The renewal program for Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Markets has been recognized as one of the greenest projects in Australia, with the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) giving it the highest possible sustainability rating.
Led by the City of Melbourne, in consultation with Grimshaw Architects, the $250 million renewal plan for the historic market includes provisions for large-scale waste and organic recycling, solar power generation and storage, and rainwater collection.
It has been awarded the six-star Green Star – Communities rating, making the City of Melbourne the first Australian council to receive the top accreditation.
“The City of Melbourne’s approach strikes the right balance between preserving a heritage icon and rejuvenating an important centre of trade so that it is economically and environmentally sustainable for decades to come,” said Romilly Madew, CEO of GBCA.
The project will create more public space with trees, planting and water-sensitive landscape. In addition to the rainwater collection, the refurbishment will introduce stormwater harvesting and water recycling to reduce water consumption.
The onsite recycling facilities will help deal with the 6,000 tonnes of solid waste and 60 tonnes of organic waste produced annually at the market.
Acting Lord Mayor Arron Wood said the six-star rating was an endorsement of the council’s management of the market renewal.
“Through our $250 million renewal program, we have an unrivalled opportunity to implement sustainable practices that will benefit traders, residents and businesses for generations to come,” he said.
Grimshaw Architects’ design will see four of the market’s Victorian sheds disassembled, repaired and rebuilt atop a newly excavated three-level basement structure that will provide back-of-house facilities for traders and car parking.
A temporary pavilion designed by Breathe Architecture will house traders during the renewal process.
Progress on the development has been slow; construction of Breathe Architecture’s pavilion has yet to begin, despite initial indications it would be built in 2017, and trader relocations are now not expected to occur until late 2018.