Located in Sydney’s Circular Quay, Salesforce Tower was completed in late 2022. Considering its central position (right between George and Pitt streets), its views to the Harbour, and its proximity to public transport and so forth, it is no exaggeration to say the tower sits on one of the most prime pieces of commercial real estate in Australia.
On top of that, as Jason Turner Director of TurnerArc Shading Systems points out, it is also one of the nation’s most environmentally friendly commercial buildings.
“Salesforce Tower has achieved impressive energy performance ratings, including a NABERS 5 Star rating and a Green Star rating of 6, and has become the first building in Sydney to achieve WELL Core and Shell pre-certification rating,” says Turner, adding that it also includes a public cycle storage facility, with the capacity to handle up to 200 bikes.
As he explains, TurnerArc’s involvement in the project included the supply of some 3,200 motorised roller blinds from Verosol, a leading manufacturer of high-end performance fabrics and window shading systems. Specifically, the products specified were Verosol Ambience Roller Blinds in the twin fabrics of 205 SilverScreen Performance (in Black) and 793 Earthblock (in Charcoal Grey).
Considering that sustainability was a priority for all key stakeholders (including builder Lend Lease; base build architects Foster & Partners; and JLL, who were responsible for the interior fitout), it was critical that the blinds chosen were up to the mark in this sense.
Here, the answer was an unequivocal yes. In fact, thanks to their industry-leading capacity to temper the effects of solar radiation, the blinds exceeded the performance requirements set out in the original specification. To quantify that, as specified at Salesforce Tower, 205 SilverScreen Performance deliver a solar reflectance capacity of 77%.
Certified according to the requirements of ‘Best Environmental Practice PVC’, and also ‘Global Green TAG’ Environmental Product Declaration, they have found a natural home in the impressive new tower.
To optimise their performance the blinds, which cover all windows between levels 1 -53, are automated.
“One requirement for the project was to manage daylight and glare, including the management of over shadowing from the surrounding buildings with user override functions on the floor plate,” explains Joel Gray Projects & Services Manager at Somfy, the organisation responsible for this part of the job.
As Gray explains, Somfy supplied, installed, integrated, and commissioned a blind control system to control the Somfy Sonesse 40 WT motors. “The system is also monitored by the ISP for faults and status’s and communicates through the ICN,” he says.
“The Somfy KNX blind control system provides automated sensor control and data feeds from the BOM, shadow management, user override switches and interfacing to ISP via Bacnet.”
As a result, a fine balance has been achieved – between the ambition to push the boundaries of what is possible in terms of sustainable design on the one hand, and the desire to make the most of the Harbour views on the other.
That said, now that the tower is complete and fully functional, have the blinds met these expectations. Do they deliver what they promised, and do they belong in a forward-looking building like this?
According to Tim Arnold, Senior Project Engineer at Lend Lease, the answer to that question is yes. In fact, he was delighted with the outcome.
“With Salesforce Tower’s aspect looking toward the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House, added focus was given to ensure the ‘openness’ of the blinds…to maximise views without affecting performance,” he says.
“Verosol was able to provide additional information and assurances where required to ensure that the appearance, performance, and quality of the blinds was superior. This resulted in a fantastic outcome for the building owners and tenants.”