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Sun-loving, tree-hugging skyscraper

08 Sep 2016

Sun-loving, tree-hugging skyscraper Image

By Sunny Liu

A solar-powered apartment tower may soar up above Moray St, creating a new landmark and environmentally-friendly architectural attraction.

The glass exterior of the high-rise tower will be wrapped in solar cells to power the building, so future residents can embrace an edgy and tree-hugging lifestyle.

Solar panels are nothing new, but the 60-level skyscraper at 42 Moray St, Southbank will be the first in Australia to incorporate solar cells in its facade.

The solar cells installed in the glass absorb instead of reflecting sunrays, generating power for the building.

The glass exterior will house more than 3000sqm of panels, with an extra 300sqm on the roof. The solar panels are expected to generate more than 50 per cent of the tower’s base load power.

The glass will be double-glazed and the building will be run with a battery storage system to service 520 apartments.

Peter Brook, the architect behind the design, said it was a simple idea but a beautiful outcome.

“The objective will be to have a complete off-grid building. That’s probably somewhat over-ambitious but the objective is to get as far as we can down that road,” Mr Brook said.

He designed the curved exterior of the building to be oriented towards the movement of the sun throughout the day to achieve maximal energy production.

The skyscraper, developed by the ICR Property Group, will be called the Sol Invictus Tower, named after the Roman sun god.

Mr Brook said he expected the solar technology would continue to advance before construction starts and help increase the amount of power the panels could generate.

The first 10 levels of the tower will be offices, shops and car parks, and apartments will start from the 11th level to minimise noise.

The proposal has been sent to Planning Minister Richard Wynne for approval.

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