Woodleigh School

Location Langwarrin South, VIC, Australia
Services Building services engineering and sustainable design
Sector Education 
Client Woodleigh School
Architect Law Architects
Imagery © Drew Echberg

Caimin McCabe

T +61 (0)3 9635 3700

Opened in the 1970’s, Woodleigh High school is an independent, progressive school with an emphasis on independent thought. Providing the building services engineering and sustainable design for this unique project required a thorough understanding of the client needs.

The school’s many teaching spaces are required to be flexible enough for the variety of class sizes and subjects that the students experience. This necessitated the use of a design that included sliding walls and partitioning curtains, generating a variety of contemporary learning settings. 

Working collaboratively with Law Architects the project achieved an integrated and holistic sustainable climatically responsive design response which included:

  • The integrated passive design response which combined optimised external solar shading, thermal performance and fenestration performance, to minimise the inherent heating and cooling demands.
  • Increased daylight penetration to enhance the indoor environmental quality and reduce the reliance on or need for artificial lighting.
  • Integration of a thermal labyrinth to extend the time when natural ventilation can be used.
  • A centralised Building Management System (BMS) to optimally control the mechanical systems, the thermal labyrinth, facilitate night purge as well as offer the school FM team with the ability to trend log performance.
  • A central energy plant approach was adopted to provide long term whole of life benefits to the school in terms of operating and replacement costs, as well as the future flexibility to expand to serve the future three Homesteads.
  • LED lighting and smart controls were used to significantly reduce energy consumption associated with artificial lighting, which typically represents one of the top three sources of energy consumption within school buildings.


The quality of the Woodleigh School Homesteads was also recognised internationally by winning international A+ Architizer Popular Choice Award for Architecture + Learning.

  • Winner of the Popular Choice Awards at the International Architizer A+ Awards.
  • Winner of Category 2 - New Construction: Major Facility at The Association for Learning Environments (formerly CEFPI) Australasian Region awards
  • Commendation in Category 5 - An Education Initiative, a Design Solution for an Innovative Program at The Association for Learning Environments (formerly CEFPI) Australasian Region awards
  • Commendation in Category 6 - Landscaping/Outdoor Learning Area at The Association for Learning Environments (formerly CEFPI) Australasian Region awards


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