top of page

Unit: Construction 3 - Sustainability  

Location: Union building, Swinburne 

Project year: 2016

Course: Bachelor of Design (Interior Architecture) (Honour)


Located on William St, between AMDC and Swinburne’s library provide secondary access to the back gate through McLeod Ln.  There are limited parking spaces along William street, however public transport is quite accessible from Glenferrie Rd which also encourage sustainability. Around the site, there are local shops, café, park, restaurant, and schools.

Streetscape and orientation

The site has a total area of 498 sq.m and located between AMDC and Swinburne’s library provides limit the sunlight to the building as the main source of light is from the East. On the west, is also the library which also blocks most of the sunlight.

Topography and Vegetation

There is a gentle slope facing east toward North of the William St. There is so few tree which is at the opposite side of the Station 18.


The site, 68 William St Hawthorn, was previously a fire station and will be renovated to be a Co-Working office spaces. The space’s proposal aims toward sustainability including the process of renovating and operating. The ESD strategies are carefully considered as the building is heritage and it is quite limited toward what can be replaced. The factors of being sustainable include structure and use.

 This project is to renovate The Fire Station 18 to be a more sustainable office building that contributed by many sustainable features. The site was previously built for fire station and now to be renovated which could limit the sustainability’s element as the building is a heritage.

The objective of this project is to create an ecologically sustainable renovation of the station 18. The renovation will be incorporated by sustainable elements that includes during construction stage, structure, system and usage. The equipment is to meet Green Star ratings.


The renovation of the space will allow the following:

  • Entry and reception area

  • Kitchen/ dining areas, communal lounges

  • Meeting/ breakout rooms: 2 large, 4 small

  • 30 workstations: 20 permanent, 10 hot desk

  • Small “clean” modelling workshop

  • Large modelling/marking workshop in exiting fire engine bays

  • Toilets, showers and change room

  • Small outdoor/semi-open spaces, such as courtyard, deck in the rea area of the building

  • Parking for bikes within the building, accessible via the site laneway and adjacent to change rooms

  • Low water use planting


Ecologically Sustainable Strategy



The followings ESD strategies will outline how they are implemented into heritage building, to minimise the lowest bad effect on the environment.



  1. Energy


  • Hybrid passive and mechanical ventilation, heating and cooling are to minimise the energy consumption and provide a sustainable method to energise the building by moderating external environmental condition and maintain internal conditions using the minimum resources of materials and fuel.

  • Optimising natural ventilation and lighting by having open spaces and flexible walls and furniture.

  • The management system of lighting and office equipment energy by installing smart lighting sensor, relays, photocells, light control switches, and touchscreen and signals and HVAC system.

  • High-efficiency artificial lighting to reduce a significant amount of energy consumption and provide more practical for maintenance, reduce bills, mitigation of impacts of high tariffs. Environmentally, it reduces local pollution and in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.

  • Solar panel installation on new roof construction. Solar energy is renewable, a source from nature and only requires little maintenance annually. The source of energy could make the building completely self-powered or even produce more energy for the surrounding 

  • Double glazing will be implemented to the new construction to maintain the internal environment. This is an effective method for energy efficiency that added the benefit of reducing noise. The sealed air gap between the two panes acts as an added layer of insulation which added thermal resistant reduce the amount of heat escaping in wanter and keeps the building at a more comfortable temperature.


2. Materials

  • Chemical free materials are compulsory for space. All materials are to be evaluated before construction to avoid any hazardous and toxic chemicals.

  • Reuse of existing materials for the renovation to reduce using new construction materials.

  • Materials are to sourced locally at possible ways to reduce materials transportation which causes an impact on the environment.

  • Materials to have proper R-values.


3. Water efficiency


  • Rainwater will be collected and stored in the underground tank

  • Recycled water will be used for toilet-flushing and gardening by being processed in a biological treatment plant.

  • Fixtures are to meet WELS 6-star water rating.

  • Waterless urinals to minimise water usage and waste.

  • Installing greywater system via filtration of solids, removal of pathogens and unwanted chemicals using either using micro-organisms or chemical treatment and disinfection by chlorination or UV light.

4. Waste management


  • Construction waste will be recycled and be used for other functions.

  • Categories and separate waste on-site before it’s disposed of, to ensure it goes to the right places.

  •  Calculating the right amount of needed materials to minimise leftover materials.

  • Minimising waste on the construction site by making sure the suppliers would take leftover materials back.


South section


5. Quality environmental management



  • Operation of the building involved by users to optimised building energy consumption.

  • Building performance online display is to promote ESD to the users.

6. Occupant health, practicality and productivity


  • Glare-free daylighting office equipment and window.

  • Improved internal air quality by openable window, natural ventilation, and flexible walls.

  • Chemical free materials to ensure the safety of the environment.

  • Roof garden landscape to provide cleaner air and decrease stress levels.

  • Maximise daylight by having a glass roof and to minimise artificial light usage.

  • Acoustic system will be installed on wall and ceiling to reduce noise.


7. Land use and ecology


  • Ensure the heritage building’s form is maintained.

  • Maintain the site ecological features such as trees, the point of access.

  • Secured construction site for builders and pedestrians.


East elevation 

8. Transportation

  • Encouragement toward public transport and walking or jogging by having limited car parks

  • Bikes parking is available in the Swinburne University area.

  • Glenferrie station to City, Lilydale, Blackburne.

  • Trams – on Glenferrie road to 16 Kew and Melbourne University.

  • Bus on Burwood.


Summer 3pm

Summer 9am


Winter 3pm

Winter 3am


Summer 3pm

Summer 9am


Winter 3pm

Winter 9am

The ecologically sustainable strategies report represents the possible features that will be implemented during renovation, operation and maintenance of the co-office space. These sustainable features are considered to minimise impact on the environment and offering sustainable approach which provide best experience for the users, to maximise their productivities.

bottom of page