WESTERN AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA: Multiplex is commencing works on a New Academic Building (NAB) at Murdoch University’s South Street Campus.

The NAB is a transformative project for Murdoch University, and for the national Higher Education sector more broadly. It will transform the University’s student life through its innovative new teaching and learning spaces by creating unique spaces for students to learn with their peers on campus and supporting these activities with paradigm shifting technologies.

Multiplex has now successfully been awarded the Design and Construct Contract and anticipates that the project will create around 1,400 construction jobs.

The NAB will be the largest mass timber construction in Western Australia, and across all Australian university campuses, with a unique timber structure made from a fully renewable resource that is over 130 meters long and comprised of four storeys. The simple, long spans of its timber structure create super flexibility for the University to respond to future changing environments.

The NAB sets a leadership benchmark for sustainability in a national context, with its large roof acting as a renewable energy generator via a mass array of photo voltaic cells, naturally ventilated and mixed mode spaces for students to minimize energy usage, its sustainable timber structure, and a target to achieve a 6 star Green Star rating, positioning the project at an international leadership level.

The NAB will extend from Discovery Way, which will become the University’s new primary address, to the centre of the campus, and establish direct connections between the ‘Academic Core’ and the broader ‘Knowledge and Health Precinct’, including Fiona Stanley and St John of God Hospitals.

Multiplex Regional Director Chris Palandri said, “The New Academic Building will showcase Murdoch University’s sustainability ethos while upholding campus amenity, planning, built form and landscape heritage. It will be a 6 Star Green Star Ecologically Sustainable Development, as accredited by the Green Building Council of Australia, underpinned by its innovative, mass engineered timber frame construction, embedded renewable energy generation and energy use minimisation.”

Murdoch University Chief Operating Officer, Darren McKee said this is an exciting step forward in the development of the campus with progress towards an advanced, sustainable, technology-enabled precinct, that brings community together, fosters learning, innovation and collaboration with industry, with a focus on student experience and wellbeing which is vital to our University’s future strategy.

“As a University that prides itself on our bush campus, with a strong 20-year masterplan, we are focused on the delicate balance of the local environment as we proceed with the construction of the New Academic building.  We have been working with our own Murdoch experts together with those from our partners to implement comprehensive environmental plans.”

The NAB will be one of the first and the largest mass engineered timber projects in Western Australia. The project’s mass engineered timber structure which is comprised of glulam and cross laminated timber will be sourced from sustainable suppliers in both Australia and Europe.

The design of the NAB has been undertaken as a unique partnership between multi award winning national architectural practice Lyons working with innovative Perth based design practices including The Fulcrum Agency, Officer Woods and Silver Thomas Hanley

Multiplex Regional Director Chris Palandri said, “This project provides an opportunity to foster WA industry expertise in mass engineered timber projects and will show case to the broader property and construction industry, and in particular current industry students, the type of innovation we can be applying to all future construction projects.”

Construction starts in June 2021 with completion expected in early 2023.

The project builds upon Multiplex’s recent successful delivery of other large scale mass engineered timber buildings such as the La Trobe Student Accommodation Project and the Monash Peninsula Student Accommodation projects in Melbourne.