16 July 2012
A new landmark for RMIT
Melbourne's newest landmark, RMIT University's Swanston Academic Building, has opened its doors to staff and students.
SAB is the latest addition to the RMIT Quarter of the city. It was completed six months ahead of time and will provide learning and teaching space for students on the City campus.
Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, said it was a magnificent achievement.
"For students there will be a range of new informal student lounges in which to meet, study and generally spend time on campus," Professor Gardner said.
"These 10 spaces, spread throughout the building, truly reflect the vertical city campus, looking out to the city and absorbing its colour and excitement."
Pro Vice-Chancellor Business and Vice-President, Professor Ian Palmer, said the building's innovative design and leading use of technology would promote new ways of learning and teaching, and research.
"The building's open design will encourage all of us in the College of Business - whether teachers, academic or professional staff or students - to better engage with each other," Professor Palmer said.
All College of Business undergraduate and vocational teaching, and many classes from the College of Design and Social Context and the College of Science, Engineering and Health will take place in the building.
It has more than 80 teaching spaces, including lecture theatres, a cinema classroom, project and interactive spaces using state-of-the-art technologies.
SAB (also known as Building 80) also provides wireless Anywhere Anytime Student Computing to College of Business students.
Designed by Lyons Architects, SAB has a Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) 5-star Green Star Education Rating, signifying Australian Excellence in environmentally sustainable design.
To achieve this, the building has a number of water-efficient and energy-efficient features including displacement ventilation in lecture theatres, mixed-mode ventilation in portals and chilled beams in offices, solar pre-heated domestic hot water, rainwater harvesting and greywater re-use and a high-performance façade with double glazing.
Lyons director and RMIT alumnus, Adrian Stanic, said SAB has been designed by Lyons to connect to the city with "a sense of openness, transparency and energy".
"The idea of RMIT's pivotal role in the student and research life of central Melbourne has been an overriding theme in the building's design," Mr Stanic said.
"The very centrality of the site to the city became a defining element in the design, shaping the building's footprint and form. And the sightlines from the building at each level played an integral part in the design of its student spaces, which connect the building to its surrounds.
"In this way we have created a design that not only places the building at the very heart of Melbourne architecturally, but also reflects and embraces the broader architectural legacy of the city."
Inside RMIT University's newest building, new home of RMIT's College of Business.