The City of Melbourne aims to achieve zero emissions for the municipality by 2020. A major contribution to this strategy is the reduction in energy consumption of commercial buildings by 50%. Council House 2 (CH2) was piloted in an effort to provide a working example for the local development market.
It was the first new commercial office building in Australia to meet and exceed the six star rating system administered by the Green Building Council of Australia. Equally important to its environmental features is that it provides 100% fresh air to all occupants with one complete air change every half hour. The benefits of superior indoor air quality and conservative estimates on energy costs will see the building pay for all its innovation within five to ten years.
The design achieved this result through a combination of local practices and international innovation including recycled concrete, recycled timber, timber windows, sewer mining and co-generating using natural gas. Shower towers and phase change material have been employed to produce and store cold water for use by chilled ceilings and beams, while wind turbines are used to extract air during a ‘night purge.’ Solar hot water heating and photovoltaics take advantage of good solar access as a result of CH2’s location within the 40 metre height limit of Melbourne’s CBD.
CH2 was designed to be a holistic and all-inclusive system with its occupants as participants. The design follows a model that promotes a more interactive role between the city and nature, acting more like an ecosystem in which all parties depend on each other.
CH2 was designed in association with the City of Melbourne.
City of Melbourne