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energy efficiency Even though the technology used was not the best available, it resulted in an over 50% reduction in energy consumption.

work better rather than necessarily spending

Efficiency Council (EEC) in November 2014,

large amounts on new technology.”

and his involvement in the improvement of

Bannister says these building simulation

the 87 Marsden Street office building in Par-

advances have the most benefit where large

ramatta received the 2013 Best Commercial

HVAC systems are used, because the opti-

Building Energy Efficiency Project.

mum set-up may not be absolutely clear in

When it comes to 2nd-tier commercial

these larger technologically complex systems.

building, “all too commonly, buildings of these

Over the past 5–6 years, the commercial

type have original equipment that is inefficient

building sector has improved its efficiency

with rudimentary control systems. Some have

by about 30–40% — half through control

not undergone updates for energy-efficiency

optimisation and the other half through tech-

savings due to perceived cost constraints.”

nology. “[Simulation] is the one way we can

Bannister describes the Parramatta build-

test and identify new methods of improving

ing upgrade as an interesting project because

the performance in the commercial building

the fundamental technology of the building

sector,” Bannister said.

was not changed. Due to budgetary and tech-

For example, in Australia, we tend to

nological constraints, the upgrade didn’t focus

optimise our buildings for cooling and

on a capital- and new technology-intensive

overestimate how much time of the year

recipe, but rather careful design and com-

the building is actually cooling. “Australian

missioning to replace the end-of-life HVAC

buildings often perform very badly in heating

equipment. Even though the technology used

mode and that’s because we design them

was not the best available, it resulted in an

for cooling.” But Bannister’s paper results

over 50% reduction in energy consumption.

indicate that in some climates within Aus-

Less than 12 months after completion, the

tralia, the building is spending more time in

building went from a 1.28 star rating to be-

heating than cooling.

ing officially certified to be performing at the 4.5 NABERS Energy (Base Building) rating.

© iStockphoto.com/Dušan Janković

2nd-tier challenges

www.SustainabilityMatters.net.au

Even though so many commercial buildings

Predictions for the year ahead

have already been improved in Australia,

Commenting on LED, Bannister says the

Bannister says there is the ever-decreasing

technology is moving so fast it is almost hard

unimproved section of the market which has

to recommend when to get in. But there are

open to it all of the technological improve-

some tricks around this as there are “one or

ments that have swept through the market

more standards for interchangeability for the

in the last 15 years. These range from

LED light sources. Unlike an ordinary lamp,

upgrading chillers and HVAC, implementing

[with LEDs] you can replace the light source

control systems, tidying up some areas of

rather than the whole lamp. We haven’t yet

air distribution, changing to LEDs for light-

seen upgrading the light source, but that’s

ing and moving from fixed to variable air

probably going to happen in the next two

volume (VAV).

years.” Bannister predicts in the year ahead

“If you halve the air volume coming out

that we will see more and more on-site

of a fan, you reduce the energy consump-

solar PV renewables as this is “definitely

tion anywhere from 75–85%, so even minor

an advancing trend”.

adjustment [in VAV] can be very profitable,” Bannister said. Dr Bannister was also recognised as an Energy Efficiency Champion by the Energy

“The thing that makes solar so effective on buildings is that it is very low maintenance, and to a large extent, you plug it in and it works.”

Feb/Mar 2016 - Sustainability Matters 9

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Sustainability Matters Feb/Mar 2016  

Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...

Sustainability Matters Feb/Mar 2016  

Sustainability Matters is a bi-monthly magazine showcasing the latest products, technology and sustainable solutions for industry, governmen...