University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute building sets new standard for cutting-edge, sustainable building technology

by Sally Cameron

The University of Queensland prides itself on embedding sustainability into all aspects of campus life. This commitment to sustainability was recently brought to life in spectacular fashion with the new Global Change Institute Building, located on campus at St Lucia, Queensland.

The university’s Global Change Institute (GCI) is an independent source of game-changing research, ideas, and advice for addressing the challenges of global change. GCI works to, ‘address the impacts of climate change, technological innovation, and population growth through collaborative research across four key themes: Clean Energy, Food Systems, Healthy Oceans, and Sustainable Water.’

Citygreen - University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute

The institute’s new building is itself a living example of best practice in sustainability. Zero energy and zero carbon, the building recently won the keenly-contested AMX innovation award for its groundbreaking integration of AMX control with a comprehensive building management system. Whilst the building is largely automated, a touch control panel enables flexible control over the operation of the building, including internal and external blinds, louvres, shadescreens, in-slab cooling, building modes, and AV and lighting systems.

Luke Angel, the building’s Manager of AV Support & Integration, said, “The control system is central to its day-to-day operation, simple things such as the ability to tell if it is day or night when a room is turned on and to turn the lights on or not as part of that process is key to keeping the energy usage to the lowest possible amount.”

Citygreen - University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute

This technology gives unprecedented control over the efficiency of the building. Unsurprisingly, GCI has also been awarded the Green Building Council of Australia’s 6 Star Green Star rating and ranked 34th in the world’s 50 most impressive environmentally-friendly university buildings.

Made possible by a generous $15 million donation from University of Queensland alumnus and philanthropist, Graeme Wood, lessons learned from the creation and operation of the building are now informing new building designs, such as the Advanced Engineering Building.

To learn more about the building’s cutting-edge features, visit this infographic. Or, to see the building in action, register for a 30-minute tour, which run every Tuesday.

*photos curtesy of Global Change Institute