Building sustainable spaces to educate

  •   25 August 2021

If education is non-negotiable, then amenity-filled education facilities are paramount to one’s learning. Sustainable world-class education and research facilities, therefore, are a practical, modern solution to the complex challenges of education that will allow young minds to flourish and grow.

The 2021 Sustainability Awards sees the category of Education & Research return for another year. As a mainstay of the award categories, those who create sustainable Education & Research facilities should certainly be rewarded for their efforts to combine learning with first rate sustainable design.

Education & Research requires an architectural practice or designer to submit a design, from the last 12 months, for a child care centre, preschool, primary, secondary or tertiary educational facility or a facility where an educational institution is a partner. The nominees are judged not only for their sustainable materials and characteristics, but their ability to allow for unique education and/or research to be undertaken easily within the confines of the building in question.

The 2020 edition of the Sustainability Awards saw Grimshaw Architects as winner of the category with its design for the Monash Woodside Building for Technology and Design. Designed to accommodate the faculties of Engineering and Information Technology at the Monash University’s Clayton Campus – the building is the largest Passivhaus Building this side of the equator.

Hosting 750 staff and students over five levels, the 23,000 square metre building is a framed modular steel structure comprised of three elements, spanning 12-metres for the ‘design build studios’ and co-lab spaces, 24-metres for flat floor and tiered learning spaces below and the academic and research above, and 6-metres for the informal collaboration.

The lower three levels accommodate 30 different modular learning spaces of varying dimensions, enabling an array of visually and spatially interconnected volumes that are orientated to sunlight and views, further activating the landscaped public realm of the campus.

The building has been designed as a ‘living laboratory’, and as a result, has set the bar extremely high for the winner of the 2021 award.

Alspec is the Category Sponsor for Education & Research for 2021. An Australian owned company, renowned for designing, developing and testing reliable aluminium systems, hardware and accessories for industrial and residential projects, Alspec recognises that environmental conservation is one of the important issues of the Australian community. It understands the importance of maintaining a high standard of environmental care in conducting its activities, and commits to minimising pollution and contributing towards a sustainable future by operating its facilities in a manner that reaches a balance between environmental, technical, economic and social objectives.

The winner of the Education & Research category for the 2021 Sustainability Awards will be announced in Sydney on November 11. For more info, click here.

This article is brought to you in association with Alspec, Proud Sponsors of the Education & Research category at the 2021 Sustainability Awards.