The work on Australia’s first office skyscraper with a “solar skin” is set to begin next year, marking a watershed moment for the construction sector and decarbonisation efforts. The eight-story skyscraper in West Melbourne will cost $40 million and was designed by Kennon.
It will be covered by 1,182 solar panels the thickness of a standard glass façade.
The Skala system, developed by the German firm Avancis, is based on a “thin-film PV module” that sits atop a network that directs the electricity generated into the building’s main power supply. It can provide 50 times the energy of a typical rooftop PV solar array used in residential dwellings and will save 70 tonnes of CO2 yearly.
When completed, the system will provide almost enough electricity to meet the building’s energy requirements. With the addition of more roof panels, the building is planned to have nearly no continuing electricity expenditures and will be carbon-neutral in a few years.
Without the use of offsets or other accounting procedures, this skyscraper would pay off its carbon debt and “truly be carbon neutral.”
“These things are feasible, and the notion that a structure can capture sunlight from its own skin seems like something you’ve dreamt about 🙂 “
Reference- The Guardian, Future Architecture, World Green Building Council, Avancis website