5 Star Office Design V2 rating
5 Star Office as Built V2 rating
5 Star Office Interiors V1.1 rating
West Melbourne, VIC
Achieving recognition within the green industry is something to be proud off for any business and new development. However, achieving three green star ratings from the Green Building Council Australia and a 5 Star NABERS rating, is definitely something to be proud off. This was the case for Norman Disney & Young, with their 115 Batman Street development in West Melbourne.
Over two years this development has achieved a 5 Star Green Star Office Design V2 rating, scoring 62 points in 2008; a 5 Star Green Star Office as Built V2 rating, scoring 64 points in June 2010; and a 5 Star Green Star Office Interiors V1.1 rating, scoring 65 points for the fit out in August 2010.
The development owned by company Batman and Robin was a refurbishment of a derelict factory turned into a multi-story office building for Norman Disney and Young, designed by architects E Smrekar Architects; the main contractor was Construction Engineering Australia and the structural engineers were Winward Structures. The quantity surveying was overseen by Rider Levett Bucknall, the building surveying by McKenzie Group and the acoustic services by Norman Disney and Young Sound.
An interesting element of the design phase was the consideration taking to the current climate at the time of construction, which was done during one of the driest spells for Melbourne. This impacted on the sustainable features included in the design. To save water a 15Kl rainwater tank was fitted in the basement of the building.
This rainwater tank works to create a system which collects runoff rainwater recycling it back into the buildings system by reusing it for the toilet amenities. Adding to this water management is the hot water system in place for domestic use which is heated by solar panel energy implemented on the roof. Low flow fixtures within the buildings amenities create a stronger control over water consumption. By integrating low flow fixtures into the building, this can save the company significantly high levels of energy consumption; for example, a standard toilet uses 3.5 gallons of water, whereas a low flow toilet uses 1.6 gallons.
To minimise the need of using traditional air conditioning systems, a chilled beam system was integrated into the design as a way of cooling the ground, first and second floor. Chilled beam technology comes in three different forms, passive, active and integrated multi-service beams. For this development, passive chilled beam technology was used. This works through convective cooling , which cools warm air as it rises, then this air falls back to the ground cooling the interior of the building. This form of cooling is highly energy efficient and it also takes out the draft that result from traditional air conditioning systems.
Other passive sustainable design features are the large double glazing windows. These work in two ways; firstly the double glazing stops a heat load entering the building, which limits the need to use air conditioning; secondly, the large windows benefit the indoor surroundings by drawing in optimum natural light. By optimizing the levels of natural light within the building, this limits the need to use man-made lighting systems, therefore reducing the buildings electricity consumption.
The Building Management System also works to control the energy consumption throughout the building, for example the man-made lighting is controlled through the use of motion sensors that ensure the lighting system is used only were necessary.
A healthy indoor environment quality has successfully been achieved through two litres of fresh air being supplied to every metre squared. This level of fresh air is double the standard requirement associated with office buildings.
There were two other extending interesting aspects of the design phase. In comparison to other Norman Disney & Young projects, this one was relatively small. As a result of its size, a decision was made not to use on-site power generation technology, therefore greatly cutting back on the greenhouse gas emissions caused during any construction phase of a development.
The other was the pin pointing of what appears to be an issue that should be faced, if the built industry is going to progress further with successful building sustainability. This issue for Norman Disney & Young was working with contractors and sub-contractors who weren’t initially familiar with the Green Building Council Australia and NABERS rating tools. Therefore a challenge during the construction phase was highlighting the importance of meeting these ratings, if they were and successful building management were to be achieved. To overcome this, Norman Disney & Young actively held educational workshops as a way of informing the contractors. This challenge highlights the importance of all construction, architecture and design stakeholders being well-informed of the potentially achievable sustainability goals for the building industry.