Sydney Architecture Images-
Sydney University Facilities Notes
The first part of this paper was focused on the University of Western
Australia (UWA) and examined, through analysing the FA department, its
missions and goals and the facilities used to achieve them.
This second part explores possible ways that the facilities are used to achieve these goals and suggests ways to measure the success of these aims.
I have actually based this second part of the study on Sydney University (USYD) because I have much better access to its buildings. I have included introductory notes on the UWA to show the similarities and differences (in scale, terms of development and urban settings) of these two world class universities.
The concept of universities as a cultural/business asset has developed rapidly in the last ten years and the role of facilities in driving these changes is pivotal. The character and demands of the student body (a move from majority no fee domestic undergraduate to full fee international postgraduate) is fuelling a rapid transformation of the built fabric of universities as they seek to compete. They now need to provide spectacular state of the art buildings and existing buildings must be heavily retrofitted to make them useable.
I have considered three groups of users in mind (students, admin staff and academics) in my study of the facilities and I have focused on twenty existing and under construction USYD buildings.
I was generously assisted by Shoba Cameron (UWA Heritage Officer and writer of annual FA reports) and by Michael Cretikos (Architect, Sydney University Facilities Strategic Planner).
The built fabric of USYD is hugely varied but comes together very cohesively. For universities image is everything, and this is where USYD holds a very strong advantage over its rivals. It has prominent siting and a number of buildings that present an image of being steeped in culture and history and buildings that aim to be of cutting edge design and technology. The facilities demands of these buildings is hugely varied and I am presenting a broad cross selection of these buildings to show what is expected of facilities in USYD today and to question the efficacy of their delivery.
· to establish appropriate goals for the UWA/ USYD facilities in order to allow them to meet the goals of the university.
· to establish means of measuring the success of the facilities in providing for this.
· question of how much facilities management is used to influence the running of actual university faculties and departments.
· to consider the three groups of users- students, staff and lecturers.
Conrad Marten's watercolour of Blacket's design for the University, 1854
Sydney University building categories (see below for an FM analysis)-
1.Buildings that are hugely symbolic in that they provide a built link to the monastic/Oxbridge foundations of Western academia:
001 The Quadrangle and environs
002 Anderson Stuart Building (former Medical School)
003 MacLaurin Hall and South Range
2.Buildings that show USYD to be modern and competitively progressive:
004 Fisher Library
005 New Law School (CAMPUS 2010)
006 Eastern Avenue Auditorium
007 School of Information Technologies
008 Central Building (CAMPUS 2010)
3.Well designed background buildings that embody the university’s ideas stylistically and yet are adaptable to changing needs
009 Macleay Building
010 Holme Building
011 Old Bank Building
4. Buildings that do not fit well stylistically but that are flexible and useful:
012 Christopher Brennan Building and Mungo MacCallum Building
013 Transient Building
5. Background buildings that have ceased to be able to provide their original functions and now just serve as ancillary spaces:
014 Baxter's Lodge
Aerial view, c 1925.
The two universities- quick FM fact summary.
1.Headcount. Is there a slow growth in the amount of staff and students?
UWA- No. The university is growing rapidly at the moment, particularly in the sciences (the arts are contracting as in all other universities, but there is some renewed interest in oriental languages). (Recent developments include the $22 million University Club, opened in June 2005, the UWA Watersports Complex, opened in August 2005 and in September 2005 UWA opened its $64 million Molecular and Chemical Sciences building. During 2006, in line with the University’s Capital Asset Management Plan, the University spent $63.6 million on capital projects and infrastructure, and $2.15 million on minor works projects, including refurbishments to accommodate new courses and research, and alterations to rationalise and improve the space utilisation.) The UWA is a member of the Group of Eight and it aims to become one of the top 50 universities worldwide. It currently has 2500 staff (aprox. half admin) and is increasing its student numbers from 15,000 to 17,500.
USYD- No. The university is currently growing rapidly, especially in the areas of economics, medicine and post-grad research. The profile of the university is changing from an undergraduate majority to a 50/50 balance with post-grad students. The aim is to expand from 45,000 to 60,000 students and to concrete USYD’s status as the region’s premier research university.
The CAMPUS 2010 projects (New Law School, Central Building, improved pedestrian corridor through Darlington Campus, pedestrianisation of Eastern Avenue along with a new square by the Law Building to create a powerful new civic space within the university and the heavily refurbished Brain and Mind Institute on the Mullet Street Campus) will reaffirm USYD’s image as the best university in the asia-pacific area.
