Cooling Cuts at Barangaroo

20 March 2015

Did you know that buildings account for 40 per cent of the world’s electricity usage? Well Sydney’s new 22-hectare Barangaroo precinct is about to turn that figure upside-down with its smart HVAC solutions.

The $6 billion precinct, which will redefine the western edge of Sydney Harbour, intends on generating “more renewable energy than we use” – not to mention recycling and exporting more water than is used and reused.

When it comes to HVAC, Barangaroo has some pretty ambitious plans in place. One of these is having a centralised chilled water plant to service the entire Barangaroo South area including three commercial towers. It will be the largest of its kind in Australia and will eliminate the need for multiple plants to service each building.

Once the development is completed and the buildings fully occupied, the chilled water plant will come into its own, saving on energy consumption and reducing water usage by a whopping 100 million litres of water (which is currently being taken from the Sydney water mains network each year).

Furthermore the plant’s 70 kWp system will cool the precinct in a much more energy efficient manner than traditional cooling tower base systems by using water from Sydney Harbour to reject waste heat.

The developers of Barangaroo have also looked at other heating and cooling efficiencies, including a vertical shading system on Barangaroo’s three commercial towers that follows the sun’s path to reduce solar gain, provide shading and reduce cooling needs.

Within the commercial buildings themselves, Barangaroo will use 100 per cent outdoor air during occupancy hours, to flush out pollutants and provide healthier indoor environments.

Meanwhile the energy needed to power all the Barangaroo South public areas and blackwater treatment plant will be offset by approximately 6,000 square metres of onsite solar panels. The amount of energy these will generate each year will be enough to power 137 homes!

The best part of Barangaroo’s forward-thinking HVAC plan is that the occupants play an important part in the process. Visual energy displays in both Barangaroo offices and homes will share metering and monitoring with occupants, educating them and encouraging them to take part in reducing the precinct’s over-all energy consumption.

For more information on Barangaroo’s innovative HVAC plan, visit their website.

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