Innovation in Sustainable Design - Closed Cavity Facade

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Purpose of the project:

Sustainability Targets: 5 Green Star Office Design and 5 Star NABERS Energy ratings. Mirvac has tested and approved the integration of a Closed Cavity Facade (CCF) , complete with an automated, integrated timber blind system. This is a first for any building in Australia. Through our rigorous process, we have tapped into the power of innovation in a completely new way. Soon to be installed at George Street, our CCF solution will increase thermal performance by 30% enabling an increase in vision glazing to provide tenants with greater daylight, views and amenity. It’s an exciting step forward for Mirvac.


Key features that contributed to the success:

  • Buy in (& push) from senior management to test, consider, and re-evaluate;
  • Thinking about what will differentiate this project at the end and considering the bigger picture;
  • The rigour in the process and testing lead to buy-in from the team including stakeholders, and a strong level of confidence in the new system proposed;
  • Innovation de-risked by undertaking a thorough review and investigative process.

Encouragement & support from senior management created an atmosphere where:

  • Time was factored in to research;
  • Ok to take the risk and fail (pivotal to investing successfully in new innovation);
  • Leadership is able to operate outside the detail and test the innovation process to ensure that the ideas are rigorously challenged and also at the same time are given every chance of success;
  • Project teams are push beyond their normal comfort levels;
  • This process is almost a pilot for the new Hatch innovation project Mirvac is launching;
  • Facilitated by the Mirvac Development team who by the nature of their job, work with all parts of the Mirvac business;
  • Engagement with a wide range of stakeholders including: design team, developer, joint owner, anchor tenant, approval authorities, key contractors and the manufacturer of the facade system.


Outcomes: The process for rigorous testing of innovation options lead to a successful and innovative sustainable design outcome. Although this specific design solution may not be replicated in future buildings, the process can be. - Increased engagement and trust with the parties involved. Lighthouse project that will showcase the first time this type of facade system has been used in Australia; a showcase of what all the participants in the process can do. - Increased amenity to our tenants with greater vision glazing and therefore greater daylight & views of about 200 mm with a thermal performance improvement of more than 30%. With the higher performance provided by the facade, Mirvac elected to deliver a higher quality amenity to building users whilst maintaining the same energy consumption as a conventional facade. - Development bespoke integrated fade and blind system which sets the building apart and provides greater amenity, visually differentiates the build from other buildings.

“This process demonstrates that we should be looking to challenge ourselves more and more, we have enquiring minds and if anyone can unlock problems like these it’s us”   - Simon Healy, Project Director