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The Journey to Deliver and Manage a High Performing Building

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A case study of  50 Flinders St, Adelaide



Attaining a high-performance building requires a collaborative approach from the onset. Having a client on board with a decisive performance directive and an ongoing commitment to fine tuning can be the crowning stroke for success. This was the case for 50 Flinders St, Adelaide.

A panel of experts involved in the project shared details and lessons learnt at the CIBSE SA technical event in February chaired by Garry Nash from Alerton Australia. The panel included Tony Perrin – Commercial & General; Richard Massie – CBRE; Graham Dyus – Bestec; David Tiller – (ex) Hansen Yuncken.

Perrin talked to delegtes about the requirements of the tenant, who the building was specifically built for - 10,000 m2 for themselves and a further 3 floors for another tenant.

Commercial and General expressed some specific project requirements – 5 star GreenStar; Passive chilled beam; Core at southern side of building to enable larger open-floor plan and Car-park on levels 1 and 2. The carpark design allowed for natural ventilation, reducing mechanical plant and energy usage but required a one-way ramp to minimise space wastage.



Competitive tendering was used whereby Bestec were appointed mech engineers and used BIM for a quick collaborative design. Graham Dyus from Bestec covered the mechanical design aspect which included two screw chillers with two circuits of either 6ºC ChW for the AHUs or 13ºC ChW for the chilled beams. Due to the use of chilled beams, the system was designed for humidity control instead of the common dry-bulb design in South Australia. The system has a built-in redundancy whereby either chiller and water circuit can be used for each temperature application by control and valves.

Further anomalies are that the building runs 100% outside air and the lift shaft is pressurised due to its mixed use (retail, car-park & office). Due to the passive beams, heat load had to be limited to 90W/m.

A NABERS rating of 5.7 stars was achieved prior to the additional installation of PV cells on the roof.

Hansen Yuncken started the project with only architectural plans from JPE Design Studio under a D&C contract and first established a site office directly over the road. Their task was to provide a building completed with all above ceiling components and coordinate the below ceiling fitout for the tenant/s aiming for 6 star GreenStar rating. Due to the BIM modelling, waste both in labour and material was minimised with the only difficulty being that with some contractors BIM ability was low or non-existent.

Demolition started in Aug 2013; crane up by Christmas with practical completion within 12 months, in early October 2015, a month ahead of schedule. The project costed $72M Base Building; $15M Fitout.

The project was purchased by C-Bus early in the build and Richard Massie from CBRE, shared some of C-Bus’s post occupancy initiatives to fine tune the building performance in line with its mandate to reduce emissions throughout their properties by 3% – 10%.  74 kW of solar PV panels were installed on the roof and further tuning has been obtained by extending the Economy Cycle and increasing the chilled beam ChW temperature to circa 15ºC to reduce complaints due to chilled air drop from the beams.

One challenge the building faces is heating, even in Adelaide!

The seminar was followed by a site tour of the plant rooms and rooftop to see the PV panels, chillers, cooling towers, generators etc.

CIBSE would like to thank Alerton Australia – Leading Edge Automation for sponsoring then event by providing networking drinks and food for attendees.

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