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One Shelley Street, Sydney

Issue 54 Apr / May 2010 : Commercial : Workplace


Rated world class in the sustainability stakes, Sydney’s One Shelley Street has propelled green office design into a new realm. Vision Design’s lighting and control scheme played its part

Located on the banks of Sydney’s Darling Harbour, the new Sydney premises of the Macquarie Group has set new standards in sustainable office design. Developed, built, owned and managed by Brookfield Multiplex, One Shelley Street boasts a host of environmental initiatives that include innovative lighting, air conditioning and water management technologies. In November 2008 it was awarded a 6 Star Green Star — Office Design v2 Certified Rating from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) — just the third office building in Sydney’s central business district to do so.

Mindful of global environment drivers, Brookfield Multiplex earmarked One Shelley Street for the coveted Green Star certification from the building’s inception. Similar to the UK’s ‘Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method’ (BREEAM) and the USA’s ‘Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design’ (LEED) system, Green Star is a holistic environmental rating scheme that evaluates both the sustainable design and potential performance of a building. Its highest rating is 6 Star Green Star, indicative of ‘World Leadership’ in environmentally sustainable design and/or construction.

The use of light — both natural and artificial — plays a key role in Green Star accreditation, with points awarded for various lighting credits related to both indoor environment quality (IEQ) and energy management. From an architectural standpoint, the innovative design by architects Fitzpatrick + Partners includes a high-performance facade and central atrium for promoting natural light ingress. 

As Donn Salisbury, Associate at WSP Lincolne Scott and head of Vision Design in Sydney, lighting designers for the project, explains: “In Australia we are blessed by such an abundance of natural light. We are characteristically so used to bright outdoor spaces, so it’s a great inspiration for creating internal spaces which reflect this through surface luminance. It’s just such a natural thing to do.”

The lighting design for the office floors was based on a traditional open plan base building approach, enhanced and tuned for ultimate flexibility, efficiency and uniformity. All areas utilised single lamp, high-efficiency T5 lamps with high quality louvre/reflector optics. All luminaires adopted DALI ballasts for flexibility in control and comfort, and to take full advantage of the abundance of natural daylight input from the building design. The target was to achieve a compliant design with a light power density of less than 2W/sqm/100lux, and an overall power density of under 9W/sqm. The result went further than these targets, achieving 1.58W/sqm/100lux, and an overall power density of just over 5W/sqm.
The circulation spaces and atrium introduce similar targets, overlaid with the challenge of three-dimensional, multi-level architecture.
“The architecture, provided by Fitzpatrick + Partners, transforms what could have been just another office building into an engaging, community inspired working environment. The lighting design then needed to follow their lead in providing a vibrant and energetic atmosphere which works with the openness of the structure and the vast influence of the external environment this provides,” comments Salisbury.

In order to achieve the requirements of the GBCA assessment process, the design asked for a fully documented solution for all accessible areas, needing a complex modelling process in order to prove the design intent and proposed results. Maintenance and accessibility played an important part in the design process, as did visual comfort and glare. The limitations on placement within the vast atrium meant the design required a controlled approach with a high level of client consultation and education. Ceramic metal halide lamps were selected for the majority of lighting tasks in this space, offering precise and controlled illumination via a combination of beam angles and attachments in adjustable luminaires.

Feature elements which provide the building with a unique flare required significant design input from the lighting discipline. The two major elements include the entry canopy and the atrium bridge, both applying LED technology in different and original ways.

“The LED entry canopy and atrium space are awe-inspiring. By the time you reach reception, you know you have entered a different level of workplace architecture,” states Salisbury.

The entry canopy concept looked to transform the ‘box’ form canopy into an illuminated, engaging experience upon entry to the building. The concept was to produce an even luminance across the entire canopy surface, both inside and out. The concealed framed glazing, internal structure and thin construction made the concept challenging with conventional ‘light-box’ methods. With an internal width of 150mm, uniformity and energy would require a unique solution to overcome the problem. Notebook LCD screen technology was investigated as a feasible option and with the assistance of LED manufacturer KKDC, a similar system was designed which combined high-output LED and laser-cut acrylic panel diffusion. The custom designed panels provided an ultra-thin illuminated panel which could be slid between the two glazed panels to provide an even wash in the 0° and 180° planes. The internal structure was then designed to accommodate the support and removal of the LED panels for future maintenance.

Inside the ‘Main Street’ atrium space, there are many visual elements created within the vast internal void.

Pods and bridges cross the space, suspended between the two adjacent floor plates. At the upper region of the void, the cafe at level 7 creates a large flat surface when looking up from below. Lighting within this space is primarily provided via adjustable CDM-T 35W and 70W spotlights (Flos Architectural), integrated within the atrium structures. A series of beam angles, louvers and glare shields have been specifically selected to address the issues of controlled brightness and glare. The CDM-T lamps were an ideal choice to provide punchy illumination of both the essential elements (stairs and platforms) and the multitude of surfaces benefiting from direct brightness in the space. Locations have been carefully chosen to ensure easy access for maintenance, and the aiming was crucial for a long lasting result, so the locking mechanism on the adjustable spots specified should keep this in tune for years to come. Workspaces are provided on the upper level bridges, where dimmable fluorescent luminaires provide varying levels throughout the day via daylight monitoring.

