Left to right:  Senator Penny Wong,  Arch Bevis,  Mirvac’s chief executive officer investment Andrew Butler

By Tina Perinotto

10 July 2010 – Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Senator Penny Wong last week chose a Green Building Fund recipient in Brisbane, Mirvac’s  building at 340 Adelaide Street, to formally announce that the new Australian Carbon Trust would be worth $100 million if Labor won the coming election.

Labor has also pledged a 50 per cent tax break to help make buildings more sustainable, while the Coalition has said it would scrap the Green Building Fund.

Ms Wong praised the Mirvac building which had shot from 1.5 star NABERS Energy to 4.5 star.

“The sort of thing we want to see is the building we are in today, where we have seen through the investment of the government and of the company, a building that was one and half stars, in terms of its energy efficiency, go to above four stars. So a significant increase in the energy efficiency of the building,” Senator Wong said.

“This is consistent with one of the announcements that Prime Minister Gillard made where we said that for this kind of investment we would give companies a tax break – a 50 per cent upfront tax break to encourage more building owners to do what Mirvac has done, to increase the energy efficiency of their buildings.”

Senator Wong also said that funding would be provided for a National Carbon Offset Standard to  ensure that consumers know there is an Australian standard to back up a product sold as “carbon neutral”.

With assistance from the Green Building Fund Mirvac in May last year undertook a $1.6 million energy efficiency upgrade at 340 Adelaide Street, which involved major replacement of airconditioning, lighting and heating water plant, and installation of comprehensive building automation and energy metering.

Mirvac said benefits of the retrofit included electricity reduction of about 700,000 kWh a year, greenhouse gas reduction of about 46 per cent over the previous year; and an expected increase in NABERS ratings from 4.5 stars from 1.5 stars.

Elsewhere, Mirvac also announced yesterday that its head office at Level 25-29, 60 Margaret Street had achieved a 4.5 star NABERS Energy tenancy rating.The certificate said the tenancy consumed 397 Mj a square metre a year in energy, produced 806,245 kg of CO2 a year in greenhouse emissions and used no green power.

tperinotto@thefifthestate.com.au