Northern facade of Sustainable Skills Training Hub



The Sustainable Skills Training Hub (SSTH) is a new teaching facility for the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT), Bruce ACT. The aim for this project was to provide training in current and future environmental technologies and practices using the building as a working classroom.  The building exhibits exemplary environmental initiatives, including the design, fabric, materials, services, management and landscaping, and allows students to work with the building systems in a hands-on learning experience.

The building is at the forefront of all current requirements for sustainable commercial development and actively conserves energy and water with a minimal carbon footprint in both construction and operation. One significant aim of this project was to achieve 100% green power generation within and for the new facility.

The facility incorporates the latest sustainable technologies including:

  • Grid-connected solar power generation – students are be able to commission solar panels, and will receive hands-on scenario based training in testing and monitoring smart metering and loggers for energy management and energy efficiency analysis
  • Tri-generation/micro turbines with absorption chillers – harnessing waste heat for cooling and heating of the building as well as power generation
  • Solar hot water for hydronic heating and radiator panels
  • 100% of the grey and black water generated by building users is treated on site for use in landscape irrigation – all water used within the building will be treated on site to give students hands on skills with installation, operation and maintenance of grey and black water recycling systems
  • Capability for the future ‘plug-in’ of new environmental technologies as they emerge for both sustainable technology education and building operation purposes
  • Dry-spray cooler and geothermal heat rejection systems – minimises potable water consumption, eliminates the legionella risk associated with stagnant, recirculated water in traditional heat rejection systems (such as cooling towers) and does not use an aerosol spray in its operation

The building is fitted with a lighting control system which senses movement activating light to certain parts of rooms and in conjunction with non-PVC rated cabling and high efficiency light bulbs – even the electrical component of this project contributes to the high standard of environmental sustainability.

The building also utilises four type of water:

  • fresh water
  • rain water captured from the roof and awnings
  • bore water from the nearby ring main
  • black water treated in a biolytix tank which effectively purifies sewer from toilets and the like.

The SSTH further enhances the overall CIT vision for a carbon-neutral campus, and will be an integral support to the emerging environmental training ground being developed at the CIT Bruce Campus.  The construction will be compatible with existing and planned environmentally sustainable features of the Bruce campus, and will build on the significant investment in sustainable facilities and technology committed to by CIT and the ACT Government on the Campus in recent years. The state-of-the-art mechanical technology establishes a rating of energy efficiency the leads the local and national industry.

Images: Ben Wrigley

Project Overview