The two story brick Victorian heritage building more than doubles the area of the existing 1889 Mechanics Institute Hall building. The heritage façade has been maintained and by receding the extension from the streetscape, a community space has been created which provides opportunities for public gatherings, outdoor cinema and community events. The Bairnsdale Library has also obtained new facilities such as meeting rooms, café/kitchen, public and private study areas to offer engagement of the community.
Whilst ensuring value for money both in construction cost and ongoing operation and maintenance, products and materials were carefully selected for the Bairnsdale Library. Features include a timber framed, double glazed façade ensuring optimisation of natural daylight levels minimising heat gain and loss whilst efficient LED internal lighting illuminates the external plaza. Composite timber/concrete slab floors and pre-cast concrete walls (retaining the existing triple brick wall structures) provide thermal mass, passive hydrothermal air conditioning with additional low energy fans further encouraging air flow. The underground 58,000L rainwater tanks situated below timber platforms in the plaza also provide passive geothermal exchange and replacement air into the library.