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Australian education projects shine at regional awards

A number of innovative designs for Australian educational facilities have been successful at the 2015 Council of Educational Facility Planners Australasia (CEFPI) Awards, with projects such as a bi-lingual early learning centre in Melbourne and an alternative school in Noosa recognised.

Melbourne-based practice ClarkeHopkinsClarke stood out, winning three awards for two projects.

The Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences by the practice won the award for Education Initiative/Design Solution for an Innovative Program as well as the Overall Winner for the Australasian Region. The Melbourne school cost over $6 million to build, and opened in March 2014.

The school is a branch of University High School that is designed to cater for year 11 and 12 students who have a strong interest in science and mathematics.

A government grant supported the inclusion of a pilot project to maintain the air temperature in the building using a geothermal energy system, which is estimated to have saved the building’s running costs by 96 percent.

The Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences by ClarkeHopkinsClarke features a pilot geothermal energy system that reduces the building's running costs by around 95 percent.

The Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences by ClarkeHopkinsClarke features a pilot geothermal energy system that reduces the building’s running costs by around 95 percent.

Image: Courtesy of ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects

The Peoples Choice Award was won by TERROIR Architects for their project that transformed two 1960s buildings at a Sydney school.

The Emerging Chapter Award Winner was New Zealand practice Athfield Architectus for its $63 million campus hub and library upgrade at Victoria University in Wellington.

The Council of Educational Facility Planners Australasia is a professional association that aims to improve learning environments.

Full list of winners:

Emerging Chapter Award Winner: Victoria University of Wellington, Campus Hub and Library Upgrade by Athfield Architectus

Overall Winner for the Australasian Region: The Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences, The University High School by ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects

Winner of the 2015 CEFPI Australasia Peoples Choice Award: Claremont College by TERROIR Architects

Category 1: New Construction, Entire New School

WINNER: Noosa Flexible Learning Centre – Fulton Trotter Architects

Category 2: New Construction, Major Facility

WINNER: Brighton Grammar Middle School –ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects.

Category 3: Renovation/Modernisation Over $2 Million

WINNER: FROEBEL Learning Centre – Steffen Welsch Architects.

Category 5: Education Initiative/Design Solution For an Innovative Program

WINNER: Elizabeth Blackburn School of Science, The University High School – ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects.

Category 6: Educational Landscape/Outdoor Learning Area

WINNER: Horsham Special School - Sensory Courtyard – Kneeler Design Architects and Jeavons Landscape Architects.

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