From growing university demand to changing trends in social norms in terms of living situation, there are ample reasons for the increased prevalence of on-campus living.
Tackling this growing need while adhering to the concept of holistic sustainability, the recent multi-unit residential project at Monash University has earned the very first Green Star rating for sustainable construction for a development of its kind. Designed by architectural firm BVN Architecture, the two five-storey buildings – Briggs Hall and Jackomos Hall – have been awarded the Green Star – Multi Unit Residential As Built v1 rating.
“To achieve a Green Star ‘Design’ rating requires a commitment to innovation and a holistic approach to sustainable building,” says Green Building Council (GBCA) chief executive Romilly Madew. “Achieving an ‘As Built’ rating means actually implementing those plans and realising that vision – a challenge that the project team at Monash University has met very successfully.”
The buildings’ sustainable features range from the overall design and the incorporation of cutting-edge technology to the actual delivery of the multi-residential units. The modular unit design of the structures means the environmental impacts of the development phase were limited, a fact that was complemented by the fact that the major building elements were prefabricated, and ESD materials were used throughout the development phase.
In terms of renewable energy incorporation, the residences boast Australia’s largest residential solar installation, a 155 kw photovoltaic system. They also feature a 150,000 litre water storage facility and greywater treatment centre. .
Surprisingly, given the stereotypically high up front costs of green development, the developments were delivered to a tight budget, standing as highly affordable green living options for students.
“The Briggs and Jackomos residences 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 Walters. “We are proud to set a new standard for sustainable student housing in Australia,” said Monash University manager of environmental sustainability Brett Walters.
In what stands as an Australian first, both residences were funded by the National Rental Affordability Scheme.
These award winning buildings stand as flagship developments for both Monash University and the green building sector. They herald in a new phase of developments of this nature, and reassure the industry that green buildings do stick to an affordable budget and efficient time frame.