Interpod partners with Monash University on innovation


[Image via: Monash University]

Monash University engages Interpod on an innovative building project with ambitious sustainability targets.

Interpod has partnered with Victoria’s Monash University on an innovative project to build a new six-storey, 150 lodging student accommodation building on Monash’s Clayton Peninsula campus.

The project is part of a broad sustainability initiative by Monash, announced in late 2017, that will see it spend $135 million over the next 13 years to take its Clayton Peninsula campus to 100 per cent renewables by 2030 and entirely eliminate its use of gas.

Due to be completed by February 2019, the large residential complex is intended to provide Monash University students with a range of modern, high-quality and sustainable residential spaces. The building will be comprised of 6500 square metres of space, with common space and support accommodation services on the ground level and five storeys of student housing.


[Image via: Monash University]

With a strong focus on sustainability, the new residential building is targeting Passive House certification. A sustainability-driven building standard pioneered in Europe, Passive House sets strict building standard limits on total energy consumption and peak heating and cooling demand.

Passive House-certified buildings typically utilise a heat exchanger that circulates fresh air throughout the house and reuses warmth from the inside air. The result is a building that will typically use 90 per cent less energy for heating than a conventional building, thereby reducing operating energy costs and making it much more economical to run.

In announcing the project in December 2017, Professor David Copolov AO, Pro Vice-Chancellor noted that Monash University is, “especially proud of the environmental features of this exciting new building, whose design gives effect to our strategy for a sustainable future”.

The path to Passive House
Meeting Passive House standards in Australia’s harsh conditions will be no small feat, given that the standard was designed in the cooler climes of Europe. Nonetheless, Monash has a respectable track record in targeting Passive House certification. It recently completed a successful pilot program with its Building and Property office, which now has renewable energy sources powering 65-70 per cent of its energy needs.

Aiming to one-up the sustainability virtues of its Building and Property office, Monash is utilising a selection of sustainable materials and initiatives in its endeavor to achieve Passive House certification with the new student housing building.

This will include the wide use (to the tune of around 14,000 square metres) of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT), an engineered product created by the perpendicular stacking of conditioned timber into layers, which are then glued and hydro-electrically pressed together, resulting in high-strength structural panels.

CLT is an environmentally friendly building product built from sustainably sourced timber and its use in the Monash project is expected to halve the embodied carbon (carbon dioxide emitted during the manufacturing process) in the building compared with a concrete structure of a similar size.

Monash University has stated that the combination of CLT with roof top solar will dramatically reduce the operating carbon of the building, which also boasts an all-electric design that is “net zero ready”. The building, designed by Jackson Clements Burrows Architects (JCBA) with landscape architecture by Glas Urban, will also include a rain water harvesting tank and water sensitive urban design.
JCBA expects the Monash project to be the largest to combine CLT and Passive House in Australia.

Monash goers modular
Reflecting the project’s emphasis on sustainable endeavours, Monash University has partnered with Interpod for the supply of bathrooms for the new student accommodation building at its Clayton Campus.

Interpod, an industry leader in the design and installation of modular bathrooms for commercial and large building projects, will supply and install 150 prefabricated bathroom pods in the new residential building.
Interpod will contribute to the sustainability efforts of the project by minimising the waste involved in the efficient construction and installation of the building’s bathrooms. The 150 modular bathrooms will be designed to specific requirements designated by JCBA and then precisely manufactured at Interpod’s production facility on the NSW Central Coast.
The Interpod bathroom pods will be fully tested and BCA certified before being delivered to the Clayton Campus site as completed units. Once positioned, installation of the bathrooms (see video above) is a simple matter of connecting the building’s electrical, plumbing, and ventilation systems. In just two to three hours on-site, the bathroom is complete and ready for use.

Interpod boasts more than 25 years’ experience in modular building and pioneered bathroom pod manufacturing in Australia. We are Australia’s leading designer and manufacturer of prefabricated bathroom pods for large commercial and residential construction projects. We engineer innovative alternatives to traditional bathroom building methods and have over 60 years of combined offsite building experience in designing, producing and installing custom-built modular bathroom solutions. Find out more.