The VISY Cares Centre in Fairfield is intended to provide low-cost commercial space for youth services providers in the Fairfield area of greater western Sydney. The intended tenants are typically to be a mix of non-government agencies who provide a wide variety of essential support services to youth.
Fairfield Council, NSW and Australian Governments, and the Pratt Foundation came together in a unique public-private partnership not centrally concerned with making a profit. Envirotecture’s brief was to provde a flexible office building using passive design principals with additional energy and water saving systems. This would be western Sydney’s first sustainable commercial building.
The two storey building uses a central atrium to supply daylight and natural cross-ventilation and stack ventilation, coupled with an efficient hybrid mechanical cooling system. Simple cooling strategies have been implemented into the design such as ceiling fans to minimise the need for air conditioning. A careful selection of materials such as low-VOC products and low embodied energy construction methods will add to the sustainability of this building.
Rainwater harvesting and reclaimed waste water is used throughout the building for appropriate purposes, reducing mains water demand to zero. A large photovoltaic array will also reduce the building’s mains-supplied energy demands toward zero.
At present the building’s construction is politically uncertain. We look forward to its commencement soon.