A comprehensive analysis of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology Design Hub by Sean Godsell Architects.

The façade comprises of a specifically detailed double glazed inner skin on each face of the building and an automated operable second skin shading device. The second skin shading device surrounds the entire building, from the ground floor to the roof level. It is made up of nominally 600 mm diameter sandblasted glass disks, which have photo voltaic cells. These Disks are then fixed vertical aluminum axel, each axel is fixed to the outer face of a galvanized steel cylinder of a slightly greater diameter and nominally 130 mm in depth. The cylinders are arranged on panels consisting of 3 vertical rows and 7 horizontal rows of cylinders. There are 86 panels on each level and therefore 774 panels for the nine levels of the building. The panels are then connected back to the column structure running around the entire building.

The plan for the Hub consists of exhibition spaces, design archives, lecture, seminar, and multi purpose rooms. The open plan allows the programs to be easily dispersed throughout the building and changed when more space is needed. Due to the range of spaces and the need of light in them, the users can open the disks to allow more

sunlight to penetrate threw or leave them closed when they need little to no light. In various area’s of the building the disks ,once open, allow for cross ventilation reducing the cost of the ventilation systems. The disks have been designed so that they can be easily replaced as research into solar energy results in improved technology and part of the northern facade is actually dedicated to ongoing research into solar cells to be conducted jointly by industry and RMIT. The entire building façade, in other words, has the capacity to be upgraded as solar

technology evolves and may one day generate enough electricity to run the whole building.