Inside sustainable Melbourne buildings

FACILITIES MANAGERS SHOULD BE LOOKING TO GO GREEN

As building design and construction becomes more of an integrated approach, facilities managers increasingly have the opportunity to implement green initiatives in the early stages of design to both reduce a facility’s environmental impact and ensure a more efficient building throughout its operation.

The benefits of sustainable building design extend beyond the environmental impacts with studies showing buildings that are constructed with high levels of energy and water efficiency are also cheaper to operate.

Total Facilities look at some of Melbourne’s most impressive buildings where environmentally sustainable design had been top of mind.

 

AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE METROPOLITAN HEADQUARTERS, DANDENONG

Occupied from October 1, 2015, the Australian Taxation Office’s new 14,500 square metre workplace has been awarded the top international grade in sustainability rating, achieving a 6 Star Green Star rating.

A focus on environmentally sustainable design from the outset of the project has seen the inclusion of several key design strategies that have helped the facility achieve its rating. Most notably, the building’s façades have been tailored depending on their aspect. The southern façade features a series of interlocking glazed panels to encourage natural light, while the northern façade is defined by large horizontal shading panels to minimise the heat impacts of direct sunlight. These features are combined with the low emissivity glasswork to provide high levels of thermal insulation without compromising natural light.

The facility also harvests rainwater underground and a high level of attention to detail is evident in the specification of water efficient fixtures and fittings throughout the building that also help to reduce the building’s operating costs.

 

MEDIBANK PLACE, DOCKLANDS 

Activity based working is central to the design of Medibank’s new Docklands headquarters enabling Medibank to create one of the healthiest workplaces in the world. While key sustainable design features have also helped the facility achieve a 5 Star NABERS energy rating and a 6 Star Green Star rating.

A shining example of how environmentally sustainable design can contribute to the health and well-being of workers, Medibank Place implemented several initiatives to achieve its desired outcomes. Rigorous testing of flooring, paint and furniture was undertaken to ensure low levels of volatile organic compounds – helping to improve indoor air quality – while a highly efficient underfloor air displacement heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system delivers high levels of fresh air to all work areas. LED lighting is utilised throughout the building, along with circadian lighting which is believed to enhance performance by adapting to the body’s circadian rhythms and replicates natural light where it isn’t available.

 

ROYAL CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL, PARKVILLE 

Environmentally sustainable design has seen many features included in the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) that have made it Australia’s greenest hospital, producing 45 per cent less carbon emissions than conventional hospitals.

Water conservation, minimisation of energy use and renewable energy sources were at the forefront of the hospital’s design. RCH claims the title of the first user of a biomass boiler – one of the most efficient and cost-effective ways to produce heat – in a hospital in Australia while extensive use of solar technology is used for producing hot water. Natural ventilation openings in the hospital atrium are combined with below ground concrete intake ducts to provide an air precooling or heating function for the hospital by utilising relatively stable ground temperatures. Further heating or cooling is provided by chilled water or hot water coils.

Organic waste in either solid or liquid form and waste water are all disposed of through the hospital”˜s single chamber non-mechanical worm farm, helping to reduce the hospital’s waste costs.

 

RMIT SWANSTON ACADEMIC BUILDING, MELBOURNE

A cutting-edge, award-winning urban design with a 5 star green rating and shared learning and teaching spaces. Sustainability features improve user comfort, resulting in higher quality learning outcomes and greater student engagement. Real-time resource consumption is on display in the building.

 

Sustainable technologies and materials will be a key focus on the show floor at Total Facilities 2016. To register visit: www.totalfacilities.com.au