Surf Coast Secondary College is designed to celebrate eco friendly materials and energy efficient design techniques with a focus on the communication of environmental responsibility to students.

dwp|suters has designed the new 8,000sqm secondary college for 925 students, incorporating a middle school, senior school and indoor sports facility. Positioned on an elevated, sloping site facing south west overlooking Bass Strait, the college is designed to create shelter from the severe coastal winds.

The building bends and warps to create a conceptual series of built ‘Hedgerows’ that produce spaces for outdoor learning and play that would otherwise be impossible on the site. The campus forms a cohesive community precinct that represents a central focus point for the local community.

The use of energy efficient design, combined with a school wide energy monitoring system, natural ventilation and wetland environmental system, create a holistic educational environment where the building not only performs well but simultaneously provides tools to educate the students.

Key initiatives:

  • The design fits seamlessly into the coastal environment, with the building’s low profile responding to the topography and weather conditions that shape the Surf Coast
  • The BMS allows the coordination of services and functions throughout the College, including energy monitoring of heating, lighting and water usage, which is available to compare separate buildings and their usage
  • The college is designed to remain comfortable in Torquay’s temperate and windswept landscape. A central courtyard with operable glazed entries allows the school to control and mitigate the movement of wind through zones creating shelter or boosting air flow on hot days
  • Natural ventilation is ensured throughout with high level clerestory windows linked to CO2 sensors, acting as thermal chimneys to provide cross ventilation and night purging

Photography by Emma Cross