The Inspire Centre is a purpose built facility designed to advance the practice and research related to the use of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) in education. With a large focus on ICT within the education profession the building required the latest in ICT and audio visual (AV) technology for the users. Once complete the building is primarily used for seminars, workshops and conferences, however it also has facilities for the permanent staff.
ACOR were engaged to undertake the majority of services design work for the new building.
Electrical Services: The electrical portion of the services included new power to the site and associated liaison with ActewAGL, general power reticulation, lighting design, communications infrastructure, MATV (Master Antenna Television) design and security services for the building. The electrical infrastructure has provision for a future building adjacent as well as provision for future solar panels on the roof.
The building has many large open reconfigurable rooms and as such providing flexible services layouts provided a challenge. To address this issue, numerous floor boxes are provided in a number of spaces which required close co-ordination with the audio visual services (also reticulated in some floor boxes) and the architectural layout.
The lighting system matches systems used elsewhere on the university campus for ease of maintenance, however it is also interfaced with the audio visual system to allow scene control with the audio visual control.
Audio Visual Services: The audio visual services were designed to compliment the frequent use of ICT equipment within the building. The design was undertaken in close consultation with the end users to ensure that the final design met their requirements. It includes sharing high definition video and audio content between rooms, interactive projectors, recording of presentations and lectures (both presenters and content) for online distribution, and a podcast recording studio. The system utilised leading edge technology and provides HDCP compliant content distribution within the entire building.
Hearing augmentation has been provided to meet the latest requirements of the BCA. This provided challenges due to floor treatments and metallic components within the building as well as natural lighting in some spaces. Specialised induction loop designs and radio transmission were used to overcome these issues.
Control for the system is through touch panels incorporating an intuitive user interface. The control panels are a mixture of both fixed and mobile panels to meet the usage requirements within each space.
Mechanical Services: Refrigeration air conditioning is provided to specialized rooms such as Technology Enabled Active Learning (TEAL) room, Training rooms, and Pod Cast room.
Pod Cast room requires a high level of sound isolation from outside, and therefore the fan coil unit serving the room has to be located remotely. The supply air and return air pathway consist of approximately 30m of internally lined duct runs.
Open spaces and offices are served with evaporative cooling.
One side of the evaporative cooler is ducted and fitted with a motorized volume control damper and with a heating water coil. This ducted side serves as the return air path required in the heating mode. On heating a minimum outside air will be introduced via a motorized damper and all other outside air dampers will be closed. Return air damper will be fully open and heating is provided via the duct mounted heating water coil connecting to a gas fired hot water unit.
The evaporative cooling/gas heating is more energy efficient than an air conditioning system by running only a water pump, an air fan, and on natural gas.
Energy saving is further enhanced by natural ventilation to the areas by shutting down of mechanical cooling system when the ambient temperature is suitable. Overriding push button switches are also provided if the occupants choose to close the louvres and resume the use of mechanical cooling.
Night purge by natural ventilation means is enabled when the previous day temperature is high and overnight temperature and ambient conditions are suitable for cooling.