FJMT completes environmentally-conscious community hub in Surry Hills
This complex facility, located in the heart of Surry Hills, combines three public facilities into a single building with a community focus. It is a ‘hybrid public building’ incorporating Library, Community and Childcare Centre services into a welcoming, inviting and human scaled public landmark.
A key project objective was to establish a new Australian standard of excellence for environmentally sustainable design in civic buildings. The building incorporates many sustainable design innovations and seeks to integrate these into the architecture and explore the expressive potential of such systems.
The environmental atrium’s series of triangular, tapering airshafts draw in clean outside air and passively cool it. Experimental use of plants to bio-filter pollutants is integrated in the gardens of specially selected plants within glass enclosures. Natural daylight is filtered through layers of glass and garden and flow deep into the interiors. The array of environmental initiatives intrinsic to the design also include a thermal labyrinth for passive filtering and tempering of the air, solar-tracking timber louvre systems, automated fabric shading, mixed mode ventilation, extensive photovoltaic array, geothermal cooling bores, green roof, rainwater collection and recycling and sustainable material selection.
Computerised building management and control systems automatically monitor and control the internal environmental conditions of the building, adjusting the ventilation and sunshade louvres throughout the day controlling heat load, light and shade, and switching lights on and off when required. The BMS also monitors and records electrical and hydraulic systems to maximise the environmental efficiency of the building and identify system faults.
All materials were assessed for their cost effectiveness, fitness for purpose, long term durability and maintenance reliability. A detailed benefit analysis of primary materials and finishes was also undertaken for ESD content and cost prior to integration into the design.