28 November 2012 — The University of Adelaide’s Ingkarni Wardli building, with features such as 100 per cent fresh air and a “bubble wrap” style roof that inflates and deflates to control temperature, provide insulation and all natural light penetration, has received a 6 Star Green Star rating for Education As Built V1.

The $100 million nine-level Ingkarni Wardli building – its name comes from the language of the local Kaurna people, and means “place of learning or enquiry” – is home to the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences.

It was awarded Australia’s first 6 Star Green Star rating for an education building when it opened in 2010.

Architect and project manager for the project was DesignInc Adelaide, structural/civil engineer was Connell Mott MacDonald and building services engineers were Umow Lai and Bestec. Hindmarsh Construction Australia was key consultant.

Other consultants included Bassett Consulting Engineers, AECOM Australia, l Outlines Landscape Architecture, Katnich Dodd and quantity surveyor was Currie and Brown

Key design features include:

Under floor cooling  

Pipes embedded in the concrete floors distributes chilled water through the building structure to cool and maintain the operating temperature of the building.

The pipes run down into the building foundations enabling heat to be rejected into the earth before the water is pumped back to the building plant where it is chilled via high efficiency cooling towers for distribution through the building.

The building rejects heat that accumulates in the building structure (concrete) back into the ground via the pipes.


100 per cent fresh air 100 per cent of the time and the building does not recycle any air through the airconditioning system.


Rainwater is collected via an extensive underground rainwater harvesting system and stored in a 500,000 litre capacity tank.

The rainwater is used in the building’s cooling towers, for toilet flushing and irrigation within the building.

The Atrium Roof     

The atrium roof is made from Ethylene Tetra Fluoro Ethylene in a design that mimics the Cube used for the Beijing Olympics.

It similar to a “giant bubble wrap, a very flat balloon or pool cover,” and can inflate or deflate to maintain a constant air temperature and provides insulation and natural light penetration at the same time.


The building has its own gas fired power generation plant, which helps to reduce our carbon footprint.

Trigeneration produces electricity, heating and cooling, while saving energy and utility costs.

Thermal chimneys

During summer, warm air from the building is exhausted via the thermal chimneys on the north face of the building – convective action (or hot air that draws cold air behind it) then sucks this exhaust air out of the building on each level to naturally ventilate the building, that is, hot air rises through the chimneys sucking out the old air.


The building’s design makes the most of natural sunlight.

The orientation is an East-West direction, which minimises heat gain during summer while maximising natural light from the north.

Extra features           

Ample bike parking.

Improved recycling processes and initiatives.

Automated light globes turn off when not in use and improve the indoor quality of natural light.

Sustainable timber used throughout and chemical use minimised.