Pixel Building named Australia’s greenest building

Jul 29, 2010
  • Article by Online Editor
  • Designer

Grocon’s Pixel Building has been awarded a perfect score of 100 by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA).

GBCA Chief Executive Romilly Madew said the project was the 250th Green Star-rated building to be certified by the organisation, and described it as “arguably, Australia’s greenest building”.

Located on the former Carlton Brewery site in central Melbourne, the Pixel Building will house the offices for construction company Grocon. The four storey building has been designed by Melbourne practice Studio 505.

Under the Green Star rating system, 75 points is the benchmark for achieving a 6 Star Green Star rating. As well as achieving the maximum 100 points available, the Pixel Building was awarded with an extra five points for innovation.

The innovation points recognised the building’s carbon neutral operations, a vacuum toilet system, an anaerobic digestion system and reduced car parking. The water initiatives in the project also mean the building could be self sufficient for water.

Pixel has been constructed using a new type of concrete, called Pixelcrete, which has half the embodied carbon in the mix compared with standard concrete. The building also features a living roof planted with native grasses, while tracking PV solar panels and wind turbines on the roof offset the carbon use of the building.

Sun shades on the façade allow natural daylight into the office space while also protecting the interior from the glare of the sun, ensuring the building stays cool in winter. Reed beds on each level filter the building’s greywater, and help to keep the building cool.

Pixel is now also being assessed by the US LEED and UK BREEAM rating tools for sustainable buildings.

The Green Star rating tool was first launched in 2003, with the first rating awarded in 2005 to 8 Brindabella Circuit at Canberra Airport. In April 2009, the Stockland head office in Sydney became the 100th building to be certified with a Green Star. This number has now more than doubled, meaning that Australia now has 3.57 million square metres of Green Star certified office, retail, education and residential space nationwide.

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29 Jul 10 at 7:06 AM • Carpet comments

Curious which carpet brand Grocon have opted for for this building? Their local preference is for a company with no Green credentials compared with another central western Sydney manufacturer that seems to be overlooked when the grit gets to the low initial cost. Longevity is oft overlooked in this number crunch and even the 1 Bligh Street building soon to be finished, also built by said Grocon is in the same boat flooring wise…why can’t Architects and Builders get that a product lasting 10+ years is better value than de-engineered low budget offerings from the imports and faux local American companies even if they look good initially and cost marginally less

30 Jul 10 at 5:14 AM • Fuzzy logic

Well, from what I’ve seen of the building, it looks like they used recycled carpet tiles – which I have to be honest didn’t look the greatest, but I’m sure delivered lots of greenie points…

18 Aug 10 at 8:59 AM • architect

re:carpet- original spec was new australian product- super green and friendly. intricate colour design- excellent market response. developer decision to go with recycled secondhand for the duration of the on-site, relatively messy ‘development office’ phase. we are assured that upon ‘completion’ the carpet will be installed to meet the original design!

29 Sep 10 at 4:41 AM • Samantha Jewel

This a great addition to the green roves and green buildings being developed around the world. with our particularly harsh weather conditions it is great to see the use of native grasses for the living roof feature. I will definitely add this in to my chapter on green roofs in my eBook Elegant Solutions for Addressing Climate Change.

20 Jan 11 at 2:14 AM • Matt

Not sure about everyone else, but I’d rather the sun shades kept the building warm in winter…


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