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Council House 2 (CH2)
by City of Melbourne + DesignInc Melbourne



The City of Melbourne aims to achieve zero emissions for the municipality by 2020. A major contribution to this strategy is the reduction in energy consumption of commercial buildings by 50%. Council House 2 (CH2) was piloted in an effort to provide a working example for the local development market. The brief required a building that as far as possible relied on passive energy systems while producing a premium grade building. Emissions will be 64% less than a five-star building, and when compared with the City of Melbourne's existing Council House is expected to reduce electricity consumption by 85%, gas emissions by 87%, reduce water mains supply by 72% and produce only 13% of the emissions. It was the first new commercial office building in Australia to meet and exceed the six star rating system administered by the Green Building Council of Australia. Equally important to its environmental features is that it provides 100% 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 within five to ten years. The Council engaged additional consultants to achieve the best result through a design process that combined an in-house design and project management team and external consultants and experts in a two week collaborative design workshop which resulted in the six star rated design solution. The design achieved this result through a combination of local practices and international

innovation including recycled concrete, recycled timber, timber windows, sewer mining and co-generating using natural gas. Shower towers and phase change material have been employed to produce and store cold water for use by chilled ceilings and beams, while wind turbines are used to extract air during a ‘night purge'. Solar hot water heating and photovoltaics take advantage of good solar access as a result of CH2's location within the 40 metre height limit of Melbourne's CBD. The use of mass within CH2's design and construction has allowed the use of the diurnal shift in temperatures in summer to cool the building by opening windows for four hours each night. Only areas that are occupied are air-conditioned with circulation, and toilet areas are naturally ventilated. CH2 was designed to be a holistic and all-inclusive system with its occupants as participants. The design follows a model that promotes a more interactive role between the city and nature, acting more like an ecosystem in which all parties depend on each other. With the current concerns about environmental impacts and the health of occupants, CH2 has shown how simple ideas can be used to assist in producing an impressive result. The building's financial viability suggests these sorts of buildings should be the norm. In its procurement, the City made all its information publicly available, including 10 independent studies by academics of the various components used in CH2. These studies are placed on the City's website providing complete transparency to the building's procurement.

Melbourne, VIC
City of Melbourne + DesignInc Melbourne
(03) 9654 9654
Project Team
Project architect: Jean-Claude Bertoni)
Design architect: Chris Thorne)
Project manager: Ione McKenzie)
Developer: City of Melbourne
Structural consultant: Bonacci Group
Civil consultant: Bonacci Group
Landscape consultant: City of Melbourne
Interior designer: DesignInc Melbourne/City of Melbourne
Acoustic consultant: Marshall Day Acoustics
Services consultant: Lincolne Scott
Environmental consultant: Advanced Environmental Concepts
Builder: Hansen Yuncken
Project Director: City of Melbourne , Rob Adams
Project Director: City of Melbourne , Mick Pearce
Architect: DesignInc Melbourne , Vi Vuong
Interior Design: Juliet Moore)
Quantity surveyor: Donald Cant Watts Corke
Artists: Tom Carment

Photographs by City of Melbourne + DesignInc Melbourne, text by City of Melbourne + DesignInc Melbourne

Link directly to this award entry: is the website of The Royal Australian Institute of Architects