2 Victoria Avenue, Perth
2 Victoria Avenue may seem small when compared to some of its high-rise counterparts in the Perth CBD, but as the very first project in Western Australia to achieve Green Star As Built certification, 2 Victoria Avenue represents big thinking, big sustainability and big leadership.
A showcase office development, 2 Victoria Avenue is the first in Western Australia to achieve the Green Star certification ‘trifecta’ of Design, As Built and Interiors ratings. And, through the sustainable initiatives implemented and the achievement of Green Star certified ratings across all project phases, Stockland has delivered a ‘future-proofed’ asset that will deliver ongoing benefits through a quality indoor environment and operational cost savings.
When asked why it was so important for Stockland to achieve a Green Star As Built rating for the development – a first in the Perth market – Stockland’s Environmental Sustainability Manager, Greg Johnson, gives a simple answer.
“Sustainability is embedded in our entire business and we have been achieving Green Star ratings across a range of sectors since 2008. The achievement of a Green Star As Built rating was a key commitment from the beginning of the project. The As Built rating authenticates the design of the building and will ensure that 2 Victoria Avenue can meet our tenants’ needs for a high performance, sustainable office space, now and into the future.”
Johnson explains that while Stockland’s initial objective was to obtain a 5 Star Green Star – Office Design v2 rating for the base building design, an aspirational approach to sustainability and partnership with industry leaders enabled the developer to go one step further to achieve a ‘World Leadership’ 6 Star Green Star - Office Design rating.
“When it came to construction, we again decided to target 5 Star Green Star, and were pleased to achieve this level of certification for both the base building and our own fitout. Changing circumstances meant that there were a few aspects of the original design that couldn’t be practically implemented through construction, but the building has proven extremely successful nonetheless. We are thrilled with the way the building is performing three years on, and pleased with the recognition we have received for our leadership in achieving a Green Star As Built rating,” says Johnson.
What 2 Victoria Avenue, Perth achieved
Reducing 2 Victoria Avenue’s reliance on potable water consumption was a top priority for the project team throughout the building’s design and construction. “We were very conscious of the impact of local conditions. At a time when Western Australia was in the throes of drought and with utility prices ever on the rise, achieving the best possible water conservation outcome was very important,” explains Johnson. For the As Built submission, the project achieved 11 of the 13 points available under the Green Star ‘Water’ category, scoring all available points for potable water efficiency.
Water is captured from 5 Star WELS-rated showers and taps before being diverted for treatment by the building’s onsite greywater system. This treated water supplies 100 per cent of that required for toilet flushing across the development. Waterless urinals further reduce water consumption and fire test water is returned to the onsite storage tank to be reused for site irrigation. Together, the water efficiency measures implemented at 2 Victoria Avenue are conserving up to 4.4 million litres per year, a saving that equates to nearly two Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Now a relatively common feature in the Australian commercial office sector, at the time that 2 Victoria Avenue was designed greywater treatment had never been implemented in a commercial building within the Perth CBD. Through the successful installation of the system, 2 Victoria Avenue became the Western Australian ‘test case’ for greywater. Project ESD Consultant, Graham Agar of AECOM explains how the implementation of the system at 2 Victoria Avenue has paved the way for recycled water treatment within the Perth market.
“2 Victoria Avenue was one of the first projects to achieve an approval in principal for the design of the system, but the first Perth CBD project to have the system tested, commissioned and approved for operation. The commissioning, testing and reporting procedure required to be undertaken is now well understood by both contractors and the Western Australian Department of Health, meaning future projects will benefit from the lessons learnt at 2 Victoria Avenue.”
In addition to the pioneering approach taken to the delivery of environmentally-sustainable outcomes, fitout flexibility, occupant amenity and indoor environment quality (IEQ) were all high priorities. At the time that the building was designed, the Perth market was at the peak of the resources boom and the building was specifically designed to accommodate the staff fluctuation and workforce mobility typical to the resources sector. Floorplates can be easily reconfigured to accommodate multiple tenancies, which are individually monitored and controlled to maximise energy-usage efficiencies across the building. The building’s active western façade incorporates automated shading, which acts to increase occupant comfort by managing glare and heat gain. The specification of low-volatile organic compound (VOC) finishes and low-formaldehyde wood composite products throughout also make 2 Victoria Avenue a healthy and comfortable place to work.
The energy efficiency initiatives at 2 Victoria Avenue, which include T5 lighting, sub-metering and motion-sensors, zoned lighting, and active chilled beam air conditioning, together save the building around 50kg of CO2 per square metre of net lettable area each year – equating to a saving of approximately 350 tonnes of CO2 each year and around $61,000 in electricity costs.
For its Green Star – Office Design rating, 2 Victoria Avenue was recognised with a Green Star ‘Innovation’ point for the inclusion of three 2.5kW wind-powered helical turbines, capable of generating between 6,600 and 9,600 kWh per year. However, public concerns and technology barriers meant that the turbines were not installed at the time of construction.
“The wind turbines were ideal on paper but, as project teams so often discover, when it came to implementation, there were external concerns raised and risks identified with the technology. As a developer, it’s important to understand that no building exists or functions in isolation. In view of this, the decision was made not to pursue the implementation of the turbines,” says Johnson.
Although the wind-turbine technology was not implemented, Johnson is proud of the leadership that Stockland and AECOM were able to demonstrate by incorporating the turbines into the building’s design. “Knowing what we know now, we might have looked to other alternative energy generation initiatives, but at the time we were committed to the turbines not only for their energy-generation capacity, but as a way of visually demonstrating our environmental commitment to the community. We’ve achieved great results for energy from other initiatives, so in the end I think we came out ahead. You never know if you don’t try,” he concludes.
It is clear that the leadership shown and the knowledge and experience gained from 2 Victoria Avenue has inspired other developers and project teams in Western Australia to strive for Green Star ratings. Nowhere is this more evident than the exponential growth in Green Star certifications achieved in Western Australia in 2012 - triple that of the year before. By pioneering green technologies and sharing their successes, the 2 Victoria Avenue project team has forged a new, more sustainable path for the urban landscape of Perth.
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