Supporting our growing student population at Parkville

The University supports around 50,000 students at its Parkville campus, with enrolments growing each year. This influx of metropolitan, regional and international students brings a vibrancy and diversity to both the University and our community more broadly, and with it, an obligation for the University to support this growing cohort and continue to provide an outstanding student experience.

The University’s commitment to student accommodation, as detailed in the Growing Esteem 2015 – 2020 Strategy, is framed by the Melbourne Student Accommodation Program (MSAP), which seeks to provide 6000 safe, affordable and quality student accommodation places within walking-distance of the Parkville campus by 2020.

There are currently 3188 beds available for students at either campus colleges or at the Leicester Street accommodation facility. Via MSAP, the University will add around 3000 beds between now and 2020 through a range of projects including the University College extension as well as new beds at University owned sites at Royal Parade, Bouverie Street, Carlton Connect and Lincoln Square.


Our Campus in the 21st Century

Our Campus in the 21st Century (OC21) was developed by the University community in a series of workshops that explored the qualities wanted across all campuses and precincts. It is the formal response to the University of Melbourne’s strategic plan Growing Esteem and is integral to how the University will plan for the future.

The Melbourne Student Accommodation Program will support OC21 in the following ways:

TECHNOLOGY AND TRADITION

The MSAP responds to the Growing Esteem strategy through the design and development of accommadation facilities that consider both the heritage and tradition of the University, and the ecological footprint it will make.

SYNERGY AND INNOVATION

Inclusive, affordable and safe accommodation will provide students with the opportunity to meet, collaborate and innovate with peers outside of their faculty.

QUALITY EXPERIENCES

The new accommodation facilities will provide supported, self-cater or catered provisions to all students. The holistic wellbeing of students will be a key priority, with access to student services, social activities and regular events in recognition of the significant life change students experience when moving away from home.

A CULTURE OF INCLUSION

The new student accommodation offering will be underpinned by the University’s commitment to providing affordable beds to students that are tailored to their needs and complement the existing University accommodation facilities. The building design has also been thoughtfully considered to allow for conversion and modernising for future student populations.

SPACES AND PLACES

This program recognises the imperative for students new to Melbourne to be within walking distance to the Parkville campus. Suitable sites were carefully considered to ensure that students can walk to the Parkville campus in under five minutes.

FAQs

Why has the University chosen to develop Student Accommodation at 123 – 135 Bouverie Street?

The University is committed to supporting our growing student population on the Parkville campus through the Melbourne Student Accommodation Program (MSAP), which seeks to deliver on the University’s commitment to providing 6000 safe, affordable and quality student accommodation places within walking-distance of the Parkville campus by 2020. To achieve this target, the University will add around 3000 beds through a range of projects including the University College extension as well as new beds at University owned sites at Royal Parade, Bouverie Street, Carlton Connect and Lincoln Square.

The Bouverie Street development forms part of the University’s commitment to supporting student’s transition to University life and their wellbeing while here. The site’s close proximity to the Parkville campus and the Melbourne CBD, and capacity to offer 596 new, affordable and student-tailored beds were key drivers in selecting this University-owned site for development.

Previous plans for the development of 123 – 127 Bouverie Street site have been reevaluated in light of current University strategic thinking about the emerging needs of the University community. The work undertaken previously to consider the option of providing a new childcare centre on the site, has and will continue to inform the University’s thinking about how we can most effectively plan for future childcare delivery, taking into account suitable University owned sites around the Parkville campus.

The University supports around 50,000 students at its Parkville campus. This influx of metropolitan, regional and international students brings a vibrancy and diversity to both the University and our community more broadly, as well as new and expanded strategies to support a growing student population and provide the best possible student experience.

In addition to student accommodation, does the University plan to develop additional childcare centres?

A Childcare Strategy Working Group led by the Deputy Provost is guiding thinking about new developments in the childcare space, the University having committed to delivery of around 300 new childcare places for children of University staff and students in the next 3 – 5 years.

A key component of this expansion is the development of a new childcare centre at The Avenue, Parkville, to be located in a low-rise development zone where new buildings are limited to four storeys in height. The Avenue project will be a new build, providing opportunities for parents and staff to provide input into the design and vision for the centre. It will also provide an easy drop-off and pick-up option for parents, is located close to the Parkville campus and in close proximity to significant Melbourne parklands in Royal Park and Princes Park.

What are the current regulations outlined in the Melbourne Planning Scheme that relate to the Bouverie Street site?

In Oct 2015, Amendment C196 was incorporated into the Melbourne Planning Scheme. This amendment introduced a new Schedule to the Design and Development Overlay (DDO61), which incorporates a series of built form requirements. Under this new policy, land fronting Bouverie Street, Queensberry Street and Leicester Street has a preferred building height of 40m. The proposed student accommodation building is consistent with the anticipated building scale at this location.

