PHOTOS: Inside EY's new Sydney headquarters

A render image inside the building. Photo: Supplied.

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.

An external view of the building. Photo: Supplied.

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 view from 200 George. Photo: Supplied.

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:

Here's what you see on the way up to the entrance of 200 George.

When you enter, the first thing you notice is the use of timber and the sunlight coming into the foyer.

The lobby is meant to resemble just another space on the street connecting to the outside world.

Ernst & Young has already committed to a 10-year lease on 25,760 square metres of office space.

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 entrance to one of the eight bike rack rooms.

There will be around 257 bicycle spaces plus visitor bike parking...

... and your own area for when your bike is in need of some repairs.

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.

In the male change rooms have hairdryers, the female rooms also have hair straighteners.

It's not a bad place to spruce up before an event.

The lockers are accessed by swipe card and big enough to hang a change of clothes or gym gear.

It's time to head up to the office levels. Timber is widely seen throughout the building.

There's not much inside just yet, since the tenants haven't moved in, but the space is huge.

The views aren't bad either.

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.

The windows are double-glazed but it's hard to tell even at a close-up.

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.

Walking into the women's bathroom, you'll also be treated to views and lots of sunlight.

The building, which has a 6-star green rating, is expected to open mid-2016.

Here's a video of what 200 George will look like.

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