21 July 2014

The University of Queensland’s “greenest” building has notched up another prestigious award for its innovation, cost effectiveness and sustainable approach to the automation of its building systems.

The Audio Visual (AV) team at UQ’s Information Technology Services (ITS) has taken out the annual AMX Innovation Award for Sustainability for their work in the University’s Global Change Institute (GCI).

Designed to be a “living building” that works with the environment, the GCI building has been awarded the Green Building Council of Australia’s six-star rating in recognition of its innovative approach to sustainability.  

Automatic internal and external blinds, louvers, shade-screens, in-slab cooling, building modes, and AV and lighting systems mesh seamlessly with the Building Management System so users have complete control of the building, improving its overall efficiency.

ITS’s AV Support and Integration Manager Luke Angel said the control system was central to the institute’s day-to-day operation.

“Key to keeping the daily energy use to the lowest possible amount was the control of simple things such as the ability to tell if it is day or night when a room is turned on and to turn the lights on or not as part of that process,” Mr Angel said.

The solution used a range of touch panels in the building that were connected to one of seven master controllers: the master controllers then talk directly to the Building Management System (BMS).

GCI Research and Building Manager Dr David Harris said the ability for users to control room temperature, lighting and airflow while feeding information through to the central controller were critical to the system’s success.

“The management system enables us to continually monitor the building’s operational status and user preference, which will allow us to make the building even more comfortable for staff and students in the future,” Dr Harris said.

The AMX Innovation Awards recognise higher education institutions around the world that use sustainability technology to improve the campus experience by enhancing the way faculty teach and students learn; reducing service and support costs; facilitating collaboration; and increasing energy efficiency.

The UQ ITS team consists of the AV Support and Integration team led by Luke Angel and the AV installation team led by Michael Livingstone.

Media: Luke Angel, +61 3346 6678, l.angel@uq.edu.au

          Lynelle Ross, +61 7 3346 6912, lynelle.ross@uq.edu.au.