By Cameron Jewell
22 May 2014 — A 42-storey commercial tower being constructed in Sydney’s Barangaroo development has gained a 6 Star Green Star rating, the largest building to do so.
Barangaroo South’s Tower 2 commercial building, one of three buildings comprising International Towers Sydney being constructed by Lend Lease, was today [Thursday] awarded a 6 Star Green Star – Office Design v3 rating.
NSW Environment Minister Rob Stokes said it was great to see sustainability as a priority of the Barangaroo South development, which reinforced New South Wales’s leadership in environmental innovation.
“The NSW Government is committed to supporting sustainability in the commercial office sector,” Mr Stokes said. “Measures such as those incorporated into this building will save businesses money, increase value and help the environment.”
Green Building Council of Australia chief executive Romilly Madew said anchor tenants Westpac and Gilbert + Tobin would be working in one of the world’s most sustainable business addresses.
Lend Lease’s chief executive, property, Tarun Gupta, said all three towers would feature high-performance solar shading facades and energy efficient centralised cooling systems that use water from Sydney Harbour.
Precinct targeting carbon neutrality
The buildings, Mr Gupta said, would be part of an overall sustainability strategy for the Barangaroo precinct.
“We are creating a highly sustainable precinct at Barangaroo to benefit corporate tenants, residents, retailers and visitors,” he said.
“Lend Lease’s aim is to make the precinct Australia’s first carbon neutral community. Energy-efficient design, on and offsite low carbon and renewable energy teamed with zero carbon waste treatment and commuter carbon emission offsets, will result in a net carbon neutral outcome for the precinct’s operational energy use.”
The precinct will include an onsite blackwater treatment plant, which will be capable of supplying one million litres of recycled water a day to the precinct and surrounding suburbs.
But the casino opts out of green
However, the Barangaroo development, which is working to be a world leader in sustainability, has come under fire from environmental advocates after James Packer, owner of Crown Casino, last year got VIP gaming rooms and smoking areas in the casino to be built on the site exempted from green certification, citing the energy intensity of lighting and airconditioning needed.
A spokesperson for the NSW Premier told the Australian Financial Review: “The gaming facility portion of Crown’s Hotel resort will be excluded from the calculation of Lend Lease’s sustainability obligations.”
The state government said the casino would be subject to different criteria as there was no measurement designed for casinos, however this was contradicted by GBCA chief operating officer Robin Mellon, who told the AFR: “Just as we are working with other hotels, restaurants and public building projects, we can work with Crown to ensure the development meets best practice benchmarks for sustainability.
“While it’s true that casinos do consume a lot of electricity, other building types that are high consumers of electricity, such as hospitals, are achieving Green Star ratings.”
Total Environment Centre executive director Jeff Angel said at the time that “sustainability should not be negotiable”, and that exempting the gaming rooms set a dangerous precedent.