Newcastle Uni Q Building

The University of Newcastle’s $25 million Q Building claims to be the first building in regional NSW to achieve a 6 Star Green Star “Design and As Built” certified rating.

We recently published an article about the innovative building, which has now achieved a 6 Star rating. 

Read our article here: Newcastle’s new university building showcases innovation in more ways than one.

Six Stars this is the highest rating awarded by Green Star, “an internationally recognised rating system setting the standard for healthy, resilient, positive buildings and places”, founded by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA). 

The building achieved 6 Star rating in major part due to its mass timber construction with internal structure built using sustainably sourced, cross-laminated timber which stores carbon and supports the HVAC system to moderate humidity inside the building.

A main challenge was to maintain an open feeling to the building while still ensuring comfort and protection from heat and weather, the GBCA said in a media statement. To overcome this, the three sides of the building most exposed to the sun (east, north and west) were glazed with an electro-chromic smart-glass system called Sage Glass, which automatically changes its tint to respond to heat and glare.

“The University of Newcastle’s Q Building is a brilliant, world-leading example of how Green Star can be applied within the education sector and is testimony to the University’s commitment to sustainability,” said Davina Rooney, chief executive officer of GBCA.

“This is the first certified 6-star Green Star – Design and As Built project in regional NSW and with innovation at its core from the outset, it certainly sets the benchmark for future developments of this kind.”

Classes at Q Building will start in Semester 1, just weeks away. 

Fast facts

• 104 solar panels

• 20kL rainwater capture volume

• 344 Sage Glass thermal panels – the largest installation in the southern hemisphere

• Energy and water efficient fittings – all LED lights and 4 Star rated Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) water fittings

• Building “tuning” so that HVAC and other systems are running as efficiently as possible

• 100 per cent renewable electricity via Red Energy contract

• 96 per cent recycling rate during construction

• Sustainable transport plan, including bike hub with end-of-trip facilities and the hybrid shuttle-bus route

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