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-05 Aquatic Centres I
Project number IDS-05
Project location Melbourne
Lead partner University of Melbourne
Project partners AIRAH, WSP Australia, Büro North
Project participants Banyule City Council, Yarra City Council, Moreland Council, Brimbank Council
Start date 07/2020
End date 05/2021
ARENA/i-Hub funding $74,646
Total project cost $203,007


Aquatic centres are notoriously heavy users of energy. Their extended operating hours, large heating loads and subsequent large energy costs represent a significant drain on council finances. As public buildings with a recreation agenda there is also considerable pressure to provide open architecture with areas of glass façade, etc. This makes them ideal candidates for the Integrated Design Studios. Renewables along with other emerging technologies such as low charge ammonia heat pumps will be explored in a push to reduce energy use.


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 aquatic centre facilities.


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 aquatic centres. 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.

A client panel of four Victorian councils has been formed as a representative client body facilitating maximum sharing of knowledge and extent of impact.

Project reports

IDS05 Design Studio Outcomes Report v2.0 (including Appendices)
IDS05 Sub-project Knowledge Sharing Report v2.0 – Final
IDS05 Lessons Learnt Report v2.0

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 05/10/2020