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Bond borrows from past to build the future

by Jessica Borten

Bond University has opened a new environmentally sustainable building after forging ahead with construction through the depths of the pandemic.

The new Faculty of Society & Design building contains recycled materials including railway sleepers and power poles, has enough solar panels to power 10 homes, and features charging stations for electric vehicles.

It completes a long-held ambition to create a collaborative precinct for students of the university’s largest faculty.

Executive Dean of the Faculty of Society & Design, Derek Carson, said Bond had pushed on with the project through the uncertainty of 2020 so it could pioneer student experience in the years to come.

“This has been a strange year, it’s been a very challenging year, but 2020 will be followed by 2021 and 2022 and so on,” he said.

“Bond has always been about being progressive, looking to the future, planning for the future and never standing still.

“It would have been wrong not to expand.”

Professor Carson said the computer laboratory was a stand-out feature of the “green” building.

“I’m particularly proud of the collaborative laboratory because it’s just different,” he said.

“It’s a different way of looking at what a computer laboratory should be and it affords a completely different way of working.

“It’s designed in hubs so students can work independently but, just as easily, they can work in groups.”

Professor Carson said it was important for the university to “walk the walk” and “talk the talk” when educating students about sustainable development.

“An important part of the Faculty of Society & Design is our sustainable design disciplines,” he said.

“It would be completely wrong to teach students about how one goes about ensuring products are sustainable, how construction is sustainable, if we’re not going to do that ourselves.

“Everything that we possibly could recycle, we did, and I think the building is better for it.”

Bond University Vice Chancellor and President Tim Brailsford said the facility embodied the four great passions of the university.

“It allows for great innovation in teaching, it embraces modern and cutting-edge technology, it provides a very strong vehicle and vessel for industry engagement, and it puts the student experience front and centre,” Professor Brailsford said.

The Faculty of Society & Design encompasses diverse disciplines including communications, film and television, international relations, psychology, architecture and sustainable design, and creative media.

Professor Brailsford said the faculty has roots in the fabric and foundation of the university.

“It was one of the four foundation schools of the university and is an eclectic mix of disciplines,” he said.

“The faculty has had to work hard to find itself, to carve out its role and establish a sense of identity.

“Importantly and symbolically, the building now completes that vision; a vision for the precinct and a vision for the faculty.”

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