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AIMWA Learning & Development
Norman Disney & Young
AIMING FOR GREEN
Nestled just outside the city centre of Perth sits the Australian Institute of Management Western Australia’s (AIMWA) Learning and Development Centre which has the honour of being Western Australia’s first building to be awarded a 6 Star Green Star Education Design v1 certification.
The building’s design amassed 88 credit points, securing every point targeted and receiving an additional Innovation point for the building’s acoustic design, substantially exceeding the Green Star benchmarks to become Perth’s most eco-friendly building.
To help achieve this unprecedented level of sustainability, Austral Precast’s precast concrete panels were used throughout the building.
Architect John Lee of Cox Howlett and Bailey Woodland, believes the panels give the building a sense of weight and substance. “Austral Precast was chosen because the product is very versatile, and is a robust, durable material which works well in contrast to the transparency of the glazed glass used.”
The centre is the first commercial building in Western Australia to be built using the versatile Austral Precast concrete panels. But with its strength, durability in Australia’s harsh environment, it’s unlikely to be the last.
As a boon to the centre’s sustainability levels, the precast panels were produced with a large amount of recycled materials including fly ash, slag, and silica fume, which not only adds to the panels’ strength and durability but also ensures that these materials aren’t being added to any landfills.
Tasked with overseeing the build, PS Structures Project Manager Nathan Phillips was impressed with the way construction guidelines ensured all panels and bolting aligned, making site installation simple, quick and easy. But installation is just the beginning.
By using recycled steel to reinforce the precast elements, not only is manufacturing waste greatly reduced, but the entire building can be disassembled and recycled at the end of its life.
“The design achieves specification for GBCA Mat 08, Design for Disassembly, meaning the building is completely demountable and the panels can be recycled or reused, if the building is no longer required,” said Nathan. “Basically all the panels can be unbolted, removed and recycled without the need for demolition on site.”
In addition to the Austral Precast panels in use, the AIMWA Learning and Development Centre uses a wide range of sustainable building materials, furniture, and flooring options as well as a number of photovoltaic arrays to harness solar energy and further reduce the centre’s environmental impact.