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is clearly a trend towards buildings with a better
environmental performance. If you want to
produce a building that is going to sustain its
value over the long term, you must consider its
green attributes." Andrew Macliver, director of
HBO+EMTB agrees: "Developers not only want
to do it because it is environmentally responsible
and they see that as being a good corporate
citizen, but it is a definite marketing edge -- they
know that they can attract tenants with a Green
Star rating." Matthew Quinn from Stockland
simply calls it "future proofing your asset base."
Tangible benefits for tenants include a healthier
and therefore more productive workplace -- studies
have shown that natural light, fresh air and access
to outside views can increase productivity from
one to 25 percent. A focus on reducing hazardous
materials and volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
found in glues, carpeting, paint products and
PVC products reduces indoor air pollution which
affects air quality.
Perth's first 6 Star Green Star rated 2 Victoria
Avenue (Durack II), for example, has achieved
a 50 percent increase in fresh air rates compared
with industry standards; has office lighting levels
less than 400 lux to reduce discomfort and strain
for occupants; and has used low-VOC paints on
95 percent of all painted surfaces and low-VOC
carpets, adhesives and sealants.
Increasingly, companies also want their
corporate brand to reflect a commitment to the
environment, so the spaces that they build and
occupy need to be in tune with that ethos.
Says Richard Kilbane, development manager
at Hawaiian: "Getting WA's first 5 Star Green Star
rating reflects who we are as a company."
e first few years of green building in Australia
have been dominated by an emphasis on the
premium costs of going green compared to
traditional building benchmarks, with percentage
figures attached to achieving Green Star and
other ratings. With the widespread acceptance
that green initiatives are not luxury items but
simply lead to better buildings, thankfully, this
is changing. Architect John-Paul Davies from
Woodhead who worked on Durack II agrees:
" e industry is trying to move away from
identifying the initiative number at the bottom
of a budget because those things get cut out --
people can see those things and say 'we will
just trim here and there.' It is more about trying to
take a holistic approach to the building to design
what you want to achieve and then building that
within a project budget."
e GBCA definition of a green building is
one that incorporates design, construction and
operational practices that significantly reduce
or eliminate the negative impact of development
on the environment and its occupants. A Green
Star rating is achieved through addressing
a number of categories that assess the
environmental impact of a project's site selection,
design, construction and maintenance.
Building green requires a big picture approach
that extrapolates backwards to where building
materials come from, and forwards to where
they will eventually end up. It looks at the
existing environment and how to fit in and
it creates strategies to minimise waste and
maximise energy efficiency at all stages of the
building's life. It recognises that buildings are
for people and should be healthy for them and
promote sustainable practices like walking or
cycling to work.
A green building effectively responds to its
outside environment and the people who are
using it: lights turn off when and where they
are not needed, air conditioning responds to
individual heat sources and louvres track the
movement of the sun to work with it.
It's about design that works rather than
design for its own sake and it has the ability to
have a tremendous impact on the planet's
triple bottom line.
235 St Georges Terrace image (far left) courtesy of Hawaiian; 140 William Street image (centre)
courtesy of HASSELL 2 Victoria Avenue image (right) courtesy of Woodhead; photography Barry Williams
2 Victoria Avenue (Durack II) is a groundbreaker, being WA's first 6 Star Green Star rated building.
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