In Architecture, Building, Design, Featured, Property Development

Tim Phillips of TILT Industrial Designers, On Architectural Solutions To Climate and Energy Constraints

Hotter climate and energy constraints in our cities are placing increasing pressure on Australian developers and architects to respond.


Australian cities are now putting in place urban planning and design objectives to respond to the challenge of more hot days, denser urban environments and an unstable energy supply.

An important objective is to control a building’s micro-climate with strategies such as maximising ventilation, while managing solar access and minimising overshadowing. These micro-climate control strategies are reflected in the Building Code of Australia as well as both state and local government policy.

Increasingly, architects will need to consider designs that are adaptable, blur the boundaries between indoors and outdoors, and create urban places that minimise the heat island effect and contribute to public activity.


TILT’s design team is responsible for the revolutionary heliostat technology of One Central Park in Sydney, named the World’s Best Tall Building in 2014. TILT has also collaborated with top developers including Frasers Property, and architects BVN, Techneand more recently, Tonkin Zulaikha Greer on the Sydney Opera House.  


Here, TILT Managing Director Tim Phillips shares four ways developers and architects can use design to respond to policy pressures, by mitigating overshadowing, working cleverly within height restrictions, and creating architectural features that set projects apart.


Improving Solar Access

Overshadowing concerns are becoming an increasing issue for city councils and developers.

Implementing a heliostat system can address these concerns. Using this technology to mitigate overshadowing can result in increased tower heights, increased yield and smoother approvals processes.

Heliostats are also very effective in providing solar supplementation where access to sun throughout the day is considered valuable, such as retail precincts, beer gardens, cafes and public space.


Opportunities to increase building height

 Building tall is only becoming more relevant, particularly in our progressively dense urban centres.

Maximising building heights whilst increasing ventilation and solar access can be achieved by introducing skylights on a development.

Our team has recently designed automated skylights and hatches that open up opportunities for roof terraces to become seamless extensions of the home, and for new (often spectacular) vistas to be unveiled and heights maximised.

The skylights respond to Australia’s temperate climate and provide easy access to comfortable outdoor living throughout the year. They also create an opportunity for tiered developments that don’t impact on neighbours’ views.

The skylights enable developers to differentiate their properties, add value to rooftop terraces, and secure their ROI, beyond the constraints of traditional construction methods.


Spaces with multiple functions

 With industry trends steering towards a rise in sector blur, it’s important for developers to consider design features that provide versatility for event spaces.

Operable elements can convert one space’s functionality and enable a venue to serve multiple functions. In the instance of retractable roofs, a venue can optimise capacity in all weather conditions. The roof can adjust to seasonal variations ensuring the venue experience is comfortable and enticing for users.

With operable facades, a venue can manage environmental effects such as solar glare with infinite adjustability. The opportunity to manage glare without compromising on scenic views ensures a venue is maximising the investment in the location without compromising the comfort of patrons.


Using design to draw attention to your project

Design differentiation can be considered commercially valuable particularly from an architectural perspective. The opportunity to include remarkable architectural features, beyond what is traditionally available, is valuable when developing a new commercial venue or residential property for sale.

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