In a first for regional NSW, the University of Newcastle’s Q Building has achieved a 6 Star Green Star Design and As Built certified rating.
It’s the highest honour awarded by Green Star, which is “an internationally-recognised rating system setting the standard for healthy, resilient, positive buildings and places”.
Founded by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) in 2003, the certification confirms the $25 million premises, which opened in June as the first stage of the uni’s new Honeysuckle City Campus, is more than just a creative and entrepreneurial hub in the city.
Although home to the School of Humanities, Creative Industries and Social Sciences (HCISS) and Integrated Innovation Network (I2N), it’s also a signpost and an aspiration for the university, the city and the region’s sustainable future.
“This is a wonderful achievement for our university,” Vice Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky said.
“It shows our commitment to sustainability and is evidence we are embedding the UN Sustainable Development Goals, focusing on energy and carbon use, and waste and recycling.
“As an institution, we had set out to achieve a new build being 6 Star certified by 2025.
“So, the Q Building puts us well in advance of the targets in our Environmental Sustainability Plan.
“From here on, all new university buildings will be designed and built for a 6 Star Design and As Built rating, which is a significant step on the road toward the uni being carbon neutral by 2025.
“While we are proud of the building’s world-leading status, many of the initiatives that were central to achieving the plaudit are considered ‘business as usual’ for us.”
The Design and As Built rating is recognition the Q Building not only began its life as a good design, it followed through on that during the construction process, resulting in a project that is set to continue as sustainable throughout its operations.
“The University of Newcastle’s Q Building is a brilliant, world-leading example of how Green Star can be applied within the education sector and is testimony to the uni’s commitment to sustainability,” GBCA CEO Davina Rooney said.
“This is the first certified 6 Star Green Star Design and As Built project in regional NSW.
“With innovation at its core from the outset, it certainly sets the benchmark for future developments of this kind.”
Classes at Q Building will start in Semester 1 – just a few short weeks away – although some HCISS activities are already underway while I2N is also operating on Level 3.
The rating is an important milestone for Q Building, a funding partnership between the NSW Government, the university and the City of Newcastle’s Hunter Innovation Project.
“This certification is a true reflection of the modern Hunter, a region that is living up to its global potential,” Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Taylor Martin said.
Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said this impressive accolade was a testament to the University of Newcastle in leading the city in best-practice sustainable development.
“Council congratulates the uni on delivering a state-of-the-art building that exceeds environmental standards,” she stated.
“Our City’s Climate Action Plan (2021-2025) sets out a roadmap for achieving emission reduction to support a future net-zero emission Newcastle.
“It is great to see another Newcastle institution committed to sustainability and sharing City of Newcastle’s vision for being known as a liveable, sustainable, inclusive global city.”
The Q Building is expected to be officially opened later this year.
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