The University of Newcastle’s Q Building has become the first building in regional NSW to achieve a 6 Star Green Star ‘Design and As Built’ certified rating.
A world-leading status, this is the highest rating 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 that the $25 million building, which opened in June as the first stage of the University’s new Honeysuckle City Campus, is more than just a creative and entrepreneurial hub in the city – the School of Humanities, Creative Industries and Social Sciences (HCISS) and Integrated Innovation Network (I2N) call it home – it’s a signpost and an aspiration for the University, the city and the region’s sustainable future.
“This is a wonderful achievement for our University – 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,” said Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky.
“As an institution, we had set out to achieve a new build being 6 Star certified by 2025, so 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 6 Star ‘Design and As Built’ rating, which is a significant step on the road toward the University 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 6 Star rating are considered ‘business as usual’ for us.”
As outlined by Green Star, this ‘Design and As Built’ rating is recognition that Q Building not only began its life as a good design, it followed through on that design 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 University’s commitment to sustainability,” said Davina Rooney, CEO of GBCA.
“This is the first certified 6-star Green Star – Design and As Built project in regional NSW and 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, and 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 and delivered under the NSW Government’s shovel-ready capital project fast-track initiative in 2020.
“This world-leading certification is a true reflection of the modern Hunter, a region that is living up to its global potential,” said Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter, Taylor Martin.
Newcastle Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said this impressive accolade is a testament to the University of Newcastle in leading the city in best-practice sustainable development.
“City of Newcastle congratulates the University of Newcastle in leading sustainable construction in our city and delivering a state-of-the-art building that exceeds environmental standards,” Cr Nelmes said.
“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.”
Q Building is expected to be officially opened later this year.