A landmark high-rise apartment tower in Southbank whose external glass face is wrapped in solar cells will provide its residents with off-the-grid power stored in Tesla-like batteries as stated by the designers as presented by SMH.
The 60-level apartment building will be the first skyscraper in Australia that is environmentally engineered to include solar cells in the façade, creating a far greater surface area for catching the sun’s rays.
According to Peter Brook of Peddle Thorp, the architects handling the design, they get an enormous area of solar panels by comparison to installing them across the roof. The curved exterior of the building has been oriented to purposely capture the sun’s movement from east to west throughout the day. This feature has also created an elegant tower look. He also said that the objective will be to have a complete off-grid building. It may seem over-ambitious but the objective is to get as far as they can down that road.
To achieve their vision, high-tech solar materials will be procured from China, wind turbines will be fitted on the roofs, glass will be double-glazed, low energy LED lighting will be installed all throughout the building and a battery storage system will service the 520 apartments. The plan for the building has been submitted to Planning Minister Richard Wynne for approval and is set to be constructed above 42-48 Moray Street, directly bordering on the King Street off-ramp of the West Gate Freeway.
The façade is expected to house about 3000 sq.m. of panels with an extra 300 sq.m. on the roof. The building’s present design will provide more than 50% of the tower’s base load power. Technological advances are expected to boost that figure before the building is built.
Featured Image Credit: Steve Lacey