Compass House


5 Bodalla Place, or Compass House as it has been named for its ability to provide ‘a new direction in energy efficient building design’, is owned by the two Rudds Directors and has been purpose designed and built as the headquarters for Rudds Consulting Engineers by Rudds' own personnel.

The building’s brief was to be a showcase for the possibilities of building services engineering design and operate energy neutral. It is intended not only to utilise and demonstrate the latest technologies, but in many cases push these to a new level. The Directors of Rudds chose to go down this path as traditional commercial returns would not allow the level and quality of inclusions desired to be accepted by traditional developers. In addition, the Directors of Rudds wanted to be able to physically show clients and demonstrate to them how many of the design ideas could be implemented.

To date, Compass House has directly contributed to the following awards:

  • 2012 National Australian Business Award for Innovation within the Construction industry, awarded to Rudds for Compass House;
  • 2012 National Master Builders and Boral Excellence in Building Award, won by builders Nikias Diamond, where Compass House was the featured project.
  • 2012 National NECA Energy Efficiency and Environment Award, won by Shepherd Electrical for their involvement with the Compass House project.



Specific design components included;

Building Integrated Photo Voltaic Cells

This involved establishing a methodology to allow a Glass Photo Voltaic (PV) Panel to be integrated into a standard window framing system so the spandrel panel between floors could be used to generate renewable ‘clean’ electricity. This required significant liaison with window frame suppliers, PV panel manufacturers and the electrical supply authority. Rudds successfully engineered an alternative protection strategy that enabled a ‘clean’ façade to be realised through an alternative location of the isolation switches.

Photo Voltaic Sun Shades

This involved the development of a suitable support mechanism and wiring strategy to enable glass PV panels to be utilised as horizontal sun shades.

Building Integrated Solar Thermal Panels

This involved establishing a methodology to allow glass faced metal panels with integrated pipework to be integrated into a standard window framing system so the spandrel panel between floors could be used to generate renewable ‘clean’ hot water which in turn is circulated through the floor slabs to provide the majority of heating in winter.

Slab Integrated Heating and Cooling

This involved utilising embedding Polyethylene pipework into the floor slabs and engineering an appropriate methodology to interconnect this to the Solar Thermal Panels mounted in the façade. Whilst embedded pipework within slabs has been designed and utilised by Rudds for over 10 years the integration with external Solar Thermal Panels had not been undertaken previously and is a first for Australia. Rudds were not able to source any design information from Europe and as such had to engineer this arrangement from first principles.

Thermally Broken Window Frames

This involved research in Europe to review various methodologies employed there and then having a staff member undertake specialised training by the manufacturer in order to be able to train and supervise local widow installation contractors in the correct installation process. The research and development of this framing system also required establishing methodologies for the mounting of the Solar PV Panels and Thermal Panels.

Specialised Lighting Design

This involved working in conjunction with various lighting manufacturers to improve the performance of existing fittings and create new fittings utilising LED technology.

Reverse Cycle Heat Pump VRV System Economy Cycle

This involved liaising with Fujitsu engineers in Japan to develop a strategy that would allow a standard Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) reverse cycle heat pump system to incorporate the use of a ‘free cooling’ or economy cycle. That is, to utilise ambient outside air for cooling when temperatures are suitable. This has not been done by Fujitsu or any other manufacturer that we are aware of and required a considerable amount of time back and forth with emails and interpreters. Rudds and Fujitsu will monitor the performance of this system and it is likely to be incorporated into their standard range of products in the near future.

Building integrated Motorised Sun Shades

This involved researching available technologies in Europe as none of the Australian manufacturers were able to meet the height requirements (to cover two stories) and then working in conjunction with the selected manufacturer to suit the specific building requirements.

Share This Page