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Case Studies

A world leading green building - workplace6

Asset: workplace6
Category: Water

workplace6 was named the country’s most Sustainable Development at the 2010 Property Council of Australia Innovation and Excellence Awards.

workplace6 is a Prime-Grade office building achieving world leading standards in environmental design and resource efficiency.

"We love our new headquarters at workplace6. It’s a working environment which reflects our passion for innovation and being good ecological stewards."
Lucinda Barlow, Google, workplace6 tenant.

workplace6 is the first in NSW, and only the second building in Australia, to be certified 6 Star Green Star V2 As Built by the Green Building Council Australia. Building performance meets 5 Stars NABERS Energy and Water, the highest rankings available in all ratings and classed as "world leading".

workplace6 builds on GPT’s commitment to responsible investment and development. It also responds to an increasing demand from tenants for more usable space which minimises the impact on the environment, ensuring that this type of work environment is available at a commercially viable rent and in a CBD location.

Designed to reduce greenhouse emissions by 70% and water consumption by 90% as compared to a typical office building, workplace6 takes on the environmental challenges of today without compromise to occupant comfort or business productivity.

workplace6 has been designed so that emissions from the building are significantly decreased, reducing the building’s environmental footprint through:

  • Tri-generation - a gas fired generator is used to generate electricity for workplace6, reducing the peak load from the electricity grid by at least 25%. The waste heat from the generator can then be used to run an absorption chiller, further limiting the energy demands of the operation of the building.
  • Roof mounted solar panels for heating water required for base building facilities.
  • Design of the building façade, including double glazed high performance glass, insulation and building materials which minimise heat loss and gain through windows and external walls.
  • In an Australian first the structural concrete includes the highest level of recycled products and the thermal mass in the concrete floors and service core help to stabilise internal temperatures.
  • Use of insulation products throughout the building that are made without ozone depleting gases in their manufacture or composition.
  • The GPT Group’s purchase of 25% GreenPower, drawn from wind and solar sources, to power the building further reduces environmental impact.
  • All major pumps, fans and chillers are fitted with variable speed drives allowing the building to accurately and efficiently respond to the weather and heat load changes.
  • High efficiency chillers which use magnetic cushion bearings eliminating the oil that impedes the efficiency of traditional chillers.
  • Refrigerants selected on the basis of zero ozone depletion and a refrigerant leak detection and recovery system, which protects against inadvertent discharge into the environment.
  • Provision of 120 bike racks, with GPT also providing bicycles for tenant use.

The website provides further information including details showing its easy accessibility.

Going low on H2O

workplace6 delivers major reductions in the amount of water usually consumed by a commercial office building, with elements such as the following selected to reduce consumption:

  • 6 Star waterless urinals
  • 4 Star low flow taps
  • low flush toilets
  • 5A rated fittings

Avoiding the use of cooling towers immediately cuts water use by around one third, as compared to a typical office building. These features, combined with using recycled water for toilet flushing, are forecast to drop reliance on precious drinking water by nearly 90%.

workplace6 further reduces its environmental impact by capturing and treating storm water run off to minimise pollution of Sydney Harbour into which it is discharged.

Putting sewerage to good use

The Water Recycling Factory at workplace6 can produce up to 40,000 litres per day, much more than the building needs (less than 8,000 litres per day) so the remainder, after the building uses some for toilet flushing, can be used to irrigate adjacent parks and gardens.

Sewerage is extracted from an adjacent Sydney Water sewer and passed through a screen to eliminate solids. The resulting liquor then passes through three stages:

  • a biological reactor tank, where microbes clean up much of the organic waste;
  • a structure of fine membranes with microscopic pores which let only clean water permeate through; and
  • an activated carbon filter to remove remaining particles and this water is further sanitised by UV treatment and a dose of chlorine.

The Water Recycling Factory also serves an educational purpose with the treatment elements visible to the public.

Using Sydney Harbour for cooling

Instead of using cooling towers to reject heat from the building, workplace6 uses harbour water for cooling. This method of heat rejection will save an estimated 4.8 million litres of water each year.

Building heat is rejected into the harbour via titanium sea water heat exchangers and pump systems in the basement. These pumps draw in the sea water while the specially designed titanium heat exchangers isolate the salt water from the rest of the workplace6 cooling system, avoiding corrosion. Not only does this system save water, it also reduces the potential for legionella that can grow and spread by cooling towers and drops the condenser water temperature enhancing the efficiency of the chilled water systems.

Featured Property
workplace6, 48 Pirrama Road

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Case Studies