Fire stations throughout Melbourne are set to become more sustainable as a specially developed Green Star rating tool – the first of its kind for emergency service buildings in Australia – enables the city’s Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Service Board (MFB) to gain certification for new fire station developments.
MFB chief executive officer Nick Easy says the new rating tool will help the organisation achieve its objective in becoming a leader in environmentally sustainable development.
“This new tool goes to the heart of what we are seeking to achieve in our corporate policies, that is, to make our fire stations more productive and more environmentally and financially sustainable in the long term” Easy says, adding that the MFB looked forward to sharing the benefits of its new tool with partner organisations both in Victoria and throughout Australia.
MFB environmental leadership coordinator Caroline van Oosterom says the tool will not only green new fire stations but will identify standard ecological sustainable design (ESD) initiatives that can be embedded in our major renovations.
It is envisaged that the new tool – the exclusive use of which rests with the MFB – will help the organisation design and deliver fire stations that are energy and water efficient, minimise greenhouse gas emissions and resource consumption, feature environmentally-sustainable materials and provide healthy and productive spaces with good indoor environment quality.
Because of the brigade’s unique requirements, the new rating tool had to allow for evaluation of sustainability measures specifically relevant to the MFB and its stakeholders, says Ross Magee, managing director of architectural firm Spowers, with whom the MFB collaborated in the design of the tool along with engineering firm Murchie Consulting.
Green Building Council of Australia (GBAC) chief executive officer Romilly Madew applauded the latest developments, saying the MFB is setting new benchmarks for sustainability in the emergency services sector.
Madew says that with almost 500 Green Star-rated buildings around the country, the GBAC’s vision was for all Australians to have the opportunity to ‘live, work and play’ in environmentally friendly buildings.
Along with emergency services, the Green Star certification regime is fast spreading to other areas of the market. In July, for example, the McDonald’s store in Kilsyth South became the first fast food restaurant in the country to become Green Star Certified under a new certification tool for fast food restaurants.