Project Description

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Client: University of South Australia
Architect: John Wardle Architects and Swanbury Penglase
Ratings: 5 Star Green Star
Size: 5,686 sqm
Value: $5o million

The $50 million, 5,686 sqm, M Squared building for the Materials and Minerals Science Learning and Research Hub at the University of South Australia’s Mawson Lakes Campus is highly sustainable and includes elements designed to dramatically cut carbon emissions.

Rebecca Patterson, an Associate of Umow Lai provided services and sustainability design advice for M Squared said: “it seems only reasonable that creative science and new technologies be applied for such an innovative building.”

Innovation starts from the outside, with particular attention to site orientation, façade treatment, material selection and building services. Other energy-efficient elements include:

  • Daylight glare and dimming in perimeter zones
  • Active chilled beams in offices
  • Active mass cooling and fabric sock air diffusers in laboratories
  • Under floor air distribution in lecture theatre
  • Efficient electronically controlled lighting
  • Efficient low flow fixtures in toilets
  • Rainwater harvesting with option of tapping into Mawson Lakes reclaimed water loop for applications such as landscape irrigation
  • Rain gardens and permeable paving

From the outset, the design intention for the M Squared and The Plasso buildings has been to create a unique landscaped environment that reflects the surrounding context of the dry creek, lake and wetlands around Mawson Lakes with the building’s association with materials and minerals. It has also been to create a highly sustainable and innovative building.

M Squared will house innovative, multidisciplinary laboratories and learning spaces. These have several important functions: to train the next generation of engineering, material and mineral science graduates and to provide the interface required to ensure effective knowledge transfer to regional, national and international industry.

Project team

Client: University of South Australia.
Architects: John Wardle Architects and Swanbury Penglase.
Engineers: Umow Lai, in association with Bestec, is providing a range of services including mechanical, electrical, laboratory risk, fire protection, hydraulic and sustainability consultancy.