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Building Construction Training Centre, University of Ballarat

The University of Ballarat Building Construction Training Centre is neutral and understated with emphasis on connection, simplicity and sustainability.

The Building Construction Training Centre comprises two buildings totalling 5492 m² of new teaching accommodation. Although purpose-built for each trade in an exceptionally wide range of skill bays, the structure and form are not a constraint to future flexibility within the site and beyond for expansion, in particular on the linear grid.
Timber cladding over much of the building provides a sustainable material source with much lower embodied energy than steel or concrete. Timber is a fully renewable building material. Although constructed prior to compulsory energy targets, the building insulation is generally level with or better than 2006 standards. Increased insulation on the thermal envelope assists with reducing the energy effects of external climate change on the internal climate of the building.
The building contains a number of worthy Environmentally Sustainable Design measures. Most significant are the building integrated photovoltaic solar panels and choice by the designers to maximise passive ventilation and natural daylight.
Incorporated into the north façade of the building, the aesthetically pleasing Schott solar panel system is the largest installation of its kind in Australia and siphons solar electrical energy back into the electricity grid. Peak solar energy will occur at similar time to peak A/C cooling demand, effectively trimming peak demand of the building from the utility supply grid.
The building capitalises on natural light with large windows and sky-lights and reduces the need to operate electric lighting in many areas. These operable windows also aid in natural ventilation, reducing the need for the mechanical ventilation and air-conditioning.
Responding to the complex topography of the site, ramps neutralise a steep fall from west to east and then subsequently traverse the site for the movement of students & goods from north to south.

Awards:
2009 Shortlisted, Property Council of Australia Moore Stephens Award for Public Buildings
2007 Australian Business Council for Sustainable Energy award for Excellence in Designing and Installing a Grid-Connect Photovoltaic energy System over 5kW