Monash University recognised as Passive House pioneer

Monash University has been recognised for leading the charge in sustainable building design. The transformation of the original 1960s warehouse at 30 Research Way into energy efficient, vibrant and comfortable open office space, close to achieving net zero carbon, has been awarded the 2016 Architecture  and Design Sustainability Award in the large commercial category.

Dr Robin Brimblecombe, Manager of Engineering and Sustainability with the University’s Buildings and Property Division, is thrilled that Monash was recognised as leading the way to a sustainable future.

“We’ve set clear socially and ecologically responsible goals to reduce the environmental impact of our operations, and establish all of our campuses as exemplars of environmental best practice. We’re also exploring options to achieve zero emission buildings, in line with the recent  COP21 agreement,” Dr Brimblecombe explains.

Monash is committed to achieving internationally recognised sustainable building certifications, and currently showcases nine 5 and 6 Green Star certified buildings across its campuses. This aligns with the University’s Environmental Sustainability Policy, and commitment to reducing the environmental footprint of its operations and embedding the principles of sustainability within all infrastructure  and development projects.

The Passive House design of 30 Research Way takes this one step further. This rigorous world-class building standard is at the forefront of delivering international excellence in building comfort, health and energy efficiency.

McGlashan Everist Architects piloted Passive House design principles during the renovation of the warehouse originally located at 30 Research Way. As one of the first large commercial buildings in Australia to apply these principles, the building has now been transformed into a creative, comfortable  and productive office space with low energy demand.

“This project was innovative in its use of Passive House principles, and showcases how existing carbon intensive building materials can be successfully reused to create energy neutral spaces.

“The building is super-insulated, airtight and uses a heat recovery ventilation system to ensure optimal indoor temperatures through Melbourne’s fluctuating weather. A 70 kWp rooftop solar array generates almost 70% of the building’s energy requirements, while eastern and southern  facing double-glazed windows create a bright, daylight filled office space. Mechanical external blinds on the north and east help manage solar heat gain and glare throughout the year,” Dr Brimblecombe said.