WT Sustainability’s (WTS) Sydney Australia head office has achieved a NABERS office tenancy rating of 6 Stars before the purchase of GreenPower.
A 6-Star rating is viewed as an aspirational target within the construction and property sectors, as very few developments actually achieve the rating. Only 22 other organisations nationwide have achieved a 6-Star rating for their office tenancies and of those only 3, including WTS, maintain their rating without GreenPower.
To achieve such an ambitious target WTS made energy efficiency a key criteria for their new tenancy fitout at 181 Miller Street.
During the design phase of the fitout NABERS tools were used to control and monitor sustainable design and construction targets, initially focussing on the large energy users within tenancies: supplementary air conditioning, lighting and office equipment.
Supplementary air conditioning is normally installed to deal with cooling loads that exceed the ‘norm’ such as in computer rooms and high occupancy meeting rooms. The use of a supplementary air conditioning system for the office’s meeting area was avoided by integrating the space into the open plan office (the base building air conditioning system was commissioned and balanced to suit the tenancy layout). A high speed temperature tolerant communications system linked to an off-site data centre was adopted, to avoid the need for dedicated server room (this saved both server power and the power associated with additional cooling). .
To manage the energy consumed by lighting, E1 light fittings controlled by occupancy sensors in zones of 30 m² or less were installed. The lights dim to 50% if no occupancy is sensed after 5 minutes. If, after a further 5 minutes, no occupancy is sensed, the lights turn off. The sensing times are quicker for areas which are infrequently occupied, such as the tea and photocopier areas.
In addition the office layout was designed such that low height partitions and glazed office partitions were used. 86% of work settings in the tenancy have access to daylight based on GreenStar calculations such that all lights, not just those along the perimeter, are controlled by Photoelectric cells (they turn off or dim when there is adequate daylight).
‘The office is light and bright thanks to E1 lighting and the energy savings are achieved with no loss of amenity. says Stephen Hennessy, a Director with WTS. ‘Most people walking into our office would be hard pressed to see how we are achieving such extraordinary energy results. When we explain how our energy use is half that of a 5 Star tenancy they can’t believe it, they just don’t expect super efficient offices to be so welcoming’.
To control energy consumption by office equipment a timed power circuit was installed to the work stations which cuts out of hours power, thus eliminating standby loads. Computers are off the shelf efficient laptops and the screens are large LED LCDs which makes it easy to review documents side by side, so saving on printing costs. The colour printer is an LED multifunction device that costs no more than comparable 32 page per minute machines, yet it uses up to 75% less energy.
Sub meters were also installed by Commercial Energy Services, the building owners metering provider, that could be accessed via a web interface. This allows real time monitoring of energy consumption and helps to identify areas for further energy savings.
These small changes to the design of the fitout had little or no impact on the fitout construction budget, but have delivered energy savings of up to 78% on the average office tenancy and helped WTS to become perhaps the most energy efficient office in the country.
ABOUT WT SUSTAINABILITY
WTS are specialist sustainability consultants for the built environment.
WTS provides pragmatic, cost effective, and achievable sustainability advice to building owners, managers and developers.
Our goal is to change the way that sustainability is perceived by offering expert sustainability advice that enhances the project’s environmental outcomes and provide the best solution for the Client. We work with the Clients to minimise ‘green wash’ and maximise financial and environmental benefits.
As part of the WT Partnership Group of Companies we have the ability to partner sustainability with cost consulting, thereby effectively integrating sustainability into every aspect of the built environment. We deliver solutions that can have real impact.
WTS offers a comprehensive suite of sustainability related services including:
§ Green Advocacy
§ NABERS Assessments
§ Building Energy Efficiency Certifications (BEEC) under Australian Commercial Building Disclosure (CBD) Legislation
§ Green Star Assessments & LEED Assessments
§ Independent Commissioning Agent (ICA)
§ Soft Landings Service
§ Energy (& Water) Efficiency Audits and Asset Management Plans
§ Carbon Footprint Assessments & Management
§ Upgrade Management
§ Environmental Upgrade Agreement Facilitation Services
§ Sustainability & Energy Management Training
ABOUT STEPHEN HENNESSY
Stephen’s expertise is widely recognised, and he has been invited to sit on a range of Boards, committees and panels, including the NSW Division of the Property Council of Australia where he has been one of the key lecturers on the PCA’s Building Services Course; the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers ANZ Region; Standards Australia ME62 and AS/NZS3666 committees; the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency ‘Commercial Building Disclosure Implementation Forum’; and, the NSW Department of Environment and Heritage NABERS Advisory Panel.
As a Director of WT Sustainability, Stephen devotes his time to team leadership with a particular focus on energy and life cycle optimisation. This emphasis on sustainability has been developed over almost 20 years, most of it as an engineer with and then director of AHA Management (during this period, he was at the front end of the sustainability movement; this included roles such as Partner Support Manager with the pioneering organisation SEDA, assisting organisations to identify and implement energy savings opportunities) and subsequently as a Director of Steensen Varming Australia (where he worked on energy and sustainability projects over a range of iconic buildings including the Sydney Opera House, the National Gallery, the High Court of Australia and Parliament House in Canberra).
Stephen has undertaken a significant number of NABERS energy and water ratings. He is recognised as one of Australia’s most prominent prolific and proficient assessors, and as a consequence he has been engaged to provide training on behalf of the scheme administrators.