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Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC)

Location Brunswick, Victoria, Australia
Services Building services engineering, sustainable design and design manager 
Sector Industrial and Education 
Client Joint Plumbing Training Fund and Building Commission
Architect FMSA

Caimin McCabe

T +61 (0)3 9635 3700

The Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC) is an innovative $9m training facility for plumbers and mechanical contractors, and was opened in April 2009. It provides skills based training courses in the design, installation and maintenance of sustainable plumbing and mechanical systems.

Cundall was engaged as principal consultant, developing the concepts and brief with the client to turn four separate partially constructed industrial retail units into a single facility. A key feature is that all the services in the building also from part of the training curriculum and are able to be isolated without disrupting the operation of the facility. This allows students and visitors to see technologies in action, and then to utilise the plant for training purposes. These systems include use of recycled water, rainwater treatment, greywater treatment, gas CHP, solar thermal for space heating, active chilled beams and natural ventilation. Other sustainable technologies include PV panels providing solar shading to north facing glazing, in-slab hydronic heating to the great hall, and recycling of fire test water. The Building Management System monitors and controls the systems, with a display screen in reception showing how the systems are functioning. The facility also houses a number of class rooms and specialist trade training areas including plumbing systems, a sand pit for in-ground services, gas appliances, medical gases, welding bays, working at heights and working in confined spaces.

The building was designed using the pilot version of the Green Star education tool. A '5 Star' Green Star – Design Education v1 rating was awarded in 2012.