Integrated Design Studio

About the project

This project is one of a series of Integrated Design Studios (IDS’s) to be carried out under i-Hub.

Integrated design aims to empower architecture with engineering and technical
performance, to produce “towards zero energy” facilities that will reduce operating costs and assist to combat climate change.

The IDS’s will generate improvements in integrated design processes as well as yielding design ideas for the building typologies they are concerned with. Renewable energy technologies will be a key focus.

Project title Integrated Design Studio (IDS) 01 – NEXTDC Data Centres I
Project number IDS-01
Project location Melbourne
Lead partner University of Melbourne
Project partners AIRAH, Aurecon, Greenbox Architecture
Project participants NEXTDC
Start date 03/2020
End date 10/2020
ARENA/i-Hub funding $74,646
Total project cost $203,007


The rapid and continuing growth of the ICT industry means that data centres will be one of the worlds large energy users in the future. Significant opportunities exist for building strategies that reduce energy consumption of these facilities. These include measures such as energy capture, energy generation (through renewables), and energy recycling.


Integrated Design Studios (of which this is one), will be hosted by the Melbourne School of Design (at the University of Melbourne), and provide an environment where integrated design processes can be tested and refined on different building typologies (in this case data centres).

The IDS’s will involve academics, industry consultants, and clients assisted by masters level students to explore integrated design on data centres.

Output will include findings on how to best enable integrated design as well as student produced collateral on design ideas for a case study data centre project provided by NEXTDC.

The University of Melbourne


This project is expected to contribute to the development of a robust integrated design process able to be extended to industry to change the way design traditionally occurs on projects improving carbon performance.

It will also produce design ideas specific to data centres that may be adopted by the client NEXTDC, or the wider data centre industry. The use of renewables technologies will be a key focus.

Additional impact

Integrated Design by its nature is an inclusive process that will produce designs that better serve society as a whole. As well as improved technical (energy) performance, design outcomes are expected to also provide increased community and societal benefits.

Findings from the IDS’s are intended to be shared across wider industry of design and more specifically data centre design.

Project reports

IDS01 i-Hub Integrated Design Studio Outcomes Report – Data Centre I
IDS01 Final Sub-Project Report
IDS01 Lessons Learnt Report

Evaluation Framework

All sub-projects within i-Hub are evaluated as part of the ongoing i-Hub project management process. Evaluation is completed by the project manager and reviewed by the Activity Leaders Group and i-Hub Steering Committee. Please click here to read the Evaluation Framework.

Created 25/03/2020