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Lessons from the ultimate crucible of ideas and innovation

Australia’s tertiary institutions are the engine room of learning, research and innovation for our nation. Now, with the help of Green Star, our universities are also fuelling the engines of sustainable market transformation.

“Our tertiary institutions are where research, academia and industry come together. They are the ultimate crucible of ideas and innovation and are certainly blazing the trail for others in the design and construction industry with recent ambitious developments,” says GBCA Market Development Director, Trudy-Ann King. 

“The knowledge and expertise that developers and designers are gaining from working with universities to deliver large scale infrastructure projects is invaluable - from residential, to research facility, office and community design.

“We’re proud to be partnering with Australian universities to help them deliver better outcomes for students, teachers, the community and the environment, and are happy to be able to expand our offering to universities through the release of new rating tools including Green Star – Interiors, Green Star – Communities and soon, Green Star – Performance.”

In addition to drastically reducing operational costs for university facilities - which often add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year with expansive campuses, classrooms, labs and recreation areas - Green Star is helping Australian universities to attract top students and faculty, and set the standard for design and construction across a variety of sectors and building types.

Monash University for example, has achieved five Green Star ratings for buildings across its campuses including its engineering research facility – New Horizons, the Monash Peninsula Activity and Recreation Centre and the first Green Star – Multi Unit Residential As Built certified development in Australia – Briggs and Jackomos Halls.

“Offering fully self-contained environmentally sustainable accommodation for up to 600 students across two five-storey apartment buildings, Briggs Hall and Jackomos Hall showcase the application of modern sustainable design principles on a significant scale, and in a relatively low-cost design and build project, delivered ahead of schedule and budget,” says Monash University’s Environmental Sustainability Manager, Brett Walters.

“We are proud to set a new standard for sustainable student housing in Australia. There is no doubt that both building performance and the university’s reputation will continue to be enhanced by our commitment to Green Star.”

The University of Melbourne’s soon to be completed Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity is another example of an Australian tertiary institution leading the charge for sustainable innovation.

An early adopter of Green Star, the University achieved amazing energy-reduction results for its first Green Star certified building, The Spot, which used 46 per cent less energy than comparable buildings across the rest of the university in its first year of operation. With operational cost savings of around $180,000 a year, Green Star success at The Spot has encouraged the University to push boundaries at The Doherty.

Medical research facilities are traditionally among the most resource-intensive buildings, both during construction and in operation. The Doherty breaks new ground for research facility design, with state-of-the-art laboratories, teaching and collaboration spaces that are not only energy- and water-efficient, but which prioritise the health and wellbeing of the students and researchers that will use them.

Despite the usually energy-intensive end use, “The Doherty will require less grid-supplied energy by capturing and using waste heat, minimising heat loss and gain through an interstitial façade system and through co-generation technology,” explains Chris White, The University of Melbourne’s Executive Director of Property and Campus Services.

The University of Melbourne is also the first in Australia to commit to achieving a Green Star – Communities rating for its entire Parkville Campus. “Students, like academics, increasingly consider the environmental significance of their choices. We hope a Green Star – Communities rating will signal to prospective students and staff that we are serious about our belief in innovation and investment in sustainability and the future,” explains University Vice Chancellor, Professor Glyn Davis. 

Since 2008, the GBCA has worked with major Australian universities in NSW, QLD, ACT, SA, VIC and TAS  to certify 35 building projects under the Green Star - Education rating tool.

 

Contact:
Trudy-Ann King
Director - Market Development
Green Building Council of Australia
Mobile: 0414 667 818
Email: [email protected]