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Sustainability research on the forefront with Shine Dome project

Elly Mackay

9 June 2020: Thanks to a $238,000 Australian Government grant, researchers from the University of Canberra and the Australian Academy of Science will begin work to create a sustainability plan for the Shine Dome, a National Heritage Listed landmark.

The project, The Sustainable Shine Dome, aims to make the Canberra icon – located in Acton – more environmentally friendly. The project pursues world-first strategies to ensure progressive energy and emission reductions as a pathway to a net-zero future.

Professor of Architecture Michael Jasper will lead the project team along with the University of Canberra’s Professor of Cultural Heritage Tracy Ireland.

“This project is aligned with UC’s mission to build just, prosperous and sustainable communities through research and education,” Dr Jasper said.

“This is not only a great opportunity for those directly involved in the project, but it creates opportunities for the public and for students.”

University of Canberra students – as well as the wider Canberra community – will be involved as part of the process.

“A series of virtual public workshops will be held exploring the role of science and how innovation plays into it,” Dr Jasper said.

In addition to meeting national objectives of conserving, protecting and sustainably managing Australia’s cultural heritage, the project exemplifies the University’s approach to collaborative, applied research that benefits the local community; consistent with its Civic University mission.

Reflecting the project’s two-pole emphasis on cultural heritage and engineering to protect the Shine Dome’s national heritage values, the team will utilise the expertise of several leading firms and consultancies, including GML Heritage and GHD.

Australian Academy of Science Chief Executive Anna-Maria Arabia said the Academy is thrilled that the University has been awarded the grant for the iconic Shine Dome.

“A sustainability plan to guide what is needed to reduce the Shine Dome’s energy and emissions footprint is not only good for the environment but also reflects the values and work of the Fellows of the Academy who call the Shine Dome home,” Ms Arabia said.

“The Shine Dome, Australia’s home of science, was the first building to be listed on the National Heritage List and its preservation and protection is important so it can be enjoyed by future generations.”

Alongside the Government grant, the University and the Academy of Science are making in-kind contributions of $67,000 to the project. Dr Jasper says this will make a significant difference to the work they’ll be able to do.

“This in-kind funding recognises the national importance of this research,” Dr Jasper said.

“It represents the impact that can be made when we work together toward a sustainable future for all Australians.”