The Woodside Building for Technology and Design, Australia

Aurecon is engineering one of the most efficient and innovative teaching buildings of its type in the world

A new landmark building – The Woodside Building for Technology and Design – will be created in Melbourne where Monash University students and researchers can embrace innovation, design and cutting-edge technology to develop new solutions in sustainable energy.

Aurecon’s integrated design approach is helping bring to life this innovative teaching building. Engineering services include structural, civil, electrical (LV and HV), mechanical engineering, hydraulics, fire protection, environmentally sustainable design (ESD), acoustics, wind and façade engineering. Aurecon is creating this building with project partners Lendlease and Grimshaw Architects, whose fundamental design principles and detailed design of the project is enabling it to achieve Passive House, in line with the University’s continued commitment to education innovation.

The application of Passive House building standards and the design of the building as a living laboratory is defining next practice in building design, teaching and learning practices. It will allow students and researchers to explore new energy possibilities to solve tomorrow's questions for the good of current and future generations.

The building will house many learning spaces, including an interactive tiered collaborative space that can accommodate 360 people.

Applying Passive House building standards

Monash University has adopted the Passive House standard to guide the sustainable design and performance for various project sizes and typologies, including for The Woodside Building for Technology and Design. To date, Monash University has, and still is, delivering the largest Passive House projects in Australia.

Passive House is a voluntary but internationally-recognised building standard which dares to demand higher thermal comfort, increased energy efficiency and lower energy costs from buildings.

The Woodside Building for Technology and Design will provide significant sustainability benefits, including:

  • Drastically reduced energy demands and subsequent operating costs
  • High thermal comfort and quality of occupant experience
  • High indoor air quality, health and well-being
  • Balanced heat and moisture recovery ventilation
  • Continuous insulation around the building envelope

Application of the Passive House standard meets Monash University’s commitment to environmentally-friendly buildings as part of its Monash Net Zero Strategy.

Bringing to life a living laboratory

A living laboratory can be described as an innovation network based on the philosophy of open innovation. In the Woodside Building for Technology and Design, those who visually see within the building will have the ability to learn from its physical design and building services.

Visual access to plant rooms through glazed windows will provide an insight into the role of different components of plant equipment, and some areas of the raised floor will be laminated glass with LED back lighting for students to see how the mechanical, electrical and hydraulic services function.

Structural steelwork and exposed piles will include sensors that show how stresses and vibrations on structural elements change in different load conditions and temperatures.

The building will become a part of the educational pedagogy for formal and informal learning. Its performance data on structure and building services will be available to students and researchers for research purposes.

Buildings that are truly inspired for the future demonstrate an understanding that the physical environment is not stagnant. The Woodside Building for Technology and Design will be fluid and dynamic, flexible in its design and adaptable to future uses. It will deliver a transformative educational experience for students, academics, researchers and industry collaborators to learn and innovate.

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