Debuted in November, the L3 Legacy Living Lab at Development WA’s East Village development in Fremantle south-west of Perth will act as a resource to support and educate the building industry on building methodologies and to test new products and appraise the performance of building materials that encompass energy consumption, automation and impact on building health.
Based on the ‘circular economy’ idea, the building is meant to lessen emissions and waste by utilising recycled materials, encompassing modularisation and adopting design characteristics which render it simple to move and able to be fully disassembled.
Recycled materials include:
- The 17-tonne steel frame, which originated from a project that went bankrupt and was aimed for recycling but was redesigned to suit the project,
- Carpet from a nearly new office space on St George’ Terrace in Perth which was supposed to be disposed of before the building’s renovation. Being secured with a dual-sided contact pad as opposed to glue, it can be reused,
- A lovely century-old Jarrah staircase from the Dingo Flour Mill in Freemantle – history and salvation in motion,
- The exterior balcony, culled from recycled tyre rubber and plastics,
- The acoustic ceiling panels, 68 per cent recycled PET bottles and various plastic materials,
- The kitchen benchtop, culled from pressed recycled timber.
Substantial benefits have been reaped through the structure’s modular design, which has lessened its carbon footprint from about 50 tonnes for a building of similar size using conventional building to about five tonnes.
As opposed to a concrete slab or foundation, the building employs a steel micro-pile footing system which is comprised of steel poles skewed into the ground at particular angles to establish anchorage.
This measure alone spared the need for 20 tonnes of concrete and has established the need for just 800 kilos of steel.
The modular design has also created a building which is flexible, durable and able to be deconstructed so that materials can be recycled or reused at conclusion of its lifespan.
Indeed, the structure can be relocated many times—leading to an expected life expectancy of 20 years before being deconstructed.
When this occurs, 57 percent of building materials can be reused in other buildings while an additional 25 percent will be recycled.
Only 18 percent of the material will need to be disposed.
The building also includes solar panels, an on-site electric vehicle charger and water balancing features.
The building was designed by Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute PhD candidates Timothy O’Grady and Roberto Minunno, along with Curtin Professor Greg Morrison and many industry supporters.
The project will support research regarding precinct scale initiatives that will inspire best practice design for tomorrow’s housing and urban developments.
O’Grady stated that chances to lessen waste during building are abundant.
In Australia, the building industry accounts for about 30 per cent or 20.4 million tonnes of yearly waste, O’Grady stated.
Projects like this, he asserted, offer solutions.
Development WA CEO Frank Marra stated that the State Government’s central development agency was facilitating the project through $100,000 of funding and a tri-year lease.
Industry partners for the Legacy Living Lab (L3) project included Acoufelt, Armstrong Flooring, BGC, Bluescope Steel, Brajkovich Demolition, Curtin University, Delos, Development WA, Enware, Fleetwood Australia, Forest One, Infinite Energy, Intelligent Home, Interface, ITI – Innovative Timber Ideas, Jason Windows, Ludlow Timber Products, Metforce Balustrades, Met-tech imaging, OP Properties, Proform, Quantify Technology, RWC – Reliance Worldwide Corporation, Schneider Electric, Somfy, Stramit, Verosol, and Weathertex.