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    Australia's first breathing green wall to reduce headaches and poor productivity at Barangaroo offices

    Nicholas Rider

    A six-metre high, breathing green wall will provide Lendlease workers with fresh, clean air when they move into their new global headquarters at Barangaroo this year.

    Positioned within their offices at new Tower 3 International Towers Sydney, by Rogers Stirk Partnership, the massive breathing wall is an active, modular green wall system, made up of 5,000 plants, which has been scientifically proven to speed up the removal of air pollutants, such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

    Lendlease claim that the wall will benefit the health and wellbeing of their employees, and there are a string of recent studies that back this up. One two-year study from the Plants and Indoor Environmental Quality Research Group at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in particular, lends to Lendlease’s suggestions that their green wall will aid employee productivity.

    According to the study, by reducing the amount of CO2 in the internal office environment, the green wall will provide an environment that is less susceptible to headaches, lethargy and poor productivity among workers. Another regularly quoted study from University of Queensland’s School of Psychology Professor concludes that an office enriched with plants makes staff happier and boosts productivity by 15 per cent.

    Not coincidentally, the Lendlease’s green wall is also expected to deliver air energy efficiency and reduced air conditioning costs as it provides a cooling effect to the surrounding air temperature.

    WHAT IS A BREATHING GREEN WALL?

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    Produced by Junglefy, a breathing wall is an active, modular green wall system, scientifically proven to accelerate the removal of air pollutants, such as carbon dioxide, particulates and volatile organic compounds faster than any other plant-based system on the market. It also acts as a sound barrier, improving acoustics while cooling the surrounding air temperature, resulting in energy efficiency and reduced air conditioning costs.

    The breathing wall is made up of modules composed of linear, low-density polyethylene with infinite recyclability, supplied with a growing medium high in coconut fibre. The system is ventilated via an electric axial impeller, providing a uniform airflow across plants and growing medium. This active ventilation increases the rate of carbon dioxide draw down, and the volume of air that can be filtered and cooled by each module.


    ANOTHER FIRST FOR LENDLEASE AT BARANGAROO

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    Lendlease's green wall is not the only first they've claimed this year, the construction heavy weight also recently announced that they will complete Australia’s first cross-laminated timber (CLT) commercial office building in Sydney. 

    To be called International House Sydney (IHS), the six-storey CLT and Glulam building will be located at the gateway to Lendlease’s multi-billion dollar Barangaroo development and will be the construction heavy weight’s third project in Australia that utilises the sustainable building material.  

    It’s been designed by Sydney architect Alec Tzannes, of Tzannes Associates and will feature a clear-glass skin, leaving the engineered timber, including 2000 m³ of CLT, in full exposure as floor frames, beams and columns.

    The 7910sqm office will sit behind the three ‘International Towers’ designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour at Barangaroo South, which was recently awarded a 6 Star Green Star - Communities rating by the Green Building Council Australia.  

    IHS will be targeting a 6-Star Green Star Office Design and As Built (v3) rating of its own and its heavy dosage (not literally) of CLT will be a key factor in it achieving that. According to Lendlease's Barangaroo South managing director Andrew Wilson, all engineered timbers will sourced from sustainably managed forests in Austria and the CLT will have a PEFC chain of custody certification.

    This will go a long way to lowering the building’s carbon footprint, which according to Alec Tzannes, is the driving force behind the project.

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