La Trobe University City of the Future

Victoria, Australia

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AECOM has partnered with La Trobe University to support their pursuit of sustainability excellence, shaping the $5 billion La Trobe University City of the Future. Our partnership with La Trobe University has been instrumental in driving forward their ambitious sustainability objectives and contributing to their overarching vision.

La Trobe University’s City of the Future is a $5 billion investment transforming their 235-hectare Bundoora campus into a vibrant city in Melbourne’s north. The large-scale, long-term project will establish a dynamic research and innovation precinct, world-class sporting and sports research facilities, co-located major health and wellbeing facilities and services, protection and enhancement of their unique biodiverse environment and eco corridor, and new commercial, retail, and residential developments. The City of the Future will support the projected significant employment and residential growth in Melbourne’s North. La Trobe University will evolve into a world-class University City of the future, turning its campus ‘inside out’ and welcoming the local community onto the campus as a place to live, learn, work, socialise and stay healthy.

La Trobe University aims to be a leader in sustainability and is committed to making sustainability central to everything they do. On a mission to deliver on their long-term vision for City of the Future, La Trobe University’s Sustainability and Planning team has engaged AECOM to deliver two key sustainability projects.

Sustainability Framework Evaluation and Costing

In 2021, La Trobe University engaged AECOM to assist the University in determining an appropriate sustainability framework to support ongoing development and net zero emissions ambitions.

The project scope considered the University’s existing approach of continual implementation of the Green Star Communities rating and a modified Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) framework for implementation, exploring Green Star Communities boundaries and additional sustainability rating tool standards such as Green Star Buildings, NatHERS and NABERS.

The project involved a cost-benefit analysis of two potential performance rating pathways, which enabled AECOM to understand the cost-benefit of specific rating tools across differing building types.

While Green Star Buildings was not yet market tested at the timing of this project, it enabled AECOM to explore the capital costs for early implementation while also understanding benefits such as reduced embodied emissions and improved biodiversity, indoor environment quality and social outcomes. Additionally, it was realised that in achieving La Trobe University’s net zero emissions goals, a focus on the construction and operation of buildings is imperative.

AECOM provided an Implementation Checklist to support the University in understanding documentation requirements, timing, and responsibility for implementing the assessed sustainability rating tools.

Green Star Communities Rating re-certification

In 2017, the La Trobe University Bundoora campus was awarded a 6-star Green Star Communities v1.1 rating by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), representing world leadership in sustainability. In 2023, La Trobe University engaged AECOM to lead the planning and submission for the Green Star Communities rating re-certification to incorporate the masterplan development milestones achieved in the last 5 years since initial certification. This included completion of new buildings, creation of shared pathways, introduction of composting and green waste scheme and implementation of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects to support the campus’ net zero commitments.

AECOM provided guidance on the submission requirements of the re-certified rating, ensuring the project is recognised for the progress made in delivering on their sustainability commitments, whilst providing guidance on strategic future improvements to ensure that Green Star Communities tool will continue to be delivered in association with the campus’ future vision. AECOM were also engaged to provide a Roadmap identifying the key priorities and commitments to be actioned by the University and third-party stakeholders to guide the development of the Masterplan Refresh and ensure Green Star certification is maintained in the future.