800 Collins Street, Melbourne

Lendlease’s high-performance office fund has become Australia’s first to get a 6 Star Green Star Performance rating across its entire portfolio.

As early as 30 June this year, the Australian Prime Property Fund Commercial (APPF Commercial) had listed its Green Star Performance rating as 3 Star, so an additional three stars in less than six months seems like a dramatic improvement.

A lot of the credit, however, goes to actions that have been well underway though which until now have not been formally recognised.

A Lendlease spokesperson said the uplift could be attributed to “pursuing additional recognition” for activities being undertaken in the Management, Materials, Indoor Environment, Ecology, Transport, Emissions and Innovation categories of the tool, working with property manager JLL.

The fund includes some of the best performing buildings in the country, and specifically only purchases premium and A-grade buildings in CBD office markets. The fund has a 4.8 star NABERS Energy rating (targeting 5.1 stars in 2018) and this year was ranked first globally out of all participants in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB).

Some of its star performers include Darling Quarter in Sydney, 66 Eagle Street in Brisbane and 800 Collins Street in Melbourne.

“Becoming the first Australian 6 Star Green Star portfolio is testament to APPF Commercial’s continued leadership in owning and operating high performance green buildings,” managing director of Lendlease’s Australian Investment Management business Josh McHutchison said.

“We’ve long held the belief that driving improvements across environment, social and governance aspects across the portfolio delivers buildings and precincts that are attractive to tenants, who are increasingly seeking high performance green buildings and the benefits they bring to thousands of employees and the broader community.”

He said strong sustainability practices led to increased investor returns.

Particular sustainability initiatives that have been pursued to get the rating include:

  • Operational policies to ensure transparency around health and wellbeing, in particular frequency of air quality testing and reporting by third parties to inform optimum quality of the indoor environment
  • Tenant engagement on sharing energy data for the majority of buildings to assist in industry research on benchmarking tenant performance
  • Weight-based waste measurement to Better Buildings Partnership standards across the portfolio leading to clarity and accuracy of data, in turn leading to monitoring of bin efficiency for improved strategies around bin selection and allocation
  • Best-practice contract management with key contractors including cleaning and waste, groundskeeping, HVAC and controls, with a particular focus on green cleaning across the portfolio to ensure leading practice standards are set and adopted
  • End-of-trip facilities provided to tenants alongside a transport survey indicating a higher than average sustainable transport uptake amongst tenants and visitors
  • A sustainable procurement plan developed for the portfolio for the selection of high-volume consumables
  • Reconciliation Action Plans have been developed and adopted by both Lendlease and JLL

Innovation credits were around energy metering, green cleaning and placemaking, the spokesperson said.

They also noted that nine of the fund’s assets had not been included in the portfolio assessment.

“Assets were generally exempt on the basis of age (new developments), meaning that they were not rateable during APPF Commercial’s portfolio official Green Star Performance rating period. Buildings that were excluded on this basis included One Melbourne Quarter (under construction), Darling Square and International Towers (x3) and International House at Barangaroo, which are all either 6 Star Green Star Design and As-Built certified or targeting that level of certification.”

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