Innovation in practice, Innovation in action Melbourne Connect
Location: Melbourne Connect, 700 Swanston St., Melbourne, Australia
Developer: University of Melbourne
Architecture firm: Woods Bagot
Builder: Lend Lease Group
Hydraulic engineers: JRS Engineering
Hydraulic contractor: Axis Services VIC
Project Completion: May 2021
Problem: Specify Geberit prefabricated washroom systems across mixed-used development
Ideas that move the world need the right location and Melbourne Connect provides it. The building complex in the Australian metropolis of Melbourne unites digital technologies and ecological know-how. And Geberit is on board.
Can a building actually contribute to finding solutions to global problems? Melbourne Connect certainly wants to. On the surface, it may seem that the building complex only offers space. But its open, accessible architecture creates exactly the right environment for know-how transfer and collaboration. This idea was the University of Melbourne’s approach to this project: to create a centre for research into technologies of the future and for the transfer of know-how between science and business at the heart of the Innovation District in Melbourne. Melbourne Connect, which has been open since April 2021, is much more: it is also a meeting place, a co-working space, a centre for start-ups, a childcare centre for 90 children and a student residence with 376 apartments.
Sustainability in practice
Naturally the building itself is intended to contribute to solving the problems of modern society: reducing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, being economical with the important resource of water, and conserving natural resources. Melbourne Connect has been awarded 6 Green Stars by the Green Building Council of Australia for its sustainable concept. In addition, the building complex was awarded 5 out of 6 stars for its energy efficiency and 4.5 stars for its water-saving performance from the Australian government initiative NABERS Rating.
What is so special about Melbourne Connect? The specially developed design of the façades optimises the exposure to sunlight and the use of daylight. Sensors measure the climate parameters inside the building and thus control energy requirements. The data-based control alone results in a reduction of energy consumption by 33 per cent. Incidentally, the energy is obtained geothermally and via solar systems.