171 Collins Street's glass atrium

Cbus Property and Charter Hall’s 171 Collins Street building in Melbourne has become the city’s first to achieve a six star NABERS Energy rating without the use of Green Power – instead, the rating has been achieved entirely on the base building and operational energy use.

A spokesman for NABERS said the many other buildings in Melbourne that have reached six stars all got there by procuring Green Power.

The first building in Australia to achieve a similar six star feat was Mirvac’s Sirius Building in Canberra.

Sustainability Victoria chief executive Stan Krpan said the achievement at 171 Collins would raise the bar for the Victorian office market.

“We congratulate all parties involved on attaining the six star standard in their design and performance. It is a terrific achievement and demonstrates that it is possible.

“This will inspire others to do the same or go even further. Designers, developers and owners need to be thinking about whether their buildings are designed and built for the conditions and expectations of the market in 2050 and future proof their assets.” 

171 Collins includes both a new office tower designed by Bates Smart and engineered by Umow Lai, and the heritage Mayfair Building, which underwent a deep refurbishment during the tower’s development. Mayfair has also reached the six star standard, a spokeswoman for the building owners said.

She said both buildings had undergone a substantial post-occupancy tuning process to achieve the rating.

The building is managed by Knight Frank, and is 100 per cent leased with BHP as the major tenant with naming rights.

The difference between a five star and six star rating is substantial, with a six star building emitting 50 per cent less greenhouse gases than a five star one.

171 Collins is estimated to save more than 1.3 million kilograms of CO2 a year compared to a five star property – equivalent to the annual energy use of 138 average homes.

Cbus Property chief executive Adrian Pozzo said the property was a “shining example of the drive to create highly sustainable workplaces for the future”.

“171 Collins Street is a lighthouse example of how premium grade buildings can deliver architectural beauty, world leading sustainability and exceptional occupant amenities without compromise,” Mr Pozzo said.

“This milestone caps off several years of dedication by the entire project team as well as 171 Collins Street’s tenants in delivering and maintaining a truly green and sustainable building.”

The development also achieved a 6 Star Green Star As Built Office V2 rating from the Green Building Council of Australia in 2014, and was recognised with awards at the International Property Awards Asia Pacific, United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Awards and Urban Taskforce Development Excellence Awards.

Energy efficiency features include a double-glazed high performance facade with a ceramic frit that manages glare, a nine-storey glass atrium with sculptural glass that brings natural light into both the tower and Mayfair floorplates, and an energy-efficient radiant cooling and heating system and underfloor air distribution network.

Mr Pozzo said the foundations for the NABERS rating were laid early on, with a pre-completion NABERS strategy and adoption of a sustainability team to ensure energy efficient policies and procedures were developed prior to the building’s operation.

Charter Hall’s head of office Adrian Taylor said the rating proved that world-leading sustainability measures could be delivered at a competitive cost and with no adverse impact on the forecast investment returns.

“Our active asset management and customer centric approach ensured that our tenant engagement platform created a community in the building with a common goal, as well as appointment of on-site management team with a passion for fine tuning,” Mr Taylor said.

“We are very pleased with the performance of 171 Collins Street. It is a building that continues to be recognised for its innovation in sustainability and we hope sets the benchmark for the industry into future.

“It has been a terrific effort to get to where we are today and key to that has been ensuring all team members, contractors and tenant customers share our vision to create a sustainable workplace.”

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