University of Melbourne : Careers Guide 2012
Living Spaces MAKE IT HAPPEN Master of Architecture, Master of Engineering, Master of Construction, Master of Energy Systems, Master of Urban Horticulture Bachelor of Environments or Bachelor of Science FIRST DEGREE GR ADUATE STUDY OPTIONS FIRST DEGREE GRADUATE STUDY OPTIONS Built-in energy efficiency systems and designs will be a given for major new urban constructions, but the need to save energy is too important for us to wait until existing buildings fall down before changing their energy- sapping ways. In almost every aspect of building construction and design, a boom is coming from the almost unlimited potential of building ‘retrofits’. In buildings, a retrofit means making changes to the systems inside the building or even the structure itself at some point after its initial construction and occupation. The City of Melbourne’s 1200 Buildings program aims to support building owners and managers to retrofit commercial buildings in the municipality of Melbourne to improve their energy/water efficiency and reduce the waste to landfill. Building retrofits can cost a lot of money, but the area is set to boom in Victoria due to environmental upgrade finance. Under Victorian legislation, financial institutions will be able to lend money to commercial building owners for environmental retrofit works and the funds will be recovered by the City of Melbourne through a charge linked to rates collection. These funds are declared by Melbourne City Council as an environmental upgrade charge, and property owners will be able to pass these charges on to their tenants, but only with their consent. Another attraction to both owners and tenants is that in the long term, a retrofit will help protect their building from rising energy costs. One example is the $1.3 million retrofit of 123 Queen Street, which aims to cut CO2 emissions by about 2,500 tonnes per year. The retrofit will include occupancy sensors (to help control heating, cooling and lighting as needed), double- glazing and a trigeneration system to generate electricity, heating and cooling. Trigeneration is a highly efficient and low-pollution energy system that runs on natural and renewable gases to produce low-carbon energy, heating and air-conditioning for clusters of surrounding buildings. These can reduce the carbon emissions of connected buildings by 40 to 60%. An experimental building called CH2 (Council House 2) at 240 Little Collins Street, Melbourne, has been designed to conserve energy and water while improving the wellbeing of its occupants through having more natural light, less glare, improved circulation of clean, fresh air and access to nature. At CH2, because the building and its air-conditioning system are designed to capture and use the heat created by human activity and electronic equipment, the major need is for cooling. One way this has been done is through the use of chilled beams and ceiling panels. Chilled water runs through filament radiator coils and heat gain is absorbed by cool air falling from the beams. This growing practice of retrofitting requires skills from architects, engineers, materials scientists, mathematicians, economists and more. Working together, they will help keep the charm of cities’ existing buildings, while avoiding tonnes of greenhouse gases and high energy costs. Old buildings, new energy PhotocourtesyofGPTGroup The owners of 530 Collins Street in Melbourne have dramatically improved the building’s energy efficiency through a retrofit that includes an on-site cogeneration plant to generate gas-fired electricity and use waste heat in the building.