Event overview

A consortium of government and leading built-environment industry bodies established the seminar series, Melbourne Forum, to focus on promoting sustainability in the commercial built environment. 

The Melbourne Forum is currently supported by Sustainability Victoria, Sustainable Building Innovation Laboratory (SBi Lab) – RMIT University, Melbourne School of Design – University of Melbourne, City of Melbourne, City West Water and AIRAH

Aims and objectives

The forums aim to increase the development and refurbishment of green commercial buildings in Victoria to achieve greater levels of sustainable performance. The forums demonstrate environmental leadership by each partner organisation, facilitating discussion and debate around sustainability in the built environment in Melbourne and, more broadly, Victoria. The series facilitate a unique space for leading practitioners and policymakers in the built-environment sector to come together and discuss sustainability issues, technologies and developments, as well as to share ideas and experiences.


The Melbourne Forum has been running since 2006, with the support of Sustainability Victoria, University of Melbourne, RMIT University, City West Water, City of Melbourne, and Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air-conditioning and Heating (AIRAH) among others.

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Upcoming Melbourne Forum

Melbourne Forum, November 14

Vertical Schools

High-density living has been viewed as a key strategy to manage urban growth, and is increasingly becoming a feature in city planning. 

In fact, by 2030, 60 per cent of the world’s population will live in cities (McKinsey & Company, 2013). As cities (particularly inner-city areas) transform and increase in density, they attract a variety of people, including retirees and young people, but also families. 

Student enrolment pressures and smaller sites mean an innovative approach must be taken when planning new schools for inner-city sites. One solution is vertical schools, which, as the term implies, are multi-storey facilities built to make the most of small spaces.

What is the outlook on vertical schools? What are the potential advantages and challenges in meeting our sustainability agenda? What are the impacts on student learning? How can we enhance creative learning through innovative design? How can we provide improved quality of the indoor and outdoor environments through enhanced ventilation systems and acoustic conditioning?

: Tuesday, November 14.
: 5.30pm for a 6pm start. Presentations will finish at approximately 7.30pm, followed by networking drinks and finger food until 8.30pm.
: The Treasury Theatre, Lower Plaza, 1 Macarthur St, East Melbourne. Take the stairs next to the white umbrellas in the courtyard, down to the lower plaza. The theatre is on the left, under the stairs. 
Register: Click here to find out more and register, or register below. All attendees must register for catering purposes.


Stephen Turner,
Gray Puksand

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Stephen Turner has established a reputation for leadership in innovative education projects, and achieved extraordinary success in master planning and design for effective learning landscapes.

His broad involvement with facility planners, educators and community groups has enabled him to develop a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between progressive pedagogy and the challenges posed to contemporary education and agile learning environments in the 21st century. “Environmental sustainable design,” Turner says, “is the key to all projects.”

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Carey Lyon,
Lyons Architecture

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As one of Lyons’ Founding Directors, Carey Lyons is one of Australia’s leading design architects. In recognition of his design leadership work, in 2006 he was elected National President of the AIA and was awarded the President’s Medal from the American Institute of Architects. He has served as a board member of the GBCA since 2007. He has led, and design collaborated, on numerous major projects at Lyons, with specialist expertise in learning research and workplace environments, together with leadership expertise in urban design and sustainability.

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Grant Holman, M.AIRAH,
Wood & Grieve Engineers

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Grant is the Director and Melbourne office leader of Wood & Grieve Engineers, an international engineering design consultancy with offices in all major Australian capitals and ShenZhen, China.

Passionate about multi-disciplinary design and collaboration, Grant has led and participated on many high-density building developments throughout Australia, with most recently his team being responsible for the recent retrofit of the new Haileybury school campus here in the inner city of Melbourne next to Flagstaff Gardens.

This project involved the adaption of an existing office building into a vertical school and all of the challenges of changing an existing building into a code-compliant, fully functional, multi-year primary and high school. He is currently working on the design of Prahran High School and the new Docklands Primary School. Grant will share his insights into the engineering challenges associated with this growing trend towards higher density cities and the provision of schools that allow students to thrive.

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Past Melbourne Forums

Click here for more information about past Melbourne Forums.