By Tina Perinotto

8 March 2012 – Grocon has done it again. This time it’s just wowed the international green giants with the highest LEED award in the world for its Pixel building in Melbourne.

But take a bow too the sustainability consultants Umow Lai and architects studio505.

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating, from the US Green Building Council, rewards Pixel with 105 points from a possible 110, a full 10 points above its nearest counterparts.

The four level building on corner of Bouverie and Queensberry Streets in Carlton is not big, but it now outranks 44,000 buildings in 120 countries around the world that have used the LEED rating system, Grocon chief executive officer Daniel Grollo said.

“Pixel has now surpassed all of them,” he said.

He said the rating followed a perfect score from the Green Building Council of Australia and proved Pixel was at the forefront of green buildings internationally.

Shane Esmore

Umow Lai director and head of sustainability Shane Esmore said: “The Pixel project demonstrates how excellence and innovation can push the boundaries of sustainable design, and while it may be only a small building, its impact will be felt on the design of other office buildings not only in Australia but around the world.”

Sustainability features include a building that is carbon neutral and water balanced, contains “an impressive array” of sustainable design technology and innovation, including wind turbines on the roof and fixed and tracking solar panels, a Grocon statement said.

Mr Esmore, who developed many of the Pixel technologies, said that his company and Grocon would apply some of the Pixel technology to other projects including Sydney’s Legion House, which was also intended to be carbon neutral.

Directors of studio505 Dylan Brady and Dirk Zimmermann said: “Pixel was the culmination of a wealth of ideas, vision and innovation in design, architecture and sustainability.

“The capacity to collaborate with like-minded individuals thinking ‘outside the square’ has been key in the successful delivery of Pixel and in ensuring its achievement of 105 LEED points,” they said.

“studio505’s involvement at Pixel included the research and development of the ‘Living Edge’ reed beds, creating shading and treating grey water collected from the building, as well as providing personal greenery to every office floor.

“The colourful panelised façade is complex and based on not only aesthetics but also science, to allow maximum daylight, shade, views and glare control, whilst creating the building’s identity.”

Additional Awards include:

Awards for Pixel include: the Banksia Award, a Melbourne Award; the AIRAH 2011 Excellence in Sustainability Award, Best of the Best and Winner; Highly Commendable, Victorian Engineering Excellence Awards 2011, Buildings & Structures’ (projects up to $10 million), Research & Development/Innovation; Victorian Premier’s Sustainability Award Built Environment; Sustainable Architecture Award.