A sandstone wall built by convict laborers more than 100 years ago is all that remains of a trench on Sydney's waterfront that was once part of a gasworks. Today, the historic wall is part of a new headquarters for renowned property-development firm Bovis Lend Lease, located at 30 The Bond.
The building is one of Australia's most advanced "green" office spaces, and recently became the first commercial property to receive a five-star Australian Building Greenhouse Rating. The building's environmentally friendly design came about as a result of a series of employee workshops, which said that embracing sustainability was key to the company's leadership in property development.
This green focus made the building's western face one of the strongest influences on its overall design. Bovis' architects wanted to make this side of the building all glass because it has impressive views of Sydney Harbour. However, since it also gets significant exposure to the sun, they also needed to reduce demands on air-conditioning systems and to shield workers from sun glare.
In response, they specified a computer-controlled Nysan solar-control system that opens and closes in response to the sun, blocking glare and minimizing heat gain. The system's 450 external blinds not only improve the building's energy efficiency, but also add to its visual impact. The blinds open and close throughout the day to give the façade a lively, continuously changing appearance.
"It was a unique project," says Scott Turner, sales director of Nysan Asia Pacific. "I doubt it would ever have happened had it been a commercial space for a developer. Instead, it was built by Bovis Lend Lease to showcase their building, development and design capabilities."
The advanced controls for the solar-control system balance requirements for optimal daylight management, energy efficiency, and personal control. Computers integrated into the building-management systems track sun and weather factors to adjust the blinds as needed. On bright mornings, louvers open fully to admit light. As light and heat increase, the blinds close incrementally throughout the afternoon to prevent glare. Local control systems allow workers to adjust the tilt of their own blinds via either wall switches or their desktop computers. Overall, the system has helped the site to reduce energy consumption significantly; it generates 30% lower CO2 emissions than a typical office space.
The system also had to be engineered to account for Sydney's notoriously strong west winds. Using weather data and wind-load calculations, the team designed the system to withstand wind speeds of up to 35 knots. They also enabled the control system to retract the blinds fully on the few occasions each year when winds reach maximum strength.
Named after the historic Bond Stores originally found in the area, The Bond has not only considerably improved Bovis Lend Lease's ability to attract and retain dedicated staff but also acts as a powerful benchmark for future green building projects through its total commitment to ecologically sustainable development. "Creating The Bond has allowed Lend Lease to again push the boundaries of what is possible. A fine example of a building that will serve our city into the future, we're confident that this new work environment will inspire and drive our distinct culture in years to come" said Ross Taylor, Bovis Lend Lease's Asia Pacific CEO.
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