The Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland researches issues like food security, healthy oceans, sustainable land use, health and clean energy. The new Global Change Institute building at the St. Lucia campus aims to embrace principles of sustainability and offer a place to research and pilot new sustainable building solutions.
Living Building Challenge
The Living Building Challenge is a green building certification program that defines the most advanced measure of sustainability possible today and acts to diminish the gap between current limits and ideal solutions. Projects that achieve this level of performance can claim to be the ‘greenest’ anywhere, and will serve as role models for others that follow.
The Global Change Institute building will go beyond the 6 Star Green Star rating which means rather than having even a small negative impact on the environment it will overall have a restorative effect through technology and building practises.
Some of these features include
- Thermal chimneys and solar air conditioning to passively cool the building and promote airflow.
- Solar and wind power combined with DC power facilities for optimal efficiency.
- Operable layered facades to control light and air together.
The result is a positive contribution to the climate and ecology, with zero carbon and waste footprints.
The façade uses motorised louvres and sun blades extensively to control air and heat throughout the building. The sun blades and louvres move independently of each other and follow the sun throughout the day, and operate in concert with the air conditioning in the building.
The louvres are custom designed to conceal any motorised mechanism, the frame incorporates a custom extrusion created for this purpose. As the concrete slab is pre-cast with a domed shape, loading to the floor must be restricted, and the 2000 clear laminated louvre blades will need to be manually installed on-site to meet tolerances.
Further energy efficient features include a large central foyer which allows natural light through the building, a lift with regenerative braking in a glazed lift shaft, and skylights to bring natural light to the upper levels.
Construction is expected to finish in early 2013. Once completed, it will provide a focal point for the university’s sustainability research. G.James is pleased to help deliver such a cutting edge building.