Floth Sustainable Building Consultants has become the first company in Australia to take out the Green Building Council of Australia’s (GBCA) Green Star – Design & As Built v1.1 certified rating (6 star) and the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council’s (ASBEC) zero carbon building standard for its new head office in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.
GBCA’s ‘new generation’ building sustainability rating system was launched in 2014 and represents world leadership in sustainable design and construction.
Floth developed the three level office building, undertaking the building services engineering and Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) and now occupies the top two floors of the office building.
- The constrained zero lot line building designed by Mondo Architects and built by builder, James Trowse Constructions, includes green trellis walls with drought tolerant climbing vines growing up the external faces of the central light well and rear decks.
- While the vines have been carefully selected to thrive without additional irrigation, roof rainwater is still being collected for green wall establishment and toilet and urinal flushing.
- The new office building is fitted with the latest occupancy daylight-controlled direct-indirect LED lighting systems, with heat recovery variable refrigerant flow air conditioning systems moving heating or cooling from one part of the building to another as required.
- High indoor air quality is assured with a 50 percent increase in outside air being delivered to occupants via variable air volume systems that are demand controlled in response to zoned carbon dioxide sensors.
- A host of GBCA-recognised innovations integrated without significant additional cost in the otherwise conventional building.
Floth had originally set out to meet the Green Star Office v3 certified rating but as the project commenced construction, they were able to test the design and to upgrade to the new rating system.
Floth ESD Principal Anthony Marklund said, “We are certainly pleased with the outcome, which goes one up on our previous achievements of designing the first 6 star Green Star – Office v2 As Built rated building in Queensland (Green Square North Tower) and the first 6 star Green Star – Office v3 Design rated building in Queensland (180 Brisbane).
“We are also grateful to the GBCA for their support of our project.”
Floth ESD Principal Anthony Marklund, said the new rating system incorporated significant improvements over the legacy tools it superseded.
“Not only is the assessment process updated and streamlined from industry feedback, its ability to cover virtually any building project scope meant that we were able to include our integrated fit out,” Mr Marklund said.
“This essentially meant we had no need for a separate Green Star Interiors rating, which resulted in an immediate certification cost saving.
“The new rating system includes an optional but time-limited “Design Review” certification that can be used for checking and marketing of the sustainable design intent if desired, and a mandatory “As Built” assessment that confirms the holistic sustainability embodied in the final construction that remains current for the life of the building.
“We have essentially leap-frogged the few other buildings in Australia that have undertaken Design Reviews to achieve the first complete Green Star -Design & As Built version 1.1 certified rating.
“I am particularly proud of the round one result and the fact that we actually had to surrender an awarded innovation in order to fit within the maximum of ten allowable innovation credits.”
Regarding Floth’s recognition as an ASBEC zero carbon building, Mr Marklund said modelling predicted a 53 percent reduction in operational carbon emissions from façade and integral building services improvements.
“A roof-mounted solar photovoltaic system achieves a further 13 percent reduction, also equivalent to offsetting 28 percent of the building’s final operational energy,” Mr Marklund said.
“100 percent accredited GreenPower purchased from Origin is the final piece of the zero carbon puzzle. Over the base building, both Floth’s and the eventual Level 1 tenant’s fitouts will effectively be zero carbon in operation by virtue of the 100 percent GreenPower supply.
“Notably the free electricity generated by the solar photovoltaic system will more than offset the additional operational cost of the GreenPower.”
GBCA Chief Executive Officer Romilly Madew said Floth had been a member of the GBCA for a decade, working on a remarkable 41 Green Star projects.
“Achieving the first 6 Star Green Star – Design & As Built rating in Australia paves the way for the rest of the industry,” Ms Madew said.
“We congratulate the Floth team for its green leadership.”
ASBEC Executive Officer Suzanne Toumbourou said the project had been designed to comply with the zero carbon building standard definitions set by Australia’s key peak body committed to sustainable built environments.
“This is the first project that has formally and publicly adopted this standard and we commend Floth for this achievement,” Ms Toumbourou said.
Floth ESD consultant Loreta Brazukas undertook much of the demanding detailed work behind the submission.
Ms Brazukas’ comprehensive building life cycle assessment (LCA) undertaken with eTool LCA software predicted an extraordinary 252% cumulative reduction of the environmental impacts listed in the Green Star rating tool.
Ms Brazukas said she enjoyed her time spent working closely with James Trowse Constructions, developing and implementing subcontractor environmental education and construction environmental management plans.
“I developed and implemented subcontractor environmental education and construction environmental management plans, as well assisting in the selection of sustainable materials and products,” Ms Brazukas said.
“Now that Green Star certification is complete, I look forward to testing the building’s features against the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system.”
69 Robertson Street’s sustainability commitments don’t stop there with a number of other sustainability certifications being sought, including the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) Energy, Water and new Indoor Environment operational certifications and the US Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) New Design and Construction rating system.
Level 1 of 69 Robertson Street, Fortitude Valley is a fully fitted out 370 square metre open plan office space served by lift, dedicated amenities and three carparks. Aspiring tenants would need to move quickly to secure this unprecedented opportunity to join Floth in benefiting from the sustainable features of this truly world leading building.