One Malop Street, Geelong, Australia

Human-centred design with a focus on tenant well-being helps transform a heritage site into Geelong’s most sustainable commercial building 

Fourteen levels of A-Grade commercial office facilities have risen above the historic façade of the Dalgety & Co. building at One Malop Street in Geelong. The redevelopment is WorkSafe Victoria’s new headquarters, and will house over 700 of its staff and 100 other office workers from Victoria Police and Allianz Insurance. It represents the pinnacle of design for tenant wellness with the targeted achievement of three ambitious sustainable building ratings.

Global engineering and infrastructure advisory company Aurecon has driven the agenda of developer Quintessential Equity and its key tenant Worksafe, as well as collaborating with head contractor Built and architect peckvonhartel to provide a sustainable building for the future. Aurecon has provided all engineering disciplines for the development’s base building and the WorkSafe Victoria integrated fit out – including building services, structural, civil, fire safety, ESD, acoustics, audiovisual and wind engineering.

A new benchmark for Australian sustainable commercial building design

Creating a new benchmark in Australian building standards, One Malop Street has achieved Gold Precertification for the WELL Building Standard Core & Shell, demonstrating a strong commitment to supporting human health, well-being and comfort within the built environment. The development is targeting the highest rating of Platinum for the final certified rating.

“As one of the first buildings in Australia to apply the WELL Building Standard, there were a lot of ‘unknowns’ in applying what was initially a very Americanised standard to Australia. We played a key role in applying this standard to the project – both with determining Australian equivalences and alignments, and by collaborating with the entire project team to see that requirements were fully implemented as needed,” said Aurecon’s ESD Engineer Jessica Bennett. 

The One Malop Street base building has been designed for, and is targeting, a 5.5 National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) Energy accredited rating, as well as a 6 Star Green Star Design and As-Built rating. 

“Aurecon’s ESD team is paving the way with the International WELL Building Institute and the Green Building Council of Australia to raise the bar of sustainability and wellness design in the country. This involves focusing on base building design attributes to deliver a healthy and productive indoor environment for the building’s tenants,” said Aurecon Project Leader Amelia Milne.  

The building is on track to meet these targets through implementing smart sustainable design features, including an uplift in the glazing performance of the façade, a significant increase in photovoltaic solar cells on the roof, improvements to the mechanical plant for optimum operations, and sustainable lighting design. It is also on track to meet the targeted 4 Star NABERS Whole Building Water rating, with rainwater collection and low-flow fittings key to achieving this.

Designed for tenant well-being

Aurecon’s project team has worked with tenant Worksafe Victoria to complete the fit-out design and assist in meeting its own target certifications, including a 5 Star NABERS Energy Tenancy, a WELL Interiors Gold, and a 6 Star Green Star Interiors.

“Health, well-being and comfort are huge drivers in the development and delivery of this building. Key initiatives that have driven the design and construction to ensure that a healthy building is delivered include high quality acoustics, high levels of thermal comfort, glare minimisation, daylight and views, biophilia (connection to the outdoors), indoor air quality, wind comfort and sustainable and healthy materials,” added Bennett.

One Malop Street is within easy walking distance of the Geelong train station and is in the heart of Geelong’s CBD. The building’s tenants will enjoy spacious, light-filled office floors with largely uninterrupted bay and city views, as well as modern amenities including over 100 bike racks, luxury end-of-trip facilities, external terraces, an on-site concierge and community amenities such as a medical centre and café. 

“Tenant behaviours and demands are changing making it essential that buildings support tenant well-being through environmentally sustainable practices and amenities that will develop a smarter working environment, reduce environmental impact, as well as lower operating costs,” Milne said. 

Now complete, One Malop Street will continue to honour and recognise the heritage value of the Dalgety & Co. building, while boasting a modernised and sustainable building design. 

The heritage listed building is architecturally and historically significant at a local level. Architecturally, it demonstrates the original design qualities of the interwar modern French Renaissance (Classical) style. Historically, it is associated with commercial wool broking developments in Geelong during the interwar (1920s-1940s) period. This building has long-term associations with the Dalgety company as the original owner from 1924-25 until the 1990s.

The existing Dalgety & Co. building façade has been restored and retained, along with the original ‘Dalgety and Co. Ltd’ and ‘wool shipping insurance stock’ signs across the building. Multiple benefits were seen in retaining and restoring this heritage façade including the reuse of materials, reducing waste and virgin material usage, while maintaining the identity of the site and its connection to the local community. 

Local artefacts collected during the construction are now displayed in the ground floor lobby, available to public visitors, together with information that demonstrates the historic value of the building and shows its transition from heritage to modern use.

This award winning project won the Sustainability in Design Gold award at the Consult Australia 2018 Awards for Excellence and the Sustainable Building Award (Commercial) at the Architecture and Design Sustainability Awards 2018. It was also recognised at the Victoria Engineering Excellence Awards 2018 and was an Australian Engineering Excellence Award Finalist 2018. 

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