The lights are bright for Broadway...

15 Feb 2010

BKK Architects design new gateway building for University of Sydney

The new UTS Broadway Building for The University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) demonstrates leading-edge architectural design, both of a local and international quality, which reflects the creative innovative direction of the University. The design also creates a civic gateway role for the building within the local and greater Sydney area. It is essential that the design is appropriate for UTS and its vision for the future.

Employing the use of two service cores to the ends of the floorplate and an innovative services design means that the building has a vast array of possible configurations for teaching and learning. The raised service floor and central service spine to each floor plate facilitate flexibility and provides opportunities for more dynamic learning environments both now and in the future. The spaces of the building are conceived of as a three dimensional arrangement avoiding the use of the plan as the primary driver of space. This results in a more varied arrangement of the facilities that will encourage greater opportunities for interaction between users and promote cross-disciplinary communication.

The building employs the latest thinking in structural systems, where the structural skin is also the façade. Through the use of structural optimisation tools and parametric modeling we have been able to reduce the overall structural needs of the building and provide a more efficient façade/structure combination. The façade structure is based on organic systems, derived from the ‘Golden Section’ which provides a new, dynamic vision for UTS. The façade itself will be modular in nature allowing for the individual panels to be interchangeable as new technologies are developed. The modelling of the facade allows the exact depth of the hood to be determined for optimum sun shading.

The design is an evolving process derived from sound basic passive design principles utilising the façade and structure as the primary climate modifier with buffer zones located on the east and west side. A highly efficient modular façade system moderates the ambient condition which reduces the demand for energy intensive mechanical conditioning. The modularity of the façade system provides a framework for full scale system testing for innovative façades research and future refurbishment.The design will harness the natural environment and renewable energy sources. Natural ventilation and daylight will be optimised through intelligent façade systems combined with strategically positioned atrium spaces. The Heliostat daylight guiding system projects direct daylight deep into the lower levels. Solar ventilation chimneys with wind cowls assist natural ventilation.

Mechanical systems are designed to maximise the efficient delivery of comfort conditions to the space. The proposed underfloor air distribution (UFAD) system with increased levels of outdoor supply air promotes a healthy indoor environment. Cooling efficiency will be enhanced by activating the structural slab with chilled water pipework. The Tri-generation system reduces the demand on the inner city power infrastructure, reduces carbon intensity and improves the overall efficiency by utilising the by-product waste heat to generate heating and cooling. The desiccant dehumidifier provides superior moisture control of supply air. Heat rejection energy is minimised by incorporating ground source heat rejection integrated with the foundation piles. Rainwater is harvested and reused for cooling the tower and toilet flushing. The waste water is collected and treated for irrigation.

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