Design Guidelines
Macquarie University Property

Architectural Design

Design Objectives

The overall objective is to develop each facility and the campus as a whole in a rational, coherent and coordinated manner, to gain the maximum long-term benefit from the developed site, with consideration of:

  • Site specific physical and contextual characteristics
  • Availability of infrastructure services to the site and adjacent areas
  • Principles and criteria embodied in these Design Guidelines
  • The need to maximise usability of internal and external space available so as to gain maximum efficiencies
  • The need to minimise on-going grounds and building maintenance and energy consumption, in a whole of life approach to development
  • Project budget
  • Potential staging of works
  • On-going maintenance procedures
  • Post-construction occupancy evaluations.

Guiding Principles

The university's-built environment should embrace the philosophy of Long life, low energy, adaptability, and value for money.

Within a systematic whole of life, value for money framework that takes into account enhancement of learning and teaching, planning and development, sustainability, and facilities management, provide functional and durable facilities that:

  • Provide locally responsive design appropriate to the physical and social environment of the university
  • Provide a responsive design that considers life cycle costs
  • Provide a responsive design that provides value for money and efficient use of space. Requirements for a fit out in rented or leased premises will be different from that in owned buildings.
  • Create activated spaces that enhance and support learning and research
  • Provide design solutions that consider the whole of a space as well as the interrelationship and use of all spaces
  • Provide a balance of dedicated and multipurpose spaces (loose fit) to ensure flexibility while maintaining specialisation
  • Design reconfigurable facilities for a long life span that can be adapted over time with minimal costs
  • Provide designs that contain inbuilt adaptability to accommodate changes in technology and pedagogy
  • Design agile learning environments with flexible furniture to allow intuitive and easy rearrangement for different purposes.

General Design Principles

Educational facilities should be designed:

  • To be supportive of Macquarie University's general educational principles
  • To be flexible so as to support current and evolving pedagogies and technologies
  • To be adaptable to suit a range of learning and teaching strategies (modalities). Spaces should be designed to support multiple purposes where practical.
  • To be ergonomically suited to the users
  • Facilitate inclusivity and accessibility
  • To incorporate ecologically sustainable principles.

Educational Design Principles

From research into the existing facilities and educational functions across the university, shortfalls were identified in the facilities due to the changing and emerging education principles.

The Master plan sets out the following proposed principles to improve efficiencies in planning and managing education facilities:

  • Increase the use of e-learning (which reduces space demand)
  • The adoption of trimester academic year (which extend the use of current facilities)
  • The development of more effective methodologies for space demand forecasting (increasing space utilization)
  • The development of more flexible learning spaces. Such as Active Learning spaces that can provide varied learning approach options.

Moving forward, the learning and teaching accommodation strategy identifies the need for the provision of learning and teaching space to be:

  • Derived from the Learning and teaching plan
  • Aligned with the planned pedagogical outcomes and technologies.
  • Supportive of a variety of learning and teaching techniques, including traditional approaches as well as pedagogical innovation.
  • Support emerging learning models of:
    • Interactive learning
    • Remote learning /lectures
    • Group learning
    • Project based learning
    • Immersion learning
    • Self directed learning.

For more information on emerging educational principles refer to the Universities Learning and Teaching Plan and the Campus Master Plan.

The following tables shed insight into the design principles for educational facilities, taken from Table 2 & 3 from Retrofitting University learning spaces Final Report 2010 Australian Learning and Teaching Council.

Table 2: Learning space design principles derived from space design principles

Learning principles:

Derived learning space principles

1. Space should be useful, built to last and easy to maintain

Learning spaces should be robust and fit for ongoing use

Learning spaces should be designed giving due consideration to ongoing maintenance of the space

2. Spaces should facilitate quality of life for the users

Learning spaces should be a healthy working and learning environment

Learning spaces should minimise any consequences and risks associated with accidental or unintended actions

3. Spaces should be easy to move around and allow users to find their way

Learning spaces should be easy to access and navigate for all users

Learning spaces should encourage the notion of simplicity in exercising control over events in the room and its systems

4. Spaces should relate well to other spaces

Learning spaces should be (re)designed in conjunction with planning for adjacent spaces

Learning spaces should allow for a flow of pedagogical activities in and around them rather than an unconnected set of learning events

5. Spaces should be flexible and respond to changing use over time

Learning spaces should support a range of different learning activities without the need for excessive reconfiguration

Learning spaces should be easily reconfigured to support new and emerging learning requirements

6. Spaces are environmentally efficient

Learning spaces should be designed to utilise resources and technologies that are environmentally sustainable

Learning spaces should support users to learn about and be environmentally conscious in their learning activities

7. Spaces should help their user to work more effectively

Learning spaces should facilitate easy movement of learners around the space

Learning spaces should create minimal cognitive dissonance for their users

8. Spaces should prompt users to express pride or delight in their use

Learning spaces should convey a sense of engagement and excitement

Learning spaces should encourage a sense of ownership by both staff and students

Table 3: Learning space design principles derived from technology design principles

3: Learning principles

Derived learning space principles

1. A system or solution should be easy for a novice user to learn and an experienced user to use its advanced functionality

Learning spaces should include elements that assist the learning efficiency and efficacy of its users

