Adelaidean - News from the University of Adelaide The University of Adelaide Australia
June 2010 Issue
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Our star attraction - green rating for new building


A new $100 million flagship building at the University of Adelaide has achieved the highest Green Star design rating for an education building in Australia.

The new Innova21 building on the University's North Terrace Campus has received Australia's first 6 Star Green Star Design - Education v1 environmental rating for an education building.

The nine-level, state-of-the-art building has achieved the unique rating under the Green Building Council of Australia's Green Star - Education v1 Tool, which assesses the environmental attributes of new and refurbished education facilities in Australia.

"We are delighted that Innova21, the flagship building in the University's facilities expansion, has been recognised for environmentally sustainable design leadership," said the University's Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor James McWha.

Innova21, located on the lower level of the North Terrace Campus, will house the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences. It offers improved student amenities including a cafe, computer labs, exhibition area, teaching spaces and 24-hour, seven-days-a-week access to major resources and support facilities. The new building will be in use by Semester 2 this year.

"Innova21 will not only deliver contemporary staff accommodation and computer aided teaching facilities, but will do so following strict environmental quality criteria established by the Green Star - Education v1 Tool," Professor McWha said.

"The completion of this building to such a high standard is an important step forward for the University, which is on track to deliver more than $400 million in state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities by 2011."

The building incorporates innovative environmental initiatives, such as active slab technology (hydronic cooling loops within the concrete floor) combined with an under-floor air distribution system that utilises 100% fresh air ventilation, providing a healthy and comfortable internal environment.

Rainwater will be collected via an extensive underground rainwater harvesting system and stored in a 500,000 litre capacity tank. The rainwater will be used in the building's cooling towers, for toilet flushing and irrigation within the building.

The building's exhibition space on ground level has an Ethylene Tetra Fluoro Ethylene (ETFE) inflated roof membrane, providing insulation and natural light penetration at the same time. These features are complemented by a low E double-glazed curtain wall and a programmable (DALI) lighting system.

The building also contains a tri-generation plant located at roof level, which produces electricity, heating and cooling, while saving energy and utility costs and a digital Building Management System (BMS) to reduce energy consumption.

"The technologies within the building are monitored via the BMS, allowing us to use the building as a teaching tool," said the University's Executive Dean of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, Professor Peter Dowd.

"The data from the BMS will be available to students in real time via a central media wall, which will display information about energy use efficiency and the performance of structural elements."

Story by Olivia Jones and Kate Husband

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