Top energy rating awarded to Melbourne high-rise office building

Top energy rating awarded to Melbourne high-rise office building

A high-rise commercial office building in Victoria, Australia, has become the first in the state – and just the second in the country – to achieve a 6-star National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) energy rating.

The joint project between Cbus Property and Charter Hall is designed by award-winning architects Bates Smart, engineered by Umow Lai and managed by Knight Frank, and is one of just two commercial office buildings in Australia to reach the rating milestone, reports the website One Step Off The Grid.

A building with a 6-star NABERS energy rating emits 50 percent less greenhouse gases than a building with a 5-star rating, which is seen as the benchmark for modern sustainable office buildings.

The building at 171 Collins St. in Melbourne saves more than 1.3 million kilograms of carbon dioxide each year, equal to 568,000 liters of petrol, or 139 homes’ energy use for one year when compared to a building with a 5-star NABERS energy rating.

Cbus Property Chief Executive Officer Adrian Pozzo said 171 Collins St., home to BHP Billiton, had set a new benchmark in sustainability and was an example of the drive to create highly sustainable workplaces for the future.

Opening its doors to tenants in June 2013, 171 Collins St. features an Australian-first ceiling tile system that absorbs office pollutants and creates a healthier office environment for workers. Meanwhile, its innovative gray water treatment program collects used water from the cyclist shower facilities and recycles it through the building’s cooling towers and toilets, offsetting more than 90 percent of the cooling towers’ water consumption.

The high-performance façade folds light from the sky into the building, also helping to achieve energy efficiency targets.

A radiant cooling and heating system and an under-floor air distribution network provides energy efficient thermal comfort for occupants, while the air conditioning system allows large quantities of outside air to be brought into the office space at a low velocity and distributed using natural stratification.

Charter Hall’s Head of Office, Adrian Taylor, explained that the rating proved that world-leading sustainability measures could be delivered at a competitive cost and with no adverse impact on the forecast investment returns. “Our active asset management and customer centric approach ensured that our tenant engagement platform created a community in the building with a common goal, as well as appointment of on-site management team with a passion for fine tuning.”

In May 2014, 171 Collins St. was recognized at the prestigious International Property Awards (Asia Pacific), where it was judged the Best Commercial High Rise Development in Australia and was also commended in the Office Development Australia category.

Additionally the building was recently awarded the Hanson’s Green Building Award at the United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Awards in June 2014 and also received the Sustainability Development Award at the Urban Taskforce Development Excellence Awards 2014.

171 Collins St.’s sustainability credentials include:

  • Nine-story glass atrium that maximizes natural light
  • Floor-to-ceiling double glazing with thermal insulation to help maintain occupant comfort
  • High-performance ceramic fritted glass façade to reduce heat gain and glare
  • Dedicated waste storage area for separation, collection and recycling
  • Advanced rainwater and gray water reuse system
  • Highly flexible under-floor air distribution system for superior indoor air quality
  • Highly optimized lighting design with extensive controls for occupancy and daylight harvesting
  • Energy-efficient fixtures and fittings
  • Low-VOC and formaldehyde emissions
  • Premium end-of-trip facilities with 280 bicycle spaces, showers, change rooms and lockers
  • Destination controlled lift systems

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