Transforming interior spaces with innovative acoustic solutions




Boola Katitjin building at Murdoch University marries sustainable design with innovative acoustics

Australia, Cube, Frontier, Quietspace panel, Vertiface

Feb 21, 2024

Acoustic solutions, Design, News Article, Sustainability

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Crafting a transformed student experience

Designed by public architecture and urban design specialists Lyons in collaboration with Perth-based firms Silver Thomas Hanley, Officer Woods Architects, and The Fulcrum Agency, Boola Katitjin at Murdoch University in Perth stands as Western Australia’s first large-scale mass-engineered timber structure. Its completion in 2023 marked the debut of this impressive 180-meter long low-rise edifice, serving as the vibrant heart of a new academic campus.


The hallmark feature of Boola Katitjin is its distinctive timber design, replacing conventional concrete and steel structures with cross-laminated timber floor panels, laminated timber beams, and columns. This choice underscores the remarkable technical aspects of timber construction across the entire building, integrating the structure with the surrounding bush environment.


Beyond its aesthetic connection with nature, the use of timber significantly enhances Boola Katitjin’s sustainability profile. This innovative construction approach reduced the building’s embodied carbon by an impressive 55%. Additional sustainability features include mixed-mode ventilation strategies and a gable roof adorned with an array of 450kW PV solar cells, satisfying over 60% of the building’s energy requirements.

In addition to sustainability measures, another pivotal aspect of the project’s development criteria was creating a conducive indoor environment. This involved implementing effective acoustic treatments to mitigate excessive noise and reverberation, given the diverse range of activities taking place within the “creative warehouse” model including teaching, collaborative study, academic workspaces, student services, and social engagement areas.


To achieve optimal acoustic conditions, Autex Acoustics products including Custom Frontier™ Raft Beam, Quietspace® Panel with Vertiface®, and Cube™, were strategically incorporated into the building’s walls and ceilings. These high-performing acoustic solutions are designed to control noise and reverberation effectively, offering tailored acoustic absorption across a broad frequency spectrum.


Autex Acoustics’ products were chosen not only for their durability, versatility, and performance but also for their carbon-neutral status and robust sustainability credentials. Autex Acoustics has quickly become a leader in the interior acoustics sector, having achieved carbon neutrality across our global manufacturing and business operations in 2022. This accomplishment was realised through a range of initiatives spanning the entire product lifecycle, including increased energy efficiency, waste minimisation, and extensive reuse of manufacturing offcuts.

Autex Acoustics’ products contain a minimum of 45% to 80% recycled polyester fibre, repurposing plastic that might otherwise find its way to landfills. They are purposefully designed with sustainability in mind, with plans for recycling at their end-of-life phase. Moreover, Autex Acoustics’ products hold Declare certification as Red-List Free and are suitable for use in Living Building Challenge projects. We have a longstanding commitment to sustainability, having been an early adopter of Life Cycle Assessments in 2010 and continuously offering products that support WELL Building, LEED, Green Star, and BREEAM certification.


Today, Autex Acoustics maintains our unwavering commitment to sustainability by independently verifying its carbon data and continually monitoring the embodied carbon of our products. We collaborate closely with industry stakeholders to promote best practices in the installation, use, maintenance, and repurposing of our products.


With its reduced carbon footprint and people-centric interior spaces, Boola Katitjin fundamentally transforms the learning and teaching experience while delivering technical excellence and long-term flexibility. The project was also recognised at the 2023 National Architecture Awards, receiving both the Daryl Jackson Award for Educational Architecture and the National Award for Sustainable Architecture. In acknowledgement of its sustainability leadership, Boola Katitjin aspires to achieve a 6-Star Green Star Design & As Built rating.

Australia, Cube, Frontier, Quietspace panel, Vertiface

Feb 21, 2024

Acoustic solutions, Design, News Article, Sustainability

Share news

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