Greening 40 Albert Road, Australia

Aurecon’s client, Szencorp wanted to demonstrate how to recycle a typical, existing suburban office building into a leading-edge building offering best practice performance in energy, greenhouse and sustainability.

Aurecon was appointed to provide ecologically sustainable design (ESD) services and deliver the key engineering aspects of the building, located at 40 Albert Road in Melbourne. The project’s objective was to establish minimum energy and water performance standards to reduce outgoings and running costs, and to demonstrate that green buildings are commercial.

Aurecon used computer modelling to assess predicted energy usage and opportunities for natural day lighting and ventilation. Incorporating a mixed mode air conditioning system, including motorised open-able windows and open stair for natural ventilation, the gas engine driven air conditioning plant is controlled via a sophisticated system with energy management facilities.

A first for Australia was the use of ceramic fuel cells to reduce electricity used from the grid and to provide hot water.

Additional features of the design include solar domestic hot water, reuse of rainwater for toilet flushing, low energy occupancy controlled lighting, central vacuum cleaning to improve indoor air quality, high performance glazing, and waterless urinals.

The building has floor-to-ceiling windows with opening sections on the eastern façade to provide views, fresh air and abundant natural light. From street level, the building presents a visually stunning mix of full length glass, stone and full height ultra-modern metal net screens.

The greening of 40 Albert Road has transformed a 16 year old, five-storey office block into a state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly and energy sustainable development that represents a benchmark for best practice design and performance in green office buildings. The building was the first retrofit in Australia to receive a 5 star rating under the Australian Building Greenhouse Rating System. It has also achieved a 6 star rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.

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