7.4 Site controls | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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7.4 Site controls

While the 2012 Campus Master Plan provides a number of overarching site controls, it seeks to achieve successful architectural and urban design outcomes through the specification of performance standards rather than prescribing materials, colours, or other elements of building design.


Buildings with a purpose compatible to natural ventilation strategies are to be generally located along the open campus green or on the lake frontage, while buildings that require air conditioning should be located in the secondary building zone. Buildings that will require frequent servicing by vehicles (such as those that produce large volumes of waste) should be located nearer to the peripheral access roads and further away from the central spine.


Buildable areas

It is essential that no buildings except lightweight shelters be constructed below the 10 metre contour, as the saturated soils below this level are unsuitable for building.


Setbacks and building lines

Buildings along the central spine shall be built to the nominated building line along their full elevation. Pedestrian arcades of four metres width shall be included at ground level to accommodate continual pedestrian and disabled user access for the full length of the axis.

Buildings located off the central spine shall also have pedestrian arcades for the full length of their respective front elevations; the width of such arcades is to be determined by location and usage patterns but should be not less than three metres. Buildings fronting the lake are subject to similar controls.

Buildings elsewhere on campus may be set back from any or all of the building lines, provided that neither the overall character of the campus nor the required pedestrian circulation system of verandas and arcades is compromised by their location.

Massing and height

The height of all buildings in the Primary Building Zone should not exceed three storeys. The height of buildings in the Secondary Building Zone may exceed the three storey limitation by one to four storeys.

Height limitations are intended to keep overall development below a campus-wide canopy of trees and greenery, and accept that different facilities are likely to require different floor-to-floor specifications. In addition to the above limitations, it is a requirement that each building should generally be of a uniform height in order to ensure that the campus retains its low-rise, ‘tropical’ character, and does not become a place of ‘spires and pinnacles’.

In general it is preferred that, with the exception of buildings that are required to serve an iconic purpose, building mass should be located away from the pedestrian frontages.


Building entrance

Generally, building entrances should be clearly legible, with a presence which is evident on approach, not only upon arrival. The main point of access should be unmistakeable and pre-eminent within a hierarchy of building entrances.

The linear arrangement of buildings along the open campus green allows each separate building to develop its own significant frontage. In order to support pedestrian use and activate adjacent landscaped areas, each building should have its major entrance on this frontage. Such entrances should be clearly identified within the building elevation, and be accessible from an arcaded walkway. Together with this requirement, clearly defined central ‘walk-through' openings, and access to central circulation atriums, are encouraged.