INNOVATIVE ADVANCE FOR BUILDINGS
28 Nov 2011
Leading researchers in the School of Engineering, University of Melbourne have made an interesting discovery pertaining to buildings with glazed façade systems.
Modern buildings are characterised by the use of glazed Multi-Skin Façade (MSF) that are aesthetically appealing; consider the re-development of the former CUB site, Swanston Street Melbourne. However, leading researchers in the School of Engineering, University of Melbourne have found that buildings with glazed façade systems could consume energy for heating and cooling up to 60-70% of operational costs. The challenge is to have energy efficient buildings that still look impressive.
Led by Dr Tuan Ngo and Dr Lu Aye, this new research is looking at improving energy efficiency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to achieve better wind, fire, blast and impact resistance. Multi-skin façade systems are a sound choice for improving the sustainability of commercial buildings in Australia and overseas.
To date however, the performance of MSF systems under extreme conditions such as fire, blast, wind and impact, has not been well investigated.
Supported by a $1m grant from the Australian Research Council and international company Permasteelia Group, this work will significantly advance understanding of MSFs and enhance the capabilities of Australian façade manufacturers and engineering.
“We anticipate that this research will impact upon the future façade design of new buildings and the refurbishment of existing buildings. We are targeting two key national research priorities; working for Australian industry and safeguarding Australia,” said Dr Ngo.
“We believe this research and subsequent technology is highly valued, tradable and critical for sustainability, safety, security and economic longevity. The outcomes and knowledge gained for this research can be applied not only in Australia but also in other parts of the world,” added Ngo.
Drs Ngo and Aye are also considering the climate variations within Australia. For Northern Australia, for example, where cyclonic conditions are more prevalent, more durable layers of skins may be required. Testing of new products will be conducted in a number of Australian sites.
For more information, contact Annie Rahilly, Media Officer, University of Melbourne on 0423 758 734 or firstname.lastname@example.org