Monash University recognised as passive house pioneer

30 Research Way

Monash University is leading the charge in passive house design, after being nominated in three separate building sustainability awards for the transformation of a 1960s warehouse on the Clayton campus.

Monash is a finalist in the Premier's Sustainability Awards (Built Environment category), the Green Gown Awards (Built Environment category) and the Architecture and Design Sustainability Awards (Large Commercial category) for the renovation of 30 Research Way into an energy efficient, vibrant and comfortable open office space, which is close to achieving net zero carbon.

Manager of Engineering and Sustainability, Dr Robin Brimblecombe, from the University’s Buildings and Property Division said he was thrilled to see Monash recognised for its leading approach to sustainable building design.

“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 said.

Monash is committed to achieving internationally recognised sustainable building certifications across its campuses which feature nine 5 and 6 Green Star certified buildings. This aligns with the University’s Environmental Sustainability Policy and commitment to embedding sustainability principles across all infrastructure and development projects.

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

McGlashan Everist Architects piloted the Passive House design principles during renovation of the warehouse. 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,” Dr Brimblecombe said.

“The building is super-insulated, airtight and uses a heat recovery ventilation system to ensure optimal indoor temperatures during Melbourne’s fluctuating weather. A 70 kWp rooftop solar array generates almost 70 per cent 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,” he said.

Sustainability Victoria Chief Executive Stan Krpan congratulated the University’s Buildings and Property Division on their great work in reducing the impacts of climate change and building a more sustainable environment in Victoria.

“Delivering the Premier’s Sustainability Awards each year means we continue to discover the talent and enthusiasm Victorians have for protecting their environment and thinking creatively about new sustainable business models. These awards represent Victoria’s highest recognition for sustainability and acknowledge leadership, innovation, and achievement. Each finalist should be congratulated for improving sustainable outcomes across business, government and within the community," Mr Krpan said.

Awards summary:

  • Finalist in Architecture and Design Sustainability Awards (Large Commercial category), with winners to be announced 13 October
  • Finalist in Premier's Sustainability Awards (Built Environment category), with winners to be announced 20 October
  • Finalist in Green Gown Awards (Built Environment category), with winners to be announced 3 November