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Melbourne Tower Planned To Set Sustainability Benchmark

435 Bourke; courtesy of Bates Smart

The office tower proposed for Melbourne’s CBD at 435 Bourke Street is aiming to set a new benchmark for sustainability with a “solar skin” that will generate 20% of its electricity needs, Architecture AU reports. The development by Bates Smart will be one of the first office towers in the world to have energy-producing panels integrated into its façade, although other types of buildings in Melbourne already do this. Bates Smart director Cian Davis said the solar façade of 435 Bourke will be “made up of translucent, vertical glass photovoltaic panels.” The remainder of the building’s electricity needs will come from off-site renewable sources. The building is designed to achieve net zero carbon in operation and is targeting a 6-star Green Star New Buildings rating as well as a Platinum WELL certified rating. A previous development application for the project was approved in January 2020, but it has been redesigned since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to accommodate what Davis calls “a diverse ecosystem of workspaces.” A new development application has been submitted to the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. Construction of the project is expected to begin in 2022.

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