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5 green tech innovations powering Green Square

The big and green innovations behind some of the little things you’ll soon be doing in the area.

It’s a sunny weekend in the not-too-distant future and you’ve decided to go for a bike ride to Green Square. The buzzy, fast-growing neighbourhood has more separated bike routes than any other part of Sydney.

You might grab a bite to eat or see an exhibition at the creative centre. There are also more than 35 parks and plazas in the area, all of them bike-friendly.

So you’ll be enjoying the new facilities without the parking hassle. But what you won’t see is the amount of green technology behind them.

Some of our efforts to reduce our environmental impact have been highly visible – like the solar panels already installed on 35 of our public buildings. But less obvious is the way our infrastructure is quietly transforming the lives of many residents and visitors.

By the time Green Square town centre is completed, much of what you’ll be doing will have an unseen, eco-friendly dimension to it.

Sustainability in Green Square

Flush a toilet (and save a tree)

When you use the public toilets in the cultural precinct, you may notice the purple pipes connected to the toilet cisterns. These taps are connected to recycled water which are being fitted to every new building in the town centre.

Green Square is the site of Australia’s biggest stormwater harvesting and recycling scheme. Instead of letting 900,000 litres of polluted stormwater flow out to sea each day, residents can use it to flush toilets, wash clothes and irrigate gardens.

Water like this will be 10 cents a kilolitre cheaper than precious drinking water. This will help make the town centre’s green spaces virtually drought-proof.

Stormwater harvested all over the area will be piped back to the Green Infrastructure Centre. It will be filtered through membranes fine enough to remove ions and molecules as well as salts, bacteria and other pathogens. After chlorination, the recylced water will be stored next door, in tanks under Matron Ruby Grant Park.

From there it will be piped straight to the public toilets nearby – and to wherever else it’s needed throughout the town centre.

Water treatment in Green Square

Buy some (low emissions) coffee

The power used to grind your coffee beans at the aquatic centre won’t just be solar-generated. It’ll come from a super-efficient, low-carbon mini-grid connecting every public building in the Green Square town centre.

This mini-grid will allow excess solar energy from 1 site to be used by others. For example, if the solar power generated on the childcare centre is greater than the energy it uses, the excess will be fed to another community building. This means every viable square metre of roof space can be used for solar power.

The entire network will have only 1 connection to Sydney’s electricity grid. This will save money the City spends on energy bills.

Solar power

Explore new ground (for the latest in sustainability)

Whether you go for a swim or borrow a book in Green Square, both will expose you to some eye-opening architecture.

The new subterranean library will stay cool in summer while retaining heat in winter. Its innovative design includes a garden atrium and an abundance of carefully placed skylights.

Natural light will also be a big feature of the Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre. Constructed from sustainable materials, the centre will have rooftop solar and recycled water, like every other new public building in Green Square.

That’s why the whole precinct is about to become Green Star certified. Right from the start, Green Square was planned as a Green Star community.

Green Square Library

Toss a box (and double down on being green)

Using a yellow-lidded bin is environmentally friendly wherever you do it. But recycling in Sydney’s inner south is a that little bit more green. The collection of recyclables is being managed from a carbon-conscious facility.

Built from special eco-concrete, our brand new Alexandra Canal recycling depot was designed to maximise natural light and ventilation. It has 6 large rainwater tanks, includes energy-efficient devices and equipment, and boasts more than 1600 solar panels.

It also features a large-scale Tesla battery that will allow the building to store as much energy as is uses.

Recycling

Say goodbye to Green Square (but not to its renewables)

Even if you don’t live in Green Square, you may benefit from its green technology.

The 250 kilowatt Tesla powerpack at Alexandra Depot was the first installed in Sydney as part of a city-wide trial with electricity grid manager, Ausgrid. Any extra power stored in the depot’s battery can be used by Ausgrid to meet network demand. This will help to keep your energy bills down – and may eventually end up in your electric kettle.

So when you finally arrive home after your strenuous south Sydney outing, remember this as you put your feet up. While you might have left Green Square behind, it will still be working for you.

Green technology

Green Square timeline

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