5 Star Green Star Office Design V2 Rating
A $200 million workplace for more than 3,000 employees has achieved a 5 Star Green Star rating in the Office as Built v2 category, from the Green Building Council of Australia. The 5 Star rating represents Australian Excellence, after achieving 70 points, a 100% achievement in the 5 star as built category; which has been combined with a previous 5 Star rating in the Design category in 2009 and a 5 Star NABERS rating.
The Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing, also known as the Project First DOHA- Sirius Building achieved these ratings through the works of the project owner and client DOMA Group in a joint venture with company Mirvac; the architects of the project were May and Russell, and the mechanical and electrical engineering of the base building and the fit out was achieved by Northrop and AECOM.
The building spanning over 45,000 metres squared has 10 floors of office accommodation and two levels of basement car parking. The base building and the fit out has an energy target of a 5 star NABERS rating and the sustainable design features used throughout the development extensively vary from engineered energy control systems to high performing glass facades.
A significant design factor was the use of energy modelling used to determine the rate of energy consumption of the building. The results from the energy modelling phase were used to design the building façade.
The custom made façade is being utilized to draw in the surrounding natural light, reducing the need to use standard lighting systems, significantly cutting down the buildings electricity consumption; however a building benefiting from optimum natural sunlight levels means solar heat loading and glare problems also need to be taken into account. Controlling solar glare is an important factor in the façade design, if this was ignored the glare could have compromised the levels of light coming into the building, the comfort of the buildings users and the overall look off the finished design.
The western side of the building creates a significant heat load, therefore specified louvers needed to be put in place to offset this and maintain a balance of the building climate controls, as the façade also works to take into account the thermal energy patterns running throughout the building. This can also work alongside the building management system to reduce the need to use a HVAC system.
A Building Management System (BMS) has been implemented within the building design in order to control the use of the HVAC plant, which can significantly decrease the consumption of energy throughout the building. A Building Management System is becoming more commonly used within the built industry as a means of reducing energy consumption because it allows the building owners to control the usage of heating, air conditioning, ventilation and lighting. In the Sirius Building example this BMS also works to control the buildings condensing boilers and the magnetic bearing chillers.
Water consumption is controlled through the integration of an Aerocycle Aquatherm recycling system; this uses biochemistry combined with heat transfer technology to treat waste water from the site. This disinfectant system works to recover 98% of energy used with the process of water treatment, and is known to be more environmentally friendly as it takes out the need to use chemicals during the treatment process. A rainwater collecting system has been put in place which collects and recycles water for use within the cooling towers which support keeping the building at a moderate temperature.
A preexisting building was already in place before the development of the Sirius Building, however this was used to the developers advantage as a healthy indoor environment quality is strongly encouraged through the Green Building Council of Australia’s office as built guidelines. One way to achieve this is through using recycled materials. Not only does limit carbon emissions through the construction phase, but it also limits the need to use PVC products and materials high in Volatile Organic Compounds. In benefiting the sustainability of the new building, the existing building was demolished with 90% of the materials from this process being recycled in the new development.
The indoor environment quality has been further maintained through the implementation of air volume systems which work at low temperatures with swirl diffusers. This causes natural room air to be mixed with this new supply of air, creating a cleaner and more comfortable indoor climate.
During the design phase a key contribution to the outcome of the optimization of energy saving technology used, the indoor environment quality and the management of the building is the implementation of energy modelling. Energy modelling is a system where computer based technology to assess the energy of the building throughout a period off a year; the information collected enables quantifiable measurements to be made as to how energy efficient the building design. It also encourages all of the stakeholders involved to focus their design work on the energy saving strategies possible.
The significance of the name of this building dates back to 1788 when the flagship of the First Fleet arrived in Botany Bay, whilst its history is remembered in ACT, over 220 years on its significance will be associated with the advent of sustainable design in a demanding and progressively innovative world.