5 Star Green Star Office Interiors V1.1 Rating
When National Foods decided to integrate its offices into one location, it chose the vibrant waterfront development at Melbourne’s Docklands as its new corporate home. More than 1000 staff from five sites would be consolidated in a purpose-built head office at 737 Bourke Street.
The new National Foods headquarters has joined the ranks of Melbourne Docklands finest green building collective by achieving a 5 Star Green Star Office Interiors V1.1 rating for its interior fitout design in July 2010.
The building is home to one of Australia’s largest food companies, producing leading brands such as Berri, Yoplait and King Island Dairy. The National Foods headquarters includes an office building, a retail site, a food precinct and a community space.
The making of the fitout, the building owned by Equiset was assisted by project consultants Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM). The architects of the fitout were a joint collaboration of F2 Architecture and Peddle Thorp Architects.
Over 12 levels, the $100 million building covers 18,500sqm of office and retail floor space, plus a two level podium car park with 229 car spaces. Included in the building are research and development facilities; on the ground floor, a plant room has been put in place with freezers and incubators. More levels include a call centre, executive floor and a 600 sqm car park on the third level.
A key feature of the sustainable design is the underground 8,000 litre rainwater harvesting tank. The primary use for this rainwater recycling system is to feed to the buildings plants, which have been made a part of the design to create a cleaner atmosphere and indoor environment quality for the companies’ workers. A black water treatment system has also been put in place to maintain high levels of water management; sewage and waste water from the building amenities is collected, with the black water being separated from the waste products and treated so it can be recycled back into the building for re-use. This recycled water is used for the headquarters toilet flushing system.
Landscape irrigation has been incorporated into the design to capture surface run off water and re-direct it into the garden plants through a bio-filtration system. For this building, the run-off water is filtered through the base of five pepper trees planted on site; this system is also repeated through the streets of Melbourne’s Docklands. Another water management system has been put in place to compliment these; a bio-filtration planter which is filled with Australian native grasses works to filter runoff stormwater before it reaches the stormwater system.
Lighting is managed through the installation of a daylight dimming system. Lighting systems can account for 40% of the buildings electricity load. Daylight dimming light systems allows greater comfort for the buildings users, and allows control over the unnecessary use of light compared to traditional ‘on-off’ light switches.
Sustainability and a healthier approach to doing business were fundamental for the new development; beyond simply jumping on the green train, therefore, using products which are environmentally compatible was an extremely important factor in this fitout. Incorporated into the design was the use of Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) certified furniture, and the use of materials which are low in Volatile Organic Compounds, so as particular glues, and water based paints. By using such products as higher level of a healthier indoor environment quality can be reached.
The trade mark identity of this company is food, therefore strong design features have been made the focal point of this fitout; such as an open kitchen, where the products are made visible for people to see when they are coming into the building. The specific paint and timber used was chosen as a key representation of the link this company has with the Australian land, and by incorporating sustainably viable materials into this design, this goes further in supporting this.