How sustainable design is transferring one of Sydney’s most treasured buildings

At 111 Castlereagh, architects fjmtstudio have made clever use of green spaces throughout the building. Author: | Original Source:    

Sustainability means more than ever to Australians and one of the nation’s biggest property investors and developers is taking that very seriously.

Cbus Property has committed to major green building initiatives that will see it progress towards its goal of achieving a net zero carbon status for its portfolio. This includes impressive achievements in the Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Star rating system, with the developer’s 443 Queen St project in Brisbane recently being awarded Australia’s first 6 Star Green Star – Design & As Built Version 1.2 Design Review certified rating for a residential tower.

Another example of Cbus Property’s sustainable approach is 111 Castlereagh, a 22-storey residential apartment tower above the former David Jones department store on Castlereagh Street in Sydney’s CBD. The development will house 101 luxury residences featuring smart design and technology.


Embedding sustainability into this project is not just about ticking a box, but delivering value for the environment as well as residents, says Cbus Property’s chief executive officer, Adrian Pozzo. “It is the future,” he says. “Whether it is at 111 Castlereagh or whatever else we do from here on, it is all about sustainability – particularly for our residential developments. It has always been the case for commercial office developments, but in the past few years, residential has also come to the fore.”


COVID-induced lockdowns have put a sharp focus on environmentally-friendly design and construction at residential projects, with Australians now spending more time working from home and likely to continue doing so even once workplaces are reopened.“It is all about healthy spaces, which we have long been talking about in our commercial towers, but it is now about healthy spaces where people live,” Pozzo says. “Where people live now, as we have found in the past 18 months, is where many people will probably work, too.


“ So it is all about lifestyle and wellbeing while working from home.” At 111 Castlereagh, architects fjmtstudio have made clever use of green spaces throughout the building. At the base of the new tower are two levels of amenities across landscaped roof terraces, which will help to reduce stormwater overflow and insulate the heritage building below.


These green spaces, which include walking paths amid a variety of carefully selected plants, were expertly woven into the architecture of the building, says James Perry at fjmtstudio. “We introduced a layers of integrated landscaping across the roop of the heritage podium building, creating a garden in the middle of the city,” he says. “It’s one of the unique things about it because here you are in the middle of the city and as a resident, you can catch a lift from your residence to the gardens to walk the dogs or simply have some respite, while appreciating incredible views of the city, Hyde Park and Sydney Harbour beyond.”


The location of the building also gives residents the opportunity to meander across the road to Hyde Park where they can also socialise, exercise or just find some tranquility. If they prefer to stay in, residents can find plenty to do with a heated open-air pool, gym, yoga terrace, barbeque area and private dining room.


In line with Cbus Property’s net zero carbon ambitions, a long list of sustainable measures has been put in place at 111 Castlereagh, including a double-glazed facade to reduce heat loss in cooler months and decrease heat gain in warmer months, contributing to an average NatHERS rating of 7.6 stars and resulting in more comfortable and efficient homes. The benefits of fresh air have also been employed, with natural ventilation in all residences through the use of operable awning and sash windows, loggias with operable facades and terraces to levels 30 and above. The design of the building also empowers residents to take ownership of carbon reduction, with facilities such as 103 resident bike spaces and 10 visitor bike spaces, plus electrical vehicle charging points intended to be powered by renewable energy. 


Appliances rank high for low energy use, including four and five-star energy-rated washing machines, while four-star toilets use 45 per cent less water per flush than average toilets. The high level of home automation takes the development to a whole new level. Through the automated valet, residents can order their cars via their devices to be downstairs and ready to go. Home automation can also be programmed to switch heating, lighting and appliances on and off for maximum energy efficiency and convenience. These are just a few of the many unique features that aim to make 111 Castlereagh fit for the future and beyond.
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