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Monash University Student Residence Receives Passivhaus Certification


Gillies Hall
Saint-Gobain Glassolutions Isolierglas-Center GmbH

Jackson Clements Burrows Architects are setting new standards on Australia’s architecture scene with Gillies Hall: the student residence, located on the Peninsula Campus of Monash University in the Melbourne suburb of Frankston, has six storys and a gross floor area of 6,500 square metres, making it currently the biggest Passivhaus-certified building constructed from cross-laminated timber panels in the country, and even in the southern hemisphere, say company officials.

Gillies HallWith Gillies Hall, the architects are meeting the university’s stated goal of being emissions-neutral―net zero carbon emissions―by 2030. The building is certified as having a heating requirement of 5 kWh/m²a; it thus achieves a value that is around 70 to 80 percent lower than a comparable building constructed in the usual way for Australia. According to information provided by the engineers of Grün Consulting commissioned with the Passivhaus certification, the primary energy requirement of Gillies Hall is 131 kWh/m²a. The air replacement rate n50 is 0.5.

The correct choice of glazing is extremely important for achieving the Passivhaus standard. Over 1,000 square feet of insulated glass from Saint-Gobain Glassolutions was installed in the student residence. To efficiently eliminate cold bridges around the edge of the glass, the project used Passivhaus-certified Warm Edge spacer bar Swisspacer Ultimate. With a vapour and gas-tight foil, the high-performance spacer bar also ensures that the gas filling cannot escape from the cavity between the panes and that no water vapour can penetrate it either―and all for the entire lifespan of the window. This permanently guarantees the insulating function of the insulating glass and consequently of the building, too.