The CAMPUS 2020 projects (principally the Sydney Arc Project, a huge new science and medicine school on university land adjacent RPA (HK Ward Gym site, etc) budgeted at 800 million to 1.3 billion dollars) will add 30% floor space to the university.
In order to compete with the United States in getting international students, the facilities in the existing buildings are also being updated (airconditioning, laboratories, ancillary services, IT, etc).
2.Attracting staff. Is this a problem?
UWA- No, in the FM and admin areas this is usually done principally through word of mouth (and then advertised). Academics are attracted to the well-resourced attractive campus.
USYD- No. It is a popular place to work. In order to compete, the most important academics in the professions are offered salaries commensurate to what they could expect abroad.
3.Is there an inbuilt hierarchy in academic staff offices?
UWA- Yes, there are three different grade of academic (tutor, lecturer and professor) and this is expressed through the size of the office.
USYD- Yes, professors get 16m2, lecturers get 12m2. Interestingly, many of the buildings (as with many other universities in the English speaking world that reflect the monastic roots of universities) provide two rows of cell-like offices, each with a single window, opening to a central corridor (eg- Christopher Brennen Building, Mugo Macallum Building, etc). In this model, professors (heads of departments) simply get a double office, with one for the secretary.
4.Are staff/departmental relocations important?
UWA- Tutors and admin are increasingly expected to share offices, and much of the admin has been converted to open plan (to their chagrin). The Reid Report (2004) led to a number of departmental amalgamations.
USYD- While academic staff tend to stay in the same office for the length of their tenure, lately a number of the smaller departments have been shifted around and amalgamated. (eg- in the Arts Faculty a number of western European language departments, the 2 philosophy departments, etc have been amalgamated). So, everyday churn is not a huge factor but strategic space planning is necessary every 20 years or so (during the growth spurts).
5.Human factors- who chooses furniture? Is it building specific?
UWA- All furniture is manufactured in the on-site cabinetry workshop. This allows a level of standardisation through the university and also allows for the easy making of custom pieces. A different more luxurious palette is used for professors, and furniture is used to denote rank.
USYD- No furniture is made on site. It is building specific in as much as it ordered by the architects during construction. During the huge university expansion of the1960s (Fisher Library, Christopher Brennan Building, Wilkinson Building, the Darlington Campus) there was a standard style of durable furniture used and these pieces are still very common on campus.
Professors are allowed to use larger non-standard items.
6.Is security a problem on campus?
UWA- No. The campus is heavily engaged with neighbouring Subiaco. Residents are encouraged to walk their dogs through the campus, etc, and there have been a number of initiatives (jumble sales, history walks, etc) designed to forge closer links. The campus is not fenced.
USYD- Yes. Campus security has quick response arrangements with the local police to stop incursions from Redfern, etc. Security guards will stop and question suspicious characters after hours. The local community is not encouraged to use the university grounds. The campus is fenced.
7. IT logistics- cables, ewaste, heat loads, power needs, HVAC, server uptime, telecoms.
UWA- Huge ewaste problems, heat loads in some tech-heavy departments, need to retrofit spaces within departments for computer use (cutting cable trays into existing slabs, providing power, wifi nodes, etc. University believes that power needs for existing buildings is stabilising (and may drop in time with more efficient machines). Power needs for new buildings requires new substations and new high voltage cable reticulation through campus.
USYD- As above.
FM analysis of some key Sydney University buildings
001 The Quadrangle
1855-1862, Edmund Blacket, James Barnet (Clerk of Works).
These buildings are good in many ways, as they are the symbols of the university and it is acceptable if the facilities within them are minimal. The halls, offices and lecture theatres within them function with minimal levels of technology and services and this is in keeping with their status and demeanour.
002 Anderson Stuart Building (former Medical School)
1884-92, James Barnet, Colonial Architect 1884-90, W L Vernon, Govt. Architect 1909-12, Prof. L Wilkinson 1922
These buildings are obsolete for their original purpose and are used as office and lecture spaces. As with the Quad, they are not expected to be state of the art.
003 Maclaurin Hall and South Range
1901-21, Walter Liberty Vernon (NSWGA) and George McRae (NSWGA)
Similar to the above. Although this was arguably once the most important building (as the previous Fisher Library) it is now mainly used for exams, etc. Minimal need for modern facilities.
