A major urban redevelopment is taking place in Sydney, Australia, as it attempts to become one of the word’s most liveable green cities within a 20-year time-frame as part of the “Sustainable Sydney 2030” vision. One remarkable inner city project passed a major milestone this month as part of its contribution to the eco plan. The development, named “One Central Park,” had its 110-tonne (121-ton) steel heliostat frame hoisted into place during the early hours of February 1st.

Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, the cantilever platform sits at a height of one hundred meters (328 ft) on the 29th floor of one of the twin towers planned at the site and will become Australia’s first heliostat (a feature usually associated with solar power plants these days) in a residential setting. The frame will form the base of an outdoor sky garden and support a heliostat that will use an assemblage of motorized mirrors to capture sunlight and direct rays down onto the Central Park gardens all year round.

The Central Park structures aim to achieve the highest environmental rating for a mixed use development in Australia, and the project has invested AUD100 million (US$102 million) in sustainable technologies. One Central Park will use eco-friendly innovations including water recycling, solar panels and tri-generation energy plants involving the simultaneous production of three forms of energy: electricity, heating and cooling.

A tri-generation system can provide power, hot water, space heating and air conditioning from a single system, with heat from the power generators that otherwise would be lost captured and used to heat water and also cool it using an absorption chiller to make it cool enough to use in air conditioning units.

In addition, the development plans car sharing programs, pedestrian paths and cycleways to reduce traffic. The Sydney Sustainable Vision aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent, increase renewable energy supplies, source 10 percent of all water via recycling tanks, and build 48,000 residences by 2030.

Developer Frasers joined 12 other property owners as part of Sydney's Better Buildings Partnership, which aims to deliver the target 70 percent reduction in carbon emissions in Sydney's CBD buildings by 2030. The entire 5.8 hectare (624,306.8 sq. ft.) development site aims to deliver 1900 residences available for occupation by the end of this year, with the two main towers providing 623 of these as apartments. The complex will also include student housing, a hotel, a retail center and commercial campus, along with 33 heritage sites identified for conservation or adaptive reuse.

Unsurprisingly, the actual parkland space within the development aims to provide an urban refuge in a similar fashion to its New York namesake. The 640 sq. mt. (6889 sq. ft.) park will provide chessboards, an open air cinema, markets, a music venue and support native fauna. At night, the heliostat will act as a canvas for an LED light show designed by the French artist Yann Kernel. Rounding off the French theme, Patric Blanc has already designed and installed vertical gardens which are maturing on the east and smaller west tower facades – there will be 21 vertical gardens in all.

With the population of Sydney expected to rise by 1.1 million people over the next 25 years, this global collaborative approach to the Sustainable Sydney 2030 vision and its associated developments hopes to become a front runner of urban redevelopment design.

The video below shows the massive FAVCO M2480 tower crane, affectionately known as “Tinkerbell” hoisting the heliostat into position.

Central Park design teams: Masterplanning - led by Foster + Partners (UK) in partnership with Johnson Pilton Walker (Australia) and Ateliers Jean Nouvel (France). Main park and public domain – led by Jeppe Aagaard Andersen of Denmark and Sydney’s Turf Design. Interiors of stage one residences (One Central Park and Central) - Koichi Takada Architects and Smart Design Studio. Commercial Campus - Foster + Partners with PTW Architects (Australia).

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