The largest commercial office development in Sydney’s CBD, Commonwealth Bank Place at Sydney’s Darling Quarter is an outstanding showcase for social, environmental and economic sustainability.
Now, Commonwealth Bank Place can lay claim to the title of Australia’s most sustainable office, after achieving 6 Star Green Star ratings for design, construction, interior fitout and performance.
Completed in 2012 at a cost of $500 million, Commonwealth Bank Place features 58,000 sqm of commercial office space fully occupied by the Commonwealth Bank.
A 6 Star Green Star – Performance rating confirms that Lendlease’s design and construction intentions have translated into a building that is efficient in operation.
The Green Star – Performance rating tool measured the operational performance of Commonwealth Bank Place across nine categories – including energy, water and indoor environment quality.
The building scored 81 points out of a possible 100, exceeding the 6 Star benchmark of 75 points.
Sustainability initiatives include a high-performance façade, energy-efficient lighting, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, rainwater harvesting and re-use, as well as trigeneration and onsite blackwater treatment systems.
The building generates 50 per cent less greenhouse gas emissions than an average commercial office building and consumes 80 per cent less drinking water. This is equivalent to taking 680 cars off the road and saving 13 Olympic swimming pools of water each year.
A place for people
Commonwealth Bank Place is more than an office – it’s a dynamic destination that attracts everyone from sightseers and shoppers to school children.
Once a forgotten corner of Sydney’s CBD, the office is complemented by a popular 3,000 sqm retail terrace, a spectacular children’s playground, youth theatre, interactive digital façade and community green.
Jonathan Redman, Principal at fjmt, the architects of the project, commented that fundamental to the dynamic design of the Darling Quarter was ‘the extension of the geometries of Tumbalong Park to provide new and enhanced connections between Darling Harbour and the city.’
The workplace for 6,500 staff is also one of the most successful examples of building-wide ‘activity-based working’ offices in the country.
According to the bank’s Head of Group Property, Jennifer Saiz, the bank was committed to ensuring it had a “workplace that maximises our energy and water efficiency while creating a healthier working environment for our people.”
“Commonwealth Bank Place is not only an environmentally-sustainable workplace. Our activity-based working design has also promoted collaboration and flexibility in how we work, which is delivering better outcomes for our customers,” Saiz says.
The development has garnered a number of major awards since completion, these include the Property Council’s best new sustainable building and development of the year (in 2013) and the Banksia’s Built environment award (in 2012).
The site was also commended for its Urban Design by the Australian Institute of Architects at its 2013 awards ceremony, with the jury observing ‘the urban moves are simple and highly effective. The bifurcated new commercial building and public ground level allow pedestrians to connect across and through the site and to negotiate major roads in the area. This changes the way this part of the city works, and extends the public realm into a previously underused area of south Darling Harbour. The integration of restaurants, park and playground spreads the benefit to a diverse community beyond the building owner and tenants’.
Positive proof of a good investment
As investors look for direction to determine low-carbon and energy-efficient assets, a Green Star rating can help our industry demonstrate transparency and accountability, boost asset value and attract capital.
Managing director of Lendlease’s Australian Investment Management business Kylie Rampa said the rating was in line with co-owner Australian Prime Property Fund (APPF) Commercial’s focus on next generation, highly sustainable commercial assets.
“From an ownership perspective, a better performing building delivers a number of direct economic benefits to stakeholders including more productive workplaces and precincts which generate greater value,” Rampa says.
“APPF Commercial has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, which is emphasised by buildings that are outperforming on a global scale and a collection of 6 Star certifications that the GBCA classes as ‘Global Leadership’,” Rampa adds.