Queensland CEFPI Networking Breakfasts
In 2014, the Queensland CEFPI Chapter is implementing a new initiative to promote collegiality amongst existing and potential members. Regular networking breakfasts are scheduled during the year, with the first one taking place on Tuesday 11 March 2014.
The venue for the March breakfast was The Tree House, a quaint hole-in-the-wall coffee shop at trendy South Bank, Brisbane, where some 25 attendees gathered on the mezzanine floor amidst the tree tops to share an informal coffee and hot breakfast before hearing from two guest speakers.
CEFPI members and guests were privileged to hear two Pecha Kucha style presentations on the theme of sustainability. The first presentation by Richard Kirk from Richard Kirk Architect focussed on the University of Queensland's Advanced Engineering Building (AEB), designed in conjunction with Hassell Architects and completed in 2013. Features of the building that Richard addressed included its:
• design as a transformative building for the new pedagogies in engineering;
• 5 star Green Star As-Built certification, facilitated through the use of simple systems, including a central atrium to introduce tempered air and light into the building, highly efficient facades, mixed mode ventilations, night purging and excellent daylight levels, and
• sustainable architecture with a particular focus on the aesthetic, environmental and structural strengths of using locally produced timber in the building, including structural façade glazing and long span glulam roof trusses in one of Australia's largest timber-framed auditoriums.
Richard also stimulated our thinking by highlighting the sustainable design features of the AEB compared to similar project being undertaken in Singapore, where the climatic conditions vary considerably from Queensland.
The audience was also treated to a presentation by Alan Hoban, Principal Environmental Engineer with Bligh Tanner who spoke about projects involving integrated water management. Key points made by Alan included:
- We are conditioned to think of rainwater and stormwater as a nuisance that needs to be gotten rid of and kept hidden in cryptic underground piped systems;
- Noosa Flexi Learning Centre (designed with Fulton Trotter Architects) has a low-impact approach and saves about $120,000 on conventional design. Key features include: a fully permeable car park that also caters for the weight of a garbage truck; raised buildings with rainwater tanks – excess rainwater infiltrates into trenches beneath the buildings, avoiding stormwater pipes;ono detention or bio-retention needed;
- Victorian College of the Arts – a great example of legible design, using rainwater in the landscape;
- The value of water as an educational medium ;
- What if the theatre and drama of rainfall was harnessed? How might that excite and engage students?
- Could having more engaging and sustainable schools help boost attendance and engagement of students?
Following the presentations, the audience used the opportunity to ask questions of both speakers, following which many members stayed on to mix with their colleagues.
The Queensland Chapter Committee is very pleased with the success of the breakfast, particularly the informal nature of the gathering which was enhanced by the open air setting and relaxed presentation style. CEFPI members and guests relished the opportunity to meet colleagues and make new acquaintances and spent some time enjoying the conversation and social interaction, both before and after the presentations.
Continuing with the sustainability theme, the Queensland Chapter will host a site visit to the Sutton Senior Building, St Paul's School, Bald Hills on Tuesday 1 April, while the next networking breakfast will take place on Tuesday 24 June 2014.
QLD Chapter representative