Our FAQ is a quick reference to the most common questions, for anything we haven’t covered contact us at nas@rmit.edu.au


Why are you doing this project?

The New Academic Street project will transform the heart of the City campus into a vibrant, sustainable, green, urban precinct.

Our main aim in undertaking the New Academic Street project is to improve the student experience.

Students tell us they love being part of the city but it’s hard to find space to relax and enjoy campus life. Students want more places to collaborate and study. They also want the fundamentals – such as enrolment and program queries – to be managed easily and efficiently.

  • The project will see major redevelopment of Buildings 8, 10, 12 and 14 along Swanston Street and the revitalisation of Bowen Street. The project will deliver renovated spaces including:
    Swanston Library – with the addition of 2000 new study spaces
  • The Hall – housing RMIT Connect
  • Three new entrances off Swanston Street
  • A new Media Precinct
  • New retail offerings – including food and beverage and student-run pop-up spaces
    The New Academic Street project is the latest in a long line of major building works undertaken at RMIT’s City campus.

The Francis Ormond Building (Building 1) and Building 9 were recently refurbished and the Design Hub and Swanston Academic Building (Building 80) constructed, adding significantly to the aesthetic and culture of the northern quarter of Melbourne’s CBD.

When will the project finish?

The New Academic Street precinct has been opening in stages since 2016, after the delivery of four Student Portals in March of that year.

NAS has continued to open new spaces for student use over the past year, including: RMIT Connect, the Swanston Library, the Media Portal, rooftop terraces, balconies and the RAD PODs – as well as various student kitchenettes and study corners across buildings 10, 12 and 14.

The project will continue to deliver the last remaining spaces (such as the Garden Building and the Retail Market area in Building 8) over the next few months, before coming to completion in late 2017.

Why couldn’t building works be done out of semester when there are no classes on?

Due to the scale of the project, construction has occurred on day and night shifts. High impact works have been completed out of hours, or during semester breaks, when fewer students are on campus.

While there have been some impacts to staff and students over the two year program, key facilities have been handed back in stages to ensure students get to enjoy the benefits of the new environment as soon as possible.

What will the project deliver to students?

The NAS project will deliver a range of benefits to students and transform the city campus by:

  • Opening the campus to the surrounding streetscape and creating light-filled laneways, glass roofed arcades and rooftop urban spaces;
  • Renovating the Swanston Library, which will double its capacity and provide more than 2000 study spaces across multiple floors with access to fresh air and natural light;
  • Creating three new entrances off Swanston Street that will lead to the Hall, housing RMIT Connect (formerly known as the Hub);
  • Opening a mix of innovative food, beverage, and essential retail outlets across a Retail Precinct – including a retail market with seats and student pop-up stores;
  • Opening a new Media Precinct – including TV studios fitted with the latest broadcast technology that will enable a new level of industry engagement for students, community stakeholders and alumni; and
  • Refurbishing the Building 10 Student Portals, providing 330 new study spaces over three levels overlooking Bowen Street. The Portals’ design mirrors that of the Swanston Academic Building (Building 80) focusing on informal and collaborative learning spaces.

Who will be the new food and beverage retailers?

The new retail precinct on level 4 of Buildings 10, 12 and 14 will provide a variety of commercial and food outlets. Flexible pop-up retail spaces are designed to expand and contract taking account of the academic calendar and the needs of the student population. And entrepreneurial students will be offered the chance to showcase their business in dedicated retail pop-ups.

Learn more about the new NAS Retail Precinct.

How much will the project cost RMIT?

The final cost of the construction program will be around $220 million.

Will the project cost affect my fees?

No. The project is being funded out of RMIT’s Capital Works Program budget.

How do I book a space?

You can download a guide to the new space here, or book Library spaces through BookIt.


How do I access buildings during construction?

It is business as usual for the overwhelming majority of RMIT’s buildings. However where there have been access changes on the lower levels of Building 8, 10, 12 and 14, wayfinding signage has been installed to direct staff and students to alternative pathways.

Alternative access arrangements will be communicated via email, signage and the Access Changes webpage.

