1 Malop Street

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation has made its largest-ever investment in commercial property with $68 million going to property fund manager Quintessential Equity to ensure the new Geelong-based WorkSafe Victoria HQ gets a 5.5-star NABERS rating.

The rating will make the $120 million, 14-storey A-Grade commercial office at 1 Malop Street the first multi-storey office outside of the Melbourne CBD to get to 5.5-star NABERS, according to the CEFC.

QE previously told The Fifth Estate the 15,500 square metre building, designed by architects peckvonhartel, would pursue a 6 Star Green Star rating, five-star NABERS rating, as well as a WELL Building Standard accreditation.

While a 0.5 star NABERS improvement seems small, a 5.5 star rating represents a 25 per cent reduction in carbon emissions compared with a five-sstar building.

“To date only nine buildings in Victoria have strived for and achieved a 5.5 star NABERS base building energy rating,” QE head of development Guy French-Wright said.

“Through the support of CEFC we have been able to make this target a reality and are now in a position to improve the energy efficiency of the building from five-star NABERS to a 5.5-star NABERS base building energy rating. Although not required by Worksafe, this will ensure an additional 25 per cent reduction in the building’s energy consumption and will mean additional cost savings for all tenants.”

Upgrades that will raise the base building NABERS Energy rating to 5.5 stars include:

  • Replacing 600 kilowatt aircooled chiller with a 900kW water cooled chiller and 1500kW cooling towers
  • Enlarging pipework sizing and upgrading all pumps to reduce energy usage
  • Adding a proprietary central plant controller to optimise performance of chillers, pumps and cooling towers
  • Replacing two 381kW standard water heaters with two 432kW high efficiency water heaters
  • Replacing 3500 sq m of base building lighting with very low energy light fittings
  • Significantly increasing photovoltaic coverage to the roof and including higher efficiency systems
  • Upgrading façade to include thermally broken mullions and higher performance glazing

CEFC chief origination and transactions officer Paul McCartney said making sure the building was being built to a higher-than-planned standard represented the CEFC’s strategy to move buildings towards zero carbon.

“This exemplar building will demonstrate the considerable attractions of energy efficient and more liveable work environments,” Mr McCartney said.

“Higher rated properties consistently outperform their lower rated counterparts with a range of ongoing benefits, including the ability to command higher returns and attract long-term quality tenants, while operating with lower energy use costs and lower emissions outputs. It is also a great demonstration of how clean energy solutions can work to give an historic landmark a new lease on life as a low carbon building.”

He said sustainability and efficiency innovation was particularly important for new commercial buildings, as they could have lifespans of more than 40 years.

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