20 November 2023

Charles Darwin University city campus receives new façade ahead of wet season

| Andrew McLaughlin
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CDU facade

The new CDU city campus façade takes shape as it neared completion. Photo: CDU.

A new 40-metre tall façade and other works for the Charles Darwin University (CDU) city campus have been completed in time for the looming wet season.

Designed with vertical and sloping design features, the new façade includes a curtain wall with porcelain tiles, horizontal aluminium louvres, and various types of non-combustible cladding designed to head off the harsh Darwin summer. The completed works have also seen additional sealing of the building against the elements and the removal of two cranes.

The new architectural and façade design elements will provide a shaded, well-insulated, solar-controlled, and sealed thermal envelope. Other heat mitigation techniques include sustainable landscape and heat island reduction design.

It says the main structure of the building is separated by an air gap from the façade, and insulation and double-glazed windows further prevent the transfer of heat between surfaces and indoors.

With the building now sealed for the wet season, works will continue with a services fitout, civil and drainage works, hard landscaping, general architectural finishes, metal works and roofing works, with main construction expected to be complete by mid-2024.

The Federal Government has contributed $97.3 million to the $250 million campus project, and construction was also funded by the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF), with a $151.5 million NAIF loan supporting the university’s growth.

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Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Catherine King said the new infrastructure will play a key role in the Territory of tomorrow, “especially with this environmental design protecting the façade of Charles Darwin University’s new city campus from the harsh Darwin tropical heat and humidity”.

“The Australian Government is pleased to be delivering this project in this impressive new precinct that will bolster the territory’s economy for years to come.”

Federal Minister for Northern Australia Madeleine King added, “The Australian Government is proud to partner with the NT Government and Charles Darwin University to continue to complete the high-quality facilities for the new city campus”.

“I’m delighted to see this key learning and teaching institution in Northern Australia is not only gearing up for greater educational outcomes with its new facilities but also mitigating against the harsh elements of Darwin’s tropical climate.

“Cool designs make for a cool campus in more ways than one, and that means a better environment for everyone studying and working there.”

CDU Vice-Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman said, “In collaboration with the CSIRO Darwin Living Lab, the Precinct has been designed to weather our seven Larrakia seasons, from our monsoonal storms of the wet season to the heat of the dry”.

“Catering to Darwin’s unique climate means the campus’ intelligent design is fit-for-purpose.

“Our new city campus will not only provide students with modern teaching and learning spaces during study hours, but they can come here on weekends and enjoy the outdoor sports courts, sit underneath the Boab and experience Darwin’s thriving arts scene and cultural heritage indoors.”

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