Plans for Australia’s first solar-powered skyscraper have recently been unveiled and submitted for approval. The landmark 60-story Melbourne apartment tower, designed by Peddle Thorp Architects, will feature a double-glazed glass façade wrapped in more than 32,000 square feet of solar panels, with an extra 3,200 square feet on the roof.
As the Sydney Morning Herald reports, the building’s tall, curving form will allow the high-tech panels to take full advantage of the sun’s rays, from sunrise to sunset. The high-rise—dubbed the Sol Invictus Tower—will also include wind turbines on the roof, low-energy LED lighting, and a Tesla-like battery-storage system, with all the energy gathered expected to provide more than 50 percent of the building’s base load power.
The skyscraper represents another move forward in the increasingly popular practice of integrating functionality and solar power into the design of the building itself. Companies like California-based SolarCity are blurring the lines between construction material and energy source, allowing future buildings to move toward complete independence and sustainability.
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