Monash scoops prize at Melbourne Design Awards

Monash University has been awarded Gold at the 2019 Melbourne Design Awards for Gillies Hall, its new 150-bed residential accommodation complex on its Peninsula campus.

The building is recognised in the ‘Architecture - Multi Residential - Constructed’ category, and has been celebrated for its design process and delivery of a space that reflects technical, social and aesthetic considerations.

The building, named after Monash alumnus and prominent Australian political satirist, actor and director Dr Max Gillies AM, opened its doors earlier this year and provides residents with a range of modern, high quality and sustainable living spaces, during a planned period of growth for the University on Peninsula campus.

The expansion of Peninsula’s facilities continues to develop the University’s world-class allied health, business and education precinct, further strengthening the local health and education workforce in the Frankston and Mornington Peninsula region.

Professor David Copolov AO, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Major Campuses and Student Engagement), said the new accommodation will have long-lasting benefits for the University and the broader community.

“As well as providing an outstanding quality of accommodation to its residents, Gillies Hall is integral to Monash’s expanding role in the region, and is emblematic of the emphasis we are placing on the campus contributing significantly to the University’s development plans.

“Gillies Hall is one of the key components that underpins our goal to establish Peninsula campus as Australia’s leading centre of allied health and primary care education and research, and more broadly of Monash enhancing its status as a university of choice of domestic and international students.

Our expansion allows for a deeper contribution to and engagement with the local community and employers in delivering substantial economic, social and cultural benefits to the region.”

Expected to be over three times more energy efficient than existing residential halls, the project is the first large scale building in the country to achieve Passive House certification. Combined with a cross-laminated timber (CLT) structure, the building sets a new benchmark for sustainable design and construction.

Designed by Jackson Clements Burrows, and working closely with engineers AECOM and contractor Multiplex, the use of CLT is expected to have halved the carbon emissions associated with construction relative to a concrete structure and will remain as a carbon store for the life of the building.

Monash University’s David Suder, Deputy Executive Director, Buildings and Property said: “Monash is delighted to accept this award - we’re particularly proud of the pioneering design agendas on show in Gillies Hall, focusing on students needs, yielding many environmental benefits and acting as a barometer and a testing ground for future construction projects at the University.”

Through its ambitious design and drawing from elements of the University’s Net Zero initiative, including rooftop solar panels and all-electric building services, the complex is able to be 100% renewable powered through Monash’s power purchase agreement (PPA) with Murra Warra wind farm.

The building also incorporates a rainwater harvesting tank and water sensitive urban design, including the creation of a landscaped dry-creek bed that provides additional opportunities for recreation, manages stormwater flows during high rain events and connects into the natural waterways of the campus.