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Built environment

Built Environment Heading

Sustainable building refers to both the structure and the application of processes that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: planning, design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and deconstruction.

The University of Tasmania wants to create a campus experience that is loved by all and put education at the heart of Tasmanian communities. The Transformation Projects will involve the construction of sustainable, world-class, modern teaching and research facilities.

Governance and policies

The University is committed to Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) principles in the development of the University's built environment to ensure that development is both environmentally and economically sustainable. This is reflected in:

  • The Sustainability Policy, which incorporates principles from former Sustainable Built Environment Designs Policy and dictates that the University will develop, maintain, and operate sustainable campuses, both built and natural environments, through applying outcomes driven sustainable design principles, assurance frameworks and operational tools.
  • The Facilities, Infrastructure and Assets Policy, which states that the University’s infrastructure will be designed and developed with an emphasis on meeting the University’s sustainability objectives, including reducing the carbon footprint and mitigating climate change impacts.
  • The Green Bond Framework. Green bonds are issued to finance eligible assets that deliver positive environmental outcomes which are part of our broader approach to environmental, social and governance outcomes and our commitment to sustainability. Our Green Bond Framework commits the University to a minimum target reduction of 20% in the upfront carbon emissions embedded in construction of new campus buildings.

Carbon neutral certification

The University of Tasmania was the second University to be certified carbon neutral in Australia in 2016. Greenhouse gas emissions from the University's construction activities are calculated, reported and offset annually. Following the ESD guidelines for construction contributes to reducing the University's greenhouse gas emissions from this source.

In 2005, the University adopted Governance Principle GLP9 on Environmental Sustainability which stated that 'environmental protection and sustainability are key priorities in the way the University operates'. The first Sustainable Environment Designs Policy was approved in 2008, followed by the development of a Design requirements – University of Tasmania document, first released in 2009. In 2020, following a review of the University policy approach, which applied lean principles, the University's built environment principles are incorporated in the Sustainability Policy.

Any activities impacting on the natural and built environment are identified and resolved at all stages of the design and construction processes. Environmentally sustainable design (ESD) features are identified during the development of options for University approval and all building works, including demolition and deconstruction.

Where the University engages consultants, they are required to follow ESD principles in building design and construction. Most consultants are already ESD aware and have processes in place to facilitate the inclusion of ESD principles.

The Contractors and Building Users Sustainability Guide (PDF 303KB) assist all University contractors, staff, students, and visitors to be more sustainable in their activities on University properties. The efficient and safe operations of a building depend on the actions of the occupants, and contractors, in managing works and operations to meet sustainability goals.

Sustainable buildings

In the past few years, several major projects have received a 5 Green Star certification or above:

Furthermore, the following projects are currently registered for Green Star certification:

To see a complete list of projects, you can check the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) Project Register page.

You can browse the list of completed Sustainability Integration Program for Students (SIPS) projects, grants and awards to find University's sustainable built environment initiatives.

  • Participate in the  Sustainability Integration Program for Students  (SIPS) with a sustainable built environment related project.
  • Staff, students and community members can contribute to the sustainability of new buildings during the consultation phase. Consultation for most major projects is conducted by the University. Calls for consultation are widely advertised. Enquires and feedback on the Transformation Projects can be done online through the Transformation Projects home page.
  • Sustainable building includes the operation of the buildings and there are several ways you can contribute. Through the University's operational sustainability website you can find information on Energy, Water, Resources and waste management and more.

For more information on sustainable built environment, contact