20 April – Case study: A Perth building has earned the city’s first five star NABERS energy base building rating for a new office development.

According to joint owners Hawaiian and Brookfield, the 18,000 square metre, nine level office tower at 235 St George’s Terrace, completed in February 2009, is now one of the most energy efficient commercial office spaces in Australia.

The building boasts a number of green features as part of the green star rating requirements including better air and lighting quality, amenities which allow for reduced water usage, waste water recycling, onsite facilities such as bicycle racks and change rooms, and office finishes and  paints and carpets that reduce the use of volatile organic compounds.

A five star NABERS base building energy rating demonstrates best practice and market leading performance in energy efficiency benchmarked against current market performance and assessed on actual building performance over a 12 month period.

The building was also Western Australia’s first five star green star office design rating that set an important precedent in the state.

Market sources estimate the net rent at about $650-$675 a square metre and there is a big demand for similar rated buildings in Perth.   The building is the head office of Hawaiian Property Development and the other tenants in the fully leased building are KPMG, Macquarie Bank and resources and energy company, Worley Parsons.

Hawaiian and Brookfield formerly committed to the design, build and operation of the building at a 4.5 star NABERS rating.

Global engineering and management consultancy, Aurecon undertook extensive predicted energy modelling analysis to ensure that the contractual requirement of 4.5 stars would be met during the design process.

But after 12-months monitoring the energy rating was delivered above the original commitment. To achieve this rating the building had to receive a target score of less than 70– the actual rating received was 55.

Hawaiian Director of Investment Property Evan Briers said, “In March 2007 our original commitment was to achieve a 4.5 star target. However, we are thrilled that the building has achieved a five-star rating. This is reflective of the building’s design, careful analysis and fine tuning of energy consumption.

“Without the efforts and professionalism of everyone involved, a five-star rating would not have been possible. We believe we are setting a benchmark for a new generation of office buildings in Western Australia.”

Aurecon’s sustainability consultant for the project, Phil Hues, said commercial buildings have a major part to play in meeting Australia’s international greenhouse obligations and can save up to 40 on their energy bills by implementing simple energy efficient design practices.

“This was undertaken on 235 St George’s Terrace through good engineering rather than the addition of green gimmicks,” he said.

Other features of the building include a cafe situated in the ground floor lobby, Barista 235, which is owned by renowned restaurateur and “foodie” Kate Lamont, along with the upgraded heritage-listed Bishop’s See gardens which were originally occupied by Perth’s first Anglican Bishop.

Bishop’s House, one of the two heritage-listed buildings situated on the site, is also set to undergo a restoration to make way for a new restaurant, with negotiations currently underway with a potential operator.

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