Fujitsu Docklands Office
The project at a glance:
- 6 Star Green Star – Interiors v1.1 rating representing ‘World Leadership’
- $9 million dollar office fitout
- Absenteeism reduced by 42 per cent
- Carbon emissions and energy costs reduced by up to 65 per cent
- 2.4 million litres of water recycled every year
Information technology companies are known for their commitment to innovation. But when Fujitsu Australia decided to move to ‘greener pastures’ in 2008, it also secured its reputation as a company committed to sustainability.
Fujitsu’s fresh, light-filled headquarters in Melbourne’s Docklands have been designed to meet the highest environmental benchmarks, with a 6 Star Green Star - Office Interiors v1.1 rating. The office is located within Lend Lease’s The Gauge, a 6 Star-rated building under both the Office Design and As Built v2 tools.
“Our commitment to sustainable business practices and the environment goes beyond talk to real action,” says Fujitsu Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Mike Foster. “We pursued a Green Star rating for our new headquarters at The Gauge because we wanted to be accountable and quantify the overall reduction of our environmental footprint.”
The workspace has been designed with people in mind, and balances social, environmental and economic outcomes without compromise. The layout promotes easy movement and open space, helping people to connect and collaborate. A living green wall and rows of plant boxes throughout the space not only provide visual appeal but also help to improve office air quality, reduce stress levels and enhance worker satisfaction.
“We want people to enjoy working at Fujitsu and we’re creating a culture which attracts and retains staff,” Mike Foster says. “Our Green Star-rated office is good for our employees and good for our business, even helping to reduce absenteeism by 42 per cent”.
Building green from the start made financial sense. The environmental features of the fitout reduce Fujitsu’s energy and water use, and were achieved without affecting the build cost of the project.
Eben Simmons, Sustainability Consultant and Associate at Umow Lai, explains: “the Fujitsu tenancy incorporates a high level of sustainability and innovation but still came in under budget and cost about the same as a standard fitout.”
Overall, the fitout cost $9 million with the sustainability gains achieved using a mix of existing and commercially-available technologies. The most important attributes, though, were Fujitsu’s solid commitment to and support for sustainability before the project team even set foot on site.
“We take our role as responsible corporate citizens seriously, and are committed to making the world a better place through lasting economic, environmental and social contributions. Operating from a Green Star-rated building is one of the best ways to demonstrate this,” Mike Foster concludes.
Umow Lai’s work on the project has since been officially recognised, with the company listed as a finalist in the Office Fitout category of the 2011 BPN Sustainability Awards.
What Fujitsu Australia achieved:
Fujitsu’s open attitude and willingness to engage the design team made a considerable contribution to the success of the project. The company developed a comprehensive tenant guide in partnership with the project team to ensure that Fujitsu makes the most of its building long after the project team has stepped off site.
Other achievements include diverting more than 85 per cent of fitout construction waste from landfill, the installation of recycling and composting facilities which reduce the amount of office waste thrown out, while also giving employees ownership of sustainability at Fujitsu, and paper-saving print services which have cut print volumes by 58 per cent. “We even recycled our old server racks into coat stands,” Mike Foster laughs.
Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ)
The design of The Gauge provided Fujitsu with a number of opportunities to achieve exceptional IEQ. A full-height atrium harvests fresh air and floods the offices with an abundance of natural light. Daylight sensors and automatic blinds enable workstations to be placed around the perimeter of the building to take advantage of the daylight and external views, while cutting out the glare. Air quality has been further improved by specifying low-volatile organic compound (VOC) materials and finishes.
Overall, these efforts to provide workers with a healthy and productive workplace have paid off, as Mike Foster proudly explains. “Since moving into The Gauge our staff are happier and absenteeism has fallen by 42 per cent.”
Energy-saving features such as flat-screen monitors, energy-efficient laptops and multifunction devices were installed throughout the fitout to reduce Fujitsu’s overall carbon footprint. Whole-of-tenancy energy use was further minimised through the installation of a highly efficient lighting system and passive chilled beams.
“The chilled beams were particularly effective and enabled us to eliminate conventional air conditioning units altogether,” Eben Simons explains, “while the smart lighting system reduced light use by 60 per cent.”
The result is an extremely energy-efficient tenancy that exceeds current energy efficiency benchmarks within the Green Star - Office Interiors v1.1 tool. This earned the project an extra Innovation point, reduced Fujitsu’s carbon emissions and energy costs by up to 65 per cent, and will continue to deliver these savings year after year for the lifetime of the fitout.
Riding a bike into work is an easier option for Fujitsu’s staff, thanks to the impressive cycling and change room facilities provided. A network of local bike trails, and local tram and train stations only a short stroll from the building, make sustainable transport the natural choice for Fujitsu employees.
In fitting out the office, Fujitsu chose a range of eco-preferable products including Good Environmental Choice Australia’s (GECA’s) certified carpet, walls, storage and selections of chairs and tables. PVC usage was reduced by more than 60 per cent (by cost) by specifying cables with an environmentally-friendly non-PVC material covering, and by minimising usage by installing a single data point to each desk connected to a VoIP phone system.
Other furniture such as the joinery and partitions were chosen for their eco-preferred content, product stewardship, modularity and design for disassembly, demonstrating Fujitsu’s comprehensive approach towards sustainability.
“Our new Green Star-rated headquarters is a true reflection of our commitment to innovation and sustainability,” concludes Fujitsu Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Mike Foster.
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