Page D2.2 . 28 July 2004                     
ArchitectureWeek - Design Department
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  • Gehry at MIT

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    Sustaining Sydney Spaces


    They have additional amenities such as cafes and sun rooms on each floor, an on-site childcare facility, exterior terraces, a roof garden, and proximity to public transportation. The 342,000-square-foot (31,800-square-meter) new construction includes ground-floor retail space.

    Reinforcing the openness of the office environment, besides the absence of interior walls, are glass elevators and transparent work "pods" jutting out into the atrium. The views to and from the pods provide a sense of connection between floors and with the atrium.

    The democratic design process was even extended to the neighborhood through public forums during the predesign phase. The new building's height was minimized in deference to views from adjacent buildings. A "green roof," covered with native vegetation instead of unsightly mechanical equipment, further softens the neighbors' views.

    Sustainable Cooling

    The employees asked for, and were given, natural ventilation and ample daylight. Perhaps more unusual, they insisted on a reduction in greenhouse gases and a high degree of sustainability throughout the facility — more than would directly affect their personal comfort. The staff was keen to set an example for other real estate development in Australia. This drive for sustainability has been expressed in, for example, the choice of bamboo and recycled cork for flooring and walls.

    To attain the five-star greenhouse rating, the engineers applied a variety of strategies. They used "chilled beams" for cooling — a technology more common in Europe and never before tried in a large commercial building in Australia. Chilled water is pumped through cooling elements in the ceiling, creating convection currents that remove the heat generated by people and computers. The overhead surfaces also provide radiant cooling.

    The chilled beam technology provides better thermal comfort for the occupants than conventional air conditioning and has the secondary benefit of allowing lower floor-to-floor heights.

    Fresh air is continually provided to the work spaces and exhausted from the building without being recirculated. This significantly increases the quality of air within the office and reduces the risk of sick building syndrome.

    In addition to the chilled beams, the building has naturally ventilated sunrooms on each floor. Given Sydney's mild climate, these sunrooms can operate comfortably for up to 60 percent of the year. This contributes to the building's estimated 30 percent reduction in green house emissions, compared to conventional office buildings.

    The long front elevation of the building faces desirable views to the west, but overheating through the expansive glazing is avoided through use of individually operated external shades. As workers tilt the shades to block glare and heat, they also affect the appearance of a continuously changing, lively facade as seen from the street.

    Worker-Requested Sustainability

    Other design criteria identified during staff workshops concerned water management, materials selection, waste management, pollution, and biodiversity. These requests were satisfied in a variety of ways that contributed to the project's sustainability rating.

    For instance, the green roof provides habitat for birds and native grasses and shrubs. Rainwater is collected on a portion of the roof and stored for irrigation to maximize water conservation. Site remediation meant removing the residual contamination of the former gasworks' tar pits.

    The history of the civic precinct dates back to the early 1800s. The site was the Australian Gas Light Company's first gas manufacturing plant, established in 1871 to light the streets of Sydney. Surrounding a central plaza are three heritage buildings from the 1840s that have been preserved as part of the project.

    Connections from the new office building to the historic context and photogenic harbor, as well as the interior amenities supporting a comfortable corporate culture, are reportedly making it easier for Bovis Lend Lease to attract and retain dedicated employees.   >>>

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    ArchWeek Image

    A sandstone wall, formerly one side of a gasworks trench, lines the atrium.
    Photo: John Marmaras Photography

    ArchWeek Image

    "30 The Bond," in Sydney, Australia, designed, built, and occupied by Bovis Lend Lease.
    Photo: John Marmaras Photography

    ArchWeek Image

    Exterior sun shades give the facade its changing character.
    Photo: John Marmaras Photography

    ArchWeek Image

    A sandstone wall, formerly one side of a gasworks trench, lines the atrium.
    Photo: John Marmaras Photography

    ArchWeek Image

    Entrance to 30 The Bond.
    Photo: John Marmaras Photography

    ArchWeek Image

    Floor plan, level 6, 30 The Bond.
    Image: Bovis Lend Lease

    ArchWeek Image

    The open work area contributes to its egalitarian character.
    Photo: John Marmaras Photography

    ArchWeek Image

    Wall and floor materials were selected for their sustainability.
    Photo: John Marmaras Photography


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