200 George Street is a landmark building amidst its plain looking neighbors. The rounded volumes are wrapped in a glazed envelope containing in-built timber lamellas that automatically adjust with the shifting sun, giving the whole building a dynamic, ever-changing appearance depending on the time of day, the season and the amount of sunlight. As a result, the office tower transforms from a completely transparent glass skyscraper through to a tower of golden-brown wood.
155 m / 509 ft
37 stories tall
The play of warm soft light reflecting off and into the 37-stories has been made possible by the building’s façade, a state-of-the-art high-transparency glass skin whose double-glazed cavity contains motorized timber venetian blinds that adjust automatically with the changing angle of the sun’s rays. In the podium, vertical timber shading elements provide further solar protection. Natural materials like wood and sandstone combine with cutting-edge technological features, like the customized glazed façades, to produce one of the most sustainable, avant-garde buildings in Australia. The building has obtained a 6 Star Green Star - Office As Built 3 rating - as well as a 5 Star Australian NABERS rating (Excellent performance).
To have a building appear in that way, you really need to group the wood on the outside, which, of course, is extremely difficult to do. Or you need to sheet the building in a clear sheet of glass, and have the wood louvers tightly behind that, and then have the performance glazing behind that. So you get the multi-layered Closed Cavity Façade system being used on 200 George Street, a system that has not been implemented in Australia before now.
And in terms of the wood being in the closed cavity, it is the first time in the world this has been done to my knowledge.
Richard Francis-Jones, Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (fjmt)
Design & engineering, manufacturing and installation of around 20,000 sqm (215,300 sq ft) of mfree-SCCF façade with timber blinds within the cavity.
A special Closed Cavity Façade with timber lamellas
The mfree-SCCF (Moisture Free, Sustainable, Closed Cavity Façade) technology underpinning this project was developed by the Permasteelisa’s Group Innovation & Solutions Team, which had already successfully concluded other projects mainly in Europe. Adapting the technology to the completely different climate conditions of the southern hemisphere meant taking on board a whole raft of new factors - and uncertainties - that included a very special sun-shading system: in-built timber lamellas rather than traditional, externally placed blinds.
The mfree-SCCF units making up the façade comprise four special elements: a single outer sheet of low-iron extra-clear glass; a sealed closed cavity, ventilated by low volumes of dry air to prevent condensation and dust infiltration; movable blinds providing solar shading and glare protection; and an inner double-glazing unit of high performance insulating glass.
A new breed of office tower with a warm timber and clear-glass façade
3,000 mfree-SCCF façade units
3,000 timber blinds within the cavity
415 exterior vertical timber sun-shading elements, for streetscape glare control
Maximum transparency, energy efficiency and occupant comfort
6 Star Green Star - Office Design 3
6 Star Green Star - Office As Built 3
5 Star NABERS Energy rating
OWNER: Mirvac and AMP Capital Investors Limited
DEVELOPER: Mirvac Projects
ARCHITECT: Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (fjmt)
BUILDER: Mirvac Construction
The exceptional quality and durability of the façade units were ensured by precision assembly of the various components at the manufacturing plant. The timber blinds with the attendant blind control system were placed inside the façade package when the unit was assembled at the factory, thus avoiding the risk of damage during transport or construction site assembly.
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