Retrofit : Volume 6 Issue 1 2017
RETROFIT AUSTRALIA • VOLUME 6 NUMBER 1 | 2017• 21 Retrofitting | building. The large windows provide more natural light. • Automatically adjusting LED lighting. LEDs are already a highly energy-efficient way of lighting. The buildings use this technology, and also employ sensors in the ceilings that detect the level of ambient light. Where practical, and where there is sufficient natural light, it will automatically reduce the amount of artificial light. This leads to lower energy usage for lights. • A solar hot water heater. • 292 solar panels, generating enough energy to power approximately 165 Stonnington homes per year. • The heating and cooling was upgraded to a new Open Balance mechanical services system. This employs an air-pressurised system to allow for a significantly improved, centrally controlled and monitored heating and cooling system. • An organic composting unit located in the building to turn organic waste into compost, which is then used in Council’s parks and gardens. • A vegetable garden located at the building to provide staff with access to local, fresh food, and to help educate them about healthy eating and growing produce. RA: Why do you think it is important for offices to have green features? JK: Energy consumption in commercial offices is a large contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and ongoing climate change. Reduction in energy and water usage over time not only results in significant cost savings for the organisation, but can also lead to better management and use of the resources that we have available to us. Council set targets to reduce corporate greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent below 2005 levels by 2015, and by 30 per cent by 2020. The Civic Precinct Project has provided additional office floor space of approximately 3000 square metres. The ESD provisions incorporated into the project ensure that Council is on track to achieve its 2020 target. RA: What other aspects of the design (for example, the materials used) have been implemented with sustainability or energy efficiency in mind? JK: Sustainability measures were taken, where possible, throughout the completion of this project. During the demolition phase, all materials that were removed from site were recycled. This included concrete and steel, which were sent off to be re-used. Where possible, all waste generated from construction was recycled. The carpets that were installed are made from recycled products, and were made using low-energy fabrication techniques. Water- based paints were also used – these contain little or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as certain chemicals and toxins.
Volume 5 Issue 1 2016