Sustainability and green building are a huge modern construction focus. Innovative sustainable building is incredibly important, to the extent that it is now the status quo for any new buildings. It is now the challenge to think in a sustainable way, rather than simply perform sustainable actions.
One major project that has undertaken these initiatives is One Shelley Street in Sydney’s King Street Wharf. The 2009 building is a collaboration between Macquarie Group and Brookfield Multiples, with head architecture firm Clive Wilkinson architects used for the buildings innovative design. Although the firm were the Macquarie Group’s lead architects, it took a culmination of groups; Fitzpatrick and Partners, Woods Bagot, WSP Lincoln Scott, Arup Erick Veldhoen, and Phillip Ross to complete the one of a kind building.
The six star green rated building was initially an old car park block. This waste of land space was then designed to set a new building standard. Reusing the original car park basement, the building was designed ‘inside out’, in effect focusing on the working, design, and features of the interior of the building. The inside out building approach focuses on the buildings greatest assets being inside the building, allowing the individuals using the building to feel its benefits, other than simply using it as an exterior show piece.
This idea, as described by Clive Wilkinson Architects, is their interpretation of the Activity-Based Working (ABW) style. This concept is what differentiates One Shelley Street from other sustainable buildings. It is not only a sustainable office building, but its design allows for work efficiency innovation.
It is seemingly not enough now for green buildings to just be energy efficient. Society has gone beyond seeing this as an active motivator. In order to be truly go above and beyond in the realm of modern competitive construction, innovation must be used to be able to use sustainability practices to reach a standard of building that is energy efficient, as well as a space for greater productivity.
There must be a balance. Energy efficiency is an absolute requirement in terms of societal benefit, but also as a way of revolutionising the traditional building. Clive Wilkinson of Clive Wilkinson Architects describes the negative aspect of the traditional building.
“Traditional offices suffer from an undue deference to tradition, or to the past and lull people into a false sense of complacency” Mr. Wilkinson said.
Aspects that steer away from the traditional building applications are that of the ‘Meeting Tree’, or the communal area linked my staircases. ‘Pods’ make up the office areas, which are highly visible and offer a more liquid working environment.
As well as these innovative design aspects, Dali lighting systems, high performance glazing, the use of staircases instead of elevators and endless other factors have been put into place to lessen the offices carbon footprint by more than 50%. The aspect emphasised through this innovative building is a place for individuals. This is a building created for its workers.
With this idea comes the responsibility of the individual. In his Green Cities lecture, managing director of Viridis e3, Warren Overton explained the ongoing process that is green building.
“Its not just the physical, its the steps you take afterwards. How do you actually manage that and get the most productiveness out of these buildings?” Mr. Overton said.
In order to make the most out of these modern green buildings, education must be undertaken. For green buildings to have their full effect, they must be constructed for society to not only use, but to be active participants in.