Monash University

4 September 2012 — Monash University has built the first multi-unit residential development in Australia to achieve a Green Star rating for sustainable construction.

The Briggs and Jackomos student residences have achieved a Green Star – Multi Unit Residential As Built v1 rating.

The residences offer students low-cost housing funded through the National Rental and Affordability Scheme – another first.

Green Building Council of Australia chief executive Romilly Madew said achieving a Green Star “Design” rating required “a commitment to innovation and a holistic approach to sustainable building”.

“Achieving an ‘As Built’ rating means actually implementing those plans and realising that vision,” she said.

“Monash University has also demonstrated that sustainability is something that can be affordable and achievable, even on a modest budget.”

Designed in conjunction with BVN Architecture, the site comprises two five-storey buildings, each housing 300 students.

Sustainable features include a greywater treatment facility, as well as a 150,000 litre water storage facility which blends greywater and rainwater. Productive garden beds and orchards allow students to grow their own food while innovative trickle ventilators increase the provision of outside air.

The development’s 153kW photovoltaic system is the largest residential solar installation in Australia with environmental impacts minimised through modularising and prefabricating where possible and by sourcing environmentally sustainable materials.

Monash University’s environmental sustainability manager Brett Walters said both building performance and university reputation would be enhanced by the sustainability commitment.

The student residences have already received the Victorian Architecture Award for Multiple Housing 2012 and a Royal Institute of British Architects 2012 International Award for Architectural Excellence.

Meanwhile, the university has two new laboratory buildings in the design or construction phase and is seeking Green Star Design and As Built ratings for both.