Uniting the community under one cool roof

BlueScope Steel
Sunday, 29 July, 2012

As one of the first buildings in Australia to showcase Colorbond Coolmax steel, Hervey Bay Community Centre successfully combines environmentally sustainable design principles and a pleasing aesthetic. Its unique ‘island-like’ structure means the building can be viewed from 360° while also making a statement with its thermal efficiency.

Designed by BAC Group Architects, the brief for the building complex was to bring together a range of community benefit programs under the one roof for the first time. As such, the island-like composition represents the coming together of the community service groups to be co-located under the banner of the Hervey Bay Neighbourhood Centre, operating in the new community centre building.

The service groups also needed to retain their individual identities, which are architecturally brought to life by using contrasting visual elevations of materials and colours, such as the use of cladding made from Colorbond steel in the colour Deep Ocean in the profile Lysaght Custom Orb. This ensured that each group could readily identify with a particular section of the centre. The standout visual feature of the centre is the roofing, made from Colorbond Coolmax steel, as it combines a series of different roofing styles and angles to create a building that is at the forefront of community design.

When considering the choice of building materials available for the centre, BAC Group Architects decided to use roofing from Colorbond Coolmax steel due to its versatility, its aesthetics and its ongoing environmental benefits for the community.

“We needed to create a facility that not only benefited the community, but also the environment where it is located. This meant that roofing made from Colorbond Coolmax steel was the ideal choice as it is strong, durable and can help reduce the ongoing cooling energy costs for the community centre,”  said Dennis Beitz, Director of BAC Group Architects.

Studies show that compared to a standard roof made from Colorbond steel in the colour Surfmist, Colorbond Coolmax steel in the colour Whitehaven can lower the internal temperature of a non-air-conditioned building by approximately 0.5 to 2°C, depending on the building design. Compared to Zincalume steel, this lowers the internal temperature by approximately 2 to 4°C. The potential increase in natural thermal comfort means that it may reduce annual air-conditioning energy costs for cooling of a building by up to 7.5%.

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