THE sustainability of the country’s office market would be undermined under proposed changes to how the carbon emissions of the properties are calculated.
According to submissions to a government review, buildings connected to a communal low-carbon energy network would not be able count this electricity towards the building’s sustainability rating.
The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), which runs the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS), recently called for industry submissions on a proposed rule change that was only introduced two years ago.
Under the title ”Proportioning of Energy used by Cogeneration or Trigeneration Systems”, it looks at how buildings, connected to these local networks, will be treated when being assessed for a NABERS rating.
NABERS is a national rating system that measures the environmental performance of Australian buildings, tenancies and homes.
Put simply, the proposed changes concern clusters of buildings that are connected to the same co-gen and tri-gen networks.
This would include developments such as Barangaroo and the Fraser site at the former Carlton & United Breweries, among others, and landlords that own several properties in the same central business district.
The chief development officer for energy and climate change, Allan Jones, MBE, said the plan was seen by the industry and his council as a disincentive to landlords that strived to offer green-star-rated buildings. He said all office owners aspired to have a four-star-plus NABERS-rated property to entice tenants. In fact, many government offices must only lease NABERS-rated buildings.
”No one wants this rule to be changed, so we are not sure why it’s being introduced,” Mr Jones said.
In his submission, he said the City of Sydney did not support a moratorium on precinct-scale decentralised energy trigeneration or cogeneration systems while an industry/government accreditation standard was created.
”The existing July 2010 NABERS ruling on precinct-scale trigeneration systems allowing for the accounting of both low-carbon electricity and zero-carbon thermal energy imported into a building from a precinct trigeneration energy centre must be retained until an industry/government accreditation standard has been created,” he said.
The head of sustainability, Australia, at Lend Lease, Cate Harris, said of the proposed changes the primary concern after a review of the Consultation Position Paper related to how a developer-led, masterplanned community co-/trigeneration solution was dealt with.
Lend Lease is developing the $6 billion Barangaroo South office, residential and hotel project. One of its key platforms was sustainability and energy efficiency.
In her submission, Ms Harris said a masterplanned community could be defined as a new development that would likely include varying building uses (such as commercial, residential and retail) within a defined land boundary.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.