The Big Q is: What is the Q?
Have you seen the big shiny Rubix Cube in Honeysuckle? We’ve found out it’s much prettier on the inside, as students are finally able to have classes in the new Q Building. Phoebe Metcalfe takes you through the main features of the first Honeysuckle Campus building.
Following the 2017 completion of the NUspace building, the new Q Building marks the materialised expansion of the University of Newcastle’s City Campus, more specifically the Honeysuckle Campus. The Honeysuckle Campus Stage A1 is now complete, meaning we have a whole lot more to look forward to from the following stages.
“As an institution, we had set out to achieve a new build being 6 Star certified by 2025, so Q Building puts us well in advance of the targets in our Environmental Sustainability Plan. From here on, all new University buildings will be designed and built for 6 Star ‘Design and As Built’ rating, which is a significant step on the road toward the University being carbon neutral by 2025.” – Vice-Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky.
Before we get into the space, here are some Fast Feature Facts about Q from The University of Newcastle:
- 104 solar panels
- 20kL rainwater capture volume
- 344 Sage Glass thermal panels – the largest installation in the southern hemisphere
- Energy and water-efficient fittings – all LED lights and 4 Star rated Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) water fittings
- Building ‘tuning’ so that HVAC and other systems are running as efficiently as possible
- 100% renewable electricity via Red Energy contract
- Sustainable transport plan, including bike hub with end-of-trip facilities and the hybrid shuttle-bus route
- 96% recycling rate during construction
- It’s the first multi-storey timber building in Newcastle – the internal structure was built using sustainably sourced, cross-laminated timber, much of which is visible from outside the building.
All of the features above have contributed to the Q Building receiving the first 6 Star, Green Star Rating in regional NSW.
Now, to the spaces that will be a main hub for the College of Human and Social Futures students:
Cafe and Communal Areas
You step inside the Q and you’re immediately greeted with the exposed wooden structure of the building, with gorgeous black features.
Upstairs is a communal area fitted with a kitchenette, floor to ceiling views of the water, and Mac’s and PCs lining the tables.
A sister room to the Maker Space in University House, the Q’s Maker Space features two 3D printers, a lazer cutter, sewing machines, and many other tools to facilitate students’ creativity. The industrial style finish is a huge statement and could be seen as a metaphor for all the potential each room, and each student has within this space.
Film Studio and Control Room
Perfect for Media Production students, the Film Studio can double in size with a retractable wall that connects to the Animation Studio. Connected to a control room many industry professionals are not only jealous of, but hire out, this space has limitless possibilities.
Currently set up with a stop motion movie set, a project lead by lecturer, Jack McGrath, this room is fitted with camera and lighting equipment to make stop motion films to rival Wallace and Gromit.
You can chat with Dom or Chris in the hiring office on Level 1 about anything to do with the spaces or using the equipment (you can hire everything). They’re more than happy to help facilitate you with your creative assignments!
The Q Building is open to the public, and accessible to the School of Humanities, Creative Industries and Social Science students after hours. Check it out for yourself!
Or if you can’t make it in person, you can see the virtual tour right here:
Feature Image and Article Images: Phoebe Metcalfe, Yak Media Designer