As Melbourne's population continues to skyrocket, Australia’s top architects are coming up with environmentally conscious solutions to meet demand, while maintaining the city’s famously high standard of living.
“Sustainability is the basis of all Future Melbourne goals. It requires current generations to choose how they meet their needs without compromising the ability of future generations to also meet their needs,”
- City of Melbourne
From 2017 to date, here are 5 new-build highlights which have been designed with a green initiative for a more sustainable future.
#1 COLLINS ARCH
With construction well underway, Cbus Property have worked closely with Woods Bagot & SHoP Architects to produce a world-class sustainable skyscraper due for completion this year. The dual 41-floor buildings will comprise of 202 residences, 294 resort-style hotel rooms, 50,000 square metres of premium grade office space and state-of-the-art communal spaces, including a tiered amphitheatre.
Collins Arch is the third development to receive a platinum level WELL Precertification, where nutrition, fitness, mood, sleep patterns and cognitive performance of occupants are highlighted as key considerations in the overall design. This has been accomplished through indoor air quality monitoring, superior natural lighting and ventilation, an emphasis on bicycle access, and more. To round off Collins Arch’s sustainability endorsement, the building has also been submitted for 6-star Greenstar accreditation and 5.5 star NABERS energy rating.
#2 SOUTHBANK BOULEVARD
The transformation of Southbank Boulevard and Dodds Street is taking shape, and due for completion late 2019. As the gateway to Melbourne’s Arts Precinct, the plan is to create a Melbourne Experience for Southbank by constructing 2.5 hectares of new public space, including a new civic square for the precinct, more neighbourhood parks and the aim of prioritising pedestrians, cyclists and public transport. The project will also see 300 new trees planted (predominantly the Platanus X acerifolia), which will meet the City of Melbourne’s biodiversity and urban forest targets.
#3 435 BOURKE STREET
The 55-level commercial tower designed by Bates Smart in association with Cbus Property will add a striking new icon to Melbourne’s urban skyline by 2023. Located on the corner of Queen and Bourke Streets, 435 Bourke Street boasts environmentally friendly features and is targeting a 5.5 Star NABERS Energy rating, a minimum 5 Star ‘Green Star’ Office Design and WELL Platinum Certification.
Cbus Property aims to invest in new technologies and materials to maintain its notable eco-conscious reputation for both new and existing buildings. With a sustainable focus in mind, the sculptural design will fit seamlessly into the city landscape, with six different landscaped terraces throughout for occupants to enjoy.
“The building’s design references the neighbouring streetscape and is crafted to be more organic in form, aspiring to enliven the precinct and create a more people-friendly environment that stimulates the senses and imagination.”
- Cian Davis, Director of Bates Smart
#4 LITTLE MILLER
Developer Lucent teamed up with design trio ClarkeHopkinsClarke Architects, Breathe Architecture and Openwork Landscaping to put Brunswick East’s ‘Little Miller’ on the map as one of Melbourne’s most sustainable residential developments to date. The sold-out apartment building has been awarded a 7.5 star average NatHERS thermal performance rating, and has been designed as a 100% fossil fuel free building. From induction cooktops and energy-saving LED light fittings, to rainwater tanks for irrigation and solar power, the environmentally conscious design makes use of natural resources without compromising luxurious living. Venture up to the rooftop and you’ll find a multi-functional garden featuring all kinds of plants and greenery, communal al fresco dining and even a ‘gin and tonic’ room surrounded by edible plants to make your own cocktails.
“What is labelled sustainable, is often just common sense. While we do design responsibly, we also design robust homes that just feel right.”
- Toby Lauchlan, ClarkeHopkinsClarke
#5 THE GENERAL
What was once a small family butcher on Northcote’s High Street, has now become the site for 'the general', arguably one of Melbourne’s most exciting technological advancements in structural design to date. Architect Chahid Kairouz had a goal to transform the site of his family’s business into not only a sophisticated mid-rise apartment, but use the opportunity as a means to pioneer new technology with a sustainable focus in his late father’s honour.
“It was extremely important to reflect my father’s values in the design of THE GENERAL; not only for sentimental value but to stand the test of time in its design and its use of cutting-edge sustainable technology on the facade; a combination makes the building and the apartments be relevant for longer."
THE GENERAL is Australia’s first ever residential building to use Onyx Solar photovoltaic glazing which works as both a balustrade and power source. The sustainable design also contains a 25,000 litre rainwater tank for flushing toilets, 137 bicycle parks and a green rooftop terrace.
With temperatures on the rise and an endeavour to achieve a more sustainable society, the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects have called for increased investment in green infrastructure. Read the full article.
“There is the need to prioritise landscapes and green infrastructure in the planning scheme to build a healthy, liveable city as Melbourne’s population grows steadily.”
- Adrian Gray, Victorian Chapter president
Could timber high-rises be a way forward? Following Japan’s proposal to build the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper, there has been discussion of the environmental benefits and low carbon footprint of building with wood. Have your say here.
What happens when you plant 150 trees and plants haphazardly across the face of an apartment complex? You get 150,000 litres of oxygen each hour, and 200,000 litres of carbon dioxide is absorbed per hour by night. Are we likely to see more vertical gardens on the rise in Melbourne? Learn more.