A new four-storey mixed development in Richmond features striking 15m tall exterior panels spanning from the ground to the full height of the glassed-in penthouse office space on top.

All 14 separate panels that make up each of the two main exterior walls are insulated with the THERMOMASS precast insulation system.

Designed by architect Alvaro Larosa, the building on 66-68 Cubitt St, Richmond is nearing completion with the prominent superstructure of the four-storey mixed residential/office space starting to take shape.

Instead of choosing ordinary precast panels, Alvaro Larosa deliberately selected THERMOMASS as he was familiar with the patented insulation system, the project being his third THERMOMASS building in Cubitt St alone.

Inspired by the works of Tadao Ando, Alvaro seeks to highlight the raw materiality of concrete in his works. While his work reflects Ando’s style of exposing the beauty in simplicity through the clever use of well proportioned space, Alvaro also maintains a strong focus on functionality encompassing both the liveability of a residence as well as the ease with which it can be constructed and maintained.

Alvaro was not in favour of using traditional methods of insulating concrete panels, which involved placing insulation against the interior of the concrete shell and then plastering over. Alvaro believes in using insulated concrete sandwich panels that allow the internal thermal mass of the concrete to work in tandem with the insulation to vastly reduce diurnal fluctuations in temperature.

Alvaro’s long-time collaborator, and the project’s builder/owner, Fotios Spiridonos believes in the same philosophy. Since his brief sought to create a comfortable, inviting space for his future tenants, Fotios readily agreed on the use of the THERMOMASS insulation system over other insulated precast panel systems.

THERMOMASS features patented composite connectors that create the bond between the internal and external concrete leaves. Specially developed to have the same thermal expansion coefficient as concrete, THERMOMASS connectors prevent cracking and spalling common with many other proprietary connector systems.

THERMOMASS precast insulation system is available from Composite Global Solutions.