Finalists announced for 2017 Green Gown Awards Australasia

Finalists announced for 2017 Green Gown Awards Australasia
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Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS) has announced the finalists for the 2017 Green Gown Awards Australasia — an awards scheme dedicated to recognising excellence in sustainability within the tertiary education sector in Australasia.

Now in their seventh year, having been brought to Australasia from the UK in 2010, the awards provide the opportunity to recognise institutions, large and small, and reward their sustainability actions and initiatives. Finalists have been selected across seven group awards and two individual awards:

Group Awards

  • Built Environment
  • Creating Impact
  • Community
  • Continuous Improvement – Institutional Change
  • Facilities & Services
  • Learning, Teaching & Skills
  • Student Engagement

Individual Awards

  • ACTS Award of Excellence – Staff
  • ACTS Award of Excellence – Student

Victoria University of Wellington has reached the competition finals for the third year in a row, having won two categories in 2015 (Individual – Leadership and Group – Carbon Reduction) and reached the finals of the Student Engagement category in 2016. This year, the university is one of two finalists in the Built Environment category for a 12-month project to fine-tune the energy systems in buildings on its Kelburn campus.

“Victoria staff and graduates, energy consultants from Beca and maintenance contractors all came together to fine-tune the performance of the mechanical systems in the buildings,” said Project Manager Jonny Parker, from Victoria’s Campus Services. “We tweaked time schedules, fixed faulty sensors and controlled air flows, among other things.”

The project ultimately led to a 26% reduction in energy usage by the university’s Hub and Rankine Brown Buildings. According to Parker, it resulted in “much more comfortable buildings, a large reduction in energy use — equivalent to the annual power usage of 61 houses — and carbon savings equal to the annual output from 50 cars”.

“Now we are making sure that our other campus development projects are also going through the same fine-tuning process after they open,” he said.

Shaan Cory, a building scientist at Beca and a PhD graduate of Victoria’s School of Architecture, said it was very satisfying to come back on campus and contribute to the university’s sustainability objectives, noting that Beca’s review came two years after the “low-energy” buildings originally opened in 2013.

“This fine-tuning helped realise the design’s energy efficiency potential, and enabled Victoria to achieve its sustainability goals. It also saved them money!” he said.

The Green Gown Awards will be announced at a ceremony at RMIT University on 2 November, as part of the annual ACTS Conference. To register for the conference, click here.

Pictured: Jonny Parker, project manager for Victoria University of Wellington, in the Hub at the university’s Kelburn campus.

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