SA Water
The 35,350 sqm, ten level VS1 building is located on a prominent site to the south of central Adelaide, in the south eastern corner of Victoria Square. The $140m building is the first in South Australia to achieve a 6 Star Green Star rating using the Green Building Council of Australia Green Star - Office Design rating tool. The project was designed to integrate the laboratories and offices of the anchor tenant, SA Water, in one facility. It reflects SA Water’s position as a major South Australian company and features a range of practical and innovative solutions to achieve SA Water's stringent requirements, while at the same time delivering a building at a competitive market rental. The project commenced in 2003 with DEGW and Arup working with SA Water staff to inform and develop a strategic project brief. The resultant brief highlighted a need for a sustainable building that supported a connected, transparent and healthy working environment. The new workplace was delivered with an integrated approach where base building and fitout were conceived simultaneously. The healthy working environment encourages best practice in business, helps attract and retain staff, fosters collaboration and innovation and provides greater opportunities for staff and customer interaction. The main address of the building is to the north of the site fronting the new Mary MacKillop Place. SA Water’s customer service facilities are located on the ground floor, allowing increased transparency and integration with the pedestrian activity of Victoria Square. The water testing laboratories are located on the immediate upper floors in a prominent and visible position which can be viewed from the ground floor. An expressive, sculptural form, containing SA Water’s learning centre, sits in a generous double height foyer space. The A Grade office accommodation offers unimpeded views over the outlying CBD, coast and foothills, with abundant natural daylight, further enhancing occupant well-being and providing a high level of comfort for occupants. It is easily adaptable, creating a highly flexible work environment. With floorplates averaging 2200 sqm, large business units can be located on single floors. The typical office and laboratory floor-to-floor height is 3.9 metres and 4.5 metres respectively with a 6 metres floor-to-floor height at ground level. The office accommodation is arranged around a full height atrium, which functions as a multi-function space, containing reception, leisure and service facilities. The atrium serves as the main circulation and connection device and is the central element of the building. It allows visual vertical connectivity across all floors, and through the use of the central staircase, physical connectivity throughout the secure SA Water tenancy. A series of public spaces, each with distinct spatial and material characters, lead on to the atrium and link the floors and enhance the building's internal orientation and way-finding. The layered ETFE roof has been designed to act as a translucent tent-like barrier, protecting the building users from extreme environmental contrasts. The building is cooled by an under floor air ventilation system, with movable vents to give individual climate control to staff on all levels. The system uses 100% outside air during building occupancy hours, with a minimum 150% increase in outside air rates to increase indoor air quality with no recirculation under most operational conditions. In addition to achieving an overall six star rating, benchmarks were set within various categories of the rating tool based on staff feedback surveys and corporate direction. In line with SA Water’s ambitions to be a world leader in water management, the building has a strong focus on water conservation and energy reduction and will achieve a reduction of approximately 70% in potable mains water consumption when it is connected to the Glenelg to Adelaide Park Lands Recycled Water Project in 2010. This $75m state and federal government funded project will have the capacity to provide more than 3.8 billion litres of high quality recycled water annually. The use of cooling towers has allowed highly efficient water cooled chillers to be used, delivering significant energy savings compared to air cooled chillers. In addition, a combined gas heat and power unit on the roof is connected to an absorption chiller and hot water system. This is employed to reduce peak electrical energy demand by 25% and further reduce greenhouse emissions. The basement contains bike parks, showers, change and locker facilities that can cater for up to 140 bicycle commuters. The building has excellent links to public transport. The car park has fewer parking places than the planning allowance, of which 25% are for small or Smart cars. In response to the extreme climatic conditions often experienced in Adelaide, the exterior facades of the building have been designed to respond to each individual orientation. A variety of elements have been used to facilitate this including a fritted veil in front of the building skin to reduce solar loads on the western facade while still retaining views and daylight. The design of the facade is founded upon the use of passive solar shading to reduce the reliance on mechanical cooling. South Australian Premier Mike Rann said of the project: “This is the first and largest commercially developed building of its kind in Australia, and reinforces our commitment to improving the energy efficiency of government buildings by 25% from 2000-01 levels by 2014.` VS1 uses contemporary building technology to produce a considered addition to the fabric of the City of Adelaide.


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