Gillies Hall, the new student accommodation building constructed by Multiplex for Monash University on their Peninsula campus in Frankston, has achieved Passive House certification.

Featuring a cross-laminated timber (CLT) construction, Gillies Hall not only sets a new benchmark for sustainable design and construction, but is also the first large scale building in the southern hemisphere to achieve Passive House certification.

Designed by Jackson Clements Burrows architects, and completed by Multiplex in March 2019, Gillies Hall comprises of 150 single occupancy units set over six levels and also includes communal kitchens and games rooms, covering a total floor area of 6,000sqm.

The building was certified following a collaborative process with ESD consultants, AECOM, and registered Passive House certifier, GRUN Consulting to demonstrate the building’s compliance with strict Passive House standards.

Required to achieve an air leakage rate of 0.6 air changes per hour for the building envelope, the team achieved an impressive rate of 0.53 signifying a very airtight building. Gillies Hall is Multiplex’s first CLT project.

ESD was a key driver for the project’s Passive House certification. Gillies Hall is 100 percent powered by renewable energy in line with the University’s Net Zero carbon emissions strategy, enabled by the combination of rooftop solar panels, an all-electric design and Monash’s power purchase agreement with Murra Warra wind farm.

In addition to a rainwater harvesting tank, green features at Gillies Hall include a water sensitive urban design that uses a landscaped dry-creek bed to manage stormwater flows during high rain events and connect into the natural waterways of the campus.

“Gillies Hall will deliver an outstanding experience for its residents through a high quality thermal indoor environment and plays a significant part in the University’s Net Zero initiative through its all-electric design.

The building is a key component of the University’s vision to develop the Peninsula campus into a vibrant and integrated health and education precinct,” said Bradley Williamson, Executive Director of Buildings and Property Division, Monash University.

“We are thrilled to achieve Passive House certification on this progressive and highly sustainable student accommodation. 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,” said Graham Cottam, Regional Managing Director Multiplex Victoria.