The General in Northcote takes sustainability to new levels

The General in Northcote takes sustainability to new levels
The General in Northcote takes sustainability to new levels

The General, a multi-residential project in Melbourne's Northcote, is taking sustainable architecture to a new level.

The Cedar Group development, designed by emerging Melbourne architecture practice C.Kairouz Architects, is the first residential building in Australia to use Onyx Solar photovoltaic glass on a facade, providing high-quality and sustainable architecture.

Acting as both a balustrade and power source on the building’s north facing exterior, The General also boasts a 7.5 star NatHERS energy rating.

C.Kairouz Architects director Chahid Kairouz said the glass supplied by Environmental Technology Solutions allows the ingress of daylight, while also offering significant thermal protection.

Working closely with engineers, the firm looked to ensure the energy produced by the glass offset the cost of light, power and mechanical equipment in common areas.

The General in Northcote takes sustainability to new levels


Located on the prominent corner of High Street and Bent Street, the development is affectionately labelled The General,the nickname of Kairouz’s late father. Built at the former site of the family’s butcher business, the project honours his journey as a migrant to successful Australian business owner.

“On the building’s east facing exterior, a curved glass facade features a reference to my father, with a subtle image of a General on a horse across all panels. This patterned glass is also able to be illuminated into a beacon-like effect,” Kairouz said.

The curved exterior carries through to the foyer with the main entrance featuring rounded glass doors mirrored by a curved grey tiled sculpture-like divider.

The development comprises one, two and three bedroom apartments. There are gas fireplaces in 14 apartments.

With sustainability the main focus for C.Kairouz, green spaces enhance the building’s 7.5 star energy rating with a rooftop terrace, green wall in the entrance, and planter boxes on each apartment balcony also a feature.

Elsewhere in the building’s basement, a 25,000 litre rainwater tank which collects water from the rooftops is used to flush 50 toilets.

Encouraging green-centric transport the building contains 137 bicycle parks.

A mixed-use building, The General is also home to street-frontage restaurants, retail stores and offices.


Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson

Joel Robinson is a property journalist based in Sydney. Joel has been writing about the residential real estate market for the last five years, specializing in market trends and the economics and finance behind buying and selling real estate.

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