Gillies Hall, the new 150-bed residential accommodation complex on Monash University’s Peninsula campus, was awarded Gold at the 2019 Melbourne Design Awards.

Named after Monash alumnus and prominent Australian political satirist, actor and director Dr Max Gillies AM, Gillies Hall was recognised in the ‘Architecture - Multi Residential - Constructed’ category for its design process and delivery of a space that reflects technical, social and aesthetic considerations.

The building was officially opened by Gillies and Monash University’s vice chancellor and president Margaret Gardner recently.

Designed by Jackson Clements Burrows, Gillies Hall provides residents with a range of modern, high quality and sustainable living spaces, and also sets a new benchmark for sustainable design and construction.

The cross-laminated timber (CLT) structure is expected to have halved the carbon emissions associated with construction relative to a concrete structure, and will remain as a carbon store for the life of the building. The project is also the first large scale building in Australia to achieve Passive House certification, with the complex expected to be over three times more energy efficient than existing residential halls.

Aligned with the University’s Net Zero initiative, the new residential accommodation combines rooftop solar panels and all-electric building services to be able to be 100 percent renewable powered through Monash’s power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Murra Warra wind farm. In addition to a rainwater harvesting tank, the complex also features a water sensitive urban design that manages stormwater flows during high rain events and connects into the natural waterways of the campus.

Observing that the new accommodation will have long-lasting benefits for the University and the broader community, Professor David Copolov, pro vice-chancellor (Major Campuses and Student Engagement), said, “As well as providing an outstanding quality of accommodation to its residents, Gillies Hall is integral to Monash’s expanding role in the region, and is emblematic of the emphasis we are placing on the campus contributing significantly to the University’s development plans.

“Gillies Hall is one of the key components that underpin our goal to establish Peninsula campus as Australia’s leading centre of allied health and primary care education and research, and more broadly of Monash enhancing its status as a university of choice of domestic and international students.

“Our expansion allows for a deeper contribution to and engagement with the local community and employers in delivering substantial economic, social and cultural benefits to the region.”

Monash University’s David Suder, deputy executive director (Buildings and Property), said: “Monash is delighted to accept this award – we’re particularly proud of the pioneering design agendas on show in Gillies Hall, focusing on students’ needs, yielding many environmental benefits and acting as a barometer and a testing ground for future construction projects at the University.”