Australia’s first Green Star ‘Optional Design Review’ put 185 Pirie Street in Adelaide on the fast-track to certification success – and all before a single brick was laid.
Information is power
Iterative approaches to design have become commonplace across many industries, with designers and developers continually testing and reviewing solutions to ensure the final product is the best it can be.
The same approach can now be taken when it comes to Green Star certification, with Green Star - Design & As Built giving consultants the option to incorporate a voluntary design review into their ESD process.
The review provides confidence that projects are on the right track, while offering an early opportunity to promote a building’s Green Star promise.
The 185 Pirie Street team jumped at the opportunity to try this new approach, working closely with the GBCA to weigh solutions against certification goals.
“As this was our first project using the new rating tool we had a number of queries, including a couple of Credit Interpretation Requests that were responded to very quickly and in a very constructive manner. We felt that the relationship worked very much like a partnership,” says lead ESD consultant, Paul Davy from dsquared.
The review, completed in 2015, revealed that the building was on track to achieve a 5 Star Green Star Design & As Built rating once complete – a fact that developer Palumbo can now use to promote the property as it is constructed.
Less cost, more certainty
The GBCA aimed to deliver a more streamlined, holistic and cost-effective approach to certification with Green Star – Design & As Built, a brief that according to Paul, has been fulfilled.
“For Design Review certification, the design documentation needs only be at DA stage quality, rather than 100 per cent tender quality as required with the legacy rating tools. This is where significant savings in time and effort come into play,” he says.
This means, Paul says, “it is now possible for teams to submit for Design Review at the DA stage, and achieve their Design Review certification in time for leasing marketing.”
The time savings delivered by Design & As Built do not come at a cost premium either. In fact, Paul says there was “no cost impost” associated with using the newer Green Star tool.
“It’s actually been a bit cheaper. Certification fees are significantly down, and as we are able to spend less time preparing a submission, we can keep our consultancy fees down too,” Paul adds.
A head-start for marketing
While it is well-documented that Green Star-certified buildings deliver better yields for owners in the long term, in the past most leases were already negotiated and tenants in place by the time Green Star – As Built ratings were achieved and promoted.
In the case of 185 Pirie Street, developer Palumbo has been able to use Green Star as a central pillar of its marketing campaign, even before construction commenced.
“Early discussions with the Green Star team determined that the assessment timeline for the project would be significantly shorter if we registered for Design & As Built,” says Paul.
The compressed timeline suited Palumbo’s design and marketing program perfectly, as “certifying the design using Office v3 would have occurred at least six months later – far too late to have provided any marketing benefit”.
Palumbo is expecting the Green Star rating to attract a broader tenancy base, particularly from interstate companies with high expectations of sustainable office space.
“Using Green Star –Design & As Built and undertaking the Optional Design Review has given Palumbo something that no other property in Adelaide, or in fact in Australia, has. It’s a significant advantage,” Paul concludes.