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Concrete In Australia : December 2010
Concrete in Australia Vol 36 No 4 23 mechanical installations such as cooling fans, refrigerating machines and radiators and no need for suspended ceilings, cladding and other fitting out costs. One of the first major UK projects to employ the Termodeck system was the Elizabeth Fry building at the University of East Anglia. is was completed in 1995 and has a gross floor area of some 3250m2 over four storeys. e top two floors contain 50 cellular offices for about 70 staff. e rest of the building contains lecture facilities, seminar rooms, dining rooms and kitchens. Energy performance has proved to be excellent and maintenance requirements have proved to be minimal. However, the Elizabeth Fry building scores most highly with its users who offer unprompted praise for its tranquillity and aesthetic delight. Hundreds of projects have been completed around the world, ranging from academic buildings, libraries and theatres to offices and schools. Where schools are concerned, the Termodeck approach is particularly apt as it enables occupants to enjoy a healthy environment throughout the year especially in winter when windows are firmly shut against the cold and wet and when the classroom atmosphere can become decidedly unpleasant. Studies have expressed concern at the poor ventilation in many schools where air conditioning in summer is unaffordable and adequate ventilation is impracticable in winter. By using the Termodeck system however, students enjoy fresh air all year round at minimum cost to the hard pressed school budget and in a manner which chimes with the environmental ethos present in many schools. is, combined with the structural features of hollowcore concrete planks, played a major role in providing economical and ecologically sustainable heating and cooling in a new building at Melbourne's Deakin University. e Termodeck technology allowed the building's lecture rooms and offices to record a comfortable temperature of 22°C, while the outside temperature was 32°C, all achieved without using conventional air conditioning. Building T is a three storey building with a total floor area of 3300m2, involving a central atrium that not only provides diffused natural light but also acts as a store of tempered air for natural building ventilation. In addition, depending on climatic conditions, air can be drawn from the outside or from a central heating and cooling plant with damper controls. e three storeys are formed by hollowcore concrete planks supported on inverted T-beams which carry air ducts that connect to the cores within the planks. e hollowcore concrete planks use the large inherent thermal lag properties of concrete to either extract or add heat to the circulating air, thus economising on the use of the central heating and cooling plant. e concrete structure has been exposed internally, so that the large proportion of thermal mass in the form of floor slabs, roof slab and shear walls can be used to transfer energy between the building mass and the internal occupied spaces. e atrium effectively divides the building into two independently controlled sections, one facing north and the other south. e majority of glazing is on these facades, with windows to the north shaded to exclude direct sunlight. Active heating or cooling is only used outside the ambient temperature band of 18°C to 26°C. Another recent project in Australia is Cimitiere House which is Tasmania's first Green Building design. Committed to achieving a 5 Green Star rating design, this building situated in the CBD offers large tenancies and good parking, and provides a good environment Figure 3. Melbourne s Deakin University: Building T.