THE University of Newcastle's striking Q Building, constructed using sustainably sourced timber plus sage glass - which changes tint level in response to sunlight - has opened its doors bearing an impressive accolade.
The Green Building Council Australia has certified the new Honeysuckle landmark as the first 6 Star Green Star 'Design and As Built' building in regional NSW.
Guests including Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport Rob Stokes joined Vice Chancellor Professor Alex Zelinsky on Friday to open the building, which houses UON's School of Humanities, Creative Industries and Social Sciences and the Integrated Innovation Network (I2N), which supports start-ups and entrepreneurs to get new ideas and businesses off the ground.
I2N has already helped 60 start-up and innovation teams and created nearly 100 new jobs in the region.
"[This building] embodies its aspirations, the fact that the design embraces the past and respects the past of this place, but also the technology embedded in the building also speaks to the future and the future of sustainability, that is the aspiration of great technology and design and the very things this building is set up to incubate," Mr Stokes said.
"[It will] be a crucible of creativity in the heart of Newcastle, it's to inspire everyone to think creatively about ways in which we can make each other's lives better, what we can build [as] community together... it's about sharing resources to empower all of us."
He said universities sometimes set themselves apart from their communities.
"The whole idea of Newcastle seems to be precisely the opposite, to invite people in rather than to exclude people from, which is so revolutionary - it shouldn't be, but it really is."
Mr Stokes said education was not a product, but about continuing to grow, learn and challenge each other and one's self.
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