Carbon, energy and smart sustainable buildings

Deakin’s committed to reducing carbon emissions and the amount of energy consumed during our daily operations. By doing so, we hope to both mitigate our role in climate change and diversify our energy portfolio.

We also provide high-quality spaces for students and staff – designed as modern, enticing and collaborative work environments, and constructed using sustainable principles.


Our key achievements include:

  • becoming a founding partner of the State Government’s Take2 program, a pledge to help keep the global temperature rise to under two degrees
  • undertaking 104 initiatives during 2016/17 to reduce carbon emissions
  • committing, via policy, to being more efficient in the consumption of natural resources, and enhancing the contribution of energy efficient, low-carbon measures and renewables wherever possible
  • offsetting vehicle emissions for the last 10 years. During this time, 58,135 trees have been planted, offsetting 15,313 tonnes of carbon.


Based on our energy audits, we’ve saved 330,000 kilowatts of energy annually. These savings have been achieved through:

  • modifying the set temperatures of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
  • adjusting Building Automation Systems (BAS) controls to reflect occupancy and use patterns, reducing carbon emissions by 52 tonnes per year 
  • maintaining HVAC plant repairs, which has reduced energy consumption by 180 tonnes per year
  • upgrading our LED lighting, reducing carbon emissions by 88 tonnes per year. 

We're also in the process of implementing several other building efficiency upgrades to further reduce our carbon emissions by 1500 tonnes per year.

Kinesis software

Deakin is the first university in Australia to use Kinesis software, an integrated data management and reporting system that helps us understand how to build on our sustainability initiatives. It works by receiving data directly from our metering and services to monitor, measure and report on the sustainability performance of our campuses.

As well as this, Kinesis will soon feed live sustainability data via digital screens to our staff and students, providing real-time information about our energy  usage, water consumption and other resource management, to influence how we use these supplies.

Smart sustainable buildings

We've creatively adapted and reused existing space to avoid $500 million of planned capital expenditure from 2012–2020, as well as minimise the University’s physical footprint, maintenance and operating costs.

Our new buildings and significant refurbishments aim to:

  • minimise energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption and waste generation
  • maximise opportunities to reduce, reuse, recycle and avoid landfill
  • use sustainably sourced material with low embodied energy
  • minimise disruption to the natural ecosystems
  • find opportunities to enhance or restore the environment
  • maximise the health, wellbeing and safety of staff, students and the community
  • future-proof for sustainable opportunities at a later stage.

The CADET building, Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus

Our Centre for Design and Engineering Teaching (CADET) is an innovative, $55 million project that took three-and-a-half years to complete. Having achieved a 5 Star Green Star equivalent rating, CADET's also won a commendation award from the Victorian Chapter of Australasia Region of the Council of Education Facilities Planners International, and has been nominated into the Australian Institute of Architects Victorian Chapter Awards programme.

Using numerous sustainable design principles, CADET was designed in 3D, using a software program called Building Information Model (BIM). Naturally heated and cooled using ecological sustainable design (ESD) principles, rather than artificial climate control, CADET makes full use of louver windows to capture winds, chilled beams to use with natural ventilation methods, and sunshading to maintain a comfortable temperature indoors. As well as structural and climate control elements, electrical lighting is also managed in the building, ensuring it's only used where required, and operated from a dashboard linked to the building management system. CADET's zoning system also reduces our carbon footprint as it recommends heating, cooling and and lighting based on whether it senses occupants in a particular zone.

CADET is also sustainable in other, subtler ways. For example, whenever fire hose testing is carried out, the water doesn't go to waste – instead, it's captured and reused as grey water within the building.

Learn more about CADET

The BC building, Melbourne Burwood Campus

With a growing on-campus population, our Melbourne Burwood Campus needed more room – but with just a slither of space available between established buildings and a major metropolitan freeway, we needed to use smart design, focused on sustainability and future livability, to create the BC building.

The $126 million, eight-level BC building tower took a number of years to design and build, and is now located between the two main entrances to the campus and connects to a five-level podium, which faces Burwood Highway. The ecological sustainable design elements in the building include rainwater collection and reuse, solar panels that provide up to half of the building's energy, and active thermal mass for climate control. An innovative facade system combined with tower louvers, wing shading fins and specialised double silver low E glass means it improves the building's thermal performance. A further element includes minimal energy consumption through the building's cooling system. Reducing energy consumption from the building's cooling system works from the slab up, rather than ceiling down. Chilled water is reticulated throughout the building via a pipe system which creates a cooling effect that's both effective and comfortable. Other initiatives include daylight penetration to reduce the need for artificial lighting and a constant focus on sustainability, with a minimum of 80% of construction waste from the building being recycled.

The BC building now houses Deakin’s Burwood Corporate Centre, with 10 meeting and conference rooms, most with videoconferencing facilities. This supports Deakin’s Blue Moon Strategy by having staff collaborate via videoconference rather than driving between our campuses.

Learn more about the Burwood Corporate Centre