We recently saw an interesting presentation from Hillam Architects on emerging technologies and environmental efficiencies.
Often you hear the statement that people will not pay more for environmental initiatives. But based on what we saw in the presentation, this cutting edge science would undoubtedly draw a niche market that could and would pay for this revolutionary design.
Swisstech Convention Centre has employed solar panels, but rather than being on the roof, they have been used in the facia of the building as a design element.
These Grätzel cells, in addition to being translucent, can be deployed vertically without any loss in efficiency. They not only produce renewable energy, but they also shade the building from direct sunlight, reducing the need for air conditioning.
This technology has also been applied to louvre windows.
Furthering from this, the 214,000-square-meter Pearl River Tower redefines what is possible in sustainable design. The soaring tower’s sculpted body directs wind to a pair of openings at its mechanical floors, where traveling winds push turbines that generate energy for the building. Other integrated sustainable elements include solar panels, a double-skin curtain wall, a chilled ceiling system, under-floor ventilation, and daylight harvesting, all of which contribute to the building’s energy efficiency.
In addition, Arup has introduced the concept of the live microalgae wall in Hamburg which provides shade and generates renewable energy at the same time. It also provides an interesting and attractive design element to the building!
And finally we were shown a 10 storey timber apartment building being constructed by Lend Lease in Melbourne.
Built from CLT or Cross Laminated Timber, this is a durable and strong, sustainable, solid-wood alternative to conventional structural materials.
CLT was developed in Europe and has been used in cutting-edge constructions overseas for more than 10 years.
CLT keeps your apartment warmer in winter and cooler in summer and once again offers a natural, alternative which is also more cost effective.
With these new technologies in play, it is time that Perth also took this evolutionary leap and create a niche for designs that optimise on our natural resources. These are the kinds of elements that will differentiate your design from the competition and truly demonstrate innovation.
We hope that we have stimulated future thought processes!