One of Australia’s most sustainable and environmentally-friendly buildings is nearing completion in Sydney.
200 George Street, near Circular Quay, is part of a new breed of “smart” buildings designed to be organic and responsive to its workforce.
The 37-floor tower spanning 39,200 square metres is developed by Mirvac, which owns 50% of the building. The developer is relocating its headquarters to 200 George Street in June, while global accountancy firm EY will call it home for the next decade.
Business Insider recently went on a tour to see what the $600 million green building was like inside. During the tour, we were told that employees were starting to want their work environment to feel more like home and that they weren’t just coming to another office space.
One way 200 George wanted to achieve this was to return to the natural materials used by Sydney’s early commercial buildings, eschewing a more modernist approach.
The building emphasises more traditional materials such as timber and sandstone, Mirvac said, rejecting “the alienation of the cold metallic box in favour of a warm, more human form”.
Mirvac also wanted to blur the lines between the interior and exterior. The flooring is slate to create a more traditional feel so anyone coming into the building would feel like they were still walking on the street and not entering another office block.
200 George has been awarded a 6 green stars rating, making it one of Australia’s most sustainable buildings.
It’s one of the country’s first fully LED lit buildings and tenants will also find other nifty features inside including automatic blinds which adjust throughout the day, a triple-gazed façade design ensuring there’s plenty of natural light coming in.
It’s also experimenting with the use of plants to see how it will impact air quality within the building.
The development will encourage tenants to ditch their cars with 257 bicycle spaces, plus 50 more for visitors.
The office tower was designed by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp and is also hoping to set a new benchmark in workplace technology.
Mirvac’s group general manager of sustainability, Paul Edwards, said technology will be used to monitor power and water usage, and air quality, enabling adjustment according to the needs of the building and its occupants.
“Data captured will be used to manage the headquarters, as well as inform how we can help our tenants build workspaces in the future, essentially creating a ‘Living Lab’,” he said.
“In addition, a ‘Smart’ tenancy app will provide live information on usage and availability to employees. For example, the app will allow Mirvac employees to see which workspaces are available across Mirvac’s floors.”
The tower is scheduled for completion in mid-2016.
Here’s an initial look inside:
When you enter, the first thing you notice is the use of timber and the sunlight coming into the foyer.
The entire building is energy efficient, naturally ventilated and will also experiment with plants to influence air quality.
It spans 37 levels, with 33 for offices. Here are the security gates tenants will need to go through to access all floors, including the basement, which features showers, change rooms and other amenities.
The change facilities are spacious with lockers, bathrooms and showers. Paul Edwards from Mirvac said it's often one of the first things tenants ask about.
The timber blinds are automated for shadow and sun control. For example, when it's raining it will tilt to let in more light, but adjust when it's too sunny outside so light isn't shining on your face when working.
200 George has technology that can identify which floors are using more water than others, as well as CO2 monitoring so there is constant fresh air.
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