The Greenland Centre, Sydney, Australia
Since the 19th century, the reliability and versatility of steel has made it indispensable to high-rise construction projects all over the world, but what happens when those towers fall into disuse? A new project in Australia is shining a light on how steel can be used sustainably for future constructions.
In the heart of Sydney’s central business district, the former heritage site that once housed the city’s Water Board office is undergoing a massive refurbishment. The original building’s façade and interior have been fully demolished, but the exposed rigid steel frame is being put to use as the basis for a new build, which will see an additional 44 levels added to the original structure. Once completed, The Greenland Centre will become Sydney’s highest residential building, reaching a new height of 235 meters.
- Client: Greenland Group
- Architect: BVN
- Permanent works structural engineer: Arup
- Temporary works engineer: Robert Bird Group (RBG)
- Contractor: Probuild
- Structural steel: BHP (original supplier)
The project is being brought to life by the Shanghai government-owned Greenland Group in collaboration with Probuild, one of Australia’s largest construction companies. The architecture firm BVN was selected from a field of six international architects to design the tower through a City of Sydney Design Excellence Competition.
The goal is to create 470 apartments and six penthouses across 66 floors, while the adjoining art-deco building will also be converted to make space for a creative hub, street-level retail space, and a boutique hotel.
How steel is contributing to a sustainable build
Construction on the $400 million refurbishments began in early 2015 and every effort has been made to ensure that the project is in line with the most sustainable construction practices. In total, 99% of all construction waste materials have been recycled, including 25,000 tonnes of concrete and 3,200 tonnes of brick.
This commitment to sustainable construction has also seen the majority of the building’s original steelwork retained. While the original concrete encasement had to be removed during the renovation, the original steelwork remains the backbone of the new building. The steel used for the original tower columns and both primary and secondary floor beams has been retained, with battened steel plates used to further strengthen the existing tower.