The Greening Australia WA Headquarters is envisaged to be a building that demonstrates that Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) can be both economically viable, produce a stimulating office environment and show that such design is available to all within our community.
The building has been conceived as a cluster of low single story pavilions arranged around a central covered area that makes use of cooling prevailing breezes in the summer months, and has operable screen walls to provide sheltered but sunny areas in the winter months. These covered verandah areas allow for informal outdoor meeting areas and activity spaces, and allow the surrounding rehabilitated bushland to penetrate between the “wings” of the building. The pavilions are covered by a lightweight steel parasol roof, that allows winter light to heat the internal spaces of the building. The roof shelters the verandahs and pavilions from the summer heat, thus reducing the operating costs of the building. Each pavilion is to be clad in a different material that demonstrates the embodied energy and life cycle costs of alternative cladding systems, defining a ‘code’ of sustainability information that is held in the architectural expression of the building.
An innovative heating/cooling system that makes use of the latent heat of the groundwater on the existing aquifer by pumping the water into the floor slabs then back into the ground water contribute to the effectiveness of the building. The Apache SIM Computer model predicts that the building is remaining within the selected comfort range for 91% of the years working hours without the use of air conditioning systems; critical issue for working effectively in Perth.