The sustainability upgrade of Sydney’s Chifley Tower has won the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat’s 2015 Performance Award.
Owned by Singapore-based property fund GIC, the 42-storey building was completed in 1992, and its building systems were rapidly dating compared to other premium office towers in the CBD.
A green retrofit and upgrade program was undertaken between 2008 and 2014 that included upgrades to lighting, lifts, HVAC, the building information management system, and waste management systems.
The CTBUH said the Performance Award recognised the building that had the least environment impact on the urban realm using measured data.
“It is increasingly being recognised that the industry needs to focus on actual “performance” rather than “best intentions”,” the jury said.
The upgrade project, nominated by building manager JLL, achieved a 4.5 star NABERS rating, resulting in over 55 per cent in savings on electricity use and a corresponding 55 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to the 2008 pre-upgrade baseline.
The project was also undertaken while the building remained occupied.
The jury applauded the efforts to update the energy efficiency of the aging building, both to keep the building competitive with newer structures, as well as addressing critical issues surrounding climate change.
“The outcome of the energy upgrade was successful on several fronts – it reduced energy costs for the building owner and their tenants, it reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and repositioned an older building in a very competitive commercial real estate market,” CTBUH Technical Awards juror and principal and mechanical engineer at Arup Ashok Raiji said.
“In a sense, the project gave a ‘new and better life’ to an old asset that was growing less competitive in the market place.”
JLL’s head of the Premium Asset Group, Property and Asset Management Mike George said the award “gives testament that established commercial properties can achieve impressive sustainability ratings to compete with the newest office stock currently being offered to the market”.
“We are thrilled that Chifley Tower has been recognised for the extensive energy efficiency upgrade project, with JLL forming an integral part of the project team, working on behalf of the owners,” he said.
Owner GIC has been undertaking sustainability upgrades across a number of its international properties.
“GIC places great importance on enhancing the value of our assets and ensuring that they meet sustainability standards,” Kwok Wai Keong, co-head, Asia and global head, asset management of GIC Real Estate, said.
“Over the years, we have been progressively taking measures to reduce the carbon footprint in our buildings. Chifley Tower is a reflection of our ongoing efforts.”
Other GIC properties that have been the focus of sustainability efforts include Azia Center in Shanghai, China; Gangnam Finance Centre in Seoul, Korea; and One Bush Street in San Francisco, US – with all three achieving LEED-EB (Existing Building) Platinum certification.