ACU (Australian Catholic University)


Issue 5, Winter 2012

Star-studded rating for sustainable design


Harvesting rainwater from its roof and fitted out with water saving appliances, low energy lights and an extremely energy efficient heating and cooling system, Margie Dimech takes us on a tour of ACU’s 6 Star Design awarded Daniel Mannix Building 

Australian Catholic University’s (ACU) new Daniel Mannix Building has been awarded the maximum 6 Star Green Star* – Education Design v1 Certified rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.

ACU Sustainability Coordinator Mark Doggett said, compared to a conventional building of its size and purpose, The Daniel Mannix Building will annually generate 55 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce water consumption by more than half a million litres.

“Harvesting rainwater from its roof, the building will have the capacity to store up to 80,000 litres in an underground tank,” he said. “It will also be fitted out with water saving appliances, low-energy lights and an extremely energy efficient heating and cooling system.”

“It will be the first building in Fitzroy to use wind power, generating energy through the large turbines mounted on its roof.

“The architectural design of The Daniel Mannix Building will also encourage the use of sustainable transport in the local community – promoting cycling, walking and public transport, providing space for more than 170 bikes, along with shower and change facilities for staff and students – and is located near bus, tram, and train services and many walking paths.

As well as promoting a healthy lifestyle, The Daniel Mannix Building will help create a feeling of wellbeing for ACU staff and students.

“Floor-to-ceiling windows will bring abundant natural light to every floor, circulating 100 per cent fresh air throughout the building,” Mark said.

“Paint, carpet and furniture will emit very
few or zero volatile organic compounds which are hazardous to human health yet present in large amounts in the majority of conventional buildings.”

Chris Sheargold, Associate Vice-Chancellor for the Melbourne Campus, said ACU is building one of the finest tertiary education buildings in Australia and certainly one of the best buildings in the Fitzroy precinct.

“The Daniel Mannix Building will enable ACU to continue its rapid expansion in nursing, paramedicine, midwifery, exercise science, occupational therapy and psychology – as well as greatly increase research capacity in those areas,” he said.

The Daniel Mannix Building is due for full occupation by the end of 2012, and will comprise a 300-seat lecture theatre, state-of- the-art specialist learning facilities in the Health Sciences and Psychology, as well as a fitness centre, chapel, student centre and rooftop garden.

The project includes the St Mary of the Cross Square which will have a 50 metre frontage onto Brunswick street.

The $75 million project is a pivotal part of development plan of the University’s Melbourne Campus, which involves a significant expansion to accommodate new teaching and learning spaces.

Construction work on recently-acquired buildings along 32 to 36 Brunswick Street has begun and this looks set for occupation in 2013 as an Early Childhood Centre and expansion of visual arts facilities.

Completed projects on the Melbourne Campus include: the restoration of Brunswick Street lecture theatre, Central Hall and the Vice-Chancellery, Drake House. A $100 million project, involving the refurbishment of the current main building – 115 Victoria Parade – and construction of a 10-storey building on the corner of Brunswick Street and Victoria Parade, has also been proposed as part of the master plan for ACU’s largest campus.

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