Baptist Community Services Aged Care (Griffith)

Client: Baptist Community Services
Building type:
Residential Aged Care Facility
100 beds
Project Cost:
Approx $17 million
Stanton Dahl
Cardnho ITC
Construction Commencement: August 2011

Project Brief:

Vim Sustainability was appointed by Baptist Community Services (BCS)  in 2008 to provide sustainability services to their new range of developments, programmed over the next five years.

Master Planning & Target Setting:

Vim Sustainability undertook an initial presentation to the BCS Senior Management Team on Sustainability and the Built Environment, and from that presentation a unique and leading edge building performance target of Zero Emissions Development (ZED) was agreed by the CEO at the time, Dr June Heinrich and the design team. Subsequent to that, Vim Sustainability then presented to the board of BCS on this same subject providing a detailed insight into the value of adopting a sustainable approach and some idea of costs and costs benefits.

Design Development & Climate Analysis:

Once those building performance  targets  were agreed upon, a detailed process began which included a local climate investigation to provide a climate responsive design strategy  and this also included a lot of dialogue with the client and related nursing staff on internal levels of comfort and assorted functional requirements  that needed to be met. The agreed performance target of ZED was a first anywhere in the world for this type of development hence the most suitable and correct strategy for the overall development needed to be agreed on and understood by all parties.

Concept Design

The climate analysis assisted the architects in designing a building that was best suited to the location that it was in. Once this was identified, VIM started planning a design strategy that would make the building do the work. The largest energy savings is normally seen in design strategies that see buildings do as much work as possible. This involved preliminary energy and thermal modelling, air flow analysis on prevailing winds, façade detailing to  improve air flow, daylighting analysis using the proposed fenestration sizes and recommendations made to improve outcomes to suit the proposed building performance target. A detailed ESD spreadsheet was developed in conjunction with the client and  design team  which encapsulated all the areas  of ESD  including external form, landscaping, heating and  cooling, lighting, thermal fabric options (such as reverse brick veneer), and glazing specifications.


Software Modeling

Ongoing thermal and energy modelling was undertaken using Design Builder, Ecotect software, EFEN and a range of shading and climate analysis software to ensure the built form was maximised where possible while keeping in mind the functional requirements  of the client. Vim undertook detailed investigations into the natural ventilation options including thermal chimney design options, thermal comfort diagnostics, passive solar opportunities as well as water reuse and recycling.

Final Recommendation & Strategy

Once investigations into a final design was finalised, VIM was engaged in a range of operational recommendations and proposals around efficiency. Workshops were held for staff members, design meetings initiated and we assisted in cost planning work with the project quantity surveyor. We recently completed a detailed JV3 BCA Performance assessment solution which has assisted the client in reducing glazing costs while still maintaining efficiency and comfort levels, and ensured the building complied with the Section J requirements of the BCA.