Karingal Headquarters

Year: 2012 

Behind its energy efficient facades, the Karingal Headquarters building is a classic rectangle. The long facades have been carefully articulated with subtly offset timber structural columns to provide a faceted facade and folded, sculptural shade screens evocative of Corio Bay seagulls. These elements soften the form of the building and provide important self-shading to reduce interior glare and heat load.  The 3 storey building is set into the lowest corner of the site to respect the surrounding residential context and scale. 

This highly insulated, double-glazed building has been designed holistically.   This results in universal access, workplace efficiency, safety and staff comfort, all within the principles of ecological sustainability.  Its long east-west axis and narrow width provides ideal solar orientation to give high levels of natural daylighting, cross ventilation and construction efficiency.  A long span, post and beam structure in engineered timber offers flexible interior planning and provides a soothing, humane aesthetic.

All floor mezzanines connect to an atrium space along the north facade.  This atrium powers passive ventilation of the building by allowing hot stale air to rise and exhaust at high level, whilst drawing in cooler air from the south. Radiant heating and cooling systems combined with tempered fresh air ventilation and heat exchange from harvested water provide high comfort levels with low energy consumption.

The highly reactive soil demands innovative, fresh thinking about structure. The plantation grown timber frame and eco-concrete composite floor structure responds lightly and rigidly and significantly reduces embodied energy. These materials offer the perfect balance of offering thermal mass for energy storage while minimising the depth of supporting friction piles.