Originally built in 1990, 55 Blackall Street is a working example of Willemsen’s technical capacity and towards net zero commitment through the preservation of embodied carbon in existing structures. Fully renovated, it is a reflection of the modern workplace and operationally achieves 5.5 Star NABERS energy with exceptional indoor environmental quality.
In today’s world, new office construction requires up to 40% of the world’s extracted materials while waste from demolition and construction can be one of the largest waste items for many countries.
At Willemsen we think about both operational and embodied carbon, appreciating that 28% of the world’s emissions come from the operational phase of buildings (their heating, cooling & lighting), while 11% come from embodied sources, or those associated with materials and construction processes through a building’s lifecycle.
Located on prestigious and prominent corner block in the Barton parliamentary region with sweeping views of Australia’s New Parliament House, after 25 years of operation an obvious solution may have been to demolish and rebuild.
Instead, a lateral thinking review of the existing buildings fabric, massing, floor to ceiling heights, depth of floor plate, structural grid and services cores demonstrated that there was a clear solution to retaining the existing structure and refit.
After a sensitive but complete renovation including new building services, 55 Blackall Street is operational at NABERS 5.5 stars energy and presents as a recently constructed building A Grade office building but with the benefit of the savings in embodied carbon.
Utilising a load bearing external building fabric and interior core, each 1150m2 floor plate only has only 10 internal columns and can be subdivided into tenancies from 200m2, supporting all modern workplace designs.
New end of trip facilities have level access from Blackall Street and include male and female locker and shower facilities which are immediately adjacent to the enclosed bicycle parking area.
The basement of the building includes a range of storerooms available for lease, along with a generous floor space to car parking ratio of 1:40m2.
Our buildings incorporate complex BACnet building management systems that continuously monitor temperature, air velocity and humidity at multiple points in the building air cycle. They combine this information with carbon dioxide readings and outside air temperature to modulate services preferencing maximum filtered fresh air where outside conditions make it appropriate.
In our construction and facilities maintenance practices, we have detailed specifications implemented by our staff and contractors to control particulate matter, airborne microbials, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and formaldehyde.
Our buildings prioritise natural illumination (100% core office), employing lighting systems that are built to work with task-based lighting, providing energy efficient fine grained lighting control.