Community-focused and constructed with cross-laminated timber, Gillies Hall at Monash University perfectly marries student life with sustainability.
Located just outside Melbourne, Monash University’s Peninsula Campus is a widely respected research facility specializing in early childhood education, physiotherapy, and nursing, and is home to 4,000 students during the school year. The grounds feature brick buildings, eucalyptus trees with rusty red blossoms, and Gillies Hall, a nearly 70,000-square-foot student residence that happens to be the largest Passive House certified building in the Southern Hemisphere.
“We started working with Monash in 2012 and completed Turner Hall, a student residence, which met the Australian green standards,” says architect Simon Topliss of Jackson Clements Burrows. “We won this project in May of 2017, and Monash was interested in exploring Passive House certification (PCH), a rigorous standard for energy efficiency, and cross-laminated timber (CLT), which required a large learning curve because only three or four projects of this scale in Australia had ever used that material before.”
The goal was to have the new building open by February of 2019, an ambitious timeline. The team got to work on creating a structure that would not only meet the needs of Monash students, but also be supremely eco-friendly.
“PCH is very new to Australia,” Topliss says. “There were some small residential buildings in Melbourne, but nothing yet of this size. The standards changed the way we thought from the very beginning.”
See the full story on Dwell.com: The Student Dorms in Australia’s Largest Passive House Building Are Surprisingly Swank
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