004 Fisher Library
1960-2, Ken Woolley (Design Architect), Edward (Ted) Farmer (Government Architect) & Tom E O'Mahoney
I believe that Fisher could use some rejuvenation of its facilities and the way they allow public interaction with the building. The circulation and experience of the building is decidedly pre-digital and it would be interesting to see how facilities have been arranged in other Modernist university libraries around the world.
005 New Law School (
2004-8, Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp
This building and its associated civic design (‘Law Square”) of Eastern Avenue is the flagship that is intended to assure Sydney University leadership for the next 50 years. The facilities within it are intended to be of commercial/corporate quality in order to compete with other top universities. Stylistically it is another mega-Modernist project completely made of glass and steel. To claim that there are any ESD principles at work here would be a travesty, although the architects insist that it will be 4 or 5 green star rated (use of grey water recycling, passive ventilation techniques, low energy HVAC, possible use of electricity co-generation, bike racks, etc).
The seemingly curious planning (with its “open door” facing the city) incorporates a strong linear spine which is ideal for services. This accommodates admin, meeting rooms, research facilities and academic offices arranged around dual corridors oriented north-south. Below Law Square will be a series of meeting rooms, lecture theatres, etc.
This building seriously dwells upon views to/from the city and Victoria Park and public image. The facilities and services within will be expensive to maintain and run as there will be many irregular spaces with heavy heat loads. (I think that earlier buildings were more successful in their defensive approach to the heat).
006 Eastern Avenue Auditorium
2000, Mitchell Guirgola Thorp (Francis-Jones).
Another boom time poster girl building for USYD, this building uses cross ventilation instead of air conditioning (indeed, not many of the university’s lecture halls are air conditioned as the massive construction of lecture halls usually provides enough mass to keep the space cool). As with other lecture halls, the facilities loads on this building is quite light.
007 School of Information Technologies (first
2002-6, Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp
In contrast to the previous building, the role of facilities in this building is enormous. Despite its wintergarden and protective secondary glass skin, this building needs a lot of mechanical cooling. The huge amount of IT equipment within also means that this building would need to be very flexibly designed, from a facilities point of view, as the technology for which it has been designed will rapidly become obsolete.
008 Central Building (
2005-8, John Wardle Architects
The University of Sydney is building a world class sciences and technology library as part of the Campus 2010 project. The SciTech Library will be a “major hub in a global network of information services; supporting the teaching, learning and research goals of the University by providing access to excellent resources and study facilities; and professional advice and training.” (JWA Arch.)
This new building provides centralised accommodation for a wide range of important student administrative services presently dispersed across the campus and the new Science and Technology Library that brings together a number of existing disparately located facilities. The facilities technologies deployed here are of the cutting edge 5 Greenstar shopping mall variety. They involve shading on the glass façade, high ceiling heights for light penetration and the use of chilled beams for HVAC (chilled beam allows for a suspended unit that incorporates all services (lighting, HVAC, air supply duct, sprinklers, etc) and so allows for much higher ceiling heights and requires far less air ducts and plant within the building. Chilled beams are still in their early days and it is yet to be seen if they will be easy/cheap to maintain).
009 Macleay Building
1885 George Allen Mansfield 1885-7, George McRae (NSWGA) 1915-20, Leslie Wilkinson 1923-5.
Science Road, as can be seen from the early aerial picture at the beginning of this assignment, was the original heart of the university and, while the humanities were around the Quad, most of the sciences departments were jammed in to Science Road in one way or another. These will mostly leave with the development of the Sydney Arc Project (CAMPUS 2020), which is just as well from a facilities point of view. The facilities in these (labs, HVAC, IT, etc) are very dated, and as they are often in heritage buildings it is often unclear how to update them. These buildings face a future as background ancillary office spaces (perfect location for such).
The original open interior space of the Macleay museum has been filled in over the years by various departments needing space and it would be an ideal space to restore.
010 Holme Building (orig. Men’s Student Union)
1908 Walter Liberty Vernon (NSWGA) and John Barr 1908-13. Edwin Evan Smith (NSWGA) 1934, Cobden Parkes (NSWGA) 1939-48.
This building has been very successfully added to over years, especially with the creation of the courtyard with the addition of the Footbridge Theatre in 1961. As a retail building, the tenants mostly pay for updates to the facilities and so it is kept in good condition.
Above- the façade at its original location at the corner of George and Barrack Streets, Sydney.
011 Old Bank Building
1854, John Hilly. 1923-8 Leslie Wilkinson.
