• PICAC NW Roundtable

Insight: PICAC Narre Warren Roundtable: The importance of Net Zero Energy design in a post-COVID world

The Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre’s (PICAC) Narre Warren campus opened in October 2019 and serves as a centre of excellence in best practice training for the plumbing industry. Now in a 12-month monitoring period, it is anticipated that PICAC will prove its status as Victoria’s first Net Zero Energy training facility in March 2021. Current figures look promising.

On July 8, 2020, as Victoria entered the state’s second spike of the Covid-19 pandemic, the lead consultant team and client behind this landmark $30 million project met via videoconference for a recorded roundtable discussion. Key participants from PICAC, FMSA Architecture, Norman Disney & Young, and Hutchinson Builders examined learnings from this key infrastructure project, and how built environment professionals might help governments and industry to chart a course for the difficult years ahead.

PICAC Narre Warren is the first building in Australia to integrate foundation screw piling with geothermal exchange to manage its heating and cooling requirements. These foundations include 192 13-metre deep energy piles, and 28 geothermal bores drilled to a depth of one hundred metres to facilitate the heat exchange. A rooftop solar PV array generates up to 275Kw of electricity for the building on this 2.5Ha site. The project received $500K in support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

As architects for the project, we commissioned this roundtable interview. Ahead of the 2020 Sustainability Awards, at which PICAC Narre Warren is nominated in the Education & Research category, we share the Roundtable discussion to provide further insight to the project.

The full video can be below, or here: https://vimeo.com/439149330


Roundtable participants:

Host: Jo McErvale, Word to the Wise www.wordtothewise.com.au

Shayne Le Combre, CEO, PICAC www.picac.edu.au

Professor Tony Arnel, Global Director Sustainability, Norman Disney & Young http://www.ndy.com/

Peter Sandow, Principal, FMSA Architecture www.fmsa.com.au

Bernie Nolan, Team Leader, Hutchinson Builders https://www.hutchinsonbuilders.com.au/

Marcel Van Vliet, Construction Manager, Hutchinson Builders https://www.hutchinsonbuilders.com.au/