1 March 2011 – Grocon this week said it would aim to match its pace-setting carbon neutral Pixel commercial building in Melbourne with a 10-storey carbon neutral residential apartment building built from a high tech sustainably sourced laminated timber fabric.

To be known as Delta, the building will be co-located with the Pixel building on the Carlton Brewery site and sit above heritage-listed bluestone walls on Bouverie Street, It will be based on the European “passive house” style of construction and be just one storey taller than the current tallest residential timber building at Stadthaus in Hackney, East London in the UK.

Grocon’s general manager Carlton Brewery David Waldren said the company wanted to extend and expand the thinking from Pixel, considered the greenest building in the country which it earned 100 points from the Green Star rating tool, plus five additional points for innovation. “We want to go further than ever before in the development and construction industry,” Mr Waldren said.

“While Pixel is currently the greenest building in Australia, achieving a perfect score of 105 from the Green Building Council of Australia, we are now keen to take the next step by making that thinking widely available to home owners.

“With the Federal Government’s announcement that there will be a carbon price from July 1, 2012, we must all be ready for a new way of living and working. The carbon constrained economy is upon us.

“More importantly, we must commit ourselves to ensuring less carbon is emitted into the global atmosphere to preserve the environment for generations to come.”

The building will have 50 apartments and be a pre-fabricated structure constructed in a “high-technology cross laminated” timber, first developed in Switzerland, and new to Australia. Wood products will be sustainably sourced and processed FSC certified.

Mr Waldren said that in Europe about 20,000 houses in Austria, Germany and Scandanivia have been built to Passive House standards, which aims to achieve best possible standards of indoor heating and cooling, captured in the way the house is designed and manufactured, rather than through the use of gas or electricity.

A “passive house” needs very little energy to achieve a high level of comfort and heats and cools itself,” Mr Waldren said. “It has an airtight building envelope, is very well-insulated and the timber window frames feature triple glazing.”

The team working on Delta is the same as worked on Pixel – Grocon, studio 505 architects and sustainability consultants Umow Lai. Mr Waldren said Delta would be a quantum leap in terms of the Australian building and construction industry.

“Buildings like Delta will bring a new standard of comfort and quality to Australian residential settings,” he said.

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