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Another 'Australian First' For Bond

Bond University has released plans for the construction of Australia’s first fully sustainable academic building, which is set to become home to the Bond University Mirvac School of Sustainable Development.

The School is the first designated Institute to fully integrate environmental, urban planning and architectural disciplines with the practical issues of managing financial viability and societal expectations.

Bond University and Mirvac have released plans for the new three-level building, which is estimated to cost around $10million and will embrace World’s Best Practice sustainable processes and objectives.

Mirvac’s Design Director Mr John Flynn said the structure will act as a ‘living laboratory’ for the school’s students and the community.

“From energy minimisation through the use of natural light and cross ventilation, to resourceful water use and waster water recycling, all design decisions were reviewed against the triple bottom line of environment, social and economic benefits,” he said.

“It’s also been designed to minimise the ecological impact on the construction site and we plan to rejuvenate the site and enhance its existing ecological value by using native plants to provide a habitat for local fauna,” Mr Flynn said.

The plans go so far as to encourage social interaction between users through the use of outdoor and break-out areas and even promote the use of public transport or bicycles over private cars.

Visitors to the building will be able to watch and learn about sustainability and see it in action, with real-time data meters monitoring performance, and an interactive information centre.

While the new building won’t be complete until the end of this year, the Bond University Mirvac School of Sustainability is already up-and-running, with current students being accommodated in Bond’s existing academic facilities.

The School has been offering master's programs since September 2006, and will offer a new undergraduate degree – a Bachelor of Property and Sustainable Development – from this semester. Demand for the course has already exceeded expectations, with last minute enrolments for the January semester still rolling in.

A full suite of postgraduate offerings in the fields of Urban Development and Sustainability, Project Management, Urban Planning and Infrastructure will also be available from this month at a Masters, Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate level. From May 2007, the Master of Infrastructure Management and Master of Project Management will be offered in an ‘intensive delivery’ mode, designed with the busy executive in mind.

Head of School, Professor George Earl, said; “In designing the curriculum, we went to great lengths to consult with industry professionals and market leaders like Mirvac to ensure our graduates will be work-place ready and skilled in cutting-edge sustainable building practices.”

“Students will be able to specialise in valuation, urban development and sustainability, construction management or asset and facility management and will benefit from both Australian and International accreditation, which will allow them to work all over the world,” he said.

One of the School’s first postgraduate students, Nicole Hansson, says she’s “been looking for a course like this for quite some time.”

Marketing Manager for a well known residential master planned community, Ms Hansson enrolled part-time in the Master of Urban Development and Sustainability when the School launched in September last year.

“As someone working in the industry, the flexibility to study part-time was a fantastic option for me. It also allows me to put everything I learn immediately into practice,” Ms Hansson said.

“The property development industry is without doubt heading towards a sustainability focus and a triple bottom line approach.

“You only have to look at industry leaders Mirvac to see that’s exactly what they’ve done and they’re now setting the benchmark for sustainable practices in Australia. Bond couldn’t have picked a better developer to partner with,” she said.

“For me, this course is an opportunity to expand on my knowledge of the industry and stay ahead of the trends, while building a valuable network of contacts with both the people I’m studying with as well as the Faculty members working within the industry,” Ms Hansson said.

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