Leading global construction company, Multiplex, and Monash University have set a new benchmark for sustainable design and construction, receiving Passive House certification on a new student accommodation complex at Monash’s Peninsula campus in Frankston.
Passive House is the world’s leading standard in performance-based energy-efficient construction and requires comprehensive planning with professionally calculated energy balance.
Passive House design focuses on occupant comfort, health and performance-based buildings where ultra-low energy use reduces operating energy costs, making the building more economical and sustainable.
Gillies Hall is the first large scale building in the southern hemisphere to achieve Passive House certification – leading the way in the industry for the Passive House standard.
Designed by high-profile architects, Jackson Clements Burrows, the building comprises 150 single occupancy units set over six levels and features communal kitchens, games rooms and principle apartments with a total floor area of 6,000 square metres.
Construction on Gillies Hall was completed in March 2019.
The accommodation complex is now 100 per cent powered by renewable energy in line with the University’s net zero carbon emissions strategy.
This was enabled thanks to the combination of rooftop solar panels, an all-electric design and Monash’s power purchase agreement with Murra Warra wind farm.
Gillies Hall also includes a rainwater harvesting tank and water sensitive urban design, notably the creation of a landscaped dry-creek bed that provides additional opportunities for recreation, manage stormwater flows during high rain events and connect into the natural waterways of the campus.
Regional Managing Director for Multiplex Victoria, Graham Cottam, said that the team was thrilled to achieve Passive House certification on this progressive and highly-sustainable student accommodation.
“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,” he said.
The certification was issued by the Passive House Institute in Germany after a collaborative process with ESD consultants, AECOM, and registered Passive House certifier, GRUN Consulting, to demonstrate the building’s compliance with strict Passive House standards.
Multiplex detailed that one challenging element in achieving the certification was the requirement to achieve an air leakage rate for the building envelope of 0.6 air changes per hour.
The team achieved an impressive rate of 0.53 signifying a very airtight building, creating a highly efficient space to maintain a constant temperature throughout the year.
The project was also Multiplex’s first venture into cross-laminated timber construction (CLT).
The use of CLT has the capacity to halve the embodied carbon in the building relative to a concrete structure.
Executive Director of Buildings and Property Division at Monash University, Bradley Williamson, thinks that Gillies Hall will deliver an outstanding experience for its residents through a high quality thermal indoor environment and will play a significant part in the University’s Net Zero initiative through its all-electric design.
“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,” Mr Williamson commented.