The clients, VicUrban and Building Commission & Plumbing Industry Commission (BC/PIC) are both known for their commitment to the environment, so they wanted their new workplaces to walk that walk that they talk. Accordingly, preference was given to building materials that have eco-friendly content, low embodied energy, recycled content, minimized volatile compound content, and minimal amounts of PVC content.
In addition, they tried to use less new material, and reused many of the heritage elements from the existing site. For VicUrban, old doors taken out of the shed were cleaned and hung as cool backdrops in the reception area and original slate salvaged from the roof was cleaned and hung as a feature wall. Even old tracks were recycled as fun decor details, and in BC/PIC, an old railway switch from the Shed is now on display at the entrance. Of the other products used, black steel and recycled timber made up a large part and rubber/eco-vinyl flooring in lieu of carpets enhanced the ‘warehouse’ aesthetic.
“The refurbishment of the Goods Shed North will raise the bar in environmental design by creating an economically feasible sustainable design, incorporating state-of-the-art office accommodation in an historic building,” Victorian Planning Minister Justin Madden said.