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Award Volume 2 Number 5


Showcasing Excellence In Australian Construction

the green issue

The 2020 Challenge Benefits of Green Building Bond University Orion Springfield Green Square North Tower

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Industry Focus | Energy Efficiency



By Nola Lindström

Similarly to green building becoming an integrated element in today’s building projects, carbon neutral building is yet another vehicle for achieving benchmarks in sustainability. In addition to providing an excellent means for benchmarking new projects, eliminating carbon emissions has become the focus of attention for a new environmental scheme, ratifying the Kyoto protocol, which Australia has committed to until 2012.

Starting from 1 July 2010, the Australian government has initiated specific goals for achieving sustainable and environmentally responsible practices in all industries. This initiative outlines national short-term and long-term targets, which also serves as a guideline for gradually reducing carbon emissions, and encouragement for the building industry to achieve ‘zero net operating emissions’ in the future. The ‘Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme” (CPRS), white paper, which was published in December 2008, sets forth goals for a reduction of national emissions by 5 to 15 percent of 2000 levels by 2020 and a long-term objective for achieving a reduction of 60 percent below 2000 levels in 2050. The scheme will announce indicative trajectories covering the following 5 years at a time to ensure that the long-term objectives are met. The

Challenge Carbon Neutral Building

essence of the scheme is a ‘cap and trade’ system, in which industries and practices will be allocated emission permits that can be traded among entities. As a prospective international post-Kyoto protocol has not been established to date, the current scheme caps do not allocate specific caps for each industry; these will be established at a later stage. The first two years of the scheme merges with the 2012 goals of the Kyoto protocol. As such, the CPRS obtains a certain level of flexibility, allowing for short-term changes that may be necessitated during the prospective United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009.

Needless to say, achieving carbon neutral buildings is a challenge, and it necessitates a step-by-step approach shaping building practices in years to come. The task at hand for the construction industry is to adopt integrated practices that minimise carbon emissions from construction to sustainable fit-outs and technologies. Currently, new building projects are awarded for sustainable elements through the Green Building Council Australia (GBCA) Green Star rating, which awards maximum points to new building projects that achieve zero net operating emissions and on-site energy generation. As

such, carbon neutral building is a sub category yet to be addressed in the Green Star Rating; however it is bound to appear on the grading scheme in the near future.

There are several ways for new building projects to adhere to carbon neutrality, and most of these entail additional benefits in terms of cost savings. A reduction of the ‘carbon footprint’ can be obtained through efficient transportation of building materials to the construction site, optimization of HVAC systems, efficient passive design, and on-site energy from renewable sources such as small-scale wind turbines.

Inevitably, the construction sector will be greatly affected by the forthcoming CPRS. However, the restrictions can also be regarded as an opportunity to establish benchmarks in carbon neutral building and set Australia at the forefront of sustainable practices. A

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OLCÂŽ WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS? s 10 years of maintenance free service; s Wider spacing compared with conventional post top luminaires; Multi-spot technique allows holes in the distribution

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Industry Focus | Energy Efficiency

The Grass is Greener on the other side:

benefits of green building By Olivia Walters

resources. But for those wanting to play a greater role in sustaining our environment, advanced technologies such as on-site electricity generation and water collections technologies are also available, all ensuring more efficient use of natural resources.

The economic benefits of sustainable design are also incentives for building owners to opt for greener building practices and fit-outs. With greater energy efficiency building owners and tenants will recognise the direct savings including significant reductions on utilities and maintenance bills. While the attractiveness of green offices is also expected to increase the monthly average rent as the demand for better indoor office environments increases, ultimately resulting in lower vacancy periods.

Image courtesy of Niall Rutter

According to recent reports on Environmentally Sustainable Buildings, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and development estimated that buildings consume one third of the earth’s resources, 12 % of our water requirements, and 42 % of Australia’s energy. A staggering 40% of Australia’s landfill waste is derived purely from construction and deconstruction activity. One look at those figures is enough motivation for anyone to question the efficiency of their office, tenancies or building and enough grounds to start experimenting with green practices.

Green buildings look to implement better systems of efficiency where design, construction and operational practices are concerned, in order to reap the benefits of an environmental and economical nature, and ultimately ‘future-proof’ the building.

There are a multitude of benefits rewarding those who make the transition to green. The most prominent of these is the environmental role these new technologies and practices impact on. In implementing greener solutions to buildings and office spaces, owners and tenants contribute to sustaining the future of the environment. In saying this, going green doesn’t necessarily suggest costly solutions. There are plenty of low cost initiatives, which can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency, conserve water and prevent pollution. Introducing simple recycling programs within a building are a simple but effective resolution to reducing landfill waste, while installing water-saving devices and appliances in kitchens and bathrooms are simple alternatives aimed at conserving our planet’s natural

Adopting greener building practices has also been proven to enhance productivity within the workplace. In a recent report conducted by Sustainability Victoria, a new Green Star office at 500 Collins Street Melbourne recognised a 39% decrease in its average sick leave days and a 44% decrease in its average monthly cost of sick leave days taken. A study lead by Adrian Leaman (BUS) involving Melbourne’s new CH2 building, which achieved a 6 Star Green Star rating, has proven that its integration of green building practices has lead to a 10.9% increase in productivity levels resulting in a substantial savings. These figures were accumulated after occupants compared their current surroundings to their previous office environments.

