Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
The EY Centre, Sydney
Featured November 2018

The EY Centre was recognized as "Category Winner" in the Construction Award category at the 2018 Tall + Urban Innovation Conference.

Other Featured Tall Buildings
"The best thing about The EY Centre is the sense of place. The vision was to use natural materials, timber and stone to make it more inviting.”

Jason Vieusseux, General Manager, Mirvac Group

Completion Date: 2016

Height: 155 m (509 ft)

Stories: 38

Area: 63,499 sq m (683,498 sq ft)

Primary Functions: Office / Retail

Owners: Mirvac George Street Pty Ltd; AMP Capital Investors PTY Ltd

Developer: Mirvac Projects Pty Ltd

Architect: Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp Pty Ltd (design)

Structural Engineers: BG&E (design); Enstruct Group Pty Ltd (peer review)

MEP Engineer: Arup (design)

Main Contractor: Mirvac Constructions Pty Ltd

Other CTBUH Member Consultants: Arup (fire, lighting, vertical transportation); BG&E (civil); Cermak Peterka Petersen (CPP), Inc. (wind); JBA (urban planner); Permasteelisa Group (façade)

Other CTBUH Member Suppliers: Schindler (elevator); Permasteelisa Group (façade)

The distinctively sculptural, 38-story EY Centre building employs a world-first timber-and-glass closed-cavity façade (CCF) system, giving it a unique appearance — an instantly recognizable structure defined by its shimmering, organic, golden-hued curves, in striking contrast to the more conventional commercial towers surrounding it.

Used before in a handful of low-rise buildings in Europe and Asia, the CCF had never been used in Australia or the southern hemisphere, or in a high-rise building anywhere in the world, and none had featured timber blinds within the cavity. The whole assembly is automated through a building management system. Smart-building technology monitors air quality, sunlight, power and water usage and adjusts the internal environment according to the needs of the building and its occupants, allowing for efficiency improvements to be made in real time. The CCF enables an energy savings of 30–40% compared to a typical façade.

The use of such a system was made possible as a result of significant prototyping and testing undertaken prior to the construction of the building’s façade elements. This included accelerated UV and temperature testing, accelerated durability and wear testing, extensive visual prototyping, thermal testing, air leakage testing, off-gassing testing, fogging and condensation testing / trial shipments, structural (SIROWET) testing, as well as deglazing and blind removal demonstrations.

The EY Centre under construction. Fabrication of the distinctive closed-cavity façade (CCF) system, with wooden blinds and vertical slats clearly visible.

Innovation in digital technologies across the project allowed for the delivery of a number of highly complex building elements to extremely high standards and tolerances. The construction of the triangulated timber soffit and awning were an example of this. The team used a 3D modeling platform to create an exact digital replica, which could be meshed with as-built survey information to allow for prefabrication and high-quality preassembly directly from the 3D model. As a result, more than 10,000 panels and components were installed with significant safety, program and quality improvements.

Detail drawing of the CCF system, demonstrating its environmental conditioning capabilities. The fully installed CCF system gives the tower its distinctive warm glow.

Similar digital fabrication technology was used to construct other complex building elements, such as the striking "Y" columns at the ground floor plane, which allows for the fabrication and installation of over 400 tons (363 metric tons) of heavy structural steel elements to form highly refined architectural building features, the curved and sweeping stair forms, lobby stone features and recycled timber kiosk.

Related Links
CTBUH Skyscraper Center Profile:
The EY Centre