Brisbane could get another building that “breathes”, with plans lodged with the city’s council for a six-star Green Star commercial tower in the CBD.

The 46 storey BVN-designed tower at 25 Mary Street will be accessed from a state heritage-listed synagogue, which will be retained and revitalised for ongoing use by the Brisbane Hebrew Congregation.

A DA has been submitted by Bellevue Tce Properties Unit Trust and Mary Street Holdings Unit Trust.

The design nods to the city council’s vision for buildings that respond to Brisbane’s temperate subtropical climate. Developments designed in line with the council’s New World City Design Guide – Buildings that Breath guidelines feature plenty of natural ventilation, operable windows and doors, and generous foliage and outdoor space to foster a sense of connection with the outdoors.

The proposed building features a “mixed-mode hybrid” approach to cooling, primarily using natural ventilation through the rear façade, with mechanical air-cooling in situ for very hot days.

“The use of this mixed-mode air movement maximises comfort for occupants, whilst reducing significant energy usage,” the report states.

The other key feature of a breathable building is meshing the outdoors with the indoors, with the building’s “gardens in the sky” – landscaped mid- and high-rise double height terraces with vertical greenery – designed to do just that.

The DA follows a spate of similar projects designed for Brisbane’s climate, including the Aria Property Group’s “urban forest” building on the Brisbane River, which is expected to be covered in 20,000 plants and 1000 trees.

·      see Aria Property Group proposes a 30-storey, 1000-tree apartment tower in Brisbane and Fender Katsalidis: on joining up two Brisbane office buildings

This could be driven by the council’s decision to start incentivising alignment with the Buildings that Breathe guidelines in exchange for concessions on height and other conditions.

A wellness epicentre

As well as 42,000m2 of A-Grade 6-star Green Star office space, the tower will dedicate two levels to a wellness centre that has a gym and pool.

There will be retail space on the ground floor supported with foot traffic from a pedestrian laneway across the block, and a two-level rooftop penthouse.

The plan also includes substantial semi-public co-working spaces to accommodate the changing nature of how people work.

Getting to six-star Green Star

The sustainability report prepared by consultants WSP includes the following design initiatives, which will go towards achieving six star Green Star:

  • High performance façade glazing;
  • Capture of rainwater for use in irrigation and cooling towers;
  • End-of-trip facilities provided for building occupants;
  • Indoor environment quality through acoustic design, lighting, high comfort mechanical design, and removing indoor pollutants from building materials;
  • Energy-efficient water-cooled chillers and HVAC design, as well as efficient LED lighting;
  • Low-flow fixtures and fittings to reduce water use; and
  • Building material designed to reduce embodied carbon.