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1 Bligh Street - Sydney's first high rise office tower to incorporate blackwater technology

1 Bligh Street - Sydney's first high rise office tower to incorporate blackwater technology

DEXUS and co-owners DWPF and Cbus Property announced that NSW Water Minister, Phil Costa today awarded the first combined private network and retailer's water recycling licence to the 1 Bligh St development, making it Sydney CBD's first high rise commercial office tower to incorporate blackwater recycling technology.

Minister Costa said construction is under way on a recycled treatment plant in the basement of the new development to treat waste water for use in the building's toilets and cooling towers.

"This licence is the first of its kind to be granted to a Sydney high rise and will save 100,000 litres of precious drinking water a day," Minister Costa said.
"This licence, granted under the Water Industry Competition Act 2006 is part of a NSW Government strategy to secure Sydney's drinking water by attracting private investment in recycled water projects."

Under the project:

  • Wastewater is mined from the nearby sewer main and the base building
  • Wastewater will then be treated to the highest standards approved by NSW Health at the recycled water plant in the basement
  • Water is then distributed around the building for non-drinking purposes, with 75,000 litres used for cooling towers and 25,000 litres will be used for flushing toilets.

"Recycling is an important part of our Metropolitan Water Plan to secure Sydney's drinking supplies, along with key initiatives including desalination, water efficiency, and dam upgrades," Minister Costa said.

"It is vital we attract private investment into water recycling to ensure we meet our target of recycling 12 per cent of Sydney's water needs by 2015.
"This project will reduce the volume of wastewater being pumped to Bondi and entering the ocean."

The 1 Bligh Street development is co-owned by DEXUS, DEXUS Wholesale Property Fund and Cbus, and being built by Grocon. Aquacell will build and operate the recycled water infrastructure.

Aquacell CEO Colin Fisher said the granting of the licence is an important part of a sustainable future for NSW. "Recycled water schemes like this will ease pressure on water, energy and land as our population increases - this legislation ensures ongoing management is robust and a level playing field is achieved. Only organisations that meet the highest standards can be issued a licence which streamlines the approval process for future schemes. We are really honoured to be the first company to be granted the licence.
We plan to add other sites in NSW to our licence, which will open the way for developers to access private sewer and recycled water schemes where they are urgently needed."

DEXUS CEO, Victor Hoog Antink said: "Consistent with the co-owners commitment to sustainability. 1 Bligh Street has been designed to be the next generation in high performing sustainable office space, incorporating world leading technology and design innovation. We are delighted to be announcing today another key milestone in 1 Bligh Street's development with the awarding of the new blackwater recycling licence; a first for Sydney and the first high rise office building in the CBD to incorporate this leading technology".

Grocon CEO, Daniel Grollo said the company's core value of sustainability was being embraced with the incorporation of blackwater sewer mining on 1 Bligh St. "Water is a precious resource and its preservation is being achieved through the use of this system. This system provides 100% recycled water for toilet flushing, as well as 90% of cooling tower makeup water - thus demand on the water infrastructure is drastically minimised. It has been great to work with DEXUS/Cbus Property and Aquacell on this initiative."

NSW Minister Costa said the 1 Bligh St development will be opened in May 2011.
"We have some of the largest recycled water projects in Australia under construction or online across greater Sydney and we are on track toward the Metropolitan Water Plan target of producing 70 billion litres a year by 2015," Minister Costa said.

"Water efficient devices such as taps, showerheads and washing machines, and Water Wise Rules will help save up to 24 per cent of Sydney's water needs by 2015.

Metropolitan Water Plan key initiatives include:

  • $119 million on deep water storage from Sydney's dams providing up to an extra 10 per cent, providing Sydney with 6 months supply in extreme drought;
  • $30.5 million has been spent on recycled water projects across greater Sydney towards the target of providing 12 per cent savings by 2015;
  • $1.9 billion on the Desalination Plant to provide up to 15 per cent; and
  • $26 million on almost 1 million rebates and offers helping to save up to 24 per cent by 2015 along with educational campaigns and our new Water Wise Rules.


High res images available on request

Media contacts:

Minister for Water: Claire March 0403 937 849
DEXUS/DWPF/Cbus: Emma Parry 0421 000 329
Aquacell: Nicola Rutzou 0421 179 953
Grocon: Jane Wilson 0407831456
Architectus + Ingenhoven: Jackie Blundell 02 8252 840