Learning spaces should allow the user to focus on the learning activities to be conducted and not on the learning activities required to use the space

2. A system or solution should deliver the function necessary for its users to achieve their desired objectives

Learning spaces should be designed based on a clear vision and understanding of users' needs

Learning spaces should be designed using robust design, test and implement procedures

3. A system or solution should withstand the rigours of constant operation as well have some ability to adapt to changing circumstances

Learning spaces should be designed giving due consideration to ongoing maintenance of the space

Learning spaces should be constructed with flexible elements that do not constrain its ability to adapt to changing needs

4. A system or solution should be dependable and provide the user with the necessary confidence that it will be available when required

Learning spaces should utilise technology to proactively monitor that state of the space and its systems

Learning spaces should be easily identified allowing users to find suitable spaces

5. A system or solution should be able to respond to relevant peak demands and be available in a cost effective manner to support its broadest possible use

Learning spaces should have sufficient resources for all users of the space irrespective of the configuration

Learning spaces should be adequately supported by services that allow additional learning resources to be easily allocated

Room Numbering

The University has developed a system of numbering buildings, rooms and spaces within its buildings as part of the Macquarie University Signage and Wayfinding Guidelines.

The consistent numbering of rooms is important and will be used to as reference points for maintenance staff and contractors as well as room scheduling.

As-Built Drawings

As Designed / As Built /As Installed documentation, including drawings, are required on all projects. All drawings are to be in a format that will integrate with the Universities Building Information Management and computer aided design (CAD) systems.

All rooms and spaces indicated in documentation is to align with the University Room & Building numbering policy.

Documentation to Include:

Revit/ArchiCAD/Vectorworks/AECOSim (or other 3D authoring software as approved by the Principal) must be utilised by consultants as the primary 3D authoring software for the creation of project models. The project models will be submitted as a Contract Document to the Principal at the end of the project in their native Revit format.

The consultants must create object based components in their models that are reliable for the intended and possible uses of BIM seen in the below building information modeling (BIM) Use Matrix. The consultants must also adopt BIM workflows where necessary to enable these BIM Uses.



Design visualisation

Materials assigned to objects where necessary.

Spaces & briefing

Area/ room schedules must be generated from the models and must be dynamically linked with building bounding elements. E.g. walls, doors, floors

Cost Analysis

The size, location, extent and number of objects must be represented virtually in accordance with Level of Development (LOD) definitions. Overlapping objects must be joined with Revit tools to eliminate double counting of material.

3D Coordination

An automated clash detection process must be utilised by the consultant team to verify coordination of their designs.

Construction sequencing

Objects must be modelled in consideration of construction activities, such that they are broken down into smaller elements. Vertical objects should not be modelled continuously over more than one level. Horizontal elements should be modelled to suit movement joints.

Works as Executed (WAE)

Through a process of Architects Instructions, RFI’s, Site instructions or otherwise, the models must be updated to represent the building works as executed. No post construction deviation analysis is required. WAE does not apply to the Services Consultants or Structural Steel, where sub-contractors will undertake that component of modelling.

The consultant models must comply with a Level of Development (LOD) progression through the project stages as seen in the LOD Matrix and in consideration of the definitions:

LOD 100 - The Model Element may be graphically represented in the Model with a symbol or other generic representation.

LOD 200 - The Model Element is graphically represented within the Model as a generic system, object, or assembly with approximate quantities, size, shape, location, and orientation.

LOD 300 - The Model Element is graphically represented within the Model as a specific system, object or assembly in terms of quantity, size, shape, location, and orientation.

LOD 400 - The Model Element is graphically represented within the Model as a specific system, object or assembly in terms of size, shape, location, quantity, and orientation with detailing, fabrication, assembly, and installation information.

LOD 500 - The Model Element is a field verified with representation in terms of size, shape, location, quantity, and orientation.

LOD Matrix

Project Phase





Handover & DLP


Phase Objective

Concept Design

Schematic Design

Development Consent

Detailed Design/Documentation

Tender Docs




Principal Consultant


2D/LOD 100

LOD 200

LOD 200

LOD 300

LOD 300




Interior Design

2D/LOD 100

LOD 200

LOD 200

LOD 300

LOD 300




Design Consultants (refer Clause 23).


2D/LOD 100

LOD 200

LOD 200

LOD 300

LOD 300




Advisory Consultants (refer Clause 24).





  • Floor plans all levels
  • Roof plan
  • Elevations, sections.


  • Duct-work all levels
  • Pipework (other than hydraulics relevant to mechanical services all levels)
  • Plant room layouts.


  • Switchboard locations
  • Sub-main locations
  • Main cable runs
  • Light fittings and locations; general and emergency
  • General purpose outlet (GPO) locations
  • Air conditioning and permanently connected equipment
  • Fans
  • Hot water unit locations
  • Three phase power outlets
  • Log books and data entry sheets for emergency and exit lighting
  • Route of underground services
  • Thermal and smoke detector locations showing wiring and end of life (EOL)
  • Electrical wiring interconnect system (EWIS) speaker locations
  • Provide copy of the switchboard schedules.


  • Plumbing and drainage site plan
  • Plumbing and drainage all levels
  • Plumbing isometrics

Operation and Maintenance

For further details, see Macquarie University Property Repair and Maintenance.