A site that experiences extreme temperature fluctuations throughout the year poses a significant challenge for the designer looking to create a high-performing sustainable building for all seasons.

Architectus faced this very challenge for a recent project for Western Sydney University in Kingswood, Penrith where temperatures fluctuate from average maximum of 30.7 degrees Celsius in January to mean minimums of 5.4 in July.

The Werrington Park Corporate Centre is the Architectus’ response to WSU’s request for an innovative flagship building that achieves a 5 Star Green Star Design and As-Built Rating that also provided good external views and access to natural daylight for inhabitants. The building is a commercial office and research centre designed to meet the demand for new high-tech industries and knowledge economy jobs in one of the fastest growing economic regions in Australia.

On the quest to meet this brief, Architectus turned to an economical design approach, delivering a high value outcome within a simple structure.


Oriented north, the three-storey building makes the most of natural daylight and minimises exposure to east and west facades which are protected with deep solar blades. These blades are positioned optimally to open up to north views, and to screen east and west solar gain at the hottest times of the year.

The siting of the building creates an optimal passive design response for the interior spaces and simultaneously creates external shaded zones below the building cantilevers. The zones provide alternative work and relaxation environments as an extension of the internal spaces.

To address water efficiency Werrington Park Corporate Centre incorporates rainwater capture and re-use for landscape irrigation and greywater, low flush toilets, low flow taps and shower heads, and reduced fire system water consumption.

Inside, Supawood’s Supaslat linear slatted panels and Supacoustic decorative pre-finished acoustic walls and ceiling panels products were chosen for the internal atrium spandrel lining, as they’re made from sustainable timber. They have proven FSC certification, and have low VOC and formaldehyde emissions, which originate from sustainable forestry sources and significantly improves indoor air quality. Recycled Tallowwood timber was used on the two feature entry airlocks, the feature atrium stairs and the integrated atrium joinery counter/planter.


Social sustainability was also a strong design driver in creating an environment that attracts and retains occupants. This was achieved through the provision of a large central atrium space with connecting bridges, projecting breakout spaces and a café hub as the social heart of the building, supporting social interaction, events and functions. The atrium was designed with expansive views across the biodetention basin and large roof-lights, allowing daylight access, both supporting wellness. An end of trip facility was designed to encourage alternative means of transport to and from work to also support wellness.

The project received a 5 Star Green Star rating (Design and As-Built) and a 4.5 Star NABERS Energy Ratio.