This building incorporates a façade from an old bank building in the city, cleverly remodelled. It also combines retail (post office) with lecture theatres. As with the other good on site heritage items, it has a casual yet dignified air to it that doesn’t require flashy services (chilled beams, etc). FM issues here would be how to maintain an old building in a sympathetic manner (either concealed or thoughtfully designed services replacements).
012 Christopher Brennan Building and Mungo MacCallum Building
1966-7, Fowell Mansfield Jarvis and Maclurcan.
I have included these buildings as they represent an interesting type for the university. There are a number of International Style and Brutalist buildings on campus (dating from the last major expansion) which are in a difficult middle age- they are not old enough to be appreciated as design objects and so are not updated in sympathetic ways (as with the Wilkinson Building). There is precedent abroad where buildings from this period have been renovated without compromising their aesthetic (Lever House, New York, Yale Architecture School, New Haven). These buildings are only 30-40 years old and are still in the middle of their useful lives, so their facilities are expected to be up to date.
The recent renovation of these buildings was not very good. Ceilings were lowered (in corridors to run services) and circulation routes were clogged up. Materials used were cheap and, in their chintziness, not at all as durable as the ones they replaced. The lift cores were replaced by new electrical and comms risers (necessary) and the lobby was made smaller to incorporate a new lift shaft. In line with contemporary academic design, the palette was corporate and FM design was to encourage openness and interaction (glazed doors, bar style kitchen spaces, etc). There were some successes in this building but I think the facilities upgrade was not well thought out in the sense of the impact it has had on circulation and accessability to the building.
013 Transient Building
These asbestos buildings, built to stand for 5 to 10 years, have proved to be hugely successful. This is due to their simplicity of design and flexibility. They have good proportions and a good modular construction. They have large regularly spaced windows, clear internal spaces, good cross ventilation and the ability to “plug and play” services (externally mounted ac units, window shading, etc). It housed the architecture faculty in 1974-5 and it is said that they were hesitant to return to the Wilkinson building.
014 Baxter's Lodge
1939, Leslie Wilkinson
I included this building because, as with a lot of the old buildings on campus, it really has no useful function today apart from looking good (which is central to the university’s mission of creating a good environment for study, and for attracting students). It is important that such buildings look well maintained and clean.
This assignment aimed to show that facilities is central to the delivery of Sydney University's (and UWA's) mission- to provide the best locale for research and to attract the best students.
Interestingly, the way this is done is not with a modest studied approach but with a kind of frenzied flamboyance that mirrors the design process of the buildings themselves. This approach necessitates a high degree of failure but also leads often to brilliance.
University of Sydney's Strategic Plan 2007
Howells, Trevor “University of Sydney Architecture”, Watermark, Sydney 2007.
Energy Efficiency Policies (from University of Sydney's Strategic Plan 2007)
Design Energy Efficient Buildings
Adopt Passive Design Solutions.
Minimize energy demand by adopting passive design solutions (eg exploiting local climate and intrinsic properties of the design and materials) as a first priority, before resorting to active design solutions (eg energy-consuming engineering services or systems). Apply this approach in conjunction with optimizing user amenity and comfort. Good passive building performance results in the active systems, even if required, using less energy and often being of a smaller capacity, thereby also saving capital costs.
Optimize energy outcomes by considering and selecting design options on the basis of lowest life cycle costs. Where life cycle costs are within 10% of each other, select the option with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions.
Minimise energy demand, in particular the projected demand for summer afternoons and winter mornings by taking maximum advantage of site selection and planning, by means such as:
§ Give preference, if possible, to a site with suitable shape, orientation and topography that allows building design and placement to optimize passive attributes.
§ Site the building with due consideration to orientation, solar gains, daylight access, overshadowing within and outside the site, while also meeting the functional needs.
§ Minimize energy requirements by optimizing the building design, while also meeting the functional needs.
§ Building form: Select the building form (shape, shallow or deep plan, single or multi-storey) that best provides for daylight access and control of heat gain and loss. Avoid causing undesirable overshadowing within and outside the site.
§ Building envelope and structure: Optimize the thermal resistance of the building envelope to optimize heat gain or loss, and to minimize consequential thermal discomfort and cooling/heating energy use. Use insulation.
§ Building orientation: Orientate the building to optimize solar control. Generally, the preferred orientation is an east-west long axis for ease of controlling solar gains through north and south facing windows, to maximize daylight opportunities, and to minimize solar loads on east and west elevations.
