Sustainability Tour

This tour explores how the Uni taps the energy of the earth and sun, reduces waste, and creates green infrastructure.

Welcome

We are standing on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri people who have lived in this area for more than 40,000 years. Pre white settlement this was grassy woodland, rich in wildlife with Red Gums and Yellow Box trees.

Tour Info

  • Runs once per month with an upper limit of 20 participants
  • Approximately 1.5hrs - covers information about the University’s Sustainability initiatives as well as interesting facts and stories about the campus
  • Download a PDF of the Sustainability Tour

1888 Building

1888 Building

Grounds

  • Thought to have been designed by William Guilfoyle – the person who designed the current layout of the Royal Botanic Gardens.
  • Large trees date from 1890s and several are on the Heritage register.

Rear of building

Plane Tree (Tsubu Courtyard). The tree is on the National Trust Significant Tree Register for its outstanding height, spread, trunk girth and form.

Tsubu Courtyard

Sustainability

  • A creek flowed down towards the Yarra to the left of us – down what is now Bouverie Street
  • Eels migrated up the creek to breed each year – they were one of the seasonal foods of the people who lived here
  • It is said that eels still move up the storm water drains from the Yarra and are sometimes found in the ponds on the University campus!
  • Many birds including several parrot species use this garden
  • The gardeners are careful to use the minimum of chemicals which allows a rich array of insects, fungi and other organisms to flourish as food for the web of life found on this campus.

Buildings/Infrastructure

  • Former Teachers College – taken over by the University in 1989
  • architecturally significant as a distinctive example of the Queen Anne style
  • Look up to see the gryphons – mythological creatures with the forelegs and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion. Inside you can visit the Gryphon Gallery.
  • Graduate Students Association now occupies this building

Student Community Garden

Community Garden

Grounds

  • Took 15 years to get permission to build the garden – students kept pushing!
  • Structure established and maintained by grounds staff
  • Plantings, harvesting and composting carried out by students
  • Uses otherwise underutilised space

Sustainability

  • Well-being / health
  • Increased biodiversity - the front area has indigenous food plants
  • Community participation
  • Learnings spread to others via workshops
  • Working bees held every Friday at 4pm

Buildings/Infrastucture

  • Tanks installed for watering
  • Some of the structures are wicking beds
  • Drainage system underneath
  • Fenced area for compost bins keeps it looking tidy

Walter Boas Building

Walter Boas Building

Grounds

  • Roof garden model – showing the layers of substrate and some of the types of plants that are suitable
  • Burnley Campus researchers are now experimenting with indigenous plants for this type of roof garden

Sustainability

  • Water fountainone of 72 around the campus – to enable people to refill water bottles so they don't buy throw away plastic bottles
  • Shallow geothermal heating and cooling utilising the stable temperature of the earth in the first 50 metres
  • Bike Hub with bike hoops and bike repair station

Buildings/Infrastructure

  • Foyer area set up as a Sustainability information hub with information screens
  • Office of Environmental Programs has had an environmentally friendly refurbishment with bamboo panels, geothermal heating/cooling, reused furniture, etc

South Lawn

South Lawn

Grounds

  • engineered so that no buildings could be built above it
  • the largest open space on the Parkville campus
  • all the trees on the Lawn are planted directly above the columns in the car park beneath where the soil is deepest
  • Reflection pond – uses harvested recirculated rainwater (interestingly was filled in with mulch during the drought!)

Wilson Hall Solar Panels

Sustainability

  • Wilson Hall's 300 Solar Panels provide all the electricity the building needs
  • Frameless, glass-on-glass panels were selected for Wilson Hall complying with the University's strict heritage guidelines that required the panels rise no more than 150mm above the roofline
  • Twelve 4kw banks of panels and two inverters run in diverse sequences according to demand and to prevent early wear

South Lawn Carpark

Buildings/Infrastructure

  • South Lawn is said to be the largest green roof in the Southern Hemisphere!
  • It covers a carpark built in 1972 which was featured in the film Mad Max and more recently Master Chef!
  • Check out the roman numerals on the tower clock face – can you notice anything odd?
  • Looking towards Grattan Street you can see one of our other major solar installations on the iconic Alan Gilbert building

Mad Max Carpark

System Garden

System Garden

Grounds

  • It was set up by the University’s first Professor of Natural Sciences, Frederick McCoy
  • Is the only garden of its type in the grounds of a University in Australia containing garden beds that display the evolution of plants from the non-flowering Gymnosperms - mosses, cycads and conifers through to the flowering Angiosperms such as daisies and eucalypts
  • In the furthest corner is a rainforest garden that showcases features of Australian rainforests such as epiphytic plants and palm and fern diversity
  • Some remnant plantings also remain from the original garden - these are now mature trees that are on the National Heritage tree register
  • Still remaining as a scientific and teaching garden and is now a secure public garden to be enjoyed by all

Tree Frog

Sustainability

  • Water tank to supplement tap water
  • Bees: French style bee hive with entry / exit chimney for happy bees and humans!
  • Compost: Compost bin for staff to bring kitchen scraps
  • Biodiversity: The hidden gem of the University in terms of flora and fauna – it features over 100 plant families!
  • Tree frogs, butterflies, possums, many birds and the occasional powerful owl all love to visit or live in this garden

Buildings/Infrastructure

  • Originally it was a large circular area encompassing around 7.5 hectares. Building development over the years has left only a little less than 2 hectares
  • Originally it had a large circular greenhouse but this was dismantled and sold to pay off the debts run up by a University accountant early in the University’s history!
  • The tower in the middle is the sole remaining part of the original building but you can see from the brick edging where the original infrastructure used to be