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. This studio will use laboratory facilities (buildings) as a case study.

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 IDS-08 CSIRO Laboratories
Project number IDS-08
Project location Melbourne
Lead partner University of Melbourne
Project partners AIRAH, DesignInc Architects, Atelier 10
Project participants CSIRO
Start date 07/2021
End date 05/2022
ARENA/i-Hub funding $74,646
Total project cost $203,007


Laboratory and technical buildings are key infrastructure components in supporting knowledge economies. Viewed as industrial and highly function driven buildings, laboratories often give design aspects such as energy performance and sustainability a low priority, this is despite typically using as much as five times as much energy and water per sqm as a typical office building. In many cases this is deserved given the strict performance requirements around the spaces being provided, in many instances however it is not. This studio aims to challenge the preconceptions that exist in the development of laboratory buildings and to understand how to more often make sustainable buildings a reality in the research sector.


The Integrated Design Studios (of which this is one), will be carried out at a number of universities (UoM, QUT, and University of Wollongong), they provide an environment where integrated design processes can be tested and refined on different building typologies.

The IDSs bring together academics, industry consultants, and clients assisted by masters level students to explore integrated design. Output will include findings on how to best enable integrated design as well as student produced collateral on design ideas for laboratory facilities and the buildings that house them.


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 laboratory buildings. The use of renewables technologies and designing as needs dictate for environmental controls 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.

Project reports

IDS08 Design Studio outcomes report – 100%
IDS08 Lessons Learnt Report
IDS08 Sub – project knowledge sharing report
IDS08 MA Sustainable Laboratories_v1.2
IDS08 Lessons Learnt Report v1.1

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 07/09/2021