La Trobe Sports Stadium Building

La Trobe University’s Melbourne Campus at Bundoora provides a unique setting for learning, research and employment. With its substantial landholdings and location at the gateway to Melbourne’s growing north, La Trobe provides unparalleled opportunities for the University and the wider community.
The Sports Parks project is part of La Trobe’s wider University City of the Future plan to transform its Melbourne Campus and it is a major regional sporting asset for the local community. Designed by Warren and Mahoney, with structure, civil, façade and ESD design by Arup AU, it sets to bring national, state and local sports organisations to Melbourne’s north.
The Sports Park houses a state-of-the-art teaching and research facility, an elite performance space and world-class sporting facilities to support major sports events, regular grass-roots competitions and community recreation opportunities for up to 10,000 local community members per week.
Design for sustainability and green architecture have been driving motivations for the development of this project, this resulted in the La Trobe Sports Stadium at the Sports Park being awarded 6 Star Green Star Design and As-built v1.2 rating by the Green Building Council of Australia and achieving many innovation points.
The eToolLCD software was used to complete the Life Cycle modelling of the building to complete the EN15978 compliant reporting required by the Green Star Life Cycle impact credit. As eTool Enterprise customers, Arup conducted a whole of building Life Cycle Assessment on the building compared to a ‘Business as Usual (BAU)’ reference case and presented the findings of 10 environmental impact categories.

  • Location: Melbourne, Victoria
  • Design: Warren and Mahoney & Arup
  • ESD consultant: Arup

Results Summary

Impact CategoryUnit                  % Saved Against Benchmark
Global Warming Potentialkg CO2e/m2GFA

93 %

Abiotic Resource Depletionkg Sbe/m2GFA

105 %

Acidification Potentialkg SO2e/m2GFA41 %
EutrophicationkgPO4e/m2GFA44 %
Ozone Layer Depletionmg CFC11e/m2GFA-4 %
Human ToxicityuDALY/m2GFA37 %
Land Usem2 /year arable/m2GFA73 %
Fresh Water Depletionm3/m2GFA3 %

Project features

The La Trobe Sports Stadium building is spread over two storeys. The ground floor consists of research and laboratory spaces along with six sports courts, while the first-floor houses undergraduate teaching rooms and office spaces.
This building is steel framed. The sports courts are naturally ventilated, with the remaining of the building being mechanically ventilated.

Design life

The project was assessed according to the Green Star Materials Life Cycle credit and has a proposed design life of 60 years. The building is expected to remain on-site for a longer period that this (given the expense, planning and foresight of La Trobe University). However, Green Star requires all buildings that are assessed for the credit to assume a 60-year design life.


This project achieved a reduction of 15% in embodied carbon compared to Business as Usual thanks to the structural efficiency of the court design developed by the Arup structural engineers. By using a cantilevered canopy construction and by utilising innovative raked columns span as a fixed beam-to-column, it was possible to reduce the overall amount of structural steel (highly carbon intensive material). Steel for the structure was reduced by 21.1 tonnes resulting in a 5% decrease across the whole building.

Additionally, 16% of the building area was fitted with accredited sustainable products including furniture, extended warranty flooring and ceiling panels. The combination of sustainable products with local procurement and an integrated waste management plant, guarantees a sustainable sourcing, use and disposal of materials exceeding the Green Building Council of Australia’s criteria and achieving innovation points for material reduction and efficient material utilisation.

Operational Energy

The following operational energy initiatives ensured a significant saving over a Business-as-Usual Green Star design:

  • 470W high efficiency PV system capable of generating 724,000 kWh/year. This is enough to meet the entire building’s energy demand with an energy surplus also capable of providing the rest of the campus with energy generated on-site.
  • A Building Management System (BMS) which operates lighting and air conditioning plant. BMS also provides data on energy consumption for monitoring, reporting and annual NABERS energy assessments.
  • Building geometry that achieves natural ventilation for 60% of the functional floor area of the building (typically mechanically ventilated).
  • Azzo Power Monitoring Expert (PME) software metering.
  • Building envelope designed to reduce solar and thermal energy transfers through reduced window to wall ratios, shading structures, insulation and high performance windows.
  • Tenants and Building Managers behavioural change initiatives.
  • A white roof which reflects sun to reduce urban heat island effect and energy demand for cooling.

Operational Water

Water consumption was also considered; La Trobe University committed to ensuring the efficient use of water in the La Trobe Sports Stadium building. The following initiatives ensured a reduction of operational water use:

  • Water efficient fixtures including showers, toilet pans and timed-out taps.
  • A 70 kL rainwater capture tank for non-potable water reuse.
  • Water meters to monitor water usage and manage use reduction.
  • Native landscaping in combination with in-ground irrigation and green groundskeeping operations.

This assessment was conducted by Arup and certified by eTool