Project Description

Location: Wagga Wagga, NSW
Client: Charles Sturt University
Architect: BVN
Size: 5,468 sqm
Value: $49 million

The Life Science Building at Charles Sturt University has been awarded a 5 Star Green Star rating and has the distinction of being one of a handful of regional Australian buildings – not only universities – to have achieved this level. Along with the Phytotron and Glasshouses, it comprises the National Life Sciences Hub (NaLSH)

The Life Sciences Building includes Quarantine (QC2) and Containment (PC2) laboratories for research and teaching purposes as well as administration facilities.

Umow Lai was appointed the ESD Consultants for the NaLSH project and spent considerable time assessing the usage type of each space to ensure consistency and compliance. Features of the building include:-

  • High efficiency chillers with evaporative cooling pads and condensing boilers are used to provide efficient central plant
  • Indirect evaporative cooling is used to pre-treat outside air to the teaching laboratories
  • Variable speed fume cupboards also reduce the outside air quantity and therefore energy use
  • Rainwater is harvested and used for irrigation and toilet flushing
  • Low water usage fixtures have been installed throughout the facility
  • Lighting is controlled by occupancy and day light sensors
  • Cyclist facilities and internal bus route have been implemented to reduce the need for students to drive
  • Lab cooling water system using recirculating water was installed to remove wastage of water from once through systems
  • GECA certified furniture and low VOC carpet and paints were used

Located in Wagga Wagga, NSW, the site is located within the Science precinct of the University. The National Life Sciences Hub comprises a single-storey building with a gross floor area of 5,468 m2. The NaLSH consists of the main Life Sciences Building housing teaching laboratories, research laboratories, QAP (Quarantine) laboratories, offices, support areas and common spaces. The laboratories have extensive fume hood extraction requirements. Plant, services and amenities space are located on the floors above and below.

The Phytotron building houses growth chambers which mimic the exact conditions of plants in their environment and can maintain constant temperature, humidity, lighting and CO2 levels for experiments over a prolonged period. The glass houses are broken up into ordinary and quarantine. The quarantine glass houses are fully air conditioned and are under a negative pressure so as not to allow contaminants to escape. This is the in first quarantine glass house in NSW – and one of the first in Australia.