The Sustainability and Health Training Precinct (J Block) project involved the substantial refurbishment and extension of an existing building in the Cairns Campus of the Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE (TNQIT).
The overall design intent for the project has been to remodel and recycle the existing J Block buildings and surrounding area to provide a high quality learning and work environment for TAFE staff and students within a built form that demonstrates ecological sustainable design principles in a tropical context.
The building has been designed to achieve a 5 Star Green Star Educational Tool Rating; the first in tropical Australia. The project includes new offices for TNQIT’s executive team, a space for international student services, computer labs, nursing training wards and classrooms, two flexible learning spaces and a green room providing information about sustainability initiatives.
The building also includes a network of covered walkways and an outdoor learning area. Education as the ‘gateway to the future’ has become the defining character of the building. Our goal through this building is to define educational connectivity to the ‘global learning’ paradigm by imbuing Cairns TAFE with a contemporary edge, a sense of openness and creating spaces that are augmented by the advent of communication strategies.