Mildura Eco Living Centre


  • EME Design Pty Ltd


This multipurpose community facility is a living, breathing eco exemplar with no indulgent superfluities; poetry and beauty are rooted in sustainable purpose.

A playful educational space demonstrating creativity on a tight budget, this unique building represents a paradigm shift away from a conventional building covered in the bells and whistles of sustainability.

The MELC is elegant timber building with a sweeping roof, forming the heart of the Eco Park. Showcasing sustainable building techniques and technologies to inspire the public. Striving for a new generation learning space, MELC is designed for: flexibility, efficiency and comfort.

Key Features


Design Excellence

This beautiful architecture is embedded with sophisticated passive ESD systems.

The dramatic roof plane is the product of extensive solar diagramming. The double layered roof system enables the roof to have two modes of operation, purging solar gain in summer, and increasing heat retention in the cold months.

A medley of sustainable cladding showcase the versatility and warmth of Australian timbers, but as with all products in the building have been considered also for their lifecycle costs and re-used after the building’s life.

The passive design response is creative and playful, optimising winter solar gain, framing views and promoting cross-ventilation.


Design Transformation

Regenerating a damaged site, MELC is the centrepiece of the Mildura Eco Living Park, transforming what was once a disused tip on the outskirts of Mildura into a world class Community Education Hub.

An inspiring, working, exemplar to demonstrate the future of sustainable building possibilities in a harsh climate. Providing the community with the tools and the place to develop viable, low-carbon lifestyles.

The design sets new benchmarks in terms of minimising the embodied energy within the construction of the building. The MELC exceeds best practice Sustainable Scorecard requirement by more than 60%, achieving 174 points.


Design Impact

A community educational facility that excels above all other in terms of design efficiencies for a modest budget, versatile, its techniques are transferable to not only other educational/public buildings but to homes and commercial projects as well.

Passive design features allow the client to save on running costs, the project is carbon positive in its operations. A subterranean rock bed stores energy and stabilises internal temperatures. This is complemented by a cooling labyrinth and roof mounted solar air module heating.

With social sustainability in mind the multifunctional, thermal, earthbag wall will be progressively constructed by the community.


Design Innovation

This will be the first educational facility in Mildura’s semi-arid climate that will run without conventional heating or cooling. Utilising good passive design and Australian technology.

It looks towards the future of educational spaces, away from a more formalised classroom space towards a space a tuned to multiple modes of learning for young and old.

The MELC empowers its visitors by encouraging them to interact with the embedded sustainable features rather than relying on automated high embodied energy gadgetry. An open ESD textbook, it helps visitors improve their understanding of sustainable design which they can take home with them.

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