Wollongong City Council’s Administration Building-a spritely 32 years old-has been awarded the highest sustainability rating from the Green Building Council of Australia, 6 Star Green Star, representing world leadership.
Only 21 buildings in Australia and 10 in NSW have received the 6 Star Green Star Performance rating * from the Green Building Council of Australia. No other building of this age has achieved 6 Star Green Star in Australia.
Council’s work on maintaining and managing the administration building-reducing its energy and water consumption-has been an ongoing project for 15 years.
“We have been managing the Administration building in a way that we are now saving considerable money on our energy consumption, our water costs, as well as finding ways to make each area of the building more sustainable,” Wollongong City Deputy Lord Mayor Cr David Brown said.
“In fact we are also using these learnings and transporting them into other areas where Council has large energy consumption such as our leisure centres and community centres. We in Council are proud to be at the forefront of sustainability for this large Administration building and especially pleased that we are now able to save a substantial amount on maintenance and service costs because of the innovative approaches we have taken in sustainable techniques and management of this building.”
Over the past 15 years Council has progressively upgraded the Administration building. As a result, Council achieved Australia’s first 5 Star Green Star Performance rating from the Green Building Council of Australia in 2015.
In 2017 Council installed sustainable and tuneable lighting systems with the installation of Eagle Indigo Maestro Beta luminaires and an Organic Response lighting control. Introducing this sustainable feature, along with other improvements, has helped Council reduce the Administration building’s annual consumption of electricity by more than 200,000 kWh and subsequently full fuel emissions have fallen by 184 tonnes per year. In further savings the lights are only operating at 40 to 50 per cent of their rated outputs, which will increase their longevity.
Had Council not reduced its electricity consumption below its 2007-08 levels Council would be paying an estimated $250,000 more each year for electricity.
Water efficiency measures such as water tanks and efficient fixtures in toilets and other areas are saving about $30,000 per year. Both these electricity and water savings are significant as they have helped Council to maintain its overall financial sustainability and its capacity to re-invest these funds into projects and services that benefit the community.
Council has initiated other sustainable measures in centres such as solar panels on the Dapto Ribbonwood Centre, new lighting, energy efficient air conditioning and solar panels at the Beaton Park Leisure Centre which have undergone remediation and refurbishment.
* The building is the only building to be rated under the pilot rating program which helped to develop the performance rating tool. It was then recertified under v1.2 which has more stringent requirements. The building is also the only local government building to achieve a 6 Star Green Star Performance rating.