CSIRO Black Mountain Consolidation Project

Steensen Varming was engaged as the mechanical, specialist gases and ESD consultant as part of the BVN design team for the new PC2 laboratory facilities for CSIRO. Delivered in two stages, Laing O’Rourke are the Managing Contractor for Stage 1 and Steensen Varming is part of the novated design team for that stage.

An extensive Whole of Life analysis was performed in review of the central plant servicing strategy. For this analysis, a detailed Dynamic Thermal Model was created and central plant options applied. These included:

  • Traditional chillers & boilers;
  • Vertical geothermal array connected to water to water heat pump technology;
  • Cogeneration & Trigeneration;
  • Chilled Water and Ice thermal storage.
  • Mixed mode ventilation strategy for the office components (approx. 50% of NLA)

The building was completed in mid-2017. An extensive commissioning period is then took place to optimise the mixed mode ventilation strategy. This strategy includes:

  • Detailed control of level by level openings;
  • Two large black chimneys on the roof in creating a buoyancy driven stack affect natural ventilation strategy;
  •  A night purge strategy in precooling the buildings exposed thermal mass.

The strategy has resulted in reduced operating costs and improved indoor environmental quality for the occupants within.

A fantastic example of the integration of sustainable design principles from day one, leading to a beautiful and elegant architectural outcome.

At the Australian Institute of Architects ACT Chapter Awards, CSIRO Black Mountain’s Synergy building received the Romaldo Guirgola Award for Public Architecture, The Derek Wrigley Award for Sustainable Architecture and an award for Interior Architecture.