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Tue December 05 2023

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Multiplex project becomes Australia’s largest Passive House

16 May 19 Monash University’s new Gillies Hall – which has been built by Multiplex – has become the first major building in the southern hemisphere to achieve Passive House certification.

Australia’s largest Passive House building is located on Monash University’s Peninsula campus in Frankston, Melbourne. The Passive House - Passivhaus - standard is designed to ensure that buildings energy efficient, comfortable and affordable at the same time.

The new student accommodation complex comprises 150 single occupancy units set over six levels and was completed by Multiplex in March. The certification was issued by the Passive House Institute in Germany after a collaborative process with consultant Aecom and registered Passive House certifier Grun Consulting to demonstrate the building’s compliance with the environmental assessment scheme’s standards. The project was designed by architect Jackson Clements Burrows.

The student accommodation is over three times more efficient than existing residential halls within Monash University, according to Multiplex. “We are thrilled to achieve Passive House certification on this progressive and highly-sustainable student accommodation,” said Graham Cottam, regional managing director Multiplex Victoria. “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.”

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The project was Multiplex’s first foray 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.

Gillies Hall is 100% powered by renewable energy in line with the university’s net zero carbon emissions strategy. This was enabled with the combination of rooftop solar panels, an all-electric design and Monash’s power purchase agreement with Murra Warra wind farm.

Other features include a rainwater harvesting tank and water-sensitive urban design, notably the creation of a landscaped dry-creek bed that provides additional opportunities for recreation and to manage stormwater flows and connect into the natural waterways of the campus.

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