RMIT Design Hub by Sean Godsell

RMIT Design Hub by Sean Godsell the-tree-mag 50.jpg


Sean Godsell




RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia


image © Earl Carter




The Hub has a large number of ESD features and incorporates strategies of water, waste and recycling management that are the equal of any ESD focussed building on the planet. In particular the outer skin of the Hub incorporates automated sunshading that includes photovoltaic cells, evaporative cooling and fresh air intakes that improve the internal air quality and reduce running costs. The cells have been designed so that they can be easily replaced as research into solar energy results in improved technology and part of the northern façade is actually dedicated to ongoing research into solar cells to be conducted jointly by industry and RMIT. The entire building façade, in other words, has the capacity to be upgraded as solar technology evolves and may one day generate enough electricity to run the whole building.  

The façade comprises a specifically detailed double glazed inner skin on each face of the building and an automated operable second skin shading device. The second skin shading device surrounds the entire building, from the ground floor to the roof plant level. It is made up of nominally 600 mm diameter sandblasted glass disks, which are fixed to either a horizontal or vertical aluminium axel. Each axel is fixed to the outer face of a galvanised steel cylinder of a slightly greater diameter and nominally 130 mm in depth.