Swinburne Plumbing Tower
Swinburne University of Technology TAFE Croydon campus commissioned our office to design, document and contract administer; a new $3.0 Mil. three storey innovative trade teaching plumbing tower; one of only two in Australia. The new facility allows students to learn a variety of hands on plumbing skills, where the current teaching models can be embraced through features such as the incorporation of a large sand filled pit for installing and unearthing of storm water and sewer pipes, two floors for general plumbing installation i.e. roughing in, fitting off, roof plumbing, guttering, downpipe installation and the accessible decking on top of the roof allows for the installation of solar panels in external conditions.
Part of the challenge on this project included the simultaneous construction of our building on a constrainined site, immediately adjacent to another building that was being built, at the same time and co-ordinated by another architectural firm. Both offices sucessfully ensured that the two buildings were completed perfectly on time and budget.
As this building was designed as a teaching and training facility there was no requirement for artificial airconditioning, therefore careful consideration was given to achieving a passive design solution that would not distract the students from learning, through becoming uncomfortably cold or warm. The constrained site, and limited ability to achieve an ideal orientation, added to the difficulty of this task. Features that were included were Natural cross ventilation, the use of King Span thermally improved roof and wall cladding and cowels with dampers for purging and containing of heat. Thermal glazing was used for all windows throughout, to reduce heat emission and glare, providing a well lit and comfortable working environment.
On this ocassion, the project was designed and documented within seven weeks and built within six months with less than 1% architectural component for variations.
The building was officially opened by the Federal Minister of Education, who praised the innovation, and cutting edge teaching facility, for addressing a desperately needed overhaul of the trade program. He further complimented the design team for its extensive use of ESD technology.