Specialist valve manufacturer Process Systems moved into its custom built state-of-the-art 1200m² premises in April 2013.
Key objectives for the new facility included being close to the existing location to be able to service their local customer base as well as creating a sustainable and environment-friendly factory.
The new Process Systems facility has been designed as a net positive electricity generator, runs off rainwater (except for drinking as legislated by the local council) and harnesses the wind for cooling and sunlight for lighting, resulting in very low operating expenses, low maintenance and a great working environment.
The new building takes advantage of Brisbane’s 245 days of sunny weather, using Solatube daylight systems to bring in natural lighting, and completely eliminating the need to turn on lights on these days. Solatube daylight systems harness natural light from all angles and direct it through the roof, dispersing it in the space below. The warehouse, for instance receives natural light without shadows even from a height of 8.5m. LED lighting is used when required for significant energy savings.
Process Systems has chosen not to install air conditioning in their new offices, in spite of the subtropical environment of Brisbane. The northerly facing building harnesses the summer breeze through four container size roller doors, providing immediate ventilation to the whole building when there is enough heat inland to create a thermal breeze. The offices are hidden from the summer sun and the temperature in them is regulated by a large thermal mass, polished concrete. They have also added 28 banks of Breezway louvres to create a workable office environment.
In the absence of wind, the building combines the louvres with 12 solar powered roof ventilators to create its own artificial cooling breeze. The absence of air-conditioning systems has also helped create a healthier work environment.
Sufficient power is generated by the new facility to offset consumption. A 5kw honeycomb solar array with a 6kw inverter has been installed to feed back into the grid, which gives the building a 16 cent feed-in tariff when they are not using or when they have surplus power. This is enough to run an office, and power two battery operated forklifts, fridge and other general power usage.
Water Harvesting and Purification
The factory is fitted with dual reticulation and a rainwater switchover bank, which draws from 35,000 litres of rainwater storage to run the toilets, hoses and taps. The building does not even need to be connected to council water mains as the 2000m² roof functions as a collection point to fill the tanks in a matter of minutes during a downpour.
All excess water not captured is directed into bio retention pits where it is filtered by native grasses, which take out any excess nitrogen or contaminants. Once it passes through the bio retention basin, it settles in a sediment trap until it makes its way back into the waterways contaminant-free.
Process Systems specialises in the supply of solenoid valves, actuated ball valves and butterfly valves for air, vacuum, fluid, chemical and steam applications.