Why are there gates in Bowen Street?

To maintain a safe environment for everyone – staff, students, visitors and the construction team during the New Academic Street project, Pedestrians and vehicles will be safely segregated in Bowen Street for the duration of the construction works until mid-2017. All vehicles entering the City campus will enter from La Trobe Street and will be directed along Bowen Street (inside the barriers) and exit via Franklin Street. Bowen Street updates will be communicated via email and signage.

Which areas of the campus have been closed off during the project?

Most of the NAS works will take place on Levels 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of Buildings 8, 10, 12 and 14. A construction zone has been created across the lower levels of Building 10, 12 and 14 and student and staff services have been moved out of these areas. During the works we will communicate access changes to staff and students in advance to minimise disruption and inconvenience

The Access Changes page provides details of closures, as does extensive signage throughout the impacted areas.

I am living with mobility Impairment, how can I get around the NAS precinct?

Occupational Health and Safety

If the works get noisy while I’m studying, what do I do?

There are a variety of alternative spaces across RMIT’s City campus for independent study, relaxing or group collaboration. Full details can be found on the Study Spaces webpage.

How will the construction process be managed?

A NAS Project Office has been created with dedicated resources assigned to maintain business continuity, enhance student experience and develop and implement communication strategies, change management and campaign activation to support the project. The NAS project team is working with the builder, Lendlease, to ensure there is minimal disruption during construction.

How will staff and students be kept safe during construction?

Numerous health and safety procedures will be in place during construction. The RMIT Health and Safety Team have been working with the NAS Project Office to ensure that all required safety precautions and procedures are undertaken and enforced.

Also, a Senior Safety Adviser has been appointed within the NAS Project Office to ensure safety standards are maintained and issues raised by staff and students are investigated.

What if I see a safety issue during construction?

Students should notify a staff member in their School. Staff should call HR Assist on +61 3 9925 0600.

The call will be logged and the NAS Senior Safety Adviser will investigate.

How do I report an incident?

All health and safety related incidents should be reported through the RMIT incident report form or via the online reporting system in ESS.

What happens in an emergency?

The RMIT Emergency Management Procedure still applies. Any changes to evacuation protocols or muster points will be communicated accordingly.


Will there be disruption during construction?

There will be disruption from time-to-time during the construction works. This will include noise, vibration and alternative access arrangements. All efforts will be made to keep disruption to a minimum.

Sign up to the NAS Weekly Bulletin to stay updated.

Who do I contact if I am affected by noise, vibration?

Call HR Assist on +61 3 9925 0600. The call will be logged and the NAS Senior Safety Adviser will investigate.

Will there be power, ITS stoppages/outages?

While we aim to maintain power and ITS networks throughout the project, minor shutdowns may be required. Any such shutdowns will be well communicated and conducted in such a way as to minimise the impact on building users.

Impacted areas

How do I know if I will be impacted by the project?

All staff directly impacted by the project will be consulted in accordance with RMIT guidelines in consultation with School Managers / Human Resources, etc.

How do I find out about the project’s program of works?

The Building Updates page provides information regarding access, staging, shutdowns, etc.

The NAS Weekly Bulletin tracks and forewarns of upcoming construction works.

The NAS Monthly Staff Update provides an update on all NAS activities including events, progress reports and construction works.

Who is involved in the project’s design?

The project was designed collaboratively between a group of local architecture practices, all of which include RMIT alumni. The group consists of Lyons Architecture – who also designed RMIT’s Building 80 (Swanston Academic Building) – MVS, Harrison & White, NMBW and Maddison Architects.

What will the city campus look like when the project’s finished?

You can see images of the completed New Academic Street in the NAS Image Gallery.

Check out our fly-through video depicting the completed project in 3D high-res render.

Will there be more green spaces created at RMIT as part of the project?

Creating places on campus where students can relax and enjoy campus life is a priority of the NAS project so green spaces are central to its design.

As part of the project, a Garden Building will be constructed on Bowen Street at the rear of Building 10. This building will have a roof top green space with seating, grass and landscaped gardens. Bowen Street will also be landscaped with trees, gardens, seating and shade.

