Sustainable Living in the City
Energy-efficient design starts with fundamental principles of good solar access, crossflow ventilation and sensible placement of rooms to benefit from these attributes. Energy efficiency and sustainability have been driving principles behind the site planning and building design of the Gateway project, now known as Parq on Flinders. The project was described in a recent blog. Rules of thumb may guide initial concepts however sophisticated computer modelling is now used to test optimum window configurations that maximise daylighting while eliminating the hot summer sun. Accurate assessment of daylighting and solar access to the units was enabled by Sefaira modelling software. This relatively new energy modelling tool has been built specifically for architects to use in the early stages of the design process. A special feature of Parq is the mesh 'ribbon' that morphs from window shades into balustrades on the exterior of the building. The design of this element was made much easier using Safaira and the innovative use of the bronze mesh is a 'win win' all round. Used as a window awning, shading is achieved while filtered light is still allowed to penetrate the residential units. As a balustrade, privacy from the street is achieved while still permitting filtered views. A bonus is that the tedious ongoing problem of cleaning glass balustrades is eliminated. Parq on Flinders is literally a green building and good sunlight is also important to the private and communal garden areas. Designed by our friends at Taylor Brammer, substantial landscaping at ground level frames the site on its three street frontages. Green walls on the large north facing façade filter the natural ventilation through the car park levels. Roof gardens continue the verdant theme capping the residential towers with a total area landscaped area the size of 7 tennis courts. A substantial park at podium level is the size of 4 basketball courts providing a range of relaxation and activity spaces to facilitate community within this urban village. All the landscaped common areas are sustained by rainwater collected and reused on site.