Monash Chancellery, Australia

This building is a beacon of Australia’s leading building projects in the energy efficiency and high-performance space.

Melbourne, Australia-based Monash University has developed the Monash Net Zero Strategy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. A key part of this is a commitment to deliver all new buildings to a high-performance standard, from both an energy efficiency and occupancy comfort perspective.

With a long-established tradition in providing excellence in education, Monash University envisions its new Chancellery building as a transformative structure, uniquely designed in partnership with ARM Architecture, and inspired by Passive House principles.

To deliver this bespoke, high-performance building, Aurecon was engaged by the University to provide building services including mechanical, electrical, hydraulic, fire protection, and vertical transport, as well as environmentally sustainable design (ESD), including Passive House consultancy.

Passive House

Passive House is an integrated design process and holistic construction certification standard characterised by five design principles and performance criteria, which ensure a design delivers a very high performance and comfort for the lifetime of the building. A passive-house building will be designed in accordance with building-science principles governing thermal insulation, high-performance windows, mechanical ventilation heat recovery, airtightness, and thermal bridge-free construction.

Located at the forefront of Monash University’s campus at Clayton, Victoria, the Chancellery building will provide a modern flexible workplace for the University’s executive team, doubling as a celebratory event venue for hosting distinguished guests and visitors. The 10 000 m2 building will comprise a single basement level for car parking, ground-level event spaces, two levels of office space, and a third level to house the University executive.

Designed to Passive House principles, the building aims to provide significant performance benefits, including drastically reduced energy demands and subsequent costs; high thermal comfort and quality of occupant experience; high indoor air quality, health and well-being; and resilient, adaptive and future-ready features.

Comfort vs. high performance

Delivering thermal comfort to a building, while ensuring high performance from an energy perspective, is challenging. To achieve this balance, Aurecon’s project team designed an out-of-the-box solution which is unique in Australia. The team also used a custom Aurecon Design Wave and Methodology to guide the project’s ongoing collaboration and focus on innovation. Key stakeholders were heavily involved in the decision-making process and idea sessions, including engagement through numerous workshops, meetings and other collaborative sessions. To ensure best-value outcomes, Aurecon successfully completed:

  • A customised 90-day plan, outlining the project team’s commitments to Monash University
  • Workshop sessions with project disciplines and key stakeholders
  • Integration and design of key aspirations, including Passive House aspiration and a low energy, carbon-neutral building
  • Building a global connection with the Passive House Institute in Germany
  • Providing life-cycle cost advice

The building has been designed in accordance with the Monash University Eco-Accord, a design tool containing the University’s built environment aspirations.

It is through this unique design, which strikes the strategic balance between functionality and flexibility, that the Monash Chancellery building is a beacon of Australia’s leading building projects in the energy efficiency and high-performance space.

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