As more and more high-rise projects are constructed worldwide, the “smart skyscrapers” trend continues to boom. What exactly defines a smart skyscraper? Energy saving measures, cost-cutting building processes, green features, and sustainable design techniques are all crucial to the construction of the new generation of skyscrapers which will dominate the Australian skyline in years to come.
Alistair Guthrie is a Professor of Environmental Design in the School of Built Environment at Nottingham University and a Fellow at Arup, a leading firm of independent designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists as well as the structural designers behind the Sydney Opera House.
“Smart location, on or near a public transport hub” is a cornerstone, says Guthrie, of the smart skyscraper identity. “This is so that getting many people to a small footprint does not impact on road networks”. High density living, now an inevitable part of the urban landscape in our cities, highlights the imperative need for a smooth, seamless interconnection between high-rise residencies, travel networks and modes of transport.
Building façade is another area in which green technology can improve efficiency. “The building fabric needs to be an excellent modifier of the climate, which will vary depending on location in Australia and also needs to be able to use the available climate, sun, wind and air, to keep operating energy low”, describes Guthrie.
Internally, “building systems such as air conditioning, lighting and lifts must respond directly to individual user needs rather than predetermined conditions”, adds Guthrie. The Internet of Things has a major role to play in improving interface between residents and the building itself, with the potential to tailor user experience to individual’s or a workplaces unique needs.
A building structure that minimises the use of material through smart design and utilises the benefit of combining spaces with more than one function, such as combining office, residential and hotel accommodation, is also integral to the smart, green skyscraper movement, says Guthrie.
With expertise in the application of building physics to find innovative, integrated and sustainable solutions to help create some of the world’s best architecture, Guthrie is a key speaker at the Australian Smart Skyscrapers Summit 2017. Alistair has worked on sustainability design for projects as diverse as the Shard in London, the Yongsan landmark tower, KT tower in Seoul and CCTV building in Beijing. He also led the Arup design team for a number of LEED platinum rated projects such as the California academy of science in San Francisco and SNFCC cultural centre in Athens. His presentation will touch on setting design right, bringing industry and end users together and a holistic approach for optimal results to sustainable design practices.
High-rise towers incorporating sustainable design features profiled on the Australian Smart Skyscrapers agenda include Sydney’s 1 Bligh skyscraper which has received multiple awards for its environmentally friendly building design and set a benchmark for sustainable design. Ray Brown, Managing Director, Architectus, examines the skyscraper’s innovative green features which incorporate a central atrium, double skin façade, air conditioning, energy generation, solar panels, black water recycling and recycled rain water.
Another jewel in the Australian smart skyscraper crown is Sydney’s One Central Park, one of the world’s best tall buildings, boasting the tallest vertical garden at over 1100 square metres. Mark Giles, Senior Associate, PTW Architects will discuss the impressive environmentally friendly design concepts that underpin this smart skyscraper at the Summit.
The Australian Smart Skyscraper Summit will be held on the 28-29th March 2017 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
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