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Preparing for Tomorrow's World: 699 Bourke Street

699 Bourke Street

Jointly owned by TH Real Estate and Mirvac Group (‘Mirvac’), 699 Bourke Street, Melbourne, Australia presents impressive sustainability features and is evidence of TH Real Estate’s dedication to preparing for Tomorrow’s World.

The 21, 000 sq m building is A-Grade, has been awarded 6-Green stars, and boasts an impressive 90 kW rooftop solar system, the largest solar power system on a commercial office in Melbourne, and an 80,000 litre rainwater catchment system. Designed by Grimshaw Architects, the building’s rooftop solar system generates approximately 110,000 kWh of electricity a year and has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by around 145 tonnes of C02 every year.

Construction began in August 2013 and the building officially opened in July 2015 by Victoria’s Minister for Energy, Lily D’Ambrosio. The development is built on an existing concrete deck, 24 metres above platforms 13-16 of the Southern Cross Station rooftop. It is a 12 storey office building that occupies the northern end of the deck, and has a frontage to the Bourke Street Bridge. This was also the first commercial building in Melbourne that Grimshaw Architects designed. They designed a workplace environment for more than 1,500 employees, maximising views and daylight for the offices with 90 per cent of the space within 12m of the high-performance glazed facade.

It was recognised that construction over rail is becoming more common as Melbourne densifies. The design of the building is driven by a sophisticated response to contemporary workplace architecture, held to a high level of energy-use accountability. Its built form is calm with tailored, crisp lines that complement the undulations of the Southern Cross Station roof, providing a distinguished addition to the varied context of Melbourne’s Docklands.

To obtain pedestrian access to the building and the public street that connects Bourke Street Bridge and Collins Street, a northern-entry pavilion cantilevers off the west side of the deck, over the rail environment. This 14m high lightweight steel and glass pavilion contains escalators, lifts and stairs for vertical access into the main lobby and business lounge.

A key feature of 699 Bourke Street is the design of the north façade which prevents glare reflectivity on to the rail yard environment below, mitigating risk to train drivers. The design for the façade screening system enables views out of the building while allowing optimal daylight into the office space without exposing any reflective glass surface.

Multiple energy saving methods have been put into place throughout the building. 699 Bourke Street is a highly energy efficient workplace (6-Green star rated) and displays a range of impressive sustainability features. Given the natural ventilation design, there is also reduced condenser water consumption for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. The co-gen system in the building also severs and provides a consistent level of power and heat to the building and is doing it in a cost-effective way. The building also has separate metering for chiller plant, air handling units, condensed water units and pumps.

The LED lighting to back of house areas also contributes to energy savings and sustainability by improving working conditions through deliberately directed light and lowering the energy needed to power lighting fixtures. The building also features an innovative Organic Response lighting system with 3,500 sensors to track occupancy and natural light levels. Water used for testing fire protection systems and drain-down water from sprinkler systems is returned to the fire reserve or irrigation tank.

Other sustainability elements include immediate access to public transport, reduced parking, 275 bike storage, internal and rooftop planting, electric car charging ports, 402 lockers and an integrated digital signage which reports energy usage.

To keep in theme with the building, AGL Energy Limited (AGL) initially signed a long-term lease agreement for 10 years. The state-of-the-art activity based working facilities gives their 1,500 Melbourne-based employees the flexibility to organise, connect and adapt teams to deliver a great customer experience.

Issued by Henderson Real Estate Asset Management Limited, 201 Bishopsgate, EC2M 3BN. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. TH Real Estate is a name under which Henderson Real Estate Asset Management Limited provides investment products and services. COMP201600434

Jayson Egan

Jayson Egan

Head of Asset Management, Australia

Jayson's biography