Case study: public building

NBN satellite earth stations


Like the Aldi stores, this was a significant number of buildings being placed all around Australia. But this time, they were in remote areas.

Problem

Develop insulation systems that would reduce the amount of energy required to keep the electronics cool in locations with large, diurnal shifts in temperature and humidity.

Theory

A passive house strategy was developed, where airtightness was achieved using PIR board on the inside and, where possible, insulation was installed outside the structure.

Application/Solution

It was satisfying to be onsite and feel the difference between the hot desert air and the cool shade of the building. The walls were blockwork and the thermal mass was insulated on the outside (reverse masonry), the metal roof was installed with a breather membrane to catch the condensate from night sky radiation, cooling the metal sheet below dew point.

The PIR boards used on the roof were taped to minimise the air exchange between the hot air outside and the conditioned air inside. A breather membrane was installed between the roof sheet and PIR to manage the condensate from the underside of the metal roof.

This was also our first installation of thermally broken rainscreen facades in Australia. The site at Kalgoorlie presented challenges such as distance and inexperience, but thanks to a team effort we achieved a great outcome for the client.