After eleven years of operating out of a tiny office in Holsworthy High School, the SCRAP team was finally able to move into an office that had enough room for everyone to sit down in August 2001. The aim of the Centre, however, is not just to function as an administration office – it is designed to be a model of sustainability
The Centre features include 35 photovoltaic cells to produce solar electricity, a composting toilet, two rain water tanks, a grey water tank, a frog pond, compost heap, worm farm and local native plantings around the site.
The following images show the construction of the site, detailing aspects to the features and their contribution to sustainability.
Moving the building:
Before being converted into the SCRAP Centre, the building was previously an army barracks. It was transported from the local reserve at Ingleburn to the site on the grounds of Holsworthy High School.
centre deckThe building needed a few renovations to convert it to a functioning office. A deck of treated plantation pine was added and all renovations were completed with maximum reuse of materials, including doors, internal and external walling materials and fittings.
A mudbrick building was constructed to house the composting toilet using mud from the premises which was dug from trenches and holes for the grey water system (below). Recycled timber was used for the roof of the toilet.
Environmentally friendly paint (Livos) was used to paint the building (except the roof). Recycled and reused carpet covers the floors. The furniture is also reused.
By far the largest single expense was the solar power system (photovoltaic [PV] panels and an inverter) which is grid connected. $35,000 was spent installing the system which produces up to 2.4 kilowatts on sunny summer days. SCRAP received an Australian Greenhouse Office rebate of $10,000 towards the costs.solar panels
The system is grid interactive which means that it is connected to normal grid power. Under normal conditions the Centre produces its own power and uses this to meet energy needs. If the solar supply exceeds need then the excess is exported to the grid. If solar supply is less than required, eg. at night, then the Centre draws from the grid. On average, SCRAP pays around $10 per month to the electricity company.
Improving the grounds: The SCRAP Centre covers around 6,000 square metres (1.5 acres) in the north west corner of Holsworthy High School. The area was previously mainly mown grass with a few remnant native species such as eucalyptus, turpentines and an angophora. A large number of weeds were also present.
The initial landscaping plan is to create mainly local provenance (native) gardens by starting with ground covers and smaller shrubs around the building. On the day of the Centre’s official opening, students from the local high school and primary school planted over 1000 local species.
Inside the office, waste is kept to a minimum by reusing all paper in the fax and as note pads before recycling, food scraps are placed in the worm farm and plastics, aluminium and liquid carton board are recycled through the comingled recycling program.
With all these practices in place, the SCRAP Centre aims to be an environmental education facility for school groups and local community to visit and experience hands-on sustainabililty.
Luke Williams from LJW Solar conducts a Solar Workshop for students at the SCRAP Center Launch 2002
Since these early shots the SCRAP Centre has moved on with the addition of a Solar Venti System for better warmth and coolth. The Worm Shed for the worms, shipping containers for storage, and improved compound area, better signage and improved grounds (a small orchard was planted in 2008). A third water tank was added in 2006 through a donation from Downpour (our main tank supplier – see Green Buys Catalogue) and a fourth in 2010. Also in 2010, a Vermicrobe system for worm farming was installed and SCRAP now produces its own worms, worm castings and worm liquids.
Future plans for extending the worm farming, improving the gardens, increasing the rainwater capture to the tanks and more local native plantings on the school grounds to the immediate north of the Centre are already on the drawing board. We will publish various photos to show the progress over time. Some of these will be included in SCRAPLog, For any more information on the Centre, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 9825