Location Latrobe University Business Park, Bundoora VIC
Project Completion 2010
Project Size 4,000m2
Project Description CAVAL, an Australian not-for-profit company providing library services in Australia, New Zealand and Asia, commissioned H2o to design a facility to treble the storage capacity of its existing Archival and Research Materials (CARM) centre at Bundoora in Melbourne’s outer north, to over 32,000 linear metres of medium and high density shelf space. The expanded facility is capable of holding over 3.5 million volumes: more than any university library in Australia at the time of completion in 2010.

The CARM centre is used by member libraries of CAVAL primarily as a purpose-built, print repository for low use and last copy research publications and artifacts. The facility provides a cost efficient storage solution for libraries that are running out of space. The expanded facility operates tight environmental controls to ensure the long term preservation of stored materials. The air inside the vault is maintained at 20°C (±2°C) with very low humidity levels. The vault is designed to maintain optimum temperature and humidity for a minimum of 24 hours in the event of a total loss of power and is essentially a highly insulated box that does not leak. Extra thick insulation is incorporated in the walls, roof and beneath the concrete slab. Upon completion, the whole building was pressure-tested to pinpoint leaks.
Due to the need for long term storage, the facility will have a design life of 40 years, over three times that of many commercial buildings being built today. A translucent facade clad in acrylic and metal panels softens the appearance of the building and allows it to blend into its leafy outer-suburban surrounds.