Sustainability lessons from building managers of existing facilities
Green Capital has released a report analysing Sydney-based NABERS energy ratings case studies as part of the Lessons and Tools from the Existing Office Building Leaders Project.
Total Environment Centre’s (TEC’s) business sustainability arm, Green Capital has released a report analysing Sydney-based case studies as part of the Lessons and Tools from the Existing Office Building Leaders Project, which is funded by the New South Wales Environmental Trust. A selection of B, C and D grade office buildings were reviewed after owners had embarked on capital works and improvements to increase the NABERS energy ratings of their assets.
The report found that building owners were able to achieve substantial results within realistic economic constraints. In addition, it found that eco-friendly retrofits made the buildings more attractive to tenants. The report also found that greening office buildings takes careful planning, help from experienced consultants and contractors, and a commitment to investigate options.
However, the cost of obtaining a consultant to audit a building – generally in the order of a few thousand dollars – can quickly, and in some cases immediately, pay for itself by direct energy savings or avoidance of expensive emergency maintenance, the report notes.
“In many cases, simple actions such as recalibrating a building management system (BMS) provided significant energy savings. Based on the performance of their newly upgraded buildings, some of the landlords who took part in the study expect to see a return on their investment within three years of undertaking works,” Jeff Angel, executive director of TEC, comments.
Many of the case studies identified in the report received grants from the Green Building Fund, which is now closed, but there are other sources of funding and subsidies available, including the Energy Savings Schemes and the Energy Saver program, the TEC notes. The company adds that environmental upgrade agreements also provide more easily accessible funding for refurbishment works based on a better rate and longer loan terms.
A copy of the final report can be downloaded here: www.greencapital.org.au/reports-and-videos.html.