Precast concrete – school of the future

The International Grammar School is nested squarely in the diverse, vibrant, inner city suburb of Ultimo.

Formerly a home to warehouses and workers serving the nearby ports, Ultimo is now a mix of students and their institutions and creative professionals and their offices.

Allen Jack & Cottier had a brief to deliver the Kerrie Murphy Building as an energy efficient, modern building befitting and harmonising with the surrounding area.

This building is a demonstration the practicality and efficiency of building with precast concrete. With energy efficiency and comfort in mind, the Kerrie Murphy building is a thermodynamic space with highly thermally efficient windows and intelligent cross ventilation to minimise the need for artificial heating and cooling.

The building is insulated with the Thermomass Insulation System for precast Concrete Sandwich Panels, another cornerstone of its thermally-passive attributes.

The high amount of thermal mass on the inside of the insulation envelope means that the building can regulate its own temperature.

The building also features a number of ventilation points where the hot air from the day can be purged automatically as the outside temperature drops at night.

The KM Building looks highly intricate and expensive, but in reality was actually more cost effective per square metre than the average Building Education Revolution school hall. This shows the cost efficiency of concrete, and the benefits of engaging a quality architect who knows how to use it and manage a project effectively.

Insulating with Thermomass means most of the work was done in the precast factory, where each floor was constructed on site in 3.5 hours, with no need to install and insulate a separate stud wall.

Thermomass is the first and still the best system for precast concrete insulation

Only Thermomass uses fibre composite connectors that are thermally and chemically compatible with concrete, preventing cracking and spalling that is almost inevitable in alternative systems.

Thermomass doesn't just comply with Section J of the BCA, it creates comfortable, attractive, high value places to live and work.

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