Ongoing increases in the operational costs of modern buildings are fuelling tenant demand for green buildings. Along with the introduction of Commercial Building Disclosure legislation, which requires all commercial buildings to display their NABERS energy rating, there is a strong case for building upgrades to help achieve greater energy efficiency.
Both of these factors were key drivers in the retrofit of 215 Adelaide Street Brisbane.
The building, located in the heart of the Brisbane CBD, comprises approximately 30,000 square metresof commercial office and retail space. Originally opened in 1984, the building footprint includes 29 levels of commercial office, retail and food courts on the ground level and three levels of underground car parking.
Norman Disney & Young (NDY) was commissioned in 2008 to undertake a NABERS energy assessment to determine the building’s energy usage. As part of this assessment, a road map of potential upgrade options was developed to determine the scope and cost of the work required to upgrade the building to the point where it would achieve a 4.5 Star NABERS energy rating.
As a result of this initial report, “detailed energy modelling was performed to confirm the required upgrade scope for the building to achieve a 4.5 Star NABERS,” says NDY Director Andrew Gentner. “Tender documentation was then prepared for the agreed refurbishment scope with construction being completed in 2010.”
“A detailed report on potential Green Star upgrade options using Green Star Office Design was subsequently prepared as no existing building tool currently exists,” he adds.
In 2010, the building underwent a comprehensive $5.4 million building services upgrade. The primary objective of the upgrade was to improve the building’s NABERS Energy Base building rating from 2.5 to 4.5 Stars while modernising key service elements including the chilled water system and light fittings.
Key components of the upgrade package included three replacement chillers, new cooling towers, a new Building Management System (BMS), and installation of a smart metering system. The existing twin tube light fittings were replaced with new, single tube highly efficient T8 fluorescent tubes in “like for like” locations, delivering a 60 per cent energy savings while maintaining required lighting levels.
The upgrade works were carried out at a time that the building was almost 100 per cent occupied and was largely managed with minimal impact on tenants.
After a year of planning, six months of upgrading and a further year of fine tuning, a 4.5 Star NABERS Energy Rating was finally achieved.
“The NABERS rating was very important to the client,” Gentner says. “There was a requirement from government tenants and large private tenants to ensure their leased accommodation met a minimum 4.5 Star NABERS energy rating. Without this rating, long term tenancy arrangements, and building capital value, would have been compromised.”
David Field of Jones Lang LaSalle was impressed with this outcome.
“This is an exceptional result for a 27-year-old building particularly considering the rating does not involve the purchase of green power and also considering the assessment period covered the January 2011 floods and the subsequent clean up,” he says.
By Ric Navarro, Norman Disney & Young