Australian Centre for Energy and Process Training (ACEPT)


The Challenger Institute of Technology ACEPT Campus is a facility of approximately 2,200m² for the provision of training of students in the Oil and Gas industry providing theory and support for practical on-the-job training. In addition to the classroom/theory based educational facilities, a fully operational $7.0m Process Plant was also constructed on site.

ACEPT is the leading provider of process operations training, offering AQTF qualifications for the Australian oil and gas, mineral and chemical processing industries. This ensures a higher standard of workers and facilitates industry expansion.

The Campus is set in a newly created precinct with several support facilities, an integrated road and drainage network, landscaped native gardens and a conservation zone between the new precinct and LakeCoogee which is listed as a conservation category of regional significance with high conservation value.

The leitmotif and architectural language of the Centre is derived from the production process of oil and oil exploration. The multi-coloured split-face banded brickwork symbolises the mapping subsurface topography found in oil exploration, whilst the pixellated rainbow coloured metallic ‘Colorbond’ sheeting is representative of the slickness of processed oil on water. Additionally three colours of high ‘U’ value and high shading coefficient glass was used to compliment the external metallic cladding.

The Campus and buildings were designed using environmental sustainability principles, embracing sound passive design elements. The project was designed to meet/exceed the requirements of the Landcorp Sub-Divisional Structure Plan, the Environmental Management Plan, Site Contamination Management Plan and the Drainage and Nutrient Management Plan. Additionally it does not directly impact on the adjacent wetlands from such aspects as contaminated runoff from the Campus and Process Plant, changes in hydrology and increases in human activity.

The planning of the Centre was based on a linear pedestrian link connecting the Northern Administration Block and the Southern Teaching Block. Within each block the pedestrian link also connects briefed areas to the east and west with rooms facing enclosed courtyards.  This planning device replicates the logic of the Process Plant in which discrete Mechanical Plants ‘plug’ into the Central Service Spine as individual pods.

Architectural forms are arranged along a north/south axis with all architectural elements and shading structures contained within the ‘platonic’ forms. This allows ESD strategies to be fully implemented with solar principles as a guiding force.

The orientation of the buildings allows high level north-facing windows with actuated roof outlets for operation in natural ventilation mode whilst also allowing natural light to be incorporated within the lighting design. In conjunction with the mechanical system this allows the maximum flexibility in offices and spaces that are not located on the perimeter of the building.

The Centre’s mechanical system uses a variable refrigerant volume system designed to be a flexible and modular solution capable of integrating with a natural ventilation/mixed mode system. This arrangement uses a combination of actuator-operable windows and air-conditioning all of which are controlled by the occupants. To prevent energy wastage & ensure correct usage of the mixed mode system, a motion sensor automatically switches the lighting and air-conditioning off when not required. Reed switches on all external windows also regulate the mechanical system by turning off the system when windows are open.

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Project Number

Challenger Institute of Technology

Completed 2008

9 Gardiner Ave Munster WA 6166

$9 million (2008 prices)

Key Personnel
Andrew Rogerson, Charles Thwin, Nicola Brennan

Services Provided
Full architectural and interior design services

Jim Williamson, Challenger Institute of Technology Tel: (08) 9239 8200 Email:

2008 RAIA (WA Chapter) Commendation Public / Institutional Category

Gross Floor Area

Number of Levels

Facilities Provided
Teaching facilities including classrooms, laboratories, a fully functioning Process Plant and Control Room

Construction / Materials
Steel framed with Colorbond metal cladding and feature brickwork

$9 million

$ 4,000/m² approx.

Construction Period
20 months

Google Map Link
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Map Address
Gardiner Ave 9, Munster

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