Green star implementation at Brindabella

ESD design guide - Video and transcript
Martin Osolnik, Daryl Jackson Alastair Swayn
Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage, June 2005

AVI video file

About the video file

This video should be viewed in the context of the ESD design guide for Australian Government buildings.

The ESD design guide gives a basic introduction to ecological sustainability issues and specifically how the built environment affects them. It begins by outlining the Australian position on Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) and some key policies relevant to buildings and ESD.

See also: more ESD design guide videos


The client came to us with green star after documentation we developed two A4 pages ...of Green Star and ESD initiatives that we could take on for free.

In the case of Brindabella Circuit, we had already completed documentation of the building when the client asked for a 5 star Green Star building.

We then all started to analyse what we had and what we needed to do.

So, we had to take a step back to then pick up the management issues that are there and inherently, what we had done, because the team that has been working together on Brindabella park has been there since 1997, we've been there and working through the development...

So we discovered when applying Green Star, that a lot of what we had done was almost already there. We were already around the 4 star [rating] anyway.

We had to then do a cost exercise, looking at the payback period.

Because this was a client who had no end user.

He was putting something out there, which is very different to a lot of the other buildings we see going up, where you've got an end user or someone that is going to buy or lease back the building for ten years, and then you've made you're money as an investor.

If is sit there empty afterward, it doesn't matter financially as an investor.

We're totally putting this out there on the market and trying to find tenants for it, so it's a big risk.

Everyone is saying they want green, but are they prepared to pay for green?

We had two A4 pages that we had typed of Green Star and ESD initiatives that we could take on for free. Like VOC paints, bore water, which is a debateable item, but we use non-potable water which we use for flushing and irrigation.

The use of reused and recycled steel, we do that anyway.

We use black steel, we don't paint end steel where it is not exposed, so we don't need to use paints and coatings.

We were already using hydronic heating, so then to run cool water through it.

Hydronic cooling works well with the Canberra climate, which is something we were already doing.

A lot of things we had to weigh up and see what we had to pay – was the picking low fruit?

But it was specific to the site and the client.

We took the line that this was going to be a conditioned box, because that's what the clients in Canberra want.

We've done some mixed modes and natural ventilation in the university campuses, which tend to be a bit more amenable to that.

But the academics want an air conditioned box.

[end transcript]