Green Chemical Futures

Green Chemical Futures



the Campus

“Green Chemical Futures is a campus responsive building, contributing student and industry engagement spaces to the life of the University. The Graphene molecule inspired façade is open and engaging—creating a public dialogue between open space and the world of learning and research within.”

Neil Appleton, Director of Lyons

Green Chemical Futures fulfills the vision put forward in its name — it creates a green future for chemical research and education. Our design bonds the three elements of chemical education, research and practice in a singular form, with collaboration the central focus of the building. Visually informed by molecular structures, the building is the centrepiece of the science education and research cluster at Monash University Clayton Campus. The building elegantly addresses complex functional requirements of research and education and creates a collaborative environment that functions in harmony. Our distinct design is a vibrant meeting place for students and industry professionals, providing world-class opportunities for collaboration and innovation in Australian research and manufacturing.

  • Sector

    Research Buildings

  • Key Lyons contacts

    Neil Appleton
    Paul Dash

  • Client

    Monash University
    Lend Lease

  • Location

    Green Chemical Futures, 13 Rainforest Walk, Clayton VIC 3800

  • Traditional land

    Located on the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri and Boon Wurrung people

  • Size

    9,500 square metres

  • Sustainability

    5 star Greenstar Design and As-built Education rating

  • Project status

    Complete, 2014


2015 Australian Institute of Architects - VIC Chapter
    • Award for Educational Architecture
    • Colorbond Award for Steel Architecture

Delivering an integrated precinct

Our consideration of how Green Chemical Futures (GCF) contributes to the broader campus strategy is one of the keys to its success. GFC is the centrepiece of the new North West Science Precinct and one of the first buildings in the new Monash Masterplan’s urbanisation of the campus. With a primary aim to make chemistry both engaging and exciting, we designed a playful and immersive educational environment. Visually, the building brings a rich aesthetic to the campus, making it a distinct landmark. GCF addresses the campus through multiple entries into generous open glazed foyers to the east end of the building. The result is a building that functions as a hive of activity while also contributing to an integrated precinct.

A sustainable future for chemistry

At the core of the design for the Green Chemical Futures (GCF) is our vision to create a sustainable future for chemistry. This is achieved through both the form and function of the building. While materials and finishes throughout are low emission and recyclable, we have prioritised occupant control and comfort. Reducing energy consumption was achieved using a very low velocity mechanical system, reducing fan power and utilising fabric ductwork in the laboratories. We strategically designed the plantrooms on each level at the west end of the building to minimise the run of ducts and exhausts through the Vierendeel trusses to and from the labs. The long span of the main structural beams provides column free space within the labs and offices and allows the space to be easily reconfigured for future expansion. Based on molecular chemical models, GCF’s façade provides self-shading at an optimal 53 degrees, achieving a balance between natural light penetration and thermal performance. All laboratories and office spaces feature outstanding natural light and views.

Bonding education, research and practice

Green Chemical Futures (GCF) combines Monash University’s Chemistry undergraduate teaching and research with the Centre for Green Chemistry, a centre for excellence in the study and application of sustainable chemistry. By combining teaching, research and industry in one design, GFC is the catalyst for a new, sustainable future for chemistry. The design places scientists from chemistry, chemical engineering and biochemistry amongst undergraduate students and industry partners in an open, shared project. Highly transparent interior glazed screens offer views into the research laboratories, specialist equipment rooms and open office spaces from every level. Within the laboratory and office spaces the expansive views and natural light make work spaces appealing spaces to spend time.

Designing visible career pathways for students

This building is a flagship project that represents our ability to design superior student experiences as well as world-class research facilities. The collaborative facility combines flexible undergraduate teaching laboratories with complementary student support, including a media conference room, tutorial space and group-focused student hubs. The combination of teaching and practice in the one facility, sharing collaboration space, circulation and internal views with the research and translation facilities, gives students tangible connections to career paths. Our design of an infinitely looping white circulation path links teaching, research and commercial chemistry into a holistic experience. Modular furniture solutions facilitate group activity throughout the foyers, supporting the expansive teaching labs on the lower levels of the building, enabling students to continue working around laboratory practical sessions.

Key Contacts

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