Wollongong City Council Administration Building ramps up its performance

"The attainment of the 6 Star Green Star Performance rating is not the end of the story, but marks the start of a new chapter for Council’s Administration Building"

CARL HOPLEY

Buildings & Facilities Sustainability Planner, Wollongong City Council

The Wollongong City Council Administration Building has been on an incredible sustainability journey. The building, which is now 32 years old, has ramped up its Green Star commitments through recertification, jumping from a 5 Star to 6 Star Green Star – Performance rating.

Dr. Carl Hopley, Buildings & Facilities Sustainability Planner believes that targeting Green Star Innovation Points allowed the transition from Australian Excellence to World Leadership.

“Innovation played a significant role in attaining the 6 Star certification with 9 out of the available 10 innovation points being awarded,” explains Carl.

“Innovation points were awarded for both management practices and technological solutions.

“Between the 2015 and 2019 certifications Council was able to reduce the buildings energy intensity by a further 10%.

“The building is now 64% more efficient, resulting in a reduction of 1,760 tonnes of CO2-e per year. 

“Installation and commissioning of Eagle Lighting luminaires and innovative organic response lighting controls in 2017 has alone saved over 200,000 kWh per year.

“The building is also 75% more water efficient than the established Green Star benchmark.

“Implementing the buildings waste management plan achieved a 62% diversion rate in 2018 - a rate that is likely to be exceeded this year based on the available data. 

“The recent lighting project achieved diversion rates in excess of 80% which equated to over 7.5 tonnes of demolition and construction waste being diverted from landfill.”

Wollongong City Council’s commitment to sustainability and innovation extends beyond the building.

The building’s cleaning staff and their management are required to have completed recognised green cleaning training. Council believes that measures such as these will help to drive industry change.

“Council has actively shared its knowledge within and external to the Local Government sector over the past few years through the delivery of numerous conference presentations, hosted site tours and shared documents such as the specifications and assessment tools associated with the Green Cleaning contract,” Carl says.

“The Green Cleaning contract is used as a best practice case study by Local Government Procurement (LGP) as part of their ISO 20400 training package.

“The sharing of information empowers and demonstrates to building owners within the local government area and more broadly that old buildings can be high performing buildings and provide high quality indoor environments when managed appropriately.”

The sustainability team behind the certification worked alongside the GBCA’s Green Star Solutions team on a transitional pathway to overcome the challenges associated with using the updated Green Star Performance tool.

“The attainment of the 6 Star Green Star Performance rating is not the end of the story, but marks the start of a new chapter for Council’s Administration Building,” says Carl.

“The buildings management team are continuing to strive to improve the buildings performance further.”