GroupGSA collaboration to secure 6 Star Green Star accreditation
GroupGSA has just completed its impressive new design for the University of Technology (UTS) Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) facility where it is seeking an activity-based working (ABW) 6 star green star interior design accreditation, which would be the first for an administration faculty at the Sydney campus.
As the university’s leading research institute, ISF has been promoting and advocating sustainable futures since 2007, but its traditional university offices were in need of realignment to meet its highly agile, dynamic and flexible values. The institute and UTS called in GroupGSA to facilitate and design a new purpose-built environment to showcase and support its diverse functions.
The challenge for GroupGSA was to overcome an irregular L shaped floorplate, outdated services and constrained ceiling space with the aim to achieve a 6 Star accreditation for the interiors – which would be the first of its kind at the university in an administration unit.
The building itself is an award-winning architectural masterpiece that has seen the transformation of the historic Fairfax & Sons Building into a modern and contemporary facility. The building was also used by SOCOG for the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 as its headquarters.
Working closely with the institute and the university, GroupGSA engaged the staff to promote a more open and collaborative environment adopting ABW design principles. Previous dependency on enclosed offices are now supported through a diversity of non-assigned activity settings to promote a greater sense of choice for the staff.
UTS senior building information office/project manager Bryce Hutchinson says the university is thrilled with the design outcome.
“The final result has been an amazing outcome for ISF. They have embraced the activity-based environment extremely quickly. It’s a credit to all involved and shows what can be achieved from a good design principal,” he says.
This constituted a drastic change for ISF staff and culture, so to further create a collaborative atmosphere between GroupGSA, UTS and ISF a change management component has been implemented into the overall programme to take ISF along on the journey and minimise any surprises.
The design firm also collaborated with Shape Construction, Evolved Engineering, Taylor Thompson Whitting, Philip Chun and Umow Lai, with the team confident in achieving the 6 Star Green Star interior.
The result was a campus benchmark workplace that is more closely aligned to the ISF brand. The permeable environment now promotes and amplifies natural light from the perimeter to the core of the building, illuminating a diversity of spaces designed to support different ways of working and collaboration.
Zoned areas include ‘Collaborative’ for shared and noisy work and ‘Silent spaces’ perfect for concentration and contemplation. A central hub (arrival, breakout and project space) features flexibility to support a dynamic and modular environment for events and town hall meetings.
Feedback has been so positive about the new ISF work environment that the university is now considering rolling out GroupGSA’s design campus-wide.