New car park for Griffith University
Griffith University has once again cemented itself as a leader in appealing design and innovative sustainability features with the unveiling of its new $23.3-million multistorey car park.
Officially opened yesterday, June 3, the car park features a highly visible wind turbine, which when combined with state-of-the-art solar panels, will provide enough power to run the car park as well as offset other nearby buildings.
And, not only will it house 1,150 vehicles over four floors, it will also be a new home for microbats and native bees.
Griffith Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O’Connor, who opened the car park with City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate, said the facility was the biggest car park in the university’s history.
“As our Gold Coast campus is one of the fastest growing campuses in Australia, this new facility is an important addition to the precinct as it provides parking capacity for staff, students and community members who visit the university each day,” he said.
“The car park has also been landscaped with attractive native species from the local area in consultation with the Griffith School of Environment, including native plants growing on the walls of the car park to create green walls.”
The microbat boxes in particular were the result of consultation between Dr Ali Sammel of the School of Education and Professional Studies and Professor Catherine Pickering of the Environmental Future Research Institute, with the idea of assisting the local environment and promoting a healthy environment for staff, students and visitors.
“Microbats can eat 1,200 insects such as flies and mosquitoes every hour so they are wonderful for our social environment, as well as good for the ecosystem as they get rid of damaging weevils in nearby trees,” Dr Sammel said.
“We also hope these little guys will reduce the cases of Ross River Fever by eating mosquitoes that are the carriers for the disease, as there have been over 3,000 reported cases of people contracting the virus so far this year in South East Queensland alone.”
The car park was designed by Buchan Group Architects and the Design and Construction Manager was Thiess.
G55 car park facts
- Cost $23.3 million to build
- Low energy LED lighting has been used throughout
- Features a 100kW Photo Voltaic array (solar panels) and 9m tall wind turbine
- Its power consumption is completely offset and also offsets a number of other buildings on the southern precinct
- Landscaped with species endemic to the area in consultation with the Griffith School of Environment
- Will provide four native bee boxes and 10 microbat boxes
- Provides parking for 1,150 vehicles over four floors
- Provides a mix of casual pay-as-you-go day parking and longer-term permit parking
- It is accessed from Olsen Avenue, via Griffith Way (access via Edmund Rice Drive is no longer available)
- It will reduce university traffic on Edmund Rice Drive
Griffith School of Environment
When Griffith University introduced the first environmental science degree in Australia, it was revolutionary. Griffith has expanded on their initial programs to offer not only environmental and natural sciences but urban planning and architecture with a focus on sustainable development.
n 1971, establishing a School of Environment was thought of as revolutionary. Over time the environment and sustainable practice has evolved from a fringe issue to a mainstream challenge to government, industry and even individual households.
Griffith University has expanded on their initial programs to offer not only environmental sciences and natural sciences but urban planning and architecture with a focus on sustainable development.
Program: Master of Environment
Location: Nathan Campus, Brisbane, Queensland
Semester intake: February and July
Duration: 2 years