Overall, green buildings are not just another hot trend. Sustainable buildings are the path to the future, with immense benefits for owners and occupants choosing to adopt these practices. Green buildings implement sustainable environmental strategies which allow owners and occupants to reap the rewards both environmentally and economically whilst moving towards building a sustainable future for our planet. A

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Project Profile | Energy Efficiency

Bond University Mirvac School By Spiro Lambropoulos

Image courtesy of Alan Jensen

Located on a 49.86 hectare campus at Robina on Queensland’s Gold Coast, Bond University is one of the world’s leading private universities. Named after businessman Alan Bond, it has transcended his infamy to be recognised as one of Australia's premier univerisities. Being located outside of town it has the advantage of space in its surrounds, a luxury not oft afforded city clustered universities, with architecture that is unique. Located around an artificial lake with a natural amphiteatre setting, makes for quite an ideal way to enrich your mind with knowledge.

Of note is the newest addition to the university’s campus, the Mirvac School of Sustainable Development. The building embraces the world’s best practice sustainable processes, so that it will not only lead the way through the best education, it will also lead the way by becoming one of the greenest education buildings in the world.

The building was officially opened by Acting Prime Minister, the Hon. Julia Gillard MP, as a series of intensive workshops with architects and engineers, all geared to making this project an enormous success. The main benefit of such a daunting project was the lack of limitations associated with designing around existing structures, as is typical of most universities that are hemmed in

by their surrounds. Even the location on campus for the Mirvac school had not been defined.

By investigating successful case studies of sustainable university buildings around the world, the design team could set out their vision incorporating established benchmarks from a range of sources (such as the Green Building Council of Australia’s Green Start suite of rating tools). The result has enabled Mirvac to be a main platform of ecological sustainability combined with social and economic sustainability, with the social and educational element being a critical and key element of the design process. The building was the first in Australia to achieve a 6 star Green star – Education PILOT Certified Rating. Key sustainable features of the building include: • Mixed-mode ventilation system using the outside air when conditions are suitable • 82% reduction in carbon emissions compared to a benchmark building • Wastewater treatment system and rainwater capture and reuse to reduce use of potable water • Optimum orientation to maximise natural daylight and capture prevailing breezes • Exotic trees mulched and native landscaping providing net

• • • • •

• •

increase in biological diversity Energy efficient lighting, including task lighting Refrigerants with zero ozone depleting potential and minimal global warming impact 90% of construction waste by weight was reused or recycled. 30% of cement was replaced with fly-ash in all concrete to reduce embodied energy Solar photovoltaic panels, a wind turbine and a biodiesel generator to generate renewable and lowemission electricity Living laboratory education centre, digital building management system, display material and educational signage and fittings Low volatile organic compound paints, carpets and furniture to improve the indoor environment Office spaces have been designed to standard sizes to minimise waste and over 95% of loose furniture is recycled Good cyclist facilities for staff and students.

So whilst Alan Bond has now receeded out of the public spotlight, the university that still bears his name is still aspiring to the lofty standards he was once known for, albeit with more of a sustained ongoing focus. A

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Project Profile | Energy Efficiency

Orion Springfield By Spiro Lambropoulos

Image courtesy of Mirvac Group

For most of us the idea of going shopping involves an exchange, we shell out the money for the gifts or items we receive. Generally speaking the exchanges are equitable and sustaining, so the cycle can continue.

Orion Springfield is an example of a shopping centre that tries to maintain the cycle, but this time instead of giving out free gifts to the consumers, it gives back to the environment. The new Orion Springfield Town Centre is located 17 km south east of Ipswich, near the heart of Greater Springfield in Queensland. The centre has won numerous design, management and environmental awards since the stage 1 completion, with awards coming from such renowned sources as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA). Of more relevance however, it has received a 6 star rating from the Green Building Council Australia, officially making it Australia’s most environmentally friendly shopping centre.

Developed by Mirvac Group, the first stage of the centre opened in March 2007. The stage 2 plans are already in place with $70 million to be spent on the second stage across 65,000m2 of floor space, with the new work mirroring the pioneering sustainable design of the first stage. Among the significant environmental benefits that Orion Springfield delivers, the areas can be broken down into the following sections of energy, water, indoor environmental

quality, transport, ecology, materials and emissions.

The amount of energy a shopping centre goes through is quite intense, mainly due to the omnipresent atmosphere and lighting. The Orion Town Centre will generate a 5,000 tonne per annum reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by implementing the following initiatives. In regards to renewable energy, one example is that solar power is the sole source used to fuel the water feature and provides all of the hot water in the centre.

