Coming back from the Christmas break

After a nice summer break, the lure of the air-conditioned offices at 525 Flinders Street grew stronger as the hot summer continued. 
Since coming back to work on Wednesday, I’ve had the opportunity to complete my first project from start to finish. Having started the modelling for a childcare facility in Malvern in 2018, I was able to complete the BESS assessment for the development. This included Daylight modelling in Fluchs, Energy assessment in Apache and using the STORM tool. As certain aspects of the development failed, alterations needed to be suggested to the architects in order to allow it to pass the threshold requirements. After continuing with appropriate changes, the development passed the BESS scorecard, and we have subsequently sent a draft report to the client for review (pending the changes being accepted). 
Another exciting prospect of coming back to work was being able to continue work on the Water Tank Size Calculator that Millie and I have been working on. A continuing project, the calculator assesses all relevant site data within a development and calculates the required tank size and suitability to cater to the demand on site (i.e. toilet flushing, irrigation needs, etc.). As a working progress, it has been great to slowly chip away at the program to test its useability, and refine its interface such that the information is presented in an easy to understand manner. Over the next few weeks we hope to produce something that could be used by SBE for their reports in the future!

Starting a new year in SBE (not that we’ve been here for a year but…)

A 2-week break is probably a good time for me to have forgotten everything I’ve learnt in SBE previously, (sorry!) given that I’ve had spectacular holiday (Still remembering when the 7th hit and I was so glad I start work on a Wednesday). Anyways, time to work! Once I’ve got back onto it, the new project I’ve been assigned is actually pretty exciting since I’ve got to work on a full ESD project by myself with HSPC Lauren and Stephen.
Since daylight modelling is about looking into functional rooms to assure that they receive their share of daylight of a minimum of 2% compared to the overcast sky outside (important knowledge gained as I’ve never looked into what a DF=2 means apart from the fact that it is an obligatory requirement), the modelling task of the Epping Private hospital project was to firstly divide functional spaces and non-functional spaces, looked into building façade glazing, and finally assigning shading to eliminate glare and direct unpleasant sunlight. 
Given the number of rooms a 4-storey, 2-stage hospital could have, most of my time spent on modelling was counting and dividing up rooms, (didn’t count the rooms, but 370 spaces identified according to program) debugging the model (never realized I have 0 talents in drawing straight lines), and finally coordinating with HSPC to assign the correct glazing to the façade. This is the first time I had the chance to work alongside project architects and can speak to them about façade design in a real-life basis (walking upstairs to constantly annoy Lauren and Stephen), the experience is very pleasant (for me lol) and I’ve learnt a lot about what architects take into concern when they’re designing the amount of glazing to put into buildings, e.g. patient privacy, views, building looks etc and it still strikes me the amount of work, knowledge and skillsets required to bring into life a decent-looking building that we take for granted daily. 
Apart from significantly improving my IES-modelling skills (and getting used to the fact that the program won’t stop crashing), starting a BESS report on the building which requires to look into stormwater is equally a challenge given the limited roof size to the users density. I and Oscar (mainly Oscar) are therefore working on a water tank calculator that justifies the size of the water tank. Presentation is funny when the size of the water tank does not do much to save more water, whilst capture is limited, that might be contrary to what the authorities think and it is an art to convince them with our harvested data. 
This is by far the biggest project I’ve worked on in SBE, and it is very useful to realise working on a big project refines my skillset and often requires a thorough understanding of the project in relation to BCA Section requirements because changes are less feasible. I was given the opportunity to be engaged in all the ESD design requirements in the very beginning of the project that brings about a bigger impact than joining in late when designs are almost finalized. 

Thinking about incorporating ESD initiatives into your next project?

Whether you are considering incorporating ESD initiatives into your next project, or you need to demonstrate a commitment to sustainable design to planning authorities, or you need Section J reporting for Building Permit, we would love to hear from you!