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$7 million green upgrade a 1200 Buildings record

Posted On August 24, 2013

City of Melbourne

The City of Melbourne has signed a $7 million environmental upgrade agreement that will see a landmark Melbourne office tower retrofitted under its 1200 Buildings Program.

The agreement between the City of Melbourne, The Australian Environmental Upgrade Fund and the owners of the former Ansett building at 499-501 Swanston Street is the largest to date and will reduce carbon emissions from the 19-storey building by more than 600 tonnes a year.

The $7 million retrofit includes major upgrades to the building’s heating and ventilation systems, air-conditioning and cooling systems as well as a $2.5 million lift upgrade.

The upgrades will reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 606,700kg a year and cut more than $80,000 off the building’s energy bills.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the record deal was another step toward Melbourne’s bid to become a zero-net greenhouse gas emissions city.
“Melbourne is already one of the world’s most liveable cities and we know that liveability, prosperity and sustainability are closely linked,” the Lord Mayor said. “This agreement brings us a step closer to becoming one of the world’s leading sustainable cities”

He said building owners were becoming aware of the financial benefits and improved competitiveness through better performing buildings.

“There is clear evidence that more environmentally friendly buildings have more appeal to buyers and tenants and appreciate more in value.”

Councillor Arron Wood, Chair of the Environment portfolio, said the city’s building owners are responding to the 1200 Buildings Program, with upgrades completed or in progress for more than 1.65 million square metres of lettable commercial space in Melbourne.

“Research told us that over the life of the program, 1200 Buildings will generate 8000 jobs and more than $2 billion in economic uplift for Melbourne, and we are well on our way,” Cr Wood said.

Cr Wood said The 1200 Buildings program had been shortlisted alongside New York and Berlin for the inaugural C40 and Siemens City Climate Leadership Awards in London next month, as well as the Banksia Environment Award

Sustainable Melbourne Fund is the administrator of environmental upgrade finance on behalf of the City of Melbourne. Chief Executive, Scott Bocskay, said the signing was a significant milestone.

“Today, we celebrate with the owners of 501 Swanston Street as they use environmental upgrade finance to upgrade their building to achieve superior environmental and economic outcomes,” Mr Bocskay said.

“Soon they will enjoy the benefits of reduced energy costs and improved workplace environments as heating, ventilation, air condition and cooling (HVAC) systems and elevators are upgraded," Mr Bosckay said.

“The owners of 501 Swanston Street clearly understand that the technology is available, the finance is accessible and the cost reduction benefits are obvious.”

Built in the late 1970s, 501 Swanston Street is a 19-storey office tower with approximately 19,000 square metres of lettable office space with 10 tenants covering a diverse corporate and retail/commercial profile.

Representing PDG and the Zagame Group as owners of 501 Swanston Street, Barry Calnon, Chief Financial Officer (of PDG), said the company wanted to turn the tower into a workplace of choice.

"The outcomes from an ESD perspective will return 501 Swanston Street to its heyday as an innovative, energy-efficient and iconic building on the northern Melbourne city skyline.

“We are delighted to continue our close co-operation with the SMF, the City of Melbourne and its partners, for the green focussed re-positioning of our 501 office tower and would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their support to make this possible.”


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