500 Collins Street, Melbourne

31 March 2010 – The Victorian Government today announced a $500,000 boost to Melbourne City Council’s plans to retrofit more than two thirds of Melbourne’s commercial buildings as part of its “1200 Buildings” sustainability initiative.

The voluntary program already has 16 corporations (see list below) among its signatories with one of the buildings retrofitted – Kador’s 500 Collins Street – proving significant productivity gains in a post occupancy study conducted by the MCC.

The 1200 Buildings Program is projected to create 800 green jobs and generate $1.3 billion in economic activity in what Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said would be “Green gold rush” for the city’s CBD. The funding was announced by Victorian Planning Minister, Justin Madden.

According to the City of Melbourne, commercial buildings are responsible for 48 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions across the city. The program will aim to retrofit 1200 existing commercial buildings within the Melbourne city centre, a transformation that, if each building were to improve their energy performance by 38 per cent, would collectively decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 383, 000 tonnes over the next decade.

“The 1200 buildings program is one of the greatest economic and environmental opportunities we have and will place Melbourne at the cutting edge of the green building movement. It will transform existing commercial buildings into centres of environmental innovation, showcases of engineering excellence and engines of economic growth,” the Lord Mayor said.

Signatories so far include: Colonial First State Global Asset Management, ING Office Fund, Investa Property Group, FMSA Construction Management, Synergetics Environmental engineering, the GPT Group, Kador Group, AMP Capital Investors, Stockland, Charter Hall, the Electrical Trades Union and the City of Melbourne, which has also committed to retrofit two of its own historic buildings.

The 16 corporations have between them planned to retrofit 30 buildings.

“Council is putting its money where its policies are by including Melbourne Town Hall and the former Commonwealth Bank Building at 225 Bourke Street,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Buildings that meet high environmental standards, use less resources and save their owners money in the long term are also much more attractive stock for buyers and tenants. It’s smart economics.”

One building that has already completed its retrofit is Kador’s 500 Collins Street. Built in 1970, the upgrade has seen the building become the first in Australia to earn a 5 Green Star v1 Design rating.

According to the City of Melbourne website, the building’s occupancy didn’t fall below 70 per cent during the retrofit and it now boasts energy savings of 30 per cent for airconditioning, 15 per cent for hot water and 50 per cent for lighting.

It has also cut water consumption in half, doubled the amount of fresh air flowing into the building and reduced the amount of ambient noise.

A council study on two of the building’s tenants reported that in addition to the energy and water savings there were also social dividends.

Comparative data indicated a 39 per cent reduction in average sick days per employee per month after the retrofit, leading to a 44 per cent reduction in the average cost of sick leave. The study also cited a nine per cent improvement in average typing speeds of secretarial staff as well as significant improvements in staff perception of their health, with the two offices recording an average decline of 13 per cent of headaches, 22 per cent of cold and flu and a decrease of 21 per cent in fatigue.

Project already signed up to the 1200 Buildings Program



120 Collins Street

Investa Property Group

469 La Trobe Street

Investa Property Group

485 La Trobe Street

Investa Property Group

595 Collins Street

Investa Property Group

242 Exhibition Street

Investa Property Group

182 Capel Street, North Melbourne

FMSA Architecture  –  FMSA Construction Management

406 Collins Street


490 Spencer Street, West Melbourne

Synergetics Environmental


530 Collins Street

The GPT Group

Melbourne Central Tower

The GPT Group

800-808 Bourke St

The GPT Group

818 Bourke St

The GPT Group

500 Collins Street

Kador Group

400 Collins Street

400 Collins Street Pty Ltd

131 Queen St

131 Queen St Melbourne Owners Corporation

222 Exhibition Street

AMP Capital Investors Ltd

321 Exhibition Street

Cromwell Group

452 Flinders Street


541 St Kilda Road


150 Lonsdale St

Charter Hall

300 La Trobe St

Charter Hall

1 Nicholson Street

Charter Hall

200 Queen Street

Charter Hall

516-520 Swanston Street

Electrical Trades Union Victorian Branch

383 La Trobe Street.

ING Office Fund

628 Bourke Street

ING Office Fund

385 Bourke Street

Colonial First State Global Asset Management

367 Collins Street

Colonial First State Global Asset Management

Melbourne Town Hall

City of Melbourne

Commonwealth Bank Building

City of Melbourne

For more information on the 1200 Buildings Program, visit www.melbourne.vic.gov.au/1200buildings

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