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National Centre for Synchrotron Science

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Project Description

Location: Clayton, Vic
Client: National Centre for Synchrotron Science
Architect: Bates Smart
Ratings: 5 Star Green Star Education Design v1.0

The National Centre for Synchrotron Science (NCSS) has achieved a 5 Star Green Star – Education Design v1 Certified Rating from the Green Building Council of Australia with building services consultancy Umow Lai providing a range of engineering and sustainability services that contributed to the successful rating.

It is a building that celebrates the science of light through the art of architecture, superbly exemplified in The Light Box or lecture theatre with striated acrylic panels that infuse the gallery space with an ethereal light.

And as befits a sophisticated, high technology research facility using light as a medium, a number of noteworthy environmentally sustainable design features have been incorporated into this visually spectacular building, including:

  • Underfloor air distribution and displacement ventilation for improved air quality, occupant comfort and energy efficiency;
  • A 90,000 litre rain water tanks to store rainwater and fire system test water for use in toilet flushing;
  • A 21 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system to partially offset building energy consumption, particularly for the facade lighting which is a key feature of the building’s exterior;
  • Bicycle facilities including secure storage, lockers, showers and changing facilities for up to 52 cyclists
  • Over 50% reduction in energy consumption compared to a standard benchmark building.

The two-storey building includes a large foyer, 400-seat auditorium, seminar rooms, exhibition space, User Office, staff offices, cafeteria and underground parking. It is one of three new buildings being constructed around the Australian Synchrotron project.

Umow Lai’s project team was led by Ken Loh with members Silvia Misuraca, Praveen Seethapathi, Andrew Foley Anthony Marklund, Graeme Smith and Claudia Paulton, providing mechanical, fire, sustainability and hydraulic expertise and working closely with architects Bates Smart and the main contractor Kane Constructions.