Thoughtful design rewarded the Shepparton Art Museum

The Shepparton Art Museum has officially received a 6 Star Green Star rating, which sees it officially recognized as Australia’s first public art museum to receive the rating.

Designed by Denton Corker Marshall, the museum has received a Design & As Built v1.2 certification, representing globally recognized leadership in the sustainable design of a public building.

DCM’s design utilized passive house principles for airtightness, enabling an energy efficient, thermally comfortable and healthy indoor environment. The building’s compact floor plan – created as a five-level square – results in an efficient floor-to-frontage ratio that decreases energy demand. The decision to build upwards rather than outwards allows a diversion channel to be installed on the site and maximizes green space.

“Denton Corker Marshall is proud of our design for the new Shepparton Art Museum and delighted with the achievement of 6 Star Green Star sustainability, the highest possible Green Star rating and the premier museum/art gallery in Australia to achieve this level of rating. It is also extremely gratifying to see the significant cultural contribution SAM is making to the Shepparton area,” said John Denton, Founding Director of Denton Corker Marshall.

The memo highlights Greater Shepparton City Council’s commitment to achieving sustainability goals beyond the required benchmarks. Councilor Kim O’Keeffe says the building has all the hallmarks of an internationally recognized institution.

“SAM will set the standard for healthy, resilient and positive buildings and places around the world – and it’s right here in Shepparton,” O’Keeffe said.

Two of the four exhibition spaces have been designed according to international standards to exhibit international works. Low VOC materials and ventilation systems have been implemented to minimize air pollutants, with acoustic separation and reverberation reduction applied to create comfortable acoustic conditions. 162 photovoltaic panels contribute to the Museum’s energy production, with additional energy coming from renewable energies. The cistern for the museum and adjacent public toilets is fed by an underground rainwater tank, with water for irrigation recycled from Lake Victoria Park.

The site was remediated to restore significant wetlands, with the vertical design allowing more land to be preserved. A number of native plantings and landscaping reduce the heat island effect on the site. Materials were sourced locally with environmental responsibility in mind. 95% of the steel used in the building came from a responsible steelmaker. Local Blackbutt wood has been used throughout the museum, with upholstered furniture designed and created by the local indigenous community.

Home to over 4,000 works of art, the Shepparton Museum of Art comprises four main gallery spaces, including a children’s area, a visitor information center, an Aboriginal community arts center Kaiela Arts, an outdoor amphitheater and Art Hill, an on-site cafe, and a 150-seat event space and terrace on four levels.

The Museum opened its doors to the public at the end of last year. For more information, visit

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