Smarter Early Learning Centres

Loving Hearts is arguably Australia’s most sustainable childcare centre, with over 42 sustainability innovations and features, many never found in a childcare centre before. Loving Hearts achieved Australia’s first UDIA EnviroDevelopment rating for a childcare centre, demonstrating its industry-leading credentials. It was a finalist in 2019 for the National Banksia Sustainability Awards. The centre’s builder also won the Queensland State Master Builders award for Excellence in Energy Efficiency and Environmental Management 2018, and the local Gold Coast MBA award.

The centre’s owners wanted to change the way early learning centres are designed and operated by providing a leading-edge example of what is possible, using passive solar design and the best technologies available.

“Loving Hearts uses low-emission materials to ensure the health of staff and children are not impacted by poor air quality. The high efficiency Panasonic air conditioning systems are connected to PeakSmart and a smart meter allows regular energy monitoring,” said co-owner Katrina Pridmore.

The builder, Jorgensens, adjusted their processes to maximise the recycling of construction waste and include more environmentally preferable materials such as Interface® flooring.

 “Loving Hearts has achieved a lot. Its large 15kW solar energy system, composting, native gardens and 54,000 litres of rainwater storage have been highlights. The site and building are orientated close to north, which enables the centre to more easily control sunlight and heat ingress, with shading and glazing. This means daylight floods most of the rooms where needed, reducing the need for electrical lighting, reducing air conditioning costs and improving the children’s mental health. Building simulation modelling was leveraged to optimise the building’s design”, said Ben O’Callaghan of Ecomplish Sustainability.

The education building is a childcare and kindergarten with 96 places, which provides children with learning experiences and education-focused care. The building contains 800sqm of GFA and over 1000sqm of outdoor play area. The planning started in 2015 and it was opened in January 2018 after 8 months of construction.

The centre is located at the entrance to Piggabeen Road, Currumbin Valley, Queensland. The centre had a long waiting list from the beginning showing there is large demand for such sustainable high-quality facilities and education.

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