UTS's Engineering and IT building is nominated for a Green Globe award

The NSW Government has released the finalists for its annual Green Globe sustainability awards to be held on 30 October.

This year there are three built environment sustainability awards: for commercial and residential property, heritage buildings, and a new award for infrastructure.

Commercial and residential award

Finalists in the commercial and residential category include the City of Sydney’s Better Buildings Partnership, whose collaborative approach with major commercial and public landlords has seen $25 million a year shaved off electricity bills and buildings with almost half the carbon output a square metre of a typical building.

The University of Technology Sydney is also in the running for its Engineering and IT building. Opened in July, the building is described as a “living lab”, where the building and its technology are used for teaching and research. It features over 2000 sensors to monitor air quality, structural movement, electricity generation and other systems, with data displayed in real time. In an Australian first, a urine diversion system has been installed in the building for phosphorus recovery. Other sustainable features include on-site renewable generation, energy-efficient airconditioning, water-efficient fixtures, stormwater recycling and end-of-trip bike facilities. UTS is targeting a 5 Star Green Star rating.

Grocon and fjmt are in the running for Legion House at Liberty Place. The six-storey heritage listed Legion House has a 6 Star Green Star office design v2 rating and was the first refurb designed to meet the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council’s definition of a zero carbon building.

The only residential finalist is Claire Hanley and Zenya Adderley’s North Sydney eco house, where a homeowner (Hanley,  an environmental scientist) and architect (Adderley) have worked together to turn a 1930s semi on Sydney’s lower North Shore into an eco house. The home is energy efficient, using 65 per cent less electricity and 60 per cent less gas than a typical comparable house. It also reduces water by 75 per cent, landfill waste by 95 per cent, has low running costs, provides animal habitat, reduces the urban heat island effect and produces food.

Infrastructure award

In the new infrastructure category there are five projects battling it out.

Gosford City Council is nominated for its stormwater harnessing for sustainable water management. The infrastructure is designed to conserve Council’s potable water by harnessing stormwater as an alternative, which is estimated to save 82.2 million litres a year.

John Holland is nominated for the Devil’s Pulpit Highway upgrade project where, working in tandem with environmental scientists from Southern Cross University, they built the road without disturbing the Oxleyan Pygmy Perch habitat, creating a catch-net system to retain any spills and alkaline run-off from concrete works on the bridges, and an irrigation system and dams to redirect discharge water away from the floodplain.

Transport for NSW is nominated for Transport Projects, which has a small team that supports sustainability across Transport for NSW projects. One project involved installation of photovoltaic cells on the South West Rail Link – a first within the NSW rail environment. Other outcomes include significant improvements at the Glenfield Transport Interchange – with rainwater tanks, energy-efficient lighting and Water Sensitive Urban Design principles in drainage structures.

Warringah Council is nominated for the Warringah creative space, where local artists can work on their art, run workshops and exhibit. For the building, they retrofitted a disused building within John Fisher Park with 80-90 per cent recycled materials.

Waverley Council is nominated for the Tamarama Park and Kiosk upgrade, in which the sustainable building design features solar panels for electricity and hot water heating, roof rainwater reuse, a new best-practice sewerage system, low-energy lighting and timber cladding in recycled spotted gum.

Heritage Buildings award

Fuji Xerox is nominated for its Eco manufacturing centre interiors fitout, where, using a lifecycle assessment approach, determined the environmental benefit of refurbishing an existing building, rather than move to a new building, led to a 70 per cent improvement in energy use per remanufactured unit compared to its old facilities in Zetland. The project also recovered 96 per cent of resources from demolition and construction.

Macquarie Bank is in the running for its 50 Martin Place development – the first heritage building to get a 6 Star Green Star office design v3 rating. The transformation involved a complete building services upgrade, a new roof, interior fit-out and the reinstatement of lost internal heritage qualities

Last is the Sydney Opera House, nominated for its Concert Hall lighting upgrade, which reduced its energy use by around 75 per cent, cutting 455 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and slashing power bills by $70,000 a year.

Other awards include:

Excellence in Energy, Water and Waste Efficiency

  • Energy Efficiency Award
  • Water Efficiency Award
  • Waste and Recycling Award

Excellence in Sustainability

  • Medium to Large Business Sustainability Award
  • Small Business Sustainability Award
  • Public Sector Sustainability Award
  • Community Sustainability Award
  • Local Government Sustainability Award
  • Natural Environment Sustainability Award

Excellence in Leadership and Innovation

  • Sustainability Champion Award
  • Young Sustainability Champion Award
  • Climate Change Leadership Award
  • Environmental Innovation Award

There will also be three not-for-nomination awards: a Regional Sustainability Award, a 10-year Sustainability Award, and the Premier’s Award for Environmental Excellence.

Winners will be announced at an event on 30 October hosted by environment minister Dr Robert Stokes.