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While the University has an efficient campus infrastructure system, there are opportunities to improve and extend the system.
Early campus plans developed a planning structure based on a rectangular grid, which made possible a simple underground services corridor system in primary and secondary easements. Services outside the grid have largely been re-routed to conform. With the planned expansion of the University across Fairway towards Broadway, the expansion of QEII affording opportunities to link up and/or provide back up capacity, and the proposal to increase student residential accommodation around the campus, there will be a need to increase infrastructure and to extend service easements off-campus. There may also be opportunities for sharing infrastructure services with the community.
Energy costs on campus are projected to increase approximately 35 per cent over the next three years. Air conditioning accounts for between 20-23% of the University’s total power consumption and air conditioning alone creates 11,100 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year (approximately 3500 cars worth of emissions). New development practices to reduce the dependence on such cooling infrastructure are considered critical.
The installation of a chilled water storage tank at the south end of campus in 1998 resulted in cheaper energy costs and increased supply capacity. Much of the chilled water is used for the purposes of air-conditioning.
Given our climate, and specific research activities, the University acknowledges the need for climate control within buildings. However, the University will encourage the utilisation of passive design within buildings where possible. Campus Plan 2000 highlighted the need for an additional similar size tank in the north end of campus.
A proposal to construct a 4 megalitre tank at Physics did not proceed and the campus system is now at capacity. A new 6.5 megalitre tank would provide the University with sufficient chilled water without having to run chillers during ‘normal’ (that is, overly hot) days.
The provision of the second chilled water tank will take advantage of the wider gap between on- and off-peak tariffs and enable the University to enter into demand side response programs. A third tank of two to three megalitre should be considered as part of the design for buildings planned in the northwest corner of the expanded campus.
Alternate sources of energy will continue to be considered, when appropriate (for example geothermal energy).
Western Power is upgrading the QEII/Hollywood Hospital sub-station as part of a western loop linked to UWA. It has flagged the need to expand the campus electrical sub-station. The sub-station serves both the University and the local neighbourhood. Space will be allocated in the plan to meet this need. The proposed change is from low voltage electricity supply from 6.6 kilovolts to 11 kilovolts.
A proposal has been developed to create a services precinct off Fairway Entrance 4. This will co-locate and conceal industrial type operations, including engineering workshops, waste facilities including biochemical and electronic waste and geothermal plant. A second services precinct is also suggested, preferably at UWA Nedlands, where additional infrastructure is required.
Engineering redevelopment, planning of which will begin within the next ten years, should be co-located within the proposed services precinct to enable Engineering to exploit teaching and research synergies with on-campus utilities.