Energy-efficient solution brings light to Sydney heritage landmark

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Today’s emerging sustainability requirements in the construction industry are creating new types of considerations, particularly when considering modern solutions for heritage-listed properties.

99 Macquarie Street, a heritage-listed building in Sydney, was constructed in 1938, and was first built as the home for the former Department of Motor Transport and Tramways.
Situated in Sydney’s busy CBD, it is an iconic art deco architectural landmark, rich with local history.

When it was built, 99 Macquarie Street was considered to be one of the most modern in the city, with cutting edge art deco design features. A renowned example of inter-war design, the style is classical with an art deco influence.

Constructed primarily of sandstone, the building has been extensively refurbished to its original glory on the exterior, with the interior now containing contemporary workspaces.
The refurbishment required a modern solution to meet its changing lighting needs. With raising social concerns regarding the environment and sustainability, and increased utility costs, 9 

Macquarie Street looked to mySmart, a Sydney-based company that provides energy-efficiency solutions, including building system and lighting controls, and metering and reporting solutions.
mySmart was engaged to put forward an energy-saving solution that could be incorporated into the existing structure of the building.

As a heritage-listed building, the challenge was to ensure no damage occurred to the existing surface during the installation of the new lighting system.
New bulkheads were built to accommodate building services, but other areas required use of existing conduit in the concrete slab floors as these areas were designated heritage.

The solution incorporated two lighting control systems which maximised functionality, using minimal cabling over seven floors. These two systems were evaluated as the best solution to control the light fitting with minimal control cables, as existing conduits had to be used.
The system allows all switches and sensors to reside on one cable, and uses “daylight harvesting” using photoelectric cells for perimeter lights.

A unique feature of the refurbishment was the Frenger chilled beam units, incorporating light fittings and a fire sprinkler system, as well as the primary air conditioning which reduced the impact of services on the building’s internal structure.
The initial multi-network “base-building” design created a platform which led to easy integration of the lighting control system for tenants.

The user interface is simple to use — the building manager has total control of the lighting using a touch screen control, which automatically turns on or off lighting on each floor at designated times, maximising energy use and efficiency.

The project required a large amount of careful strategic integration with all services, the heritage architect and the heritage office.
As a greater number of listed buildings consider their energy efficiency, these types of implementations look set to become more commonplace.

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