The Gippsland Water Factory Vortex Centre, houses offices, laboratory functions and an interpretive experience for a major new water recycling plant. The vortex form strongly expresses the dynamic movement of fluids down a pipe, at the same time providing a unique internal environment.
Combining cost performance, aesthetics, water education and ecological intelligence, the facility is a beacon of exemplary sustainable design. Inherent in the design is the celebration and conservation of water – the essence of the Gippsland Water Factory. The centre was designed as a building that teaches.
The structure is built over an artificial lake that delivers cooling to the building together with other passive environmental measures. Due to the stable temperature of the lake, the building delivers a very low energy summer outcome. Cool water from the bottom of the lake is passed through heat exchangers, delivering cool air into the interior. At night, the lake water is pumped over the roof to be cooled for use during the day. In winter, waste heat from a biogas powered cogeneration system will be used to heat the interior. The combination of these principles ensures the Vortex is a low user of natural gas and power from the electricity grid.Architect: DesignInc Project name: Gippsland Water Factory Vortex Centre