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Bond wins International Sustainability Award for Mirvac School of Sustainable Development building

Australia has been recognised as the world's best in carbon-friendly and sustainable design, with Bond University on Queensland's Gold Coast taking out the top international Sustainability Award in London, despite keen competition from Spain, France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Bond University’s Mirvac School of Sustainable Development building, which has innovatively reduced carbon emissions by 80 per cent and is Australia's first higher education building to receive a 6 Star Green Star Design Rating, received acclaim in a special ceremony conducted by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), representing professionals from 140 countries.

Vice Chancellor, Professor Robert Stable, who returned from London today, said Bond University takes great pride in the quality of its facilities and receiving the prestigious award is another example of the world benchmark Bond is setting to deliver a superior campus experience for students.

"We are now recognised not just as a university that delivers an outstanding experience for students, as witnessed in our top rating in the 2010 Good Universities Guide, but this award puts us on the world stage as a leader in the field of sustainability.’’ he said.

"Not only do we share this badge of honour with our staff, students, alumni and supporters, but it boosts Australia's stature in carbon-friendly and sustainable design on the international stage,” Professor Stable said.

Despite keen competition from such notable finalists as the Silberado residential development in Stuttgart, the Council of Europe’s new General Building in Strasbourg, and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Courtyard Theatre in England’s West Midlands, the RICS judging panel believed the Bond University building deserved first place as the world’s best example of carbon-friendly and sustainable design.

Judges examined evidence of forward planning and site monitoring, whether recycled construction materials were used, energy efficient construction and operation procedures, and ‘green’ measures to solve waste and transport needs.

Professor Stable said the university's property and development degrees continue to maintain strong focus on sustainability and environmental issues.

"It made perfect sense when creating the Mirvac School of Sustainable Development building, to design and develop an environment for students which was not just a place for study but a place of inspiration in the important sphere of sustainability.

"The result speaks for itself, with our building featuring a ‘living laboratory’ that allows students, school groups, industry professionals and the public to learn how intelligent design can achieve triple bottom line, with environmental, economic and social  sustainability", he said.

The building includes a raft of sustainable internal and external designs that produce significant benefits, including:

  • Natural light and mixed mode ventilation to minimise energy consumption;
  • Water tanks and a grey water recycling system which reduces reliance on local water –  an important addition within Australia’s dry continent;
  • Facilities that maximise operational recycling, which reduces landfill waste;
  • Photovoltaic cells and a wind turbine which provides energy to the building and also provides an education element for building occupants, particularly students, and the community; and
  • Identifiable cost savings in electricity as well as an 80 per cent reduction in carbon emissions.

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