New Tyree Energy Technologies building at UNSW Australia showcases sustainable design and research

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Tyree Energy Technologies Building University of New South Wales with student commons, central atrium

University Energy Technologies Building walks the sustainability talk with its 6 star energy rating Trends editorial director Paul Taylor looks at FJMT’s design for a gateway campus building

When you’re involved in the field of Energy Technology research … and need a new building … it’s only natural to see this as an ideal opportunity to walk the talk of sustainable design.

That was the proposition for the new Tyree Energy Technologies Building at the University of New South Wales.

The building not only needed to accommodate new teaching and learning spaces for up to 1240 students … it also had to reflect the university’s focus on sustainable energy technology.

On top of that, it had to make a strong design statement. The site is at the junction of three urban zones … and so had the potential to become a significant gateway to the university … and a hub of activity.

Architects FJMT’s response was a building with different facades depending on the context.

On the north side, a series of wide steps creates a communal area for students. The façade here is extensively glazed … with louvres installed to screen the academic offices behind.

The western side has a very different look … to address the street with its retail strip on one side and leafy trees on the other. The design broke this façade is into three distinct modules … clad in terracotta coloured ceramic panels … which incorporate vertical sunscreens to allow light to flood the interior.

Automated glazed areas on the saw tooth roof, also allow plenty of natural light into the large central atrium inside the building … and enable it to be naturally ventilated as well.

The building is the first at the university to have a rooftop generation system – a 150kW photovoltaic array and an 800kW tri-generation system.

Together these produce enough energy to supply the equivalent of 400 houses.

Add to that the highly efficient façade … and the underground system that allows the building to be cooled at no cost … and the Tyree Energy Technologies building stands as a demonstration of how to achieve a 6 star energy rating.

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