The University of Sydney (UoS) was committed to building the Queen Mary Building (QMB) Student Accommodation as a sustainable facility as part of the Campus Improvement Program, to provide affordable accommodation, with the best environmental practice and appropriate technology as a contribution to a more sustainable built environment.

The UoS Sustainability Framework ensures environmentally sustainable initiatives are incorporated to achieve environmentally sensitive, energy efficient and low impact buildings.

The project involved the adaptive reuse of an existing building into a student accommodation facility for 800 students. The existing building, a former nurses' home, operated from 1956 and since 2002 had stood empty. The refurbished building provides accommodation over 10 levels with common bathrooms, kitchenettes, lounges and studies. Basement, Ground and Roof floors contain common areas including a communal kitchen/dining, lounge, theatrette, gymnasium, laundry, music rooms and external terraces .


  • Adaptive re-use of an existing derelict residential high-rise.
  • Structural and compliance upgrade to entire building to comply with current codes and regulations.
  • Implementation of the University of Sydney Sustainability Framework.
  • Recycle and reuse of existing building material, fixtures, furniture and equipment in refurbishment
  • Upgrade of all apartment windows, North and South tower facades with thermally efficient window profiles and performance glass
  • Recycling of rainwater used throughout building and irrigate landscaped areas
  • Renewable energy generation systems - 17kW rooftop photovoltaic cells for electricity generation and solar hot water systems
  • Use of smart lighting networking in common areas and circulation spaces, and energy efficient LED luminaires through most of the building to reduce the building's energy use and carbon footprint
  • Use of rainwater tanks for irrigation and use in selected amenities areas
  • Use of environmentally preferable timber and joinery materials
  • Water and energy saving devices used throughout
  • Natural airflow for heating and cooling
  • The use of sustainable modes of transport - large bicycle storage provided