Melbourne Connect Initiative
Lend Lease contracted DEA to design alternative ground loop systems for the University of Melbourne precinct development in Melbourne’s CBD. Initially a consulting role, DEA has now completed installation and has installed a large capacity radial loop system under the high rise development during the construction.
Ground Radial Drilling (GRD) was utilised and drilling was completed in September 2019 in the lower basement level whilst the towers were being constructed: a world first. DEA maintains Australia’s only radial drilling rigs which make this possible.
The system was a critical component of the building’s Environmentally Sustainable Design initiatives, which included over 300kW of solar PV. The University of Melbourne will monitor the system ongoing and utilise the results as a case which will assist with the Net Zero by 2030 strategy currently underway at the Campus.
The building includes a 520 bed student residence tower and extensive commercial, retail and educational facilities. The geothermal system will provide balanced base load heating and cooling to assist with hot water and space heating and cooling. Substantive carbon and water savings will be realised as a result of the energy efficiency of the geothermal and solar systems combined. The building was commissioned in 2021.
The geothermal system is being utilised to displace and support cooling tower/chillers for cooling and boilers for heating. The mixed use campus includes 500 student residence rooms, multi-level academic facilities and is being heralded as Australia’s foremost innovation centre by the University:
“The University of Melbourne, in partnership with a consortium led by Lendlease, is creating a connected innovation ecosystem in the heart of Melbourne. The vision for Melbourne Connect is to place highest calibre research, industry, government, higher-degree students and other elite thinkers in a single purpose-built precinct. It is a new model for collaborative innovation within the STEM disciplines.”