When Sustainability meets Architecture| UTS Buidling

When Sustainability meets Architecture| UTS Buidling

The University of Technology Sydney, Australia (UTS) solicited design proposals for a new building to house its Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology as part of the school’s Broadway Building Design Competition. The school was in search of an architecture firm that could design a “gateway” building that referenced the urban context and the City Campus Master Plan while supporting a large population of students and faculty and reducing the school’s environmental impact. In July 2009, UTS announced the winning design, submitted by Australian architectural firm Denton Corker Marshall, from over 60 international entries. Selected by UTS representatives, the City of Sydney, and the New South Wales (NSW) Department of Planning, the design for the Information Technology and Engineering (ITE) Building was chosen for its aesthetic appeal, as well as its functionality and sustainable qualities.

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Spread over 27,000 sq. m. (approximately 290,625 sq. ft.), the Broadway Building’s 16 levels (four below grade) will be able to accommodate 4,300 students and 500 faculty, as well as house research and teaching laboratories, lecture theaters, seminar rooms, academic and administration offices, and parking.  All the floors are enclosed by a tilted facade. The building is clad on four sides by skewed and tilted plates. The façade design creates a series of triangular openings in each corner. The opening extends to the ground level and forms the building’s entrances.

The main volume of the ITE building was eroded with a crevasse for pedestrian access. The atrium formed by the crevasse runs all through the building in both horizontal and vertical directions. Research, learning, teaching and social spaces are located in the flexible and functional spaces distributed around the floor-to-roof atrium.

The atrium also acts as an entrance to the building and connects the surrounding locality to the UTS education precinct. Semi-transparent angled screens of the façade offer views of the internal activities of the building to the public. The façade design allows natural light and fresh air into the building.

In addition to revolutionary design, the UTS Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology targets a five-star Green Star energy rating. It deploys a strategy aimed to save energy consumption by about 30% to 45% compared with a similar educational building.

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The ESD initiatives include saving between 20% and 30% potable water and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by about 50%. The structure has a 450m² solar array, low-energy lighting and an under-floor air distribution system. The binary code screen with its double-glazed façade saves approximately 15% of operational energy for the building.

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Key features:
•Internal planning creates strong visual connections through the atrium space and fosters inter-collegial interaction and collaboration
•Vertical planning places most public functions at ground floor level and most private at upper levels
•Academic and research students clustered around interactive and break-out spaces along internal circulation routes
•Internal spaces defined by access to daylight and fresh air
•Building will accommodate some 500 staff and 4,300 students 

Sustainability features
•Minimum 5-Star Green Star Rating
•Energy saving strategy is to deliver a 30% – 45% energy saving over benchmark tertiary educational buildings with similar functional spaces.
•45% shading co-efficient of the external ‘binary code’ screen estimated to bring about a 10-15% operational energy saving.

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Post Author: Zahi Baroudi

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