“Attention to both technical and creative detail, in particular balancing what is artificially lit and what is left unlit, can prove the difference between a result which works with the natural light and one which does not,” comments Salisbury. “The lighting scheme within the atrium completely changes between day and night to reflect this concept.”
The LED light-well concept provides an interesting visual relief from the larger underside of the cafe platform, allowing natural light penetration during the day, and transforming into vivid colour slots during the darker hours. During the night, these light wells would glow with morphing vivid hues to change the surface into a visual canvas of light and colour. RGB LED was selected for striking colour and longevity. The colour can also be viewed from above as glowing floor panels while walking through the cafe space.

“If we typically spend more time in our workplaces than any other environment,” Salisbury reasons, “why not make them exciting and fun? The tricky bit is making this happen in an efficient way, both in cost and energy. Emerging technologies have taken us so far over the last decade and will keep accelerating at an alarming rate, but knowing their purpose and using them in ways that work is critical to successful design.”

Light Vision specified that a centralised control system from Philips Dynalite be deployed to manage lighting energy consumption for the entire building. “In the last five years, we’ve found that not only are lighting technologies more efficient, but the management structure for controlling them is becoming smarter,” says Nani Melwani, Services Manager for Brookfield Multiplex. “The intelligent lighting system is one of the key sustainability initiatives used in this building.”

Fundamentally, the lighting system is programmed to operate in two distinct modes — ‘trading’ and ‘after hours’ — which are timer-based. Although the precise timing and functionality is individually configurable for each floor and/or zone, it essentially corresponds to ‘lights on’ at the commencement of trading mode, followed by a timed sequence of dimming to ‘lights off’ when the system goes into after hours mode. At this time, motion sensors are activated in amenities areas and lift lobbies to initiate lighting if motion is detected, with a 30-45 minute time-out sequence. Intermittent-use areas, such as the meeting pods, utilise motion detection at all times.

When in trading mode, daylight harvesting sensors ensure that the perimeter lighting is dimmed when natural light is available. “There is a massive amount of perimeter on this building, coupled with the full-height, high-performance glazing. Even on a cloudy day you get excellent usable daylight penetration from outside, so the perimeter lights should rarely be on anywhere near 100 per cent during the day,” Salisbury says.

A key consideration in sustainable commercial fit outs is making sure the building will accommodate re-configuration as tenancy requirements change. This means the lighting solution — for the open office areas in particular — needs to cater for a multitude of different scenarios and be easily configurable.

To ensure the required level of flexibility, the digital addressable lighting interface (DALI) data protocol and transport mechanism is used in the main open office areas at One Shelley Street. Up to 64 individually addressable DALI devices — including the fluorescent HF ballasts and various sensors — can be controlled by a single DALI network (or ‘universe’). Moreover, control groups/zones can be configured and reconfigured from a computer terminal, without reconfiguring the fittings themselves.

According to Salisbury, this is where the DDBC320 DALI controller from Philips Dynalite comes into its own as the only controller on the market that can control three DALI universes — up to 192 ballasts/devices per controller. “We have used a single controller for each ‘quadrant’ (or half-floor) in the two adjacent buildings,” he says. “Yet all the DALI ballasts can be individually controlled — be they dimmed or switched — depending on how you set up the zones. There’s ultimate flexibility to cater for tenant functionality and environmental influences — dimming wherever and whenever.”

The window into the lighting control system is delivered by the Philips Dynalite MapView graphical user interface located in the basement server room. This provides a visual schematic of the entire lighting system, plus allows easy configuration of timed events and facilitates scene adjustments.

“The software makes it very easy to reconfigure the zones on each floor, leveraging the individually addressable DALI fittings,” Brookfield Multiplex’s Melwani says. “Plus, we have the power to adjust scenes both temporarily and permanently. The graphical interface shows all the lighting levels, indicating where the daylight harvesting system kicks in. It’s not uncommon for perimeter lux levels to be under 50 per cent during daylight hours.”

One Shelley Street is the crowning glory of Brookfield Multiplex’s nine-year redevelopment of Sydney CBD’s King Street Wharf precinct, a new lifestyle destination that comprises commercial, office, retail, entertainment and residential spaces. “We’re really happy with how the building has turned out,” Melwani says. “We set out from the start to achieve the 6 Star Green Star rating for design and now we are hoping to achieve the ‘as built’ rating in the near future.”

The contribution of the lighting control system to this Green Star certification should not be underrated; although it is too early in the building’s life to quantify any energy savings, they are predicted to be significant. With lighting typically accounting for 30 per cent of a commercial building’s electricity consumption, it will presumably not be too long before such lighting/energy management systems are installed in major office buildings as a matter of course.

Project Details
One Shelley Street, Sydney
Client: Brookfield Multiplex
Lighting Design: Vision Design - Donn Salisbury, Yeon Woo Cho, Amara Clarke
Architect: Fitzpatrick+Partners
Interiors: Clive Wilkinson Architects, Woods Bagot

Lighting Suppliers
Austube, ERCO, Flos Architectural (Euroluce), Fagerhult (Eagle), Dark (Inlite), Modular (JSB), We-ef (JSB), XAL (Light2), Dean Phillips (Light Culture), KKDC (Light Project), Philips Dynalite, Prolicht (Light Project), Zumtobel, Klik Systems, Pierlite, Targetti


  • Pic: Andrew Krucko

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