Green Star Rising in Wollongong

Wollongong City Council’s Administration Building is set to achieve one of Australia’s first Green Star ratings for an existing building.

Council has registered its 13-storey office building for a Green Star – Performance rating, and will gain a holistic assessment of the building against best practice benchmarks for energy, water and resource efficiency and broader environmental sustainability.

“We are delighted to be working with Wollongong City Council to assess the sustainability of its Administration Building under the new Green Star – Performance rating tool for existing buildings. We congratulate Council for showing visionary government leadership,” says the GBCA’s Chief Executive, Romilly Madew.

“Measurement is the first step towards better environmental management of our buildings. In committing to a consistent, holistic method of measurement, Wollongong City Council will identify pathways to improve the community’s asset over time,” Ms Madew says.

Wollongong City Lord Mayor Councillor Gordon Bradbery OAM says: “it is important that Council aims high for its first community aspiration: we value and protect our environment. We recognise that Council needs to set the benchmark. If we are able to have the ecological footprint of Council’s main building assessed then we can help other businesses and retailers also chart a course for sustainability.”

Council’s Environmental Sustainability Officer Dr Carl Hopley says: “Due to the unique operations of Council’s buildings we have been unable to benchmark the performance of them in the past. However, the new Green Star – Performance rating tool will enable Council to establish a holistic understanding of the building’s operational and environmental performance.

Over the past 10 years, Council has implemented a range of energy and water upgrades within the building. These upgrades include the installation of rainwater harvesting (70 kL), dual flush toilets, low water urinals, low flow taps and sensor taps in public areas, a new heating ventilation and air-conditioning system, heat reflective blinds and lighting upgrades. These initiatives have reduced energy consumption by around 35 per cent and water consumption by around 50 per cent over the 2008/09 baseline year.

The Green Star – Performance rating tool will assess the Administration Building against the nine Green Star categories of Management, Energy, Emissions, Indoor Environment Quality, Water, Transport, Materials, Land Use and Ecology, and Innovation. A Green Star – Performance rating will be awarded, ranging from 1 Star Green Star, representing ‘Minimum Practice’, through to 6 Star Green Star, representing ‘World Leadership’ in sustainable building operations.

“Local governments have a financial responsibility to ensure their building assets represent value for money for their ratepayers. A Green Star – Performance rating sends a clear message to the community that Wollongong City Council is committed to ensuring its buildings are efficient, productive and sustainable,” Ms Madew concludes.

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