Sustainable buildings

The University has over $100 million in new building investment at Mt Helen, SMB and Horsham campuses. Below are some of the sustainability features of three buildings.

Science and Engineering

The Science and Engineering building is a $53 million project at Mt Helen Campus. The building is the largest University building (8,651 m2) and some energy saving features will be a first for regional Victoria.


  • Orientation of building is north, minimal windows facing east and west
  • Window shading to allow winter sun and prevent summer sun
  • Exposed thermal mass
  • Natural light in all rooms
  • Air intake will pass air through a Gabion wall (see picture below). The Gabion wall is a 4 metre thick wall of rock contained in wire cages. Rock temperature is more stable than air temperature so passing air through the gabion wall will pre heat the air in winter and pre-cool the air in summer. The Gabion walls ability to condition the air before entering the heating and cooling system will improve efficiency and reduce costs.
  • Hydronic heating (natural gas)
  • Double glazing
  • Chiller beams for cooling
  • Low energy lighting (T5)
  • Movement sensors in all offices, rooms and hallways
  • Stormwater harvesting
  • Carbon dioxide monitoring


SEP gabion wall


Presentation on features of Science & Engineering (pdf, 1.5mb)

Manufacturing Technology Training Centre/Federation College

The MTTC building will accommodate technical education and manufacturing students. The $28 million construction is 6,227 m2 in size and houses a number of Ecological Sustainable Design (ESD) features.

The building will be predominately heated and cooled by a 'Water to Water Geo-exchange system'. The building incorporates an under-floor slab system for the water to flow through plus roof-mounted solar collectors. The solar collectors will use the sun to heat the water in winter and cool the water in summer (overnight cooling). This method is more efficient than heating and cooling with air as water temperature is relatively stable whereas air temperature fluctuates and uses more energy in extreme temperatures.

The photo below is one of the two water storage tanks constructed under the building.  Millions of litres of water will be stored and used to heat and cool occupants throughout the year.


Primary Industries Training Centre (PITC)

Primary Industries Training Centre buildingLocated in Gillies St, Ballarat this site is used predominately for horticulture, primary industries and sustainability education. The building was officially opened late in 2010 and incorporates many sustainable features. The building has now been operating for 3 years and our analysis has shown this building to be the most efficient for energy and water consumption.

You can find out more information about the PITC building by reading the: