The new offices of the Melbourne City Council, known as Council House 2 (or CH2) represents the cutting edge of environmentally friendly building design.
Opened in August 2006, this multi-award winning project is the first Australian commercial building to achieve a 6 Green Star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.
The 6 star accreditation confirms the building’s status as a world leading example of “eco friendly design” both in terms of technology and innovation. The building includes a host of technologies to reduce its consumption of gas, electricity and water, which significantly reduce its emission of greenhouse gases, and create a more engaging environment for its occupants.
The CBD surrounding the CH2 building is no different to any other inner city urban environment. Space is at a premium. With the increased cost of urban sprawl forcing higher density development of both a residential and commercial nature in central business districts world-wide, opportunities exist for new benchmarks in green development to maintain the balance.
At their new offices, Council saw an opportunity to lead by example, partnering with leading experts in ESD concepts. The CH2 rooftop is the Council’s back yard and it remains their personal challenge in spatial diversity and utilization. Demands for a minimal carbon footprint, generous plantings and the need for bed space were balanced with the real needs of the building population for a useable and meaningful recreational space.
Ronstan Architectural was consulted for the detailed design, supply and installation of the stainless steel trellising systems and components to provide essential climbing structure for the plant life, and to transform the hard heat retaining surfaces into a vibrant vertical garden.
The space utilises a mix of Ronstan ACS2 cables and Carl Stahl X-TEND® tensile mesh to support the growth of several species of plants that screen the roof top services. The green walls provide a fantastic amenity for the occupants of CH2, a space that has the ability to “revitalise” in the middle of Melbourne’s CBD. The cables provide simple links from beds to the overhead arbour, while the mesh forms a substrate for several living sculptures.
The dynamic nature of the stainless steel tensile mesh provides unparalleled freedom for green expression.