Holcim  Australia supplied concrete for EcoLibrium Workplace6, the new benchmark in environmentally sustainable building design and touted as the workplace of the future. The concrete from CEMEX contributed to EcoLibrium Workplace6’s Green Star rating.  

EcoLibrium Workplace6 is Sydney’s first six Green Star Building. Known as Workplace6, the six storey, 18,000 cubic metre commercial office building is located at Pyrmont.  

EcoLibrium Workplace6 has an Australian Building Greenhouse Rating of six stars and has been modelled as one of the most energy-efficient in the world. EcoLibrium Workplace6 project was awarded 83 points – 75 points are required to achieve a six-star rating.  

Stephen Mar, Technical Manager for Sydney concrete said Workplace6 was the first post-tensioned commercial structure built in Australia that used a concrete mix design with 40 per cent supplementary cementitious level (comprising a combination of fly ash and ground granulated blast furnace slag) plus a 20 per cent replacement of natural aggregates with slag aggregate.    

Such high levels of supplementary cementitious material (SCM) hadn’t previously been used on a project with cyclic post-tensioned flatwork, so the completion of EcoLibrium Workplace6 was a real achievement. Sydney concrete worked closely with Buildcorp to ensure that the right the specifics of the concrete mix designs for the project were achieved.  

At the beginning of the Workplace6 project, the Sydney technical team held numerous meetings with the Buildcorp project management team, TLB (project design engineers) and other subcontractors to explain and review the potential impact on the construction process of a “green” concrete, using a supplementary cementitious material (SCM) level of 40 per cent plus an additional requirement for a 20 per cent recycled aggregate replacement of natural aggregate.  

The commitment of the Buildcorp project team to build Sydney’s first 6 GBCA star project was the overriding project consideration and eventually, reservations about the various effects of the proposed GBCA design innovations compared to more traditional, tried and tested construction techniques, were overcome by the collective resolve of all parties concerned with the construction of Workplace6.  

More features of EcoLibrium Workplace6

  • Sixty per cent of the steel in the structure is 50 per cent recycled
  • Use of PVC reduced by 60 per cent
  • Only recycled Forest Stewardship Council-rated timber used
  • A central staircase enhances daylight and reduces energy for lighting (it also encourages tenants to walk rather than use the lifts)
  • Only low-VOC paints, carpets, adhesives and sealants used
  • Mould-prevention system in the ductwork to provide a healthy work environment for tenants
  • Alternative energy sources, including its own gas-fired tri-generation system to generate 25 per cent of its base-load electricity, and a solar hot water system
  • Cooled using energy-efficient chilled beams that provide a more consistent, comfortable temperature within the building. Instead of cooling towers the mechanical system uses harbour heat rejection
  • Another first for Australia; irrigation water to be supplied to neighbouring parks. The system has the capacity to produce 40 000 litres of fresh water every day. If the building is not producing enough wastewater, the system will draw on the public sewer and convert this waste into usable water.