Recycle Upcycle

The project looks at retrofitting the existing Education Building in Monash Clayton, and aims to enable the building to play its part as part of the campus system by diverting organic waste produced by both Monash and wider Clayton away from the landfill, whilst continuing to provide quality education and learning environments. Besides reducing the amount of waste sent to the landfill, it also raises awareness about the rubbish problem Monash currently has.

Design Strategies

My refurbishment looks to open up the existing building, increase its total usable floor area, and implement sustainable processes in its operation, all whilst reducing the amount of waste sent to the landfill using the basement bio-digester. It also investigates reusing as many existing structural elements as possible to reduce the amount of construction waste generated, at the same time reducing the amount of embodied carbon found in using newer materials.

Connecting Systems

My waste strategy revolves around first collecting waste from around campus and wider clayton, then sorting it on site. After it is sorted, it is taken to the store, where it awaits the commencement of the treatment process. Due to the immense volume of waste from wider Clayton, I am proposing that Clayton's rubbish, however, be sorted and stored off site and brought to the building upon coordination. When ready, the waste is funnelled into a pre-treatment tank, where it is mixed into a sludge. It then passes into digesters where it is broken down to produce biogas. Finally this gas is converted into usable electricity via a generator.

Exhibition/Study Hall

The ground floor has been opened up to become a double height space, with large areas able to transition between group discussion areas and exhibition areas. The large windows along the façade allow natural light to flood the lower levels, the high ceiling allowing heat to dissipate and travel up the connecting atrium and out the building.

The façade will also be retrofitted by re-using both the existing façade and masonry bricks, while retaining many of the original structural elements. All this provides additional floor area and improves the thermal seal whilst recycling the bricks not needed in the original building anymore.


In order to make all the teaching and learning aspects of the building entirely walkable and accessible, a feature staircase welcoming students into the building from the front was added. The atrium allows fresh air and natural light deep into the building, the operable louvres overhead controlling the ambient temperature.

With Monash’s goals to achieve its ambitious target of Net Zero emissions by 2030, how we build and use the campus must change. Everyone, from the construction and design process to the eventual everyday user of the building, has a role to play in the decarbonisation of our campus. No one is too large or too small to make a change.
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