. Developed in the heart of the Perth Cultural Centre, it is scheduled for completion in 2020. It will be a focal point for the history of the state, and will share stories of Western Australia’s people and places.

The New Museum Project is no ordinary construction site. It is expected to create around 3,200 jobs for Western Australia, including 1,800 construction jobs. Even more impressively,   it is committed to using locally-sourced and sustainable materials, as well as a solar energy component.

Jobsite ANZ spoke to Alec Coles, the CEO of the Western Australian Museum, about the cutting-edge initiatives that are being used on this important jobsite.

A Gateway to Western Australia

Coles remarks that the New Museum will be a major attraction for locals and visitors to Western Australia.
“In the first year of operation, the museum is expected to attract around 800,000 visitors, with around 200,000 coming from international locations. Early projections suggest it will generate around $31 million of extra tourism spend from international visitors staying an extra night in Western Australia,” says Coles.
The Museum Project is also ensuring that the community benefits during the construction process. Some 80 per cent of materials used in the development phase have been sourced locally.

Solar Energy on the Jobsite

In late 2017, Western Australia initiated a Central Energy Plant (CEP), which connects the The Art Gallery of WA, State Library of WA, Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Blue Room, and State Theatre Centre of WA. Once completed, it will also connect to the New Museum.

Coles explains that the CEP services the entirety of the Perth Cultural Centre, allowing for the delivery of a centralised service.

“The CEP includes the delivery a combination of a private high voltage electrical supply network, replacement of chillers, cooling towers and boilers, and reticulation of pipework across the Perth Cultural Centre,” he says.

“The CEP is expected to reduce energy use, CO² emissions, and the running costs of buildings in the Perth Cultural Centre by up to 40 per cent from 2020. The CEP can be connected to solar technology in the future if required.”

One Person’s Trash is Another Person’s Treasure

Recycling has also played a major role in the construction process of the New Museum, with more products and procedures for recycling due to be identified as the construction period continues.

“Multiplex and its contractors are recovering or recycling materials, and 80 per cent of materials that usually would be slated for landfill is being recovered for reuse or recycling.  This includes steel and concrete,” says Coles.
 
A 2009 Australian government report showed that a total of 19 million tonnes of construction and demolition waste was generated in Australia between 2008 and 2009 alone. Just 55 per cent of the wastage was recovered and recycled, as compared to the 80 per cent at the New Museum. This demonstrates that the New Museum for Western Australia is well ahead of the curve when it comes to promoting a sustainable approach to the jobsite.

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