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High-performance home for environmental institutions

A building that will house two major environmental research institutions was officially opened at the Australian National University on 24 October.

The Frank Fenner Building will house ANU’s Fenner School of Environment and Society and the Climate Change Institute.

The Climate Change Institute was established thanks to a one-off grant of AU$2.5 million from the Australian Capital Territory government in 2009.

The new building is named after the late Frank Fenner, an environmental scientist who played significant roles in malaria prevention, the eradication of smallpox and rabbit control. Fenner was a member of ANU for over six decades.

The AU$11m building’s environmental and sustainability features put it in the top 25 per cent of buildings in Australia for environmental performance, according to Ian Young, ANU vice-chancellor.

“The new building houses a photovoltaic array, hybrid air-conditioning unit, rainwater collection and recycled blackwater, resulting in a saving of over 60 per cent in carbon emissions each year,” he said.

“The building will be used as a living laboratory, with live displays and a wetland which will increase biodiversity and collect stormwater runoff,” Young added.