5 Star Green Star Office Interiors V1.1 Rating
The new PJP Justice Building in Parramatta, New South Wales has been awarded a 5 Star Green Star Office Interiors V1.1 rating from the Green Building Council Australia. The Parramatta Justice Precinct achieved the rating in Australian Excellence in February 2010 for the sustainable development of the precincts three buildings.
The $350 million development of the three buildings includes two court buildings and a Justice Administration building by architects and project manager Bates Smart was developed by Multiplex Constructions; Cubic Interiors oversaw the projects fitout.
The court buildings house a Trial Court for criminal case and a Children’s Court Building for juvenile offenders. Involved in the project was the refurbishment and preservation of Jeffrey House. The importance of this building derives from its history as one of the oldest NSW buildings. This now heritage listed building was once a health care facility dating back to 1792.
The Justice Administration Building was initially adapted from a disused medical facility and now has a 10 storey internal atrium design feature which draws in natural light, optimising window use which support the façade in drawing in more natural light, but which can also work to reduce heat transfer in and out of the building; therefore creating more comfortable surroundings to work in and minimising the need for manmade lighting.
Natural lighting is further controlled through solar shading, which works to reduce the buildings heat load, minimising the need to use an air-conditioning system. Low energy light fittings have also been implemented throughout the design, substantially limiting the buildings electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Keeping the building cool is a chilled beam system located in the ceiling. This chilled beam works through convective cooling by having chilled water pumped into it. When warm air rises from a buildings floor to the ceiling, it is cooled by the beams then it falls back to the floor where the cycle starts again. This system works without a fan, unlike traditional HVAC systems, which can reduce the energy consumption of a building. Overall this system has been regarded as more energy efficient than HVAC systems because it produces a greater air distribution, whilst not overloading energy consumption.
Water management has been achieved through the installation of a 500,000 litre rainwater harvesting tank. The water collected through this tank is recycled for use in the buildings cooling towers, the toilet flushing system and the surrounding landscape irrigation needs. This rainwater collection system also provides a means of reducing water outflow to the stormwater system; enabling very little water to be wasted. Hot water is also provided through solar generation.
Wherever possible, products with as little Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) in as possible have been used throughout the project. VOC’s are chemicals which are commonly used in products such as paints, timber, fabric, adhesives and carpets. In indoor environments these chemicals are emitted as gases into the surrounding atmosphere.
Indoors, the concentration of VOC’s can be 10 times higher than VOC’s in products outdoors. Other products used in this development have been locally sourced, reducing the environmental impact of importing products; they were also sourced for their Good Environmental Choice Australia accreditation.
Due to the public nature of this project, an optimum office environment for the benefit of the people using it and the longevity of the building was a key driver during the design phase. This has been achieved by a strong focus on establishing a healthy indoor environment quality through high natural light levels and sustainable viable materials and products integrated throughout the fitout.