§ Building planning: Plan the layout of internal spaces to maximize opportunities to fully exploit passive design measures such as daylighting strategies and passive heating from controlled solar access. Minimize the effects of undesirable heat gains by arranging 'buffer zones' between the source and the occupied zone; for example, locating service cores, stores, plant rooms or toilets on the western side of building.
§ Fenestration: Control solar access and optimise the use of daylight to minimise the need for energy consuming mechanical cooling/heating and artificial lighting. Optimize solar control to minimize summer heat gains, and if appropriate, benefit from the passive heating of winter sun (note that winter solar gains may be undesirable in some cases), use external sun shades and provide for internal curtains to reduce glare and winter heat loss from the building.
§ Building materials: Maximise the use of local resources, where possible, to reduce transportation energy and take into consideration the embodied energy when selecting materials.
Minimise energy consumption especially out of hours usage and partial building occupation by optimising the engineering services design. As a priority, integrate the engineering services to gain maximum benefit from the passive attributes of the building (eg artificial lighting and daylight). Engineering services design should include:
§ Zoning: Divide the building into zones according to function and operational needs, cooling and heating load profiles, occupancy patterns and densities, out-of-hours use, and local emissions. Identify zones for special uses that require special or more stringent environmental conditions, and treat them separately rather than raise the servicing and energy consumption levels of the building as a whole.
§ System types: Select the system types (e.g. central plant or distributed discrete plant, combination ambient-task lighting or general lighting) most appropriate for the zones and the building as a whole, to ensure optimum operating efficiency and minimum energy wastage from unnecessary operation.
§ Controls: Select the control systems most appropriate for the zones, engineering services or systems, [typically push button start for lighting and push button start for mechanical services with auto stop via de-energisation of occupancy sensor contacts - with adjustable time delay] and the building as a whole, ranging from simple local controls (e.g local switches, time switches, occupancy sensors) to fully integrated building management and control systems (BMCS), to ensure optimum operating efficiency and minimum wastage from unnecessary operation.
§ Monitoring: Provide metering and monitoring systems to a level commensurate with the complexity of the building, as energy management tools to ensure efficient building operation. Such systems can be set up to track systems or sub-systems for heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, general power and water heating. The University of Sydney has a Utilities Information System that monitors use of water and energy. Where a building management control system exists, install pulsed outputs on main meters and establish load profiles on the building management control system.
§ Lighting: Design the lighting systems to ensure optimum efficiency under all conditions of the building's expected usage. Maximise efficiency and minimise unnecessary energy use by means such as:
§ Choose the most efficient lighting system design and minimum lighting level appropriate for the required application.
§ Use the most efficient luminaires appropriate for the required application. High efficiency luminaires reduce energy use and heat generated, which also means a lower air conditioning load or a lower impact on comfort in a naturally ventilated building.
§ Adopt effective lighting controls to ensure optimum operating efficiency and minimum wastage from unnecessary operation (e.g by exploiting a range of strategies including localised switches to encourage occupants' use for rooms with fewer occupants, occupancy sensors for larger open plan areas and public access areas, timers, central programmable time switches or control systems)
§ Maximise the contribution of daylight to reduce the use of artificial lighting (e.g switch lighting rows parallel to daylight sources to enable luminaires to be separately switched off or dimmed)- without negative impact of solar access. Minimise unnecessary operation of external lighting by using photoelectric switches. Consider opportunities to improve efficiency of emergency/fire exit lighting systems.
§ Heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC): Design the HVAC systems to ensure optimum efficiency under all expected building operating conditions, from part load to full load conditions.
§ Maximise efficiency and minimise unnecessary energy use by means such as:
§ Zones with different cooling/heating demands, operating hours or more stringent temperature/humidity requirements should have separate HVAC systems. Consider opportunities to incorporate zones which are passively ventilated for example access ways.
§ Minimise conflicting cooling and heating demands, and avoid reheat systems, which waste energy in simultaneous cooling and heating. Limit outside air quantities to meet code and dilution needs, to minimise unnecessary heating and cooling of unconditioned air. Consider night flush of hot air during summer.
§ Comfort air conditioning should not have humidity control.
§ Include automatic start/stop controls (e.g. time switches, after-hours switches for limited out-of-hours use) to limit unnecessary HVAC operation.
§ Use the building's thermal mass to delay and reduce peak loads, thereby achieving reduced plant size and energy consumption. Consider seasonal adjustment of set points to optimise HVAC, passive solar and overall ventilation strategies.
§ Adopt energy-saving devices and systems such as variable speed drives for fans and pumps, waste heat recovery to pre-heat incoming air or water.