The Sustainable Buildings Research Centre

26 November 2013 — The University of Wollongong’s Sustainable Buildings Research Centre has won the National Environment and Energy Efficiency Commercial Building Award in the Master Builders National Excellence in Building and Construction Awards.

The Award recognises the Centre’s innovative and sustainable design, and construction by building contractor Baulderstone (now Lend Lease).

Project manager Lance Jeffery said: “The Sustainable Buildings Research Centre was designed to push the envelope of sustainable design. The end result is the outcome of a terrific team effort between the University and our architects, builders and consultants.

“We are very proud the Master Builders has recognised the contribution our centre makes to a more sustainable environment.”

Designed by Cox Richardson Architects, the 2600sqm building features:

  • An H-shaped floorplate designed to optimise natural ventilation, natural light and the use of thermal mass
  • A highly insulated exterior envelope which minimises thermal bridges and air leakage;
  • A four kilowatt building-integrated PV system
  • Onsite rainwater harvesting and treatment and wastewater treatment and disposal systems
  • A 160kW onsite generator, which will produce more power than the building uses every year, sharing all generated power with neighbouring facilities
  • Cool roof paint technology and a rooftop garden
  • 32 automatic window control zones with manual override functions
  • Extensive use of reused timber, bricks, rubber and steel railway tracks
  • Locally-sourced materials where possible
  • FSC certified new timber
  • Concrete with 60 per cent cement replacement and 40 per cent recycled aggregate

The building is targeting a 6 Star Green Star design rating and aims to be Australia’s first “living building” under the international Living Building Challenge program.

The Centre will officially open in 2014 and be used to research sustainable building in Australia and deliver advanced retrofit technologies, integrated component testing and skills training.