- Education Consultant: Arina
- Structural / Building Services Engineering: Sinclair Knight Mertz
- Land Surveyor: St. Quentin
- Building Surveyor: PLP Building Surveyors & Consultants
- Ghd Woodhead Team: Pádraig Sinnott, Declan Muldoon, Seán O’Dwyer, Graham Bolton, Matt Findlay, Brent Railton, Debra Longin, Terry and Sarah Adams, Emma Foster, Melaine Wong, Nina Carrington
- City: Waurn Ponds
- Country: Australia
Text description provided by the architects. GHD Woodhead designed the Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre (AFFRIC) at Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds Campus as part of the Geelong Technology Precinct. The new research centre is an exciting collaborative project between Deakin University, CSIRO and the Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing (VCAMM).
The project involved the design and development of the new research facilities, the co-location of the materials and fibres research group from CSIRO, the expansion of the existing research activities of Deakin’s Centre for Materials and Fibre Innovation, and the construction of a carbon fibre research pilot plant in partnership with the VCAMM.
AFFRIC includes the first carbon fibre production facility of any type in Australia and AFFRIC will also be the world’s first research facility for the production of carbon fibre located on a University campus and operated by a government-backed research organisation.
The facility consists of two buildings located on a steep site with approximately a 10 meter fall from the North West to the South East corner and the lowest point of the site. The Waurn Ponds site has a southerly prospect through the surrounding trees. The AFFRIC facility is the first building in a precinct currently being developed as a new technology and research park. Both Buildings are accessed via a ring road that runs around the perimeter of the site connected to a newly constructed roundabout which provides easy access for heavy long base delivery vehicles.
Although the two building are similar in process they have quite different identities, the first building known as the “nj Building” is long and linear in shape and approx.2,771 sq m Gross Floor Area (GFA). This is be home to Deakin, Carbon Nexus and VCAMM and provide a one-stop-shop interface, which allows industry to maximise the potential for knowledge and technology. Our aim was to bring industry challenges into the research institutions and the research knowledge from institutions into industry. With world-class research, education sectors, and an attitude of creativity, the design allows for the generation of high-value ideas. At the nj Building facility, Deakin are now positioned to contribute to the growth of advanced materials and advanced manufacturing. By harnessing the imaginations of Australia's best thinkers to solve the challenges of industry, accelerating the pace of innovation.
The second building known as the “nk Building” occupies CSIRO testing facilities which is located at the lower section of the site. This Building is by far the larger of the two buildings requiring 5,286 sq m GFA to house high level specialist integrated equipment, The nk Building will ensure a world-class fibre and manufacturing capability is established in Geelong with the resources to significantly improve the competitiveness of the textile and materials manufacturing sector, and the advance of composites and bio-medical industries.
GHD Woodhead have created an integrated facility that showcases fibre technology, and is designed as an innovative, modern, professional & futuristic environment. This ethos have been demonstrated in the entry experience, breakout, meeting room & central circulation spaces with direct views into laboratories to provide a collaborative and learnt experience.
The Centre will further increase the capacity of the partner organisations to service the fibre, textile, composite, automotive and aerospace industries and assist in the transition between research and commercial application.With over 300 researchers and students based at the centre will be the largest carbon fibre research centre in the nation and will be one of the premier research facilities in the world. It will develop new advanced materials which will ensure the industry can produce world-class knowledge-based products based on nanofibres, carbon fibres and smart functional materials.
Our purpose is to ensure that Australian industry remains innovative, competitive and flexible. We have provided a successful platform for industry to take full advantage of the extensive capabilities of the research community. In doing so, we accelerate innovation in industry.