By designing the complex so that a sufficient amount of natural light is allowed into the complex, the mall saves 62% of power as opposed to a regular shopping centre. The Orion also has an advanced climate control system with superior air conditioning, built in natural ventilation and glazing technologies contributing to reduce energy. This is extended to all aspects of the complex, from more efficient lifts, to moving walks, even to the underground car parks! To get an understanding of how efficient Orion Springfield is, it uses little more than half of the energy of a similar sized shopping centre saving enough power to service 500 Queensland homes for a year.

Through its design, operation and use of natural ventilation, it is expected the complex will require airconditioning for only three months of the year.

management. With 62.4% of the total water at the centre supplied from recycled or reused water, the complex is the first commercial user of recycled sewerage water in Queensland, the first shopping centre to use recycled water in Australia. Through the use of recycled water and rainwater collection, there will be a reduction in portable water use - saving 98,000kL of water every year, enough to fill 40 Olympic size swimming pools. The environmental impact of a project can be in part measured by the direct emissions to the external environment. These direct emissions include chemical emissions associated with product manufacture, refrigerant leaks, flow to sewer and storm water run-off. Orion has used great, non ozone depleting materials in its roofing and building insulation and by using a low impact refrigerant, it has the lowest overall atmospheric impact of any refrigeration system. All storm water run-off is treated to ANZMEC national guidelines. Overall, Orion Springfield will produce 5,000 fewer tonnes of carbon dioxide per year compared with a similar sized shopping centre, which is phenomenal. Now if only they discovered a way to reduce my credit card usage. I think I’ll have to make do knowing the environment benefits will eventually be more beneficial to all concerned. A

Orion Springfield is also creating efficiency through water

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Ductmate has been the industry leader in providing the highest quality duct sealants for a decade. What you might not know is that Ductmate has also been a leader in the “Green” movement since the company’s inception in 1978. From their rectangular and round connection systems to their duct sealant, Ductmate has been manufacturing the very best in energy - saving products since its inception. It’s no surprise that Ductmate is “LEEDing” the way in producing water-based sealants like their unique Pro seal which has zero VOCs, and comply with the requirements for ® Low-Emitting Materials for Indoor Environmental Quality, LEED EQ Credit 4.1. ®

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Project Profile | Energy Efficiency

Green Square North Tower By Spiro Lambropoulos

Image courtesy of Leighton Properties

I’ve always considered fortitude valley, in Central Brisbane, a brilliant riposte given by the initial Brisbane City urban planners. With all of our environmental concerns on energy conservation and sustainability, it is in the valley that we will find the 6 Green Stars needed to face the future. What has arisen from the valley is an environmental marvel, the Green Square North Tower. Developed by Leighton Properties and designed by Cox Rayner Architects, this $100M premium 13 storey commercial development is comprised of 23,000m office space, two basements, extensive ground floor podium and a roof-top co-generation plant. This co-generation plant is one of the best features and is the largest co-generation plant ever constructed in Australia. CH2 Melbourne City Council House, Australia’s first 6 star building generated 60 watts of electricity through its plant; whereas by comparison Green Square North Tower will generate in excess of 1000 watts of electricity through theirs, in turn reducing greenhouse emissions by 43 per cent. According to the Green Building Council of Australia, buildings in Australia are responsible for 40% of all total energy consumed, and produce 23% of all total emissions.

To put a number to this figure, a typical Brisbane CBD building produces more than 100 kg of CO2 per square metre. Through sustainable building practices, in Green Square North Tower, even without the co-generation plant, this has been reduced by almost half - to 51kg of CO2 per square metre per year. With co-generation this building will now emit 71 per cent less carbon emissions than a standard Brisbane office building. There will be annual savings in water consumption of 1,700,000 litres per year, thanks to their 60,000L water storage facility to be used for landscape irrigation. In addition it has been installed with water efficient fittings and fixtures, waterless urinals and has low water usage cooling towers with a provision for a future blackwater mining facility. In terms of materials 100% of all onsite construction waste was recycled and there is a Dedicated recycling room. • • • •

30% integrated fit out reducing future waste. 40% recycled concrete. 90% recycled steel.

pipework reducing environmental impact of PVC products.

More than 150 bike racks with change room facilities for tenants have been provided in addition to the excellent proximity to public transport encouraging reduced car use. The building is not only conscious of its surroundings, but also of its occupants with a design that incorporates daylight, external views, high frequency fluorescent lighting ballasts, and controlled artificial lighting levels to to minimise eye strain of occupants and increase the indoor environmental quality.

Upon inspecting the building Malcolm Turnbull, leader of the Opposition said, "This building we’ve just had a look through (North Tower) has a carbon footprint less than 25 per cent of an equivalent modern building which doesn’t have all of the smart technology, the energy and water efficiency measures that this building has. Now we need to see more of that in Australia." Australia’s fortitude must never waiver, now we have established another benchmark. A

100% plantation or post consumer reused timber.

HDPE was used for all drainage

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Preview Supplement I Green Building  

Green Building Supplement

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