It was a case of ‘hold on to your hard hats’ as 2018 turned into another year of evolution and reimagining of our vibrant campus.
While we’ve consolidated our presence in Ultimo, our campus footprint has also expanded, with specialist facilities strategically located outside of our Broadway and Haymarket precincts bringing new opportunities for industry partnerships. Refurbishments and innovative design have improved our spaces for learning, teaching, research and collaboration. Sustainability remains at the heart of campus development and continues to shape our physical spaces and the infrastructure that supports them.
From custom fit-outs to mammoth buildings, each project is focused on delivering vibrant, purpose-designed facilities that support students and staff.
Here are some of the highlights from the year:
UTS Central comes to life
It’s been impossible to miss the rise of UTS Central through 2018. With the installation of the gleaming façade, the building has become an eye-catching addition to Broadway. Mid-year saw the lifting-in of the massive nine-tonne steel sections of the double helix staircase, which will link levels 4 to 7. In November, a significant milestone was reached with the pour of the upper-most concrete slab and the official 'topping out' of the structure.
Key interior spaces were also revealed. We were welcomed into the scholarly UTS Reading Room, with its triple-height atrium and dazzling view over Alumni Green. While our tastebuds were put on high alert, thanks to an animated fly-through the level 3 food court, with its eight distinct outlets including a café/restaurant that opens onto Alumni Green.
And there’s still more to come. The underground Super Lab will be the next space on show and, with construction due to be completed mid-year, you’ll have the opportunity to take a real-life tour of the building in just a few months.
UTS Tech Lab opens its doors
In September, we opened the doors of a vast, new research space located in the Botany industry and technology hub. The custom-designed UTS Tech Lab, led by the Faculty of Engineering and IT, is creating new opportunities for integrated R&D in innovative technologies and providing industry partners with access to both world-class facilities and UTS research expertise. The size of multiple aircraft hangers, Tech Lab accommodates a range of specialist labs. They include an Advanced Testing Lab for Structural Dynamic Research, featuring Australia’s most advanced ‘shake table’ that can simulate earthquakes. There’s also an Acoustics Lab with an anechoic chamber, a room that absorbs all sound reflections to allow testing of pure, direct sound – it’s literally one of the quietest places on Earth.
Classes start at Moore Park
UTS facilities in the Rugby Australia Building at Moore Park officially opened at the end of 2017. But this year we saw the first cohort of students studying sport and exercise science, sport and exercise management, physiotherapy and sport media make use of the cutting-edge teaching and study spaces. The Human Performance Research Centre labs were also put through their strides as they were fully kitted out with state-of-the-art equipment to enable impact-making research in both sports performance and health outcomes for people of all ages and abilities. Take a look inside the building and specialist facilities.
Waraburra Nura Indigenous plant garden
Plant lovers at UTS now have a space on campus to discover the rich history of botanic life in the Sydney basin. Waraburra Nura (The Happy Wanderer’s Place), is an Indigenous garden full of Sydney natives that have been used as foods, medicines and cultural items by local communities for generations. It’s also a model for sustainable gardening, with the plants selected due to their special relationships that ensure they thrive with minimal intervention required.
Graduate School of Health moving to One Hundred Broadway
In 2019 our Graduate School of Health will move to its new home spanning six floors of One Hundred Broadway, across the road from Building 11. This year, we signed a long-term lease and began work on the custom fit-out that will feature practice-based learning pod classrooms, clinical simulation rooms that mimic the clinical environment, and collaborative meeting rooms and work spaces. A multidisciplinary primary health care clinic will also support teaching and research, while providing benefit to the community.
High tech collaborative theatre at the Powerhouse
A new 400-seat UTS collaborative theatre [DB1] opened at the Powerhouse Museum for the Autumn teaching session. The flexible teaching space was purpose-designed by academics, for academics, in a collaborative design process with the project architects. Driven by the learning.futures approach to learning, the space has been custom-designed to help UTS academics run active and collaborative activities with large classes. It features large projections screens, flexible furniture, multiple presenter platforms and colour-coded walls for easy navigation to group activities. Many of the features found in the Powerhouse Collaborative Theatre are being incorporated into the three large teaching spaces in UTS Central, taking the design of collaborative classrooms to the next level.
Award winning activity based workspace for ISF
An innovative refurbishment of the level 10 workspace in Building 10 – home to the Institute for Sustainable Futures (ISF) – has been a win for staff and for the project team who undertook the transformation. The activity-based workspace (ABW) design supports the collaborative work-style of the ISF team and includes a host of green features. The innovative design received a silver medal the co-working and studio space category at the 2018 Sydney Design Awards and gold in the 2018 GOV Design Awards.
Last ride on original Tower escalators
After nearly 40 years of service, the original Tower escalators were retired to make way for a newer model. The replacement escalators will have wider steps and updated features for a safer and more comfortable ride for building users and visitors. They are scheduled to be operation in mid-February 2019, in time for the first teaching session.
Sustainability steps up
UTS’s green credentials have been on display throughout the year, with an array of awards, announcements and new initiatives. Here are some highlights:
- Our Australian-first district energy-sharing project with Enwave Central Park was highly commended at the Committee for Sydney’s Smart City Awards, which celebrate successful initiatives that use technology to address fundamental challenges faced by modern cities.
- In another Australian-first, UTS will source recycled water from the Flow Systems water recycling plant at Central Park for toilet flushing and irrigation in our new UTS Central building. The partnership will reduce UTS’s potable (drinking) water use by around 20,000 kL – or eight Olympic swimming pools – each year.
- A deal signed by UTS is kick-starting a new solar farm in regional NSW. The university will purchase the equivalent of half of our annual electricity demand from the Walgett Solar Farm for 12 years, giving the project the surety it needs to get construction underway.
- Our first electric car charging bay opened in the basement of Building 6 and there are plans to roll out more EV charging points in carparks under Building 10 and 11.
- The Vicki Sara Building (Building 7) achieved a 6 Star Green Star Education v1 As-Built rating, following an earlier 6 Star Green Star certification for design, making it one of only 11 buildings Australia-wide with that accreditation.
- UTS’s drive towards a more sustainable campus was recognised at the 2018 Green Globe Awards, with a highly commended in the Public Sector Leadership category.
More coverage of UTS campus development in 2018 can be found at our campus news website.