The ONJ Centre has a 4-star by the Green Building Council of Australia.
Green Star buildings address energy efficiency, water conservation, and waste avoidance - and also improve health outcomes, reduce operating costs and reduce energy and water consumption.
Some of the elements that make the ONJ Centre a 'Green Building' include:
• Reduced chemicals used in furnishing and furbishing, including a range of low VOC and low formaldehyde products used in carpets, paints, and tiles;
• Bamboo flooring, which is a more environmentally friendly building material than plastic-based floorings;
• Maximised use of natural light throughout, ensuring 50 per cent of the Centre has a direct line of sight to the outdoors;
• Use of 100 per cent, non-recirculated, fresh air in many areas, as opposed to air-conditioning;
• A 120kL rain water storage system, which collects rainwater from the roof and balcony areas. This is reused for irrigation and toilet flushing;
• Curated gardens designed to horticultural therapy guidelines, ensuring a quiet place for patients, visitors and staff to connect to nature.
Some ways in which you can incorporate the sustainability ideas at the ONJ into your own life and living space are:
• Research the environmental impact of building materials such as carpets and paints, as well as look into purchasing cleaning products with little to no abrasive chemicals. You can easily and cheaply make cleaning products at home, or purchase products that still disinfect but without a whole lot of chemicals.
• Use bamboo products instead of plastic. This might involve straws when you need them or a bamboo toothbrush.
• Open your curtains in the morning and close them again at night, ensuring you’re getting some beautiful sunlight.
• If you can’t install a rainwater system, collect water in buckets when it rains, or even from your shower or vegie washing, to put on your garden (or for flushing your toilet).
• A bathroom plant is a great way to bring nature into your home – put it on the windowsill, and pick something forgiving like a succulent.