CH2 Melbourne City Council House 2 / DesignInc

  • 30 Jun 2013
  • Featured Public Facilities Selected Works
© Dianna Snape

Architects: DesignInc
Location: , Australia
Project Team: Rob Adams (Project Director -City of Melbourne), Mick Pearce (Design Director), Stephen Webb (Design Architect), Chris Thorne (Design Architect), Jean-Claude Bertoni (Project Architect), Vi Vuong (Architect), Aldona Pajdak (Interior Designer)
Area: 12,500 sqm
Photographs: Dianna Snape, David Hannah

Consultant Team: Hansen Yuncken (Builder), Bonacci Group (Structural / Civil Consultant), Lincolne Scott (Services Consultant), Marshall Day (Acoustics Consultant), Advanced Environmental Concepts (Environmental Consultant), Donald Cant Watts Corke (Quantity Surveyor), City of Melbourne (Landscape Consultant)
Client: City of Melbourne
Constructions Value: $51M

© Dianna Snape

The Council House 2 (CH2) office building was designed in collaboration with City of Melbourne to be a holistic system with its occupants as participants. The design follows a model that promotes a more interactive role between the city and nature, in which all parties depend on each other.

© Dianna Snape

The City of Melbourne aims to achieve zero emissions for the municipality by 2020. A major contribution to this strategy is the reduction in energy consumption of commercial buildings by 50%. CH2 was piloted in an effort to provide a working example for the local development market. The brief required a building that as far as possible relied on passive energy systems while producing a premium grade building.

© Dianna Snape

CH2 employs both literal and metaphorical expressions of environmental intentions in its architectural composition. Nature is used as inspiration for façades that moderate climate, tapered ventilation ducts integrate with day lighting strategies and an evocative undulating concrete floor structure that plays a central role in the building’s heating and cooling.

© Dianna Snape

It was the first new commercial office building in Australia to meet and exceed the six star rating system administered by the Green Building Council of Australia. Equally important to its environmental features is that it provides 100% fresh air to all occupants with one complete air change every half hour.

© Dianna Snape

The benefits of superior indoor air quality and conservative estimates on energy costs will see the building pay for all its innovation within five to ten years.

Plan / ©

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "CH2 Melbourne City Council House 2 / DesignInc" 30 Jun 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <>
  • Croco Dile

    Interesting ideas !

  • RuipbLima

    It is an amazing building! Never the less the perforated metallic sheets (probably aluminium) don’t do anything for the sustainable concept. Maybe I’m wrong… Or they just wanted to use a little of all the CO2 they saved on everything else.

  • ChrisP

    Nice images of a quite old building… Ahead of its time – designed from 2002 and completed in 2006. Having toured the building and heard the facility manager talk about the lessons and the continuing experiment that CH2 is, I think an up-to-date story would add value to the example. For instance,they’re low wind turbines are now non functional or energy generation and the plant growth has been problematic. The air quality and occupant comfort is high. Flexible spaces a great benefit.

    • Alizah Nelson

      Hi Chris,
      Have you got any other notable lessons learnt from the CH2 building tour. I am keen understand the post occupancy experience?