Climate Change

When Fujitsu wanted to go green in its Melbourne headquarters, it meant it literally resulting in a fit-out rich with plants and light for a healthier environment

Exterior view of the Fujitsu headquarters in Melbourne apartment, architecture, building, city, commercial building, condominium, corporate headquarters, daytime, facade, headquarters, hotel, metropolis, metropolitan area, mixed use, neighbourhood, real estate, residential area, sky, blue
Exterior view of the Fujitsu headquarters in Melbourne featuring glazing, lighting, signage, landscaping, roofing.

Implementing sustainable building practices says a business is serious about the environment starting with its own.

When IT services giant Fujitsu moved its Melbourne headquarters into a 6-Star GBCA Green Star building, it sought a fit-out to match. The new offices were designed by Woodhead, with Schiavello providing building and consultation services. The focus on world's best practice to create a sustainable environment meant many of the materials selected were either recycled or recyclable, while some were reused, such as the perforated ceiling tiles.

Fresh air and light are central to the design, says Gary Beer, regional principal for Woodhead. On each floor staff sit along the perimeter, where they can enjoy natural light and views.

View of the media centre which had black-painted architecture, ceiling, interior design, office, black, gray
View of the media centre which had black-painted walls and features screens, audiovisual equipment, coil mesh curtain, lighting.

A stand-out detail is the wall of living mondo grass greeting visitors in the reception area. It grows in modular recyclable plastic units that assemble to create a vertical garden, says Carmelo Rositano, project manager for Schiavello. Grass also sprouts in planter boxes placed among the desks, atop storage units.

"When you come into the office, you can really notice the difference in air quality," Beer says.

An automated blind system controls the amount of sunlight, dropping at set times to control glare. It can be manually overridden when needed, a feature necessary to make the system workable for staff, says Beer.

Interior view of Fujitsu offices featuring white office architecture, ceiling, daylighting, furniture, interior design, office, product design, table, gray
Interior view of Fujitsu offices featuring white office partitions, office furniture, curved seating, carpeted flooring, indoor planters, lighting.

The incorporation of a chilled beam system for air conditioning meant the walls had to be acoustically sound as well as allow air to flow.

Schiavello installed full-height and 2.4m glazed dividers from the company's i.box partition system. These allow extra light and help gain sustainability credits. In the central offices a wall of full-height Millem partitions extends to the ceiling to improve acoustics and provide privacy. To control the noise level in the open-plan office, wall panels are textured to absorb reverberations.

To accommodate all staff, many of whom are often on the road, about 30% of the space has been set aside for hotelling. "Touchdown" areas, set up for wireless communications with desks and casual seating, provide a spot for informal meetings or for travelling staff to work from when they come into headquarters.

Credit list

Architect and interior designer
Woodhead (Melbourne)
Consulting engineers
Umow Lai
Verilux Euroscreen from Interdrape
MR Carpets; Tasman Access Floors
Acoustic panels from Corporate Culture
Security system
TAC Pacific
Plants for Hire; Green Rooms Gardens and Landscaping
Perforated tiles from Armstrong
Construction managers
Schiavello (Vic) Pty Ltd
Acoustic engineer
Marshall Day
Mesh curtain
DAAC Holdings
Borcor Commercial Joinery
Lockwood; Madinoz; and Dorma supplied by Access Hardware
Heating and cooling
AG Coombs
Furniture and workstations
Schiavello; Stylekraft; Kfive and Planex
Masson (digital media centre); Inlite (reception and meeting rooms) from Lanec Services

Story by: Lori Nims

08 Jul, 2009

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