The Mitchell Building: Sustainability Driven Design
Having opened over a year ago we reflect on the sustainability principles that drove the Mitchel Building at Macquarie University (Also known as E7A).
This article was originally written by Macquarie University before the completion of the final building. Pairing them with photos of the finished building we see the relationship between the sustainability principles and the finished building.
“Designing for high sustainability performance criteria will result in a revitalised building, which supports occupant health and productivity, while minimising whole of life-cycle ecological impacts.
Targeting an Ecofootprint performance of ’one planet’, E7A will be 50% more ecologically efficient than typical practice. An ecofootprint of one planet or less means that the building is delivered in a way that factors in the Earth’s capacity to supply and regenerate resources. This is achieved by minimising whole-of-life resources, from construction, into operational phase, and finally, end of life.
The Mitchell Building: Materials Highlights
Key sustainability elements of E7A will include maximised retention of the existing structural façade to significantly reduce eco-footprint and carbon impact. A summary of features to reduce materials and resource intensity include:
- 4,000 Ton carbon dioxide reduction over the building lifespan, from retaining the structural façade
- Increased spatial efficiency of the floor plate through externalisation of the core services
- Low eco-footprint materials in fixtures and fittings
- Minimum 90% by volume recycling of demolition waste
- The internal modular fit-out enhances design for adaptability of spaces and lower impact of future churn
- Use of low volatile organic compound emissions carpet and paint
The use of high performance glazing throughout will minimise solar heat gain. Energy efficiency and peak load management is addressed through:
- Energy efficient LED lighting and occupancy sensors
- Integration of natural light into the floor plate
- Energy efficient chiller and a high performance glazing systems
- Onsite generation through use of solar PV arrays
- Introduction of night purging to promote removal of heat in the warmer months and integrated into the return air system
- Centralisation of network IT servers for efficiency in cooling and heat rejection
Occupant Health and Productivity Highlights
The building ventilation system will target minimum 90% fresh air rates. Greater than 90% of occupants will have access to natural light in addition to increased penetration via reclamation into the floor plate of the central core currently housing the lift well and services. Active connectivity is increased through finishes to the fire stairs to encourage inter-floor movement.
End of trip provisions for bicycle commuting will include shower and change facilities.”