Blundstone Arena

29 March 2012 – Suters Architects has embarked on two major projects. It is partnering with ARTAS Architects on Tasmania’s $22 million Blundstone Arena, Bellerive redevelopment project and has been appointed to the $210 million Gold Coast University Private Hospital scheme.

A spokesperson for Suters told The Fifth Estate sustainability initiatives were being considered for the Blundstone Arena redevelopment but the project was still to go through the design process. Details of sustainability principles related to the Gold Coast project should be known in the next few weeks.

The preliminary sustainability ideals for the arena include:

  • Stadium facade design to potentially include high performance glazing and external shading to minimise unwanted solar gains to occupied spaces.
  • Stair wells can be used as thermal chimneys to passively purge heat generated on lower levels.
  • Innovative roof design to maximise shading and minimise obstructions.
  • Cool coastal breezes can be captured as they enter the arena to naturally ventilate permanently occupied office spaces and minimise the demand on the mechanical system.
  • Outside air can be drawn in and passed through buried pipes, using the earth as a thermal sink to pre-temper the air before it is further cooled by the mechanical plant. This would increase the energy efficiency of the mechanical system.
  • Indoor finishes with products that lead to better indoor air quality (ie. low-VOC, and no-formaldehyde).
  • The use of greywater recycling to be investigated to minimise demand on town’s main potable water supply.
  • The use of sustainable materials with low embodied energy, recycled content, high durability and local manufacture.
  • Solar domestic hot water system to reduce demand on the facilities boiler plant and associated greenhouse gas emissions reduction.
  • Natural ventilations and mixed-mode ventilation strategies will be investigated  to increase the indoor environment quality to conditioned spaces. Daylight to be harnessed where possible.
  • Rainwater collection from stand roof areas and stored in underground tanks. Water can then be treated and gravity fed through to cooling towers, toilet flushing and landscape irrigation.
  • Building integrated thin film photovoltaic cell technology can be used to generate renewable energy throughout the year if incorporated on a northerly aspect into the stadium roof cladding.
  • Vertical axis wind turbines positioned high on Blundstone Arena’s rooftop to generate electricity from the capture of Hobart’s prevailing winds.
  • Enhanced link with public transport infrastructure to encourage sustainable mass transport solutions, including buses and ferries.
  • The use of bicycles could also be encouraged through provision of after trip parking and changing facilities.
  • Educational displays incorporated into the way-finding infrastructure to inform staff and visitors of the environmental benefits of the facility.
  • Investigate the optimisation of the building load profiles to determine the appropriate use of onsite cogeneration or trigeneration to improve the emissions profile of the facility.
  • Whole of life costing will be considered when selecting plants to ensure that the environmental impact in construction and operation is minimised and product longevity ensured.
  • Night purging and controlled ventilation of occupied spaces allowing generated heat gains to be passively discharged at night.

Suters Queensland managing principal, Geoff Street, said the Brisbane-based Suters design team would work with Healthscope on the new addition to the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct.

With a construction budget of $150 million, the new facility will incorporate 230 hospital beds with capacity to expand to 350, 11 operating theatres with expansion space to increase to 18 theatres and an emergency department.

The design phase will be finalised this year with construction expected to begin mid 2013 and completed by mid 2015.

The ARTAS partnership for the Blundstone arena expands on a previous partnership with ARTAS for Tasmania’s $14 million Devonport aquatic centre due for completion next year, Suters Melbourne design leader Joshua McAlister said.

ARTAS director Scott Curran said the upgrade, in collaboration with Cricket Tasmania, would see Blundstone Arena increase its seating capacity to 20,000 seats to better cater for increasing national and international sports tours.

“The redevelopment will also ensure elite sport training, gym and rehabilitation requirements are met to cater for national and international cricket and national football matches,” Mr Curran said.