October 1, 2012

Project: Monash University in Melbourne, Australia

The new housing for 600 students at Melbourne’s Monash University has set a new standard: the two five-story buildings are the first multi-unit residences in the country to achieve a Green Star rating for sustainable construction. “Monash University has demonstrated that sustainability is something that can be affordable and achievable, even on a modest budget,” says Romilly Madew, Chief Executive of the Green Building Council of Australia.

The Briggs and Jackomos residence halls offer students low-cost housing funded through the National Rental and Affordability Scheme, designed to encourage major investment in affordable housing, and are the first Australian university residences to do so.

How green are they? Sustainable materials – modular and pre-fabricated, when possible – were used throughout, to minimize environmental impact. There’s a graywater treatment facility, a 150,000-litre water storage facility, and a 153-watt photovoltaic system (the largest solar installation at an Australian residence). Trickle ventilators bring fresh, outside air in. There’s also a garden, and orchards, so students can cultivate their own food.

The university currently has two new laboratory buildings in the works, and will seek Green Star Design and As Built ratings for both.

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