Learn more about the NAS Garden Building & Terraces.

What are the project’s sustainability credentials?

The NAS precinct will be one of the first educational facilities to operate under the Building Council of Australia’s 5-star Green Star Interiors Pilot Tool that measures the sustainable attributes of interior fitouts.

Key sustainable features of the project include:

  • Natural ventilation– new laneway spaces will be naturally ventilated to reduce energy consumption.
  • Low impact materials– fitout items, such as furniture, joinery, plasterboard and flooring, will be carefully selected to reduce environmental impact and most will have third-party environmental certifications demonstrating sustainability credentials.
  • Sustainable sourcing – timber used in the project will be recycled, or certified under the internationally recognised Forest Certification Scheme.
  • Precinct energy connectivity – working in with RMIT’s existing Sustainable Urban Precincts Program the NAS project will connect into a new co-generation onsite energy system to provide efficient low-carbon power.
  • Reducing landfill waste – a comprehensive waste management system will be installed to encourage staff and students to recycle.

See more details of the NAS project’s sustainability considerations.

Swanston Library

What is going on at Swanston Library?

We’re embarking on a major upgrade of the Swanston Library to provide almost twice the seating, more than 40 per cent more quiet and collaborative study spaces, and access to collections.

The Swanston Library transformation will see the Library completely refurbished and the service model will provide students with access to the assistance of our ever helpful Librarians.

How did you come up with the design?

Student and user surveys have been used to guide the new design. Academic library development around the world has been monitored for examples of best practice, and the University has engaged one of the country’s foremost educational architects, Lyons, to design the new building.

Will the renovation process be disruptive?

We are working carefully to minimise disruption during the renovation process. The renovations will be completed in a number of stages.

Our priorities are to:

  • maximise students’ access to computers and study spaces within the Library and across the City campus;
  • ensure our collections remain easily accessible;
  • continue to provide a high standard of service delivery;
  • manage the most disruptive works to occur out-of-hours to minimise their impact on users; and
  • facilitate and communicate alternative options should disruptions occur.

Will collections remain accessible?

All collections remain accessible. To maximise study spaces in the Library low-use items are in temporary storage. These items remain available for borrowing with a 24-hour turnaround on retrieval requests (Monday-Friday). High-use items remain onsite and we have duplicated many titles to add to our extensive electronic collection.

How long will the Swanston Library transformation renovations take?

The Swanston Library transformation renovations will be completed in a number of stages between October 2015 and July 2017.
The phases of the entire Swanston Library Transformation process are as follows. All dates are subject to change:

  • October 2015-early 2017 -Stage 1 of construction (level 5 and 6 in Building 10 and 12)
    early 2017 – Stage 1 to Stage 2 transition (Library moves from Building 8 into new spaces)
    early 2017 – Begin Stage 2 of construction
    February 2017 – Opening of Stage 1 renovated areas
    Mid-2017 – Stage 2 construction completed
    Late 2017 – Swanston Library Opening Event (details to be confirmed)

How do I borrow items kept in temporary storage and how long does it take to get them?


All items in storage remain accessible; with a 24-hour turn around (Monday – Friday) on retrieval requests.

To place a retrieval request:

  • log in to LibrarySearch
  • place a hold on the item
  • nominate a Library site for pick up

You will receive an email when the item has arrived and you will be able to collect it from the hold shelf at your nominated Library site.

This is the same as the existing process for items already in storage.

How else can I access books?

Our extensive e-book collection includes duplications of a number of existing print titles.

  • CAVALborrow – available through LibrarySearch – allows you to request books from participating libraries.
  • A CAVAL card – available to staff and students at the service desk – allows you to visit a greater range of participating libraries to borrow directly from their collections.
  • RMIT’s Document Delivery Service allows staff and students to order items from other libraries however this option takes longer than those listed above.

Where do I find out more?

  • To stay up-to-date with the Swanston Library Transformation, visit the news section through the RMIT Library website.
  • If you have any questions please use our Ask a Librarian

Explore the New Academic Street

Launch the Interactive Map