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Ross House is many things...above all it is a community in motion. A place where people committed to social justice and the environment gather, work and grow.

A community building

Ross House is Australia’s only community owned and managed not-for-profit building.

What does this mean? It means that the Ross House building is owned and run by the members of Ross House – representatives of some of the most marginalised people in Australia.

This is a triumph for the self help and community development model.

A green building

Ross House Association (RHA) is committed to greening the Ross House building wherever possible, including within our policies as well as capital works carried out on the building. Reducing the environmental impact of the Ross House building is always a core consideration of any decision we make. For RHA, it is about finding ways, however large or small, to reduce our overall reliance on energy consumption. It is about being smarter in the way we operate and think.

Ross House currently holds a 4 star NABERS Energy Whole Building rating.

RHA is signatory to the City of Melbourne’s 1200 Buildings program and CitySwitch – both programs aimed at supporting building owners to improve office energy and waste efficiency through the provision of a range of services.

You can read the 1200 Buildings case study here and watch the video here.

Testament of our efforts in improving the energy efficiency of the building, RHA were awarded New Signatory of the Year (VIC) at the 2014 National CitySwitch Awards.

A heritage building

Ross House is heritage listed in Victoria with the National Trust of Australia (Victoria).

Ross House is historically significant as evidence of the large commercial warehouses that once occupied the city at the turn of the twentieth century.

Formally known as Royston House, it is the remaining portion of a large warehouse spanning from Flinders Lane to Flinders Street. The five-story building was erected by well-known merchant Frederick Sargood (of Rippon Lea fame) to replace his premises destroyed in the ‘Great Fire’ of November 1897.

The building was designed by Sulman and Power of Sydney, a prestigious Australian architectural firm chosen by Sargood and is the only remaining building in Melbourne designed by the eminent architect Sir John Sulman.

Completed in 1899, the new building was lorded as the finest warehouse in the Australian colonies.

It is architecturally significant as a transitional and highly unusual design due to this incorporation of the American Romanesque style developed by Henry Hobson Richardson. The external ornamentation, detail and craftsmanship are exemplary. The massiveness of the plinth, the huge Romanesque brick arches and the overhanging cornice is offset by the delicacy of the metal oriel windows and the caryatides.

It was the first building in Melbourne to be fitted with an automatic sprinkler system (‘Grinnel’ drenches).

The facade bears the Latin inscription Vincit Omnia Veritas – “truth conquers all”.

You can help maintain this beautiful building by making a tax deductible donation to the National Trust of Australia Ross House Heritage Appeal.