A superior drainage system keeps users of Green Square’s public library safe and dry in all kinds of weather.

Ever walked through a public space or building forecourt and been grateful for the lack of puddles, despite relentlessly driving rain? You can thank the innovative drainage and stormwater management systems hidden beneath hardscaped surfaces for your dry feet. Keeping our built environment from going under, our streets safe for traffic and our pedestrians from being swept downstream when the rain sets in is the goal of good stormwater management in any city.

Helping to keep Sydney safe from such weather-related disasters is Stormtech, leading specialists in commercial and civil drainage. Working on Green Square, Sydney’s first town centre in over 100 years, Stormtech was contracted to provide custom drains for all doorways and downpipes, and standard and commercial-sized stormwater pits for the Green Square Library and surrounding plaza.

Once a network of swamps, wetlands and creeks subject to flooding, Green Square is currently being transformed into a new town centre where people can connect, learn, relax and play. Designed to be a resilient and welcoming residential, commercial and cultural community, Green Square combines “sustainable infrastructure with community spirit, lifestyle and character”; according to the City of Sydney.

With over $540 million committed over the next 10 years to producing a range of public facilities, Green Square is a mammoth and exciting civil undertaking.

Part of the scheme included an underground library set within a beautiful public plaza; opened in October 2018. Wanting to attract visitors for a range of cultural activities, Council’s request for a “beautiful, functional and sustainable design” for the library was more than adequately met. The building’s 2300-square-metre space includes a subterranean garden at its centre, along with an amphitheatre and café, while the adjoining plaza provides shaded spaces for reading and relaxing, along with moveable chairs and lawn space for pop-up events, and a water play zone.

Combining function with flexibility to create a new style of urban living, the project has received a 5-star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. A contributing factor in achieving this rating was the central wastewater system, which Stormtech had an integral part in delivering. The clever, sustainable design means rainwater can be collected underneath the plaza for reuse.

Part of an agreement between the City of Sydney and Green Square Water, treated stormwater is available to residents of Green Square for non-potable uses, including toilets, irrigation, and laundry and cooling towers. This innovative project is Australia’s largest residential stormwater harvesting and treatment scheme ever undertaken, and the first to be carried out by City of Sydney to deliver recycled water to households.

In completing their contract, Stormtech supplied slimline threshold drains to the project, which provide a level entrance to most thresholds. The narrow profile of the slimline range offers minimal impact on design, allowing the unique features of the Green Square library and plaza to stand out, while providing unified integration between internal and external areas. Without compromising efficiency, the slimline drains blend seamlessly with the paved surrounds to delivery maximum surface water drainage. Architecturally designed and environmentally sustainable, the Stormtech Slimline drainage system is GreenTag™ certified.

For that bespoke touch, Stormtech also supplied a series of stainless steel stormwater pits and frames for the base of the library. Designed for high water volumes, the pits were custom fabricated to match the design aesthetic of the library, guaranteeing functionality of the area without sacrificing the overall look of the architecture. The finished result is a subtle yet sophisticated space that functions as a safe environment for users.


Client City of Sydney
Location Green Square, Sydney
Architect Stewart Hollenstein Architecture (Matthias Hollenstein)
Drain & Pit Supply Stormtech

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