The facility consists of two purpose-built climate chambers - Lab 1 - approximately 60 sq m and Lab 2, around 25 sq m, in which all of these indoor environmental parameters can be precisely controlled or transitioned across a broad range of values, in any combination, while a sample of typical building occupants (subjects) go about their typical daily activities for an exposure time (usually a few hours each experiment), all the while registering their subjective impressions (quality ratings) on a comfort questionnaire.
Initially the Lab chambers’ fit-out will resemble grade-A commercial office spaces achieving a Noise Criteria of NC 45, but they’ve been specifically designed for maximum flexibility, so residential, industrial, retail, cinema/theatre, leisure facility, even vehicular (car, bus, train, plane) interiors can also be realistically simulated for modest reconfiguration costs. The perimeter zone of each lab will be adjacent to an “environmental corridor” that will be able to simulate “sun” lighting (using Xenon type lamps) and “outdoor” ambient conditions that could create a warm temperate climate, with temperatures of around 40 degrees C, similar to say Darwin in the Northern Territory or cooler climate with temperatures of around 4 degrees C, as found in Hobart, Tasmania.
In Lab 1, the air conditioning system is of the Variable Air Volume (VAV) type, with flexibility to incorporate normal as well as low-temperature configurations. Furthermore, Lab 1 can be switched over to an Under-Floor Air Distribution (UFAD) system with an ability to utilise displacement ventilation principles. With operable windows on two opposing walls of Lab 1, there is also the option of natural cross-flow ventilation and natural day-lighting. Lab 2 will have a chilled beam air conditioning system (both active and passive units), but like Lab 1 there will be the option of UFAD with displacement ventilation. A state-of-the-art Building Management System (BMS), will be used to program the various indoor and “outdoor” conditions for each research set-up. The BMS system will also have the capability to log detailed records of indoor environmental conditions within the occupied zones of the labs throughout each experimental exposure. Latest Building Information Management (BIM) technology, with 3-D imaging, has been utilised in developing the design.
Donations Received to Date
The construction of the facility was achieved through a mixture of University and industry resources. The University of Sydney’s contribution came through CIS 2011 major capital works budget towards the laboratory construction and fit-out.
- AMP Capital
- Ashak & Samim Nathwani
- Building Monitoring & Control System (BMS) – Logical Group
- Building Information Management (BIM) – Norman Disney & Young Pty Ltd.
Equipment & Systems
- Air Cooled Chiller – Daikin Australia
- Chilled Beams,– Krantz Asia Pacific
- Ceiling and UFAD Diffusers – Air Grilles Pty Ltd
- Building Management & Control System (BMS) – Automated Logic
- Audio System – Group Technologies Australia Pty Ltd.