Sustainability (Urban Renewal): Upcycling an Existing Tower

Chris Nunn
Head of Sustainability, Real Estate
AMP Capital Investors, Sydney

Robert Saidman
Principal
Arup, Sydney



Quay Quarter Tower takes a comprehensive approach to sustainability. It starts with urban renewal and continues to a high-performing façade. The focus on both place and performance creates a highly contextual tower designed to meet the demands of the future workplace.

QQT takes upcycling to new heights. Rather than demolish the entire existing building located on the site, QQT reuses two thirds of the existing structure while grafting onto the existing slabs. This innovative design adds approximately 45,000 square meters of new construction to the existing tower’s frame, primarily on the north side of the building. Despite doubling the floor area, the design still meets premium grade lift requirements without adding new lift shafts due to advancements in destination control systems and double lift technology.

The design optimizes the embodied energy and resources inherent in the existing structure and results in a remarkably efficient plan. Through the design of the façade’s sun-shading hoods that wrap the five stacked blocks of the tower, QQT’s solar radiance is significantly reduced through smart passive design, eliminating the need for internal blinds for thermal loads, thus, reducing the mechanical loads on the building while maintaining the unparalleled views of Sydney Harbour.

The focus on sustainable building and precinct design includes targeting a 6-star Green Star rating and a 5.5 Star NABERS Energy rating. Sustainability extends beyond the building and into the precinct and beyond through the renewal of a precinct and district, including the addition of a vibrant retail environment.

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