Key Projects
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre sets the standard Print

December 1, 2009

The newly completed Melbourne Convention Centre has been fully integrated with the Melbourne Exhibition Centre to create a modern, user-friendly and versatile environment that makes an architectural statement on the banks of the Yarra River.

 It is the first convention centre in the world to be awarded a 6 star Green Star environmental rating. It also won the Banksia Environmental Foundation Built Environment Award; an award presented for buildings, infrastructure, services and technologies that incorporate significant sustainable development principles and practices.

The building’s innovative water management system captures and uses all rain water and is complete with its own black water treatment plant. Solar hot water systems and energy efficient lighting have also been incorporated to reduce energy consumption.

Mike Reid from James L Williams Pty Ltd, a leading mechanical contractor in Victoria, said an energy efficient HVAC system was achieved by conditioning an occupied area up to 2.5 metres above the floor in open spaces through low velocity systems and high efficiency motors. He said 149 Fantech fans were selected for their high efficiency and there was extensive use of primary and secondary pumping systems incorporating variable speed drives to help limit energy consumption.

The main foyer, with its 18 metre glass façade fronting the Yarra River, has radiant slab heating and cooling to keep the occupants comfortable, while efficient chilled beams are used in the ground/mezzanine offices.

“With a total building capacity of 22,000 people, you need to make sure there are no hiccups with the ventilation system,” Mike said. “To ensure a high level of reliability we have standby fans, pumps and air handling systems.”

A major feature of the centre is the 5000 seat plenary hall with its gala seating system. “This unique spiral lifting device allows flexible seating configurations in a 510 square metre room that can be divided into three self-contained, acoustically separate theatres.

“Visitors to the convention centre breathe comfortably thanks to under-floor displacement air systems fitted with carbon dioxide monitoring and control in the plenary hall and foyer.”

 Mike said the technical complexity, large scale and tight construction program of the project had combined to make the convention centre a huge challenge. “At the peak of the project there were more than 1000 workers on site, and we were able to deliver the project on time,” he said.

The Melbourne Convention Centre and integrated Hilton Hotel were designed by Joint Venture Architects Woods Bagot and NH Architecture for the Plenary Group consortium.

The Melbourne Convention Centre opened in April 2009.

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