Home' Commercial : Commercial Designs 2010 Contents 62 WA's Best Commercial Designs 2010
FITTING OUT A
When environmental management company
AECOM decided to relocate, they chose the
refurbished GPO building, rather than a new office
building, as a strategy to reduce the embodied
energy associated with the fitout. e building's
atrium, which gives occupants access to high
levels of natural light, was also a drawcard. e
focus of the fitout was on energy efficiency, waste
minimisation and the indoor environment quality.
Says principal mechanical engineer Graham Agar:
"If you are starting from a base of a quality finish
with good, durable furnishings, it's not a big step
up to include sustainable features. Similarly, a good
design team can reduce the costs of a sustainable
fitout by good space planning and maximising the
attributes inherent in the base building."
using sustainable sourced materials
As a key requirement for the furniture was
modularity, Graham says it didn't make sense
to have custom-built furniture. AECOM sourced
off-the-shelf furniture from manufacturers who
scored well on sustainability criteria. As a result,
they managed to score the maximum points
under the Green Star rating system which awards
points for the eco-preferred content and certified
management of the materials (how and where it
was sourced, for example), and its reusability.
"Our use of modular furniture also helps us to
manage our occupancy of the building by enabling
us to replan the office and move some workstations,
in response to changing project needs, without
causing major fitout problems," says Graham. " e
furniture generally is able to be disassembled and
reconstructed wherever we need it."
Recycling bins were placed at every workstation,
while other, more specific recycling bins were
supplied for various locations throughout the office --
for example, paper recycling stations in print rooms.
100 percent fresh air is supplied to most of
the tenancy, while utility rooms are provided
with an exhaust to keep particulates and other
contamination from the occupied zone. Carbon
dioxide sensors increase fresh air flow into
meeting rooms if the population gets too large.
Finishes like paints and carpets were chosen
for their low VOC (volatile organic compound)
and low formaldehyde content.
Studies show that tenants are happier and
more productive if they have access to natural
light and views, and Graham says that the
improved indoor environment is one of the
"Hopefully our increased fresh air rates
will also mean less sick days and reduced
chance of intra-office flu. We have also seen
a big decrease in our electricity consumption
with a corresponding flow-on effect of reduced
Perth GPO images courtesy of AECOM
Environmental management company AECOM chose the refurbished GPO building as their new premises.
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