The University of Wollongong recently acquired Australia’s first Simulation, Modelling and Analysis for Research and Teaching (SMART) centre, featuring 30 state of the art laboratories.

The focus of this SMART facility is to provide the data and analytical capability to successfully create and execute a national integrated infrastructure plan for Australia. Construction commenced in April 2009 by Cockram Constructions and was officially opened in August 2011.

Designers Graham Bell & Bowman Architects (GBB) whose brief was to house the existing engineering faculty workshop facilities and create a new infrastructure facility, while targeting a 4 Star Green Star Rating.

To ensure it meets that target, Ecological Sustainable Development (ESD) strategies were put in place, including CSR Gyprock’s EC08 Impact, rainwater harvesting, low-VOC carpets, paints and sealants, energy efficient lighting, BMS monitoring of energy and water usage, and a mixed mode ventilation system.

The 4-storey research and teaching building spans across 12,000sqm and accommodates up to 150 research staff. The 30 specialist research laboratories focus on a wide range of infrastructure services such as electricity, energy, water, gas, transport, rail and road, and all of these are connected by a simulation centre that generates powerful scalable infrastructure models.

GBB Director, Graham Betts says, “Our inspiration for the design was driven by a desire for transparency of the external envelope and internal walls, creating a light-filled environment that connects with its surroundings and promotes connectivity and collaboration.”

“Gyprock EC08 was selected because the product not only contributes to Green Star Rating points while also offering fire rating properties, it is less likely to be damaged and can offer acoustic properties.”

EC08 Impact is one of 3 boards in the EC08 range that carry the Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) certification and can contribute to Green Star points in the Green Building Council Australia’s calculators.

Produced with the highest level of recycled content found in the Gyprock standard or fire rated plasterboard, these boards can be recycled rather than adding to the increasing waste problem.

“I’m really pleased with the end result of the SMART building, in particular the way the building sits within the campus environment, the environmental measures incorporated into the building design and the quality of the internal public spaces,” adds Graham Betts.

More information on theSMART centre and its sustainable building design is available from Infolink .