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Gallery - Featured Project - Canberra Airport
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The project that is being featured is for the new international airport terminal in Canberra, Australia. The AGI32 simulation software was a very beneficial software package to meet the specific needs of the project. The new terminal, which was being developed by the Canberra Airport Group, was intended to be designed with a low lighting power density whilst trying to maintain a particular aesthetic. The AGI32 software package was pivotal to accurately representing the design outcomes in a photorealistic manner. This was important because numbers that represent the lumen output do not always tell the full story when it comes to a lighting design.

All of the featured renders were performed by Blake Wilson, Matthew Hocking, Gail Sutton and John Tran of Rudds Consulting Engineers, with the guidance of Olaf Theden. Rudds Consulting Engineers is a successful Canberra based company that is a leader in its field with innovative environmentally friendly engineering solutions. They are able to integrate state-of-the-art technologies to reduce the impact building services have on the environment. They have used their innovative approach to contribute to the design of the first Australian building to achieve a five star Greenstar energy rating in 2004 and many others since then. State of the art simulation software packages such as AGI32 are key to being able to successfully achieve such sustainable outcomes. The architects who designed the terminal were Guida Moseley Brown and the lighting design was undertaken by Lighting Design Partnership (www.LDP.net). Rudds Consulting Engineers were involved in all aspects of the electrical and mechanical design of the terminal. This included ensuring that the lighting design was compliant with the Australian Standards and also compliant with the building code of Australia. In addition, it was important to bear in mind that the design also had to be aligned with the energy efficient principles and aesthetic principles of the terminal design. Innovation by way of using custom made fittings was found to be a natural solution to these two problems. Klik Systems, which are a linear lighting company based in Australia were able to provide a custom made solution. The advantage of using AGI32 was its ability to create custom luminaire models that were not only realistic in terms of its output but also in its visual appearance in a photorealistic render. As the intention was to present a series of photorealistic renders to the client, which met a certain criteria, it was important to have a simulation software package which could make adequate representations of the actual luminaire.

The simulations were made with a combination of models constructed in AutoCAD and then imported into AGI32 and models made within the program. It was then a matter of properly editing each of the surfaces so that they had the right appearance, texture, transmittance, reflectance, specularity and diffusivity. By doing this we were able to create rather specific renders as per the designer’s requests. Some of these included a yellow synthetic wall backlit by an array of 1.44W LEDs as well as backlit advertising signage. As no .ies file was available to use in simulating the feature wall, AGI32’s ability to create luminous surfaces on objects was extremely handy. The only information required to create the backlit wall was the fact that each LED node consumed 1.44W of power, and that they were to be spaced on a grid at 300mm. With the knowledge that the LEDs emitted a certain number of lumens per Watt, and taking into account maintenance and transmittance, we were able to calculate that we needed an object with a luminous surface rated at 200 lumens/m².

What Rudds Consulting Engineers were able to achieve was two sets of comparable rendered images that could be presented to the client. The client could then make a detailed comparative analysis between the two different designs in terms of not only the lighting levels, but the appearance of the light, the lighting distribution and the effect. Without the use of AGI32 there would have been much guessing involved and such an analysis could not be adequately achieved.

Author: Blake Wilson can be reached at blake.wilson@rudds.com.au.

Renderings Copyright © 2010 Rudds Consulting Engineers

Photos used with permission.

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