The Buchan Group have delivered a massive car park fit with solar panels and a wind turbine at Griffith University’s Gold Coast campus to cater to the growing staff, student and visitor population.

Built on the south side of Smith Street, adjacent to the Griffith University International Building and the Griffith University Village, the new $25.5 million sustainable car park building provides more than 1100 undercover car parks. The final design also features approximately 200 solar panels and a wind turbine, generating electricity to run the car park, including its high efficiency light fittings, and offset other nearby buildings.

The Buchan Group was appointed by Griffith University through a design and construct tender process to design the project with the brief specifying a car park to accommodate at least 1000 cars and the flexibility to increase the height by two storeys at a later date. The University also sought minimal disturbance to the site when building the car park.


The Buchan Group Director Brett Saville explains that the layout was kept very simple with clearly signed entry points and gentle gradients ensuring ease of access for users, many of whom were inexperienced drivers, and not familiar with the Gold Coast.

According to Saville, the colourful facade was designed within extremely tight time and budget constraints with the colours mirroring the Griffith University masterplan’s colour palette. This facade has since been replicated on other existing multi-deck car parks at the University.

A key objective of the 20,000-square-metre three-storey car park was to reduce traffic in nearby suburban streets as well as on University Drive, thereby providing a safer environment for local schools and residents. He said the car park was an essential piece of local transport infrastructure with a range of other major projects already underway in the area. During the construction of the car park, Smith Street and Olsen Avenue, adjacent to the Griffith boundary, were being upgraded, and the Gold Coast Light Rail began operation, which has two stations directly serving the Griffith campus.


Judges at the Australian Institute of Architects 2016 Gold Coast/Northern Rivers Regional Architecture Awards noted that the carpark was “simple, robust and detailed with abundant care”.

According to the judges, “A generous layout with wide aisles and gentle ramps responds well to the needs of university community. Colourful angled battens reinforce the identity of the University’s brand whilst providing reference to the surrounding bushland. The project has resulted in a successful, economical outcome that exceeded the client’s brief.”