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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:

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 [PDF 230KB] which states 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 release in 2009.

Since then, it is required that 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 must be identified during the development of options for University approval and all building works, including demolition and deconstruction, must be based on ESD principles.

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.

Sustainable buildings

According to the University’s Sustainable Built Environment Designs Policy, all new and/or refurbished built environments are to be designed in accordance with ESD principles to deliver demonstrable benefits in terms of environmental sustainability and operating costs. The designs for all major building projects are required to meet the maximum Green Star rating practicably achievable.

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

  • Medical Science Precinct 2 (PDF 13MB) (5 Green Star certified in 2012). MSP2 became the first educational building in Tasmania to achieve a Green Star rating for environmental design
  • IMAS Salamanca (PDF 6MB)  (5 Green Star certified in 2012)
  • NRAS Inveresk Apartments (PDF 3MB) (6 Green Star certified in 2018). There is only another 6 Green Star certified building in Tasmania, the Sustainability Learning Centre (certified in 2017)

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.

SIPS projects

Grants and awards

Construction

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.

Operation

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 sustainability.utas@utas.edu.au.