The Ecosciences Precinct physically brings together four state science agencies and six divisions of the CSIRO, which have all been operating in geographical isolation from each other.
The building concept is simple, powerful and extremely well executed. A central pedestrian “street” provides a common library, meeting rooms and plenty of opportunities for staff interaction, both social and business. This “street” connects and addresses three north-oriented office wings, which are all, in turn, engaged by three screened garden courtyards.
The building purposefully unites the complex, high-performance requirements of laboratory space with social, people-oriented environments filtered by a light garden ambience. From parti to detail, space planning to atmosphere, this is a carefully and sensitively conceived design.
It assertively embraces the next generation of healthy, efficient and enjoyable office environments. The interconnection of the working components is expressed externally as truthful to purpose and highly sculpted. Facades are screened appropriately for respective orientations.
This project exudes a confident approach to workplace best practice and, therefore, respect for its inhabitants. The eco lab as a whole employed a number of sustainable strategies focusing on northern orientation, passive solar design, extensive sun-shading, advanced building control systems, energy, water and waste efficiency.
As Brisbane enjoys 300 days of sunshine a year, the building was designed to minimize solar heat gain but filter the harsh, sub-tropical sunlight. To do this, the building makes use of a perforated aluminium veil to create filtered light in large indoor spaces. Arup and Hassell also cooperated to address sustainability standards for laboratories resulting in a sustainability rating tool, which helped them achieve a 4 star green star rating.