Innovation - Featured Projects (Case Studies)

171 Collins Street, Melbourne - 6 Star NABERS Certification

In June 2016, 171 Collins Street became Melbourne’s first Premium Grade 6 Star NABERS rated office building.  This milestone capped off several years of dedication by the entire project team as well as 171 Collins Street’s tenants in delivering and maintaining a truly green and sustainable building.  

The building’s 6 Star NABERS rating, representing ‘world leadership’ in sustainable performance, has been applauded by the Green Building Council of Australia, with Chief Executive Officer Romilly Madew saying the building’s certification was “not just a mark of excellence in sustainability, but of quality.”

171 Collins Street was completed in June 2013 and is home to tenants including BHP Billiton, Wood Group, Evans & Partners and Myer Family. Designed to achieve a 5 stars NABERS energy rating, the challenge was to try and improve the 5 Star NABERS rating to 6 Stars whilst maintaining premium conditions to occupants and complying with all lease commitments.   In order to provide further context, the difference between 5 Star and 6 Star NABERS energy ratings requires a 50% reduction in carbon emissions.

Fine tuning of the services was crucial to maximise the efficiency of the installed plant and equipment.  This targeted improvement in operational performance required active and focused management of 260 smart meters, the BMCS, Access Control and the cogeneration system.  With the benefit of these “smart tools”, the following processes were applied to fine tune the performance of the building services and minimise energy consumption.

  • Under Floor Air Distribution - The system at 171 Collins Street was heavily fine-tuned, with air delivery scrutinised from point of origin - to point of conditioning -to point of delivery;
  • Improved After-Hours Air Conditioning strategy achieved by the integration of occupant location with the access control system and BMCS to minimise the number of air handling units serving specific locations for the high rise;
  • Increasing cogeneration plant efficiency and dependency – By methodically increasing the base building electrical load on to the cogeneration backed up main switch board, the site not only utilised the cogeneration plant more efficiently, it recovered more heat from the unit thus decreasing site dependency on boilers to warm the building in winter and heat domestic hot water all year round.

The graph below depicts how 171 Collins Street systematically increased dependency and efficiency of the cogeneration plant;

171 Collins Street, Melbourne | Innovation | Featured Projects | Sustainability | Cbus Property 

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  • State of the art destination control lifts – Lift parameters were heavily fine-tuned to ensure passengers were dispatched to their allocated floors as efficiently as possible while maintaining PCA premium grade lift credentials; 
  • Scrutinizing all services (base building and tenant) systems and their run strategies – 171 Collins Street has a common heat rejection point (6 cooling towers, working as 3 sets, working as one condenser water loop). This meant that in order for us to keep base building power load at a minimum possible amount; we had to ensure all heat emitting tenancy equipment was working at optimal performance levels. This necessitated tenancy engagement via 171 Collins Street sustainability committee; and   
  • The selection and installation of new and emerging technology capable of complementing existing systems.  As an example, Yaskawa matrix drives were installed on HVAC system. In an Australian first, these three drives were installed, as part of a pilot program, on 24/7 run pumps, resulting in a pump power consumption saving of 15-20%. A matrix converter is a direct AC-to-AC power converter that has motoring and regeneration capability. Recent technology advances in power semiconductor and CPU computing power have made this commercial product possible.
  • According to Cbus Property Chief Executive Officer, Adrian Pozzo, “171 Collins Street has set a new benchmark in sustainability and was a shining example of the drive to create highly sustainable workplaces for the future.  It is a lighthouse example of how premium grade buildings can deliver architectural beauty, world leading sustainability and exceptional environmental outcomes without compromise.