Constitution Place, Canberra ACT
Constitution Place is a multi-award-winning precinct that achieves a 5-star NABERS energy rating and is one of the first in Canberra to meet the WELL Building Gold Certification Standard.
WELL is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that affect human health and well-being through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind.
Louvreclad performance louvres are designed, engineered, and tested to Australian Standard AS/NZS 4740:2000. This certification ensures you get the right airflow performance for your project. Airflow is an essential element for optimising indoor air quality to meet the WELL Standard requirements.
Inspired by Walter Burley Griffin’s vision for Canberra, the Constitution Place precinct unites government and private offices, a hotel, laneway retail, and public spaces.
It draws on the civic heritage and pastoral beauty of Griffin’s vision and exemplifies how thoughtful architecture can shift Canberra’s built fabric into a new era of robust and enduring design.
A key façade feature of this 80,000m2 commercial development is the floor-to-floor vertical Ellenborough Series® louvres. These vertical louvres have been used to articulate the building as two stacked volumes with A for Adina’s 5-star hotel taking up the first 4 levels, and premium office space above.
Louvreclad were engaged during the project’s construction stage, as there was a tight brief for performance louvres. Construction Control’s Senior Site Engineer, Donavan de Light, contacted Louvreclad in search of vertical performance louvres for the mid-level plant room. The mechanical specification called for a max 50Pa pressure drop at 2.5m/s face velocity and Class A 100% rain defence.
While we know louvres are essential to buildings like this, there is often not enough consideration given to louvre performance at the early design stage, leaving builders and architects scrambling for a solution mid-construction.
In this instance, there was still time left in the program to work through the options and select the right louvre.
With the performance data, opening sizes, and flow rates for each louvred area provided, Louvreclad’s in-house mechanical engineer was able to calculate the pressure drop and rain defence of various louvre profiles to find suitable options.
As we started to work through the calculations, many of the louvre profiles were not meeting the rain defence or pressure drop requirements. Despite this, the Louvreclad team went the extra mile and redesigned, optimised, and retested a louvre profile to meet the project brief.
The newly optimised Altura Series® 300 proved to be the highest performing louvre that met and exceeded the airflow and rain defence requirements. However, this profile happened to be a larger 300mm-deep heavier profile, and thus was still not suitable for the project. Back to the drawing board, Louvreclad went on to develop the Altura Series® 145 extruded aluminium louvre profile. This new high-performance profile delivered Class B 98% effective rain defence and Class 1 aerodynamics. While the rain defence was sitting a fraction under the specification, additional drainage was designed and integrated behind the louvre to capture any water ingress.
Through close collaboration with Construction Control, Bates Smart architects, and consultants, we also integrated Louvreclad Ellenborough Series® into the façade, where the air flow and rain defence requirement were not as stringent. The benefit of such early collaboration is the ability to strategically select the right performance louvre for each of the louvred areas. This means you are getting maximum air flow and rain defence performance where required, while not over-specifying where it is not needed.
This project exemplifies how good collaboration leads to ‘getting it right, first time.’ It also demonstrates the inevitable decision-making compromise between air flow and rain defence requirements when it comes to selecting performance louvres.
Louvreclad are honoured to have supplied an essential element of this architectural landmark in the heart of Canberra.