14 July 2014
Weather stations outside and inside the building activate the motorised sunshades and louvres. Photo courtesy of HASSELL/Peter Bennetts.
Weather stations outside and inside the building activate the motorised sunshades and louvres. Photo courtesy of HASSELL/Peter Bennetts.

A team of Audio Visual (AV) specialists from Information Technology Services (ITS) at The University of Queensland has won the annual 2014 AMX Innovation Award for Sustainability.

The team was recognised for its innovative, cost effective, and sustainable practice approach to the automation of systems in the Global Change Institute (GCI) Building.

Designed to be a ‘living building’ that works with the environment, the GCI Building has been awarded the Green Building Council of Australia’s six-star rating in recognition of its innovative approach to sustainability.

Automatic internal and external blinds, louvers, shade-screens, in-slab cooling, building modes, and AV and lighting systems mesh seamlessly with the Building Management System, enabling users complete control of the building, improving its overall efficiency.

ITS AV Support and Integration Manager Luke Angel said the control system is central to GCI’s day-to-day operation.

“Key to keeping the daily energy use to the lowest possible amount was the control of simple things such as the ability to tell if it is day or night when a room is turned on and to turn the lights on or not as part of that process,” said Luke Angel.

The solution used a range of standard touch panels throughout the building connected to one of seven master controllers: the master controllers then talk directly to the Building Management System (BMS).

GCI Research and Building Manager Dr David Harris said the ability for users to control room temperature, lighting and airflow locally, while feeding information through to the central controller were critical to the system’s success.

“The Management System enables us to continually monitor the building’s operational status and user preference, which will allow us to make the building even more comfortable for staff and students in the future,” Dr Harris said.

The AMX Innovation Awards recognise higher education institutions around the world that are using sustainability technology to improve the campus experience by enhancing the way faculty teach and students learn; reducing service and support costs; facilitating collaboration; and increasing energy efficiency.

Other categories include classroom automation, collaboration, alternative learning spaces, simulation or medical learning space, and a people’s choice award. The five category winners each receive USD$25,000 in AMX hardware and software products.

ITS will put this hardware to good use in the teaching spaces at UQ.

The UQ ITS team consists of the AV Support and Integration team led by Luke Angel and the AV installation team led by Michael Livingstone.

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