Created by DesignInc in collaboration with the City of Melbourne, Council House 2’s (CH2) sole purpose has always been to be a holistic system with its occupants as participants within the building itself. The design follows a model that harnesses an interplay between the city and nature, in which all parties depend on one another to ensure the building functions correctly.
After establishing policy in the early 2000s, the City of Melbourne council aimed for the city to emit zero emissions throughout its municipality by 2020. The council endeavoured to reduce the energy consumption of commercial buildings by 50 percent, which has been the main contributor in the race to net zero. CH2 aimed to set a precedent for new developments within the market, with the brief requiring DesignInc to devise a building that relies on passive energy systems while managing to produce a premium grade building.
CH2 employs both literal and metaphorical expressions of environmental intentions in its architectural composition. The building’s facade is innately inspired by nature, implemented with tapered ventilation ducts that integrate with daylight strategies, with a concrete floor structure that naturally regulates temperature throughout.
The building is the first of its kind in the commercial sphere to meet and exceed the six star rating administered by the Green Building Council of Australia. Equally important to its environmental features is that it provides 100 percent fresh air to all occupants with one complete air change every half hour.
The benefits of superior indoor air quality and conservative estimates on energy costs will see the building pay for all its innovation by itself, ensuring its status as a sustainable and viable entity.
CH2’s floorplan features a number of open-plan and secluded office spaces, with full height glazing throughout. The headquarters of the City of Melbourne council, the building’s interior features build on the mantra of city and nature combining, with a number of plantations implemented on all floors.
Aiming at the time to be a flagship in sustainable and innovative design, Council House 2 has crafted a legacy seen within later developments of the garden city. DesignInc, along with the City of Melbourne, created an office building with contemporary principles in mind that have proven a wise investment for the council and the city itself, ensuring it remains the base of operations for City of Melbourne long-term.