Specified in the new Central Courtyard Building, Verosol blinds are helping create a place in which lessons are learnt and friendships are forged.
December 22nd, 2022
Completed in 2021, Macquarie University 1 Central Courtyard Building replaces a pre-existing building that was home to mainly retail space, food and beverage outlets, student social facilities, and so on. Located centrally, adjacent to the Central Courtyard, that old building was viewed as very much the heart and soul of the university; a place where friendships were forged and plans were set in place.
The new building, designed by local firm Architectus, takes that original spirit and adds to it. Apart from 17 new retail outlets, a student bar, and terraces – which overlook the Central Courtyard on one side, and Macquarie Lake and native bushland on the other – the Central Courtyard Building also includes 26 teaching rooms (all with open, mobile layouts), breakout study areas, two interactive makerspaces, and a new Graduation Hall.
Unlike the building it replaces, which like most of the University’s older buildings was designed in the Brutalist style, the new facility gestures more towards the contemporary. While it does reference those older buildings, it also connects more closely with the courtyard, the bush and so on. Light, life, and openness are now the order of the day.
Blinds by Verosol
When choosing shading systems to help make this possible and moderate this abundance of light, the architects looked no further than Verosol, a well-established manufacturer and supplier of high-end shading systems and performance fabrics.
The Verosol products included in the project were Ambience Motorised Roller Blinds with the 802 SilverScreen Enviro fabric. Part of the company’s signature SilverScreen range, these products boast industry-leading solar refection capabilities. The fabric is cradle to cradle certified and holds GreenRate Level A certification from Global Green Tag.
Thanks to their unique composition, created via a process of applying a microscopic layer of aluminium to textile, 802 SilverScreen Enviro provides great vision through to the outside and reflects 74% of solar radiation. As used, in the Central Courtyard Building, they keep all the various spaces comfortable while contributing to the building’s overall thermal efficiency.
According to Scott Johnston, General Manager of Solis Products (the company responsible for the installation), the effectiveness of the blinds was bolstered by the architects’ decision to automate them.
Automation & shadow management
“The blinds are included across all four levels…they operate in conjunction with Somfy motors and Cannex control equipment,” Johnston explained, adding that they raise and lower automatically, according to shadow management data.
“This is all about reducing the thermal load of the building. Depending on the angle of the sun and the amount of heat that’s coming into the building, the blinds move accordingly,” he said.
“In the individual meeting rooms offices and so on, there are also manual override controls, which means those inside [teachers, students, etc.] remain in control and can raise or lower them as needed.”
For Johnston, as Project Partner and the person ultimately responsible for the installation, the versatility of the Verosol products was a major plus.
“Within the design, for example, the architects included an integrated façade channel, on which the blinds track up and down vertically…it’s very much a design feature, which ensures they are neat and more seamless than they would have otherwise been,” he said.
Thankfully, for Johnston and the success of the installation, the Verosol products were able to accommodate this change without a problem. In this way, they helped contribute the project’s overall success. And, with their high end looks and industry leading performance, they have helped ensure that this part of the campus retains its position as part of the heart and soul of Macquarie University.
Photographs ©️ Richard Glover 2021
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