Australia’s first 6 Star Education project
The University of Adelaide is the first university in Australia to achieve a 6 Star Green Star Education (V1) rating for the Innova 21 project.
Innova 21, the University of Adelaide’s new $100 million building for the Faculty of Engineering, Computer & Mathematical Science, has just been awarded a 6 Star Green Star Education (v1.0) rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. This makes it the first project in Australia to achieve a 6 Star rating under the Green Star Education v1.0 tool.
The eight-storey, 14,000-square-metre Innova 21 building incorporates a range of environmentally sustainable features that complement the design that helped the University achieve its impressive rating as a world leader.
The building respects and enhances the character of the precinct through a contemporary and distinctive design. Important elements of passive design such as sun shading devices, as well as active elements such as thermal chimneys on the north façade of the building, help define the building’s character.
Key innovative elements include the use of ‘active slab’ technology (hydronic cooling loops within the concrete floor slabs) combined with an underfloor air distribution system utilising 100 percent fresh air ventilation, providing a healthy and comfortable internal environment. Heat rejection from the computer server rooms to the ground is achieved via geothermal loops incorporated into the basement diaphragm wall. The building also has a low-E double glazed curtain wall, a programmable (DALI) lighting system and a building management system (BMS) designed to reduce energy consumption.
Another key sustainable technology is the trigeneration plant located at the roof level that will provide electricity, heating and cooling for the whole building, saving energy and with ongoing cost savings.
There is an extensive rainwater harvesting system with underground rainwater storage tanks. The collected water is used for toilet flushing & irrigation within the building.
These technologies within the building will be monitored via the BMS, and this data will be available to students so that the building itself becomes a teaching tool in terms of its environmentally sustainable design.
Materials selection as well as the furniture, fittings and equipment within the building were selected in relation to their eco-preferred content, as well as minimal PVC and formaldehyde content.
An exhibition space has been incorporated into the south of the building in an area that was previously a carpark as part of a link to the existing engineering faculty buildings. This space is roofed with an ethylene tetra fluoro ethylene (ETFE) inflated roof membrane – another example of innovative material technology in use in this building.
Innova 21 satisfies the University of Adelaide’s need for contemporary staff accommodation and computer-aided teaching facilities with the high indoor environmental quality criteria established by the Green Star Education Tool. These design imperatives were achieved while integrating this modern building within the context of the heritage aspects of the University of Adelaide campus.
The consultant design team on the project consisted of:
- DesignInc – architecture & interior design
- Umow Lai – electrical, mechanical & ESD consultancy
- Bestec – hydraulic, fire services, vertical transportation
- Aurecon – structural engineer
- Outlines – landscape architecture
Umow Lai’s team was led by electrical engineer Magesh Gounden, a Senior Associate of the firm. Working in conjunction with architects DesignInc, Bestec Consulting Engineers and the University of Adelaide, the firm was responsible for the mechanical, electrical, ecologically sustainable design, communications, security, and audiovisual services. Their joint venture partners, Bestec, were responsible for hydraulics, fire protection and vertical transportation.
Melbourne-based Umow Lai has an impressive record with 6 Star Green Star projects. It was the first in Victoria to receive a 6 Star Green Star Office Interiors v1.1 (World Leader) rating from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) for the fitout of their own offices at 10 Yarra Street, South Yarra.
The consultancy has also made substantial contributions to another five projects that have achieved Green Star ratings from the GBCA in the past 12 months: Fujitsu Australia, Docklands – 6 Star Green Star-Office Interiors v1.1 rating; 200 Victoria Street, Carlton – 6 Star Office Design v2 rating; 2 Nexus Court, Mulgrave – 5 Star Office Design v2 rating; Department of Transport SX Tower, Exhibition Street – 5 Star Office Interiors v1.1 rating and the Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, South Yarra – 4 Star Office Interiors v1.1 rating.