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Mark Baljak's picture

makes for a great streetscape

CBD | AIA Headquarters | 41 Exhibition Street | 21L | 90m | Office

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Mark Baljak's picture

Sustainable home for architects

The Australian Institute of Architects aims to walk the talk with its new home, the country’s first strata-titled commercial development designed to be carbon-neutral over its 30-year lifespan.

Owners and tenants of 41X, the 22-storey tower on the corner of Melbourne’s Exhibition Street and Flinders Lane, follow a sustainability charter that requires them to account for their behaviour, such as the way employees commute to work, and pay offset costs to displace their carbon emissions.

Those costs, which institute chief executive David Parken said would be worth about 10 per cent of a strata owner’s annual $20,000 body corporate fees, form part of modelling designed to take into account the embedded carbon footprint of the material, energy, transport and waste functions for the building’s lifespan.

“The building that an organisation occupies should reflect its values and standards,” Governor-General Quentin Bryce said at the opening on Monday.

“Exceptional design should not go unnoticed. It changes things for the better.” The institute has broken even with the Bank of Melbourne-funded, $31-million building designed by Lyons Architects and built by Hickory Group, Mr Parken said.

The building, for which Aecom was the building services engineer, Winward Structures the structural and civil engineer and DPPS the project manager, has 19 floors of office space with a 285-square-metre floor plate. Other occupants include Hickory, Lion Capital, Sotheby’s Australia and tax consultancy GPG Group. Hassell was interior designer for the top five floors that the institute owns and occupies.

Designed to meet the needs of commercial clients, 41X also functions as a public building, with a cafe and architectural bookshop on the ground floor and a stairway onto Flinders Lane.

“Having an organisation that ­represents 3000 architects as a client was always going to be something of a challenge to the architect, but it worked out extraordinarily well,” architect Carey Lyon told The Australian ­Financial Review.

Mr Lyon did not say how much his firm charged the institute.

“It’s a good contribution,” said institute member and former Victorian premier Ted Baillieu, who was present at the launch. “It’s going to be a good centre for architecture.”

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Melbman's picture

Im torn on this one the more I look at it. I like parts of it, but don't know if it works 100% overall.

Decent addition to the city though.

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Melbourne_Fragments's picture

Is designing buildings that will only last 30 years or less really sustainable design?

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drunkill's picture

It is designed to lats longer then that. 30 years is the timeframe for the current energy saving things, by then the building will undoubtedly undergo a refit and upgrade and whatever new technology is around then (or in law) will go into it and again try to be carbon neutral.

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