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Aiming for the Stars: A Green Christmas for 2008

89 Aiming for the Stars: A Green Christmas for 200891 Aiming for the Stars: A Green Christmas for 2008

Rounding out the third and final stage of the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority’s master plan to revamp the old working class suburb of Pyrmont into a vibrant hub of the inner city is the ambitious plan to build Sydney’s highest rated environmentally friendly building.

The sustainable project, Workplace6 will be a green mecca opposite the glitz, flashing lights and incessant noise of the Star City casino, on the waterfront site at Darling Island. Estimated to exceed $50 million, Workplace6 is a joint venture between site owners GPT and builder Citta property group. The 5 story building is planned to provide 20, 000 square metres space of environmentally healthy commercial offices for 1,200 workers as well as the incorporation of a mix of retail spaces and eateries.

Setting the building apart from those ubiquitous slabs of concrete and sleek façades of glass dominating the cityscape will be the ambitious environmental credentials. Workplace6 aims to be a benchmark building in environmentally sustainable design, featuring a heat exchange system whereby harbour water is utilised to cool the building, chilled beam air-conditioning, solar panels to heat the building’s water and a black water recycling system to produce water which will then be used to irrigate surrounding parkland and gardens. These innovations are expected to cut 30% of the office block’s energy and water usage in comparison to that of a standard building and earn the development the highest current standard in environmental design: the six star certified rating from The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) that recognises a building as a ‘World Leader’.

If successful, Workplace6 will be the first 6 star rated environmentally sustainable building in the state, with Melbourne already home to three 6 star rated developments. GBCA recently awarded the Melbourne Convention Centre with a 6 star rating for a design which included a cooling system of chilled floor slabs and displacement ventilation, a backwater treatment plant and the use of sustainably sourced timber veneer board.

Indeed, the time is ripe for New South Wales to join the sustainable bandwagon, with the state seemingly lagging behind when it comes to environmental world leadership. Melbourne boasts 40 Albert Street, The Council House2 and the Melbourne Convention centre as the highest rated buildings, and Queensland achieved its first with 33 Breakfast Creek Road. With construction started April of 2007, Sydneysiders should have their sights set on 6 stars for a green Christmas.

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