Grocon says it has an exciting new concept for Australia, with plans being developed for a ‘passive house’ apartment building to be known as Delta.
Delta will be carbon neutral and built entirely from timber within the Carlton Brewery site, above the heritage-listed bluestone walls on Bouverie Street.
Grocon’s David Waldren said the company wanted to extend and expand the thinking from what it claims as the greenest building in the country, the carbon neutral Pixel.
“We want to go further than ever before in the development and construction industry,” he said.
“While Pixel is currently the greenest building in Australia, achieving a perfect score of 105 from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), we are now keen to take the next step by making that thinking widely available to home owners.
“With the Federal Government’s announcement that there will be a carbon price from July 1, 2012, we must all be ready for a new way of living and working. The carbon constrained economy is upon us.
“More importantly, we must commit ourselves to ensuring less carbon is emitted into the global atmosphere to preserve the environment for generations to come.”
Waldren said the Delta building would be designed to be ten storeys high, with 50 apartments.
The pre-fabricated structure will consist of high technology cross laminated timber, first developed in Switzerland, but not before used in Australia.
In another extension of the Pixel thinking, the project will utilise sustainably sourced and processed FSC certified wood products.
A similar tall timber structure is the Stadthaus in Hackney, East London, currently believed to be the tallest building of its type in the world, although Delta is designed to be one storey taller.
Delta will be based on the “Passive House” Standard, well known throughout Europe. There are around 20,000 houses, mainly in Austria, Germany and Scandanivia, which have been built to this standard in the past 20 years.
Waldren said the concept behind the “Passive House” is to achieve the best indoor standard of heating and cooling possible — but captured in the way the house is designed and manufactured, rather than through the use of gas or electricity.
“A “Passive House” needs very little energy to achieve a high level of comfort and heats and cools itself,” he said.
“It has an airtight building envelope, is very well-insulated and the timber window frames feature triple glazing.”
The team working on Delta is the same as worked on Pixel — Grocon, studio 505 architects and sustainability consultants Umow Lai.
Waldren said Delta was a quantum leap in terms of the Australian building and construction industry.
“Buildings like Delta will bring a new standard of comfort and quality to Australian residential settings,” he said.
“We believe homeowners should have the opportunity to take advantage of technology available around the world and achieve the most sustainable home possible.
“This home dramatically reduces energy bills as it is incredibly energy efficient and uses renewable power sources.”