The Fenner School is housed in Frank Fenner Building and the Forestry Building. Find out more about the environmental and historical significance of our facilities.

Frank Fenner Building

The Frank Fenner Building (#141) was opened in 2011 by ACT Chief Minister, Katy Gallagher. The building is home to the Fenner School of Environment & Society, a school dedicated to integrated environmental research and training. True to the School’s mission, the building was designed and built to the highest standards of sustainability and energy efficiency.

The Frank Fenner building was the first in the ACT to achieve both 6 Star Green Star Office Design and As Built v3 ratings from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA). The GBCA described the building as ‘world leadership’ in sustainable design and construction.

Key features contributing to the building’s 6 Star Green Rating include:

  • Rooftop photovoltaic solar panels: a photovoltaic system consisting of 142x240W solar panels is installed on the roof generating up to 43,800kWh of electricity annually, enough electricity each year to make the building close carbon negative. At low usage times the excess is fed back into the grid.
  • Water recycling: stormwater is harvested in two large rainwater tanks, which collect water from the building’s roof for use in landscape irrigation. A blackwater recycling system feeds all waste water into the system and draws back recycled water for toilet and urinal flushing.
  • Solar orientation: the building was designed to maximise natural light and external views to provide occupants with a visual connection to the outside environment.
  • Low carbon emissions: the building has emissions in the vicinity of 43.43 kgCO2 per square metre per annum (compared to 110 kgCO2 for a building that meets the minimum Green Star standard).
  • Efficient thermal exterior: use of building fabric with insulation to minimise heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer.
  • Airflow and ventilation: ventilation with external air increases the amount of outside air supplied to the building by 150% above the current Australian standard.
  • Minimal off-gassing interiors: all building materials and products (such as carpet, paints, sealants, etc) have a low ‘volatile organic compound’ to minimise off-gassing of pollutants into office space.
The Frank Fenner Building

The Frank Fenner Building.

Rooftop solar panels on the Frank Fenner Building

Rooftop solar panels on the Frank Fenner Building.

Water recycling system on the Frank Fenner Building

Water recycling system on the Frank Fenner Building.

Forestry Building

Designed by Eggleston, MacDonald and Secomb, the Forestry Building (#48) was officially opened on 16 May 1968 by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh with the unveiling of a wooden sculpture in the building’s main foyer.

The University’s Wood Library (Xylarium) is housed in Forestry Building. Initially assembled following the establishment of the Australian Forestry School in Canberra in 1927, the Wood Library contains both local and exotic timber samples, and is used in forestry and wood science education and research.  It has considerable historical significance for its connection to forestry education in Australia and its links to Canberra’s built heritage.

Wood Library (Xylarium)

Wood Library (Xylarium).