WGE: integral in achieving WA’s first LEED certification for a new construction project

Wood & Grieve Engineers (WGE) has been integral in the achievement of a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification for the new Ronald McDonald House, becoming the first project in WA to be certified by the US Green Building Council (USBGC).

The LEED rating system is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. The highly progressive sustainable approach was important in ensuring that every element of the building works to promote healing, provide comfort and encourage connection for residents who are far from home. The entire design and construction team wanted to ensure that what was built today will last into the future.

Ronald McDonald House is a newly constructed five-storey residential building that is intended to provide a “home away from home” environment for children and their families receiving treatment at the New Children’s Hospital. The building includes 47 units for families, commercial kitchen and laundry and communal lounge, dining and play areas and provides vital accommodation for families from rural and remote areas with children receiving life-saving treatment.

WGE’s building services design complements architect Gerry Kho’s vision, resulting in stunning and unexpected spaces designed to delight residents. A vast circular light shaft creates a dramatic and striking connection between the four levels that highlights the communal spaces. The ‘secret garden’ and the natural palette of finishes throughout the building have been thoughtfully curated to enhance the positive effect of nature and vegetation on the healing process.

WGE Sustainability Project Engineer Phillip Cook said that everyone involved in the project is very proud to see Ronald McDonald house come to life.

“It’s not often you get to work on a project that is designed to be like no other facility of its kind and we’re all very excited to achieve Silver LEED certification and deliver real sustainability innovation,” he said.

The project joins 31,000 certified commercial projects worldwide and has been praised by the US Green Building Council.

“Buildings are a prime example of how human systems integrate with natural systems,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair of the USBGC.

“The Ronald McDonald House efficiently uses natural resources and makes an immediate and positive effect on our planet, which will tremendously benefit future generations to come.”

WGE’s sustainable design includes:

Water efficiency

  • Water efficient landscaping with a 150kL rainwater system which provides 100% of the irrigation requirements in a typical year
  • Water efficient fixtures and fittings to reduce water consumption

Enhanced efficiency

  • Energy efficient design including high performance glazing, distinctive timber shading device on the northern façade, minimal glazing on the east and west facades to reduce excessive heat gains
  • Enhanced commissioning that was planned from early in the design stage and followed through to practical completion and beyond to ensure that all of the systems operate as efficiently as possible
  • Heat exchangers are used to recover heat from the exhaust air to precondition incoming fresh air
  • Construction waste sorted off site to recycle over 90% (by weight) of the construction waste

Improving air quality

  • An indoor air quality management plan was followed throughout construction to prevent dust and construction fumes from contaminating the duct work and soft furnishings during construction to ensure high quality, non-toxic indoor air quality for the children from the first day of operation
  • Outside air levels increased above the minimum levels to improve indoor air quality
  • Low VOC paints, adhesives, sealants and carpets were used throughout the development to improve the indoor air quality