Katoomba’s Cultural Centre green roof is a stormwater treatment system

Katoomba’s Cultural Centre green roof is a stormwater treatment system

13.07.2015 - Posted by Alexa McAuley
In 2011, Equatica (now part of Alluvium) designed an innovative green roof stormwater treatment system for Katoomba’s new Cultural Centre. Most of the Cultural Centre’s roof area is dedicated to a large outdoor podium/deck which can be used as an events space. The green roof covers only a small portion of the roof, but treats runoff from the entire roof area. We believe that this makes it a unique Australian example of a green roof which also functions to treat a larger catchment area.

Vegetation on rooftop (green roof)

2.5 years of growth - our innovative green roof stormwater treatment system design at Katoomba's Cultural Centre

The green roof was constructed in 2012 and has now been establishing for 2.5 years. We recently visited the Cultural Centre to check on the roof and the outcome is pleasing. Vegetation has established well and the green roof is blending in with the horizon. We believe that a key factor in its success so far has been the selection of appropriate locally native species – we selected species common to the Blue Mountains’ sandstone clifftop environments – and the use of local provenance planting stock from the Blue Mountains Conservation Society Nursery. In addition, the green roof has been carefully sized in relation to its catchment and care was taken to ensure that runoff would be well-distributed across the surface of the treatment system.

Water treated by the green roof is collected and stored, along with roof water from an adjacent building, in a storage tank in the basement of the building. The water is then disinfected and reused for toilet flushing throughout the building.