CHT Architects takes its commitment to environmentally sustainable design seriously. To this end, the firm has recently installed 30 solar panels onto the roof of its building in Collingwood. These panels will provide up to 10kw per hour of power generation, which, it is hoped, will fulfil 50 to 60 per cent of the practice’s power needs.
CHT has also invested in the software program, Power Tracker, which monitors – in real time – the company’s power consumption and generation. The Power Tracker readings, which are displayed on a monitor for all staff to see, also indicate power costs.
Also shown on the monitor are real-time tram timetables via TramTracker and road traffic alerts for the Melbourne metropolitan area. The office has purchased a number of Mykis that staff can use for trips into the city, and in an effort to reduce the heat load on the office, they have tinted the windows facing Oxford Street.
From the information provided by Power Tracker, CHT plans to implement further measures to reduce power consumption, e.g. independent switching on and off of lighting, motion sensors to activate lighting and use of LED lights.
The implementation of these measures is reinforced by CHT’s existing ESD considerations, i.e. bike parking facilities, showers to facilitate bike riding, communal office car and 140 indoor plants.
As CHT Architects David Carabott says, “It is not enough to just talk about ESD – as a practice, we need to lead by example.”