All documentation within the town planning package has been prepared to address and comply with the requirements of the Scheme. Notification of the proposed development has been undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and under the direction of the Melbourne City Council.

What stage of the design process is the Bouverie Street UniLodge currently in?

The project has now entered the detailed design stage. It is during this phase of the project where the finer details of building design and finishes are determined. As part of this, measures to limit overlooking to the south are currently being explored.

Will the student accommodation building at 123- 135 Bouverie Street overshadow the Queensberry Street Children’s Centre?

An initial shadow analysis conducted by the project architects indicated that there will be impacts to sunlight during winter, autumn and spring from the new build, most significantly in the morning and early afternoon. An updated shadow analysis from the architects, cross-checked against updated Queensberry Street plans, has been shared with the Childcare Management Advisory Committee and posted on the Childcare Strategy webpage in the FAQs tab.

The Project Team is also working closely with staff in the Queensberry Street Children's Centre to consider additional mitigation options to address the loss of direct sunlight. Options around landscape planting and minor modifications to areas such as the Panda Room are being explored.

How will the construction management be handled?

A draft Construction Management Plan has been prepared and submitted with the Planning Permit application. This document will be finalised in consultation with the University. This document outlines information relating to site access, construction hours, and noise/dust suppression methods. A final construction management plan will be negotiated with the council once a builder is appointed to the project. The Queensberry Children’s Centre will be consulted during the finalisation of the Plan to minimise impacts on the centre during construction.

How will noise be managed during construction?

Demolition of the 123 – 135 Bouverie Street site will take place on the Barkley Place side of the building, to minimise noise to the Queensberry Children’s Centre. Hoarding will also erected around the entire site and regular communications shared with neighbouring residents via information sessions, meetings and digital communication channels to reduce the impact of the development.

How will the boundary between the Children’s Centre and the accommodation be managed?

The boundary wall separating the Children’s Centre from the Bouverie Street building will be 4.7m in height and made of precast concrete, providing both a significant noise barrier and no opportunity for interaction between the properties. The University has also proposed to green the wall on the childcare side in collaboration with the childcare centre.

Will the noise made by tenants of the student accommodation impact surrounding neighbours?

The open space areas of the building have been designed to avoid overlooking of neighbouring residents and to mitigate noise. The ground floor outdoor area is located on the Barkley Street side of the building and will have no noise impact to the Children’s Centre. The two outdoor terraces are located at height on Level 7 and 13 to avoid noise travelling to neighbours below. Additionally, a fulltime manager with supporting staff will manage building operations to ensure that neighbours will not be adversely impacted by students residing in the facility.

Who will manage the accommodation?

UniLodge will be the operator of the building, however, management of the accommodation will be undertaken in close association with the University of Melbourne. Key features of UniLodge’s operational management plan are listed below:

  • The facility will be of a ‘halls of residence’ style of accommodation, with bedrooms designed to encourage a positive sleep and studying environment;
  • Communal facilities are provided on each level to encourage social interaction. Access to communal open spaces will be restricted to between 7am and 10pm. Noise emanating from these spaces will be managed to prevent Property Manager will manage building operations, in close consultation with the University;
  • A high level of pastoral care and mentoring is provided with a minimum of five Residential Advisors (RAs) living at the accommodation facility. The RAs will provide an active daily interface between students and the property manager, whilst monitoring that the premises are well maintained and clean;
  • All student residents will be required to conduct themselves in accordance to behaviours outlined in the Resident Handbook.
  • A monthly management meeting between the University and UniLodge will take place, in addition to proactive communication and reporting between the University and the operator. This will be in accordance with other existing relationships and would be managed by the Student Accommodation Unit in Academic Services.

Is there an overlooking issue to neighbours and is there a risk of objects being thrown out of the building’s windows?

The accommodation building has been designed in accordance with strict planning regulations and mandatory building codes to ensure overlooking and the release of objects from accommodation windows is significantly reduced. Window openings are confirmed to be limited to 125mm and will incorporate a fixed flyscreen to prevent falling objects as well as internal blackout blinds. In addition to this, a 1.8m high balustrade will be installed around the communal open spaces on Levels 7 and 13.

Will there be increased traffic in the area?

There will be no on-site car parking in the new building. Instead, the development will provide 126 bicycle spaces to decrease pollution and traffic congestion in the area, whilst contributing to the buildings 5 Star Green Rating and traffic safety in the area more broadly.

When will the accommodation open?

The Bouverie Street UniLodge Student Accommodation will be available as accommodation for University of Melbourne students by 2020.

How will I be consulted with moving forward?

Further to the recent information sessions with parents and carers from Queensberry Children’s Centre, the Bouverie Street Project Architects have visited the centre to determine how potential impacts from the development might be minimised. Updates on project developments will be provided on this webpage in addition to regular communications to the Queensberry Children’s Centre directly.

Contact Us

If you would like further information about the Melbourne Student Accommodation Program please email the project team at msa-program@unimelb.edu.au