As Canberra is one of the sunniest cities in Australia, when building firm Baulderstone were contracted to develop the Australian National University’s newest accommodation facility, they turned to Construction Specialties - C/S , to protect students from the harsh sun.

Construction Specialties’ sunshades were installed on the ANU’s UniLodge, to not only improve the students’ living experience but take advantage of the appreciable reductions in energy consumption that comes from protecting the building from unforgiving heat and glare.

With a strong, vibrant and modern façade intended for the exterior of the building, Construction Specialties’ sunshades also provided a fully custom-made alternative for the architects, which offer the best in form and function.

Five different suncontrol systems were selected for the entire building that compromised nothing on style as the ANU team was able to select from a variety of edge treatments, mounting styles and a broad range of colours.

Construction Specialties’ project team, worked closely with the Baulderstone construction team as well as Architects nettletontribe, from project inception to completion to devise the most effective sunshade options for the building which also matched the intended aesthetic.

In-depth collaboration with the Baulderstone team and nettletontribe led to the selection, design and development of some exciting sun control solutions, all of which were created specifically for the project.

Construction Specialties’ stylish red vertical blade systems spaced in a crosshatch manner cut a striking form on the north facing building façade to catch the burden of heat caused by the sunlight from the north and west.

The large 170sqm aluminium fixed louvered screen which shades five storeys of the eastern wall is an exciting addition to the building’s look with a contemporary, urban shape and metal finish that also maximises the light inside the building but reduces heat and glare.

The most exciting suncontrol feature is the bespoke perforated orange screen that lines the whole northern façade which is designed with a distinctive pattern, unique to the UniLodge building.

Don Peteranna, Senior Project Manager at Baulderstone remarks that the Construction Specialties’ suncontrol systems perform well to achieve a more comfortable environment for students that also improved the functionality of the building.

As this building boasts more than 17,500sqm of floor space on six levels to house over 500 students in term time, it was essential to maximise energy efficiency and reduce running costs for ANU.

The design intent for the project was to incorporate the necessary sun control systems into the architectural design to reinforce the building's bold dynamic form and identity. The colour schemes are energetic and vibrant to mark a point of difference as a reflection of student life.

The sunshade and screen systems were an integral part of the architectural aesthetic and function from the early design stage. The vertical fins provide shade and three-dimension relief to the facades while the shadows create a sense of dynamism throughout the day. The north screen was a fusion of graphic concepts and sun control to provide a strong form and identity to the building.

Construction Specialties in Australia offer a broad selection of suncontrol systems.
They are:

  • Shadowline Sunshades – These sunshades utilise modular grilles to create an airy, highly effective sun control. Six standard infill panels are offered in custom patterns and designs.
  • Perform Sunshades – These are perforated sunshades, in a variety of patterns, creating a dramatic visual effect on any building façade. They employ a slender, custom tube support that mechanically captures perforated sheet.
  • Lightshelves – These reduce energy costs while bringing daylight deeper into the building’s interior. The standard lightshelf is a 30inch wide panel with a highly reflective top surface. A variety of edge treatments and mounting styles are available.
  • Skylight shutters – These allow softly diffused light into building interiors while minimising solar heat gain. Framed shutters may be free standing or attached to the skylight structure. These can also be controlled by a solar tracking device to regulate the amount of light entry.