A new student accommodation complex is the first large scale building in the southern hemisphere to achieve Passive House certification.
A Passive House is a building that is energy efficient, comfortable, affordable and environmentally friendly. According to Passive House Australia, they allow for energy savings of up to 90 per cent compared with typical buildings, are insulated with special windows and a building shell, and include a ventilation system that consistently supplies fresh air without causing unpleasant draughts.
Monash University partnered with construction company Multiplex to build Gillies Hall, which is made up of 150 single occupancy units across six levels.
The building was completed in March 2019 and is more than three times more efficient than existing resident halls within Monash University.
It was certified by the Passive House Institute in Germany, after a collaborative process with ecologically sustainable development (ESD) consultants AECOM and Passive House certifier GRUN Consulting.
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The project was Multiplex’s first which involved cross-laminated timber construction, which has the capacity to halve the embodied carbon in the building relative to a concrete structure.
Multiplex Victoria Regional Managing Director Graham Cottam said the company was thrilled to achieve the certification.
“Together with Monash University, we have set a new industry standard for environmentally sustainable construction, and we look forward to working towards the prestigious Passive House standard on future projects,” Cottam said.
Gillies Hall is completely powered by renewable energy from solar panels and a power purchase agreement with Murra Murra wind farm, as part of Monash University’s net zero carbon emissions strategy.
Monash University Executive Director, Buildings and Property Division Bradley Williamson said Gilles Hall will enhance the university’s status for domestic and international students.
“Gillies Hall will deliver an outstanding experience for its residents through a high quality thermal indoor environment, and plays a significant part in the University’s Net Zero initiative through its all electric design,” Williamson said.
“The building is a key component of the University’s vision to develop the Peninsula campus into a vibrant and integrated health and education precinct.”