Monash University Gillies Hall

Gillies Hall

Accommodating 150 fully-furnished studio apartments and common spaces built over 6 levels, Gillies Hall is the newest sustainable on-campus student accommodation in Monash University’s Peninsula campus located in Frankston, Victoria.

Built by Multiplex and designed by Jackson Clements Burrows Architects in collaboration with AECOM for building services, the building was constructed to reflect the surrounding environment, minimize energy consumption and carbon footprint, and encourage communal life at the campus.

The structure is composed of two connected volumes, allowing each floor to be divided into two wings. To maximize interaction between residents, each wing was designed to mimic a village-like atmosphere composed of 15 apartments with a shared lounge and kitchen, instead of a usual hotel-like double-loaded corridor. In addition, the ground floor features a range of communal spaces including common rooms, a games room, and a music room.

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Built for sustainability

Video credit: Bison United

In line with Monash University’s commitment to achieving net zero emissions by 2030 through its Net Zero Initiative project, Gillies Hall is set to be the university’s most environment-friendly building to date and is expected to be at least three times more efficient than its other student accommodation buildings. It is also Australia’s largest building built to passive house standards, occupying a gross internal floor area of 5,185 square meters. This has been certified by Grün Consulting in accordance with Passive House Institute’s criteria for heating load, heating demand, airtightness, and renewable primary energy.

The sustainable approach has been embodied not only in the building operations but also during the planning and construction of the project. The main building material used, for example, is modular cross-laminated timber (CLT)— a renewable material that offers up to 40% reduction in carbon footprint compared to steel and concrete. Since it is modular and prefabricated, it has also allowed fast delivery of the project within just 20 months with Early Contractors' Involvement.

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CLT is essentially made of wood which makes it an excellent choice to create a natural vibe for the building and establish a harmonious relationship with the surrounding native landscape. This is further accentuated by the inclusion of a rainwater harvesting system and a landscaped dry-creek bed intended to provide additional spaces for recreation, facilitate stormwater during heavy rain, and link the natural waterways of the campus.

To reduce the cooling demand, each apartment has been equipped with double-glazed high-performance windows and the whole building facade has been airtight cladded in brick-colored exoskeleton screen— designed not only to enhance appearance but also to optimise daylight access and take the heat off the building. This is aided by a heat-recovery ventilation system that recovers internal heat gains via cross-flow exchangers.

Because of these passive house features, Gillies Hall was able to reduce its heat load and primary energy demand down to 11W/m² and 61 kWh/m²a, respectively. This energy demand is primarily supplied by a 60-kWp solar photovoltaic system installed on the roof, with the remaining need supplied by renewable wind energy procured through Monash University’s power purchase agreement with Murra Warra wind farm.

With these initiatives, Gillies Hall is setting a new benchmark in sustainable development and is demonstrating how electrification is indeed the key to sustainability in the built environment. See: The Importance of Electrification in the Sustainable Built Environment

Image credits: Monash University

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Electric-powered sustainable heating and cooling

Recently supplied by Automatic Heating, the heat pump system at Monash University's Gillies Hall provides improved heating and cooling and more comfortable conditions for the student apartments. The electric-powered Revere CHE Series Air-to-Water Heat Pump is a system which uses R290 natural refrigerant— a non-toxic hydrocarbon refrigerant that has a zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) and a global warming potential (GWP) equal to 3.

Revere CHE is highly efficient and equipped with advanced DC Inverter technology, capable of supplying hot water temperatures up to 70°C. The system also features a 5-inch smart display controller with precision temperature control and various functions.

Consistent with Monash University’s vision of helping create cities that use net zero energy by transforming its campuses into sustainable living laboratories, the electric-powered heat pump system provided by Automatic Heating allows Gillies Hall to operate free from fossil fuels. As a testament to the building’s success in creating a sustainable environment, Gillies Hall was awarded the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Award for Built Environment, the Gold Medal for the 2019 Melbourne Design Awards, and the Facilities Innovation Award from the AFR Higher Education Award 2019, among others.

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Project Images

Key Products

Revere CHE Series Air to Water Heat Pump Advantages

Water Temperature up to 70°C
Thanks to the new technology and the low GWP refrigerant, this Revere Heat Pump features a wide operating temperature range and high water temperature.

Low Global Warming Potential
The natural refrigerant used in this heat pump has a GWP=3 which is significantly lower than the refrigerants widely used today, such as R410a, R32 and R454B.

The Revere® Heat Pump suits a wide variety of applications, including space heating, pool heating and domestic hot water production for residential, commercial and industrial projects.

DC Inverter Technology
DC inverter technology allows for precise adjustments in output and compressor speed, resulting in energy efficiency, consistent comfort, and a quiet indoor environment.