Ausgrid Learning Centre
19 september 2019
Project: Ausgrid Learning Centre, Silverwater | Australia
Architects: DEM (Aust) Pty Ltd | Australia
Construction: Education building with office area and visitors‘ centre
Year of Construction: 2011
Energy standard: 6 Star Green Star Education Design v1 and As Built v1, Green Building Council of Australia
Product: ALUCOBOND®, 5,500 m², Colour: sparkling white, smoke silver metallic, brilliant metallic
RESPECT FOR RESOURCES
The warm climate in Sydney makes air-conditioning one of the standard requisites in new buildings. But Ausgrid energy supplier wanted to set a good example: It planned an energy efficient building to house its new learning centre facility in Silverwater near Sydney. By banking on both passive and active measures, energy consumption was reduced by 60% and water consumption by 53%. On the banks of the Duck River, several of the centre‘s buildings interlink to form a large campus with shady or bright internal and external courtyards and arcades. Inside the building, this same game of light and shadows continues. Well-planned and good natural light, backed up by a lighting system regulated by daylight, prevent the building from overheating and, yet create light rooms, which are partially open to view from the outside. There are rooms for teaching, multi-purpose use, laboratories, a library and a visitors‘ centre. The primary energy source is a gas-driven tri-generation power station, providing heating, cooling and power, ideal for high energy requirements in a building accommodating training and laboratory facilities. A geothermal system using 55 geothermal bores also provides energy for heating and cooling, whilst photovoltaic panels on the roof generate a part of the electricity. A 150,000 litre rainwater cistern as well as grey water filtering contribute to the water supply for the building.
The materials interconnect just the way the buildings do, allowing individual elements to be easily replaced and recycled. Waste avoidance plays a major role: it was possible to recycle approximately 95% of the material from the old building and some of the old steel, wood, bricks and concrete elements were reused in the new building. So, although the silver and white ALUCOBOND® panels on the façade may glisten and look brand new, they fit in with the ecological architectural concept: value, use and reuse your resources.