Leading-edge CBD Building Feature Tree

The recently completed (July 2016) 37-storey tower at 200 George Street, Sydney, occupied by Mirvac and Ernst & Young’s Sydney headquarters is described as one of Australia’s most environmentally advanced and sustainable developments, designed for a 6 Star Green Star – Design Office v3 certified rating, a 6 Star As Built rating, and a 5 Star NABERS rating.

The building is at the leading edge of ‘Smart Buildings’ in Australia, featuring technologies that monitor air quality, power and water usage, enabling adjustment according to the needs of the building and its occupants.

As the major tenant, Ernst & Young Services occupy 70% of the NLA. over 20 floors.

A director of EY, having seen an indoor tree in an overseas building decided an indoor tree would be appropriate as a focal point on the 35th floor function centre.

Innovative Plant Technology (IPT)

On the recommendation of Mirvac (the joint building owner with AMP) Innovative Plant Technology (IPT) was engaged by Hassel Studio to advise and consult on the planning and installation of the tree, from the initial concept through to completion.

To facilitate this process, IPT used our PLIMA® system (Plants, Light, Irrigation, Air) that includes all aspects essential to a successful plant installation.

The tree was to be installed after the level was completed, with access via the goods lift, limiting the tree height to 3.5m (3.6m achieved).

Being engaged at the design stage and before the concrete floor was poured allowed for strengthening of the floor to bear the additional weight of the tree, container incorporating irrigation reservoir and soil media,

PLIMA® system

The required steps in the process, included regular consultation with all parties.

  • Tree species selection suitable for the site.
  • Source and secure high quality tree and backup tree (client request)
  • Advise the nursery grower on acclimatisation requirements with tree to be held for twelve months.
  • Source a suitable container and advise the manufacturer on inbuilt irrigation.
  • Advise the project manager on total weight of tree, container, water and soil media.
  • Measure natural light availability for tree specific lighting.
  • Consult and advise the lighting engineer on tree supplementary light requirements
  • Prepare tender documents for bidding, including a detailed maintenance schedule.
  • Review submitted tenders and advise EY and Savills of tender compliance.
  • Oversee container installation, soil placement, filling of water reservoir and tree installation.
  • Focus adjustment of supplementary lamps and recalculation of time schedule and Daily Light Integral (DLI).
  • Monitor tree performance one week after installation, then monthly for the first three months, at six months and twelve months.

Outcome Required

  • Ernst & Young expected the successful installation of a 3.6m evergreen tree.
  • The tree to thrive and grow over the longer term (10 – 15 years)

Outcome Achieved

  • The photograph above shows the tree eight weeks after installation.
  • The overall appearance of the tree is very good, with new healthy growth appearing across the canopy, no leaf drop or presence of pests or diseases,
  • Ready for a light pruning for shape.

Our PLIMA® system allows almost any tree or plant(s) to be installed successfully whether in, on, under or around in any location in a commercial building.

Ronald A Wood PhD., BSc. Innovative Plant Technology – Plants Clean Air.

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