The two projects that show why it’s getting easier for industrial facilities to be green

by FM Media
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The first two Green Star – As Built ratings for industrial facilities are positive proof that industrial facilities can be truly sustainable, The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) believes.

The Metcash Distribution Centre in New South Wales, which was developed by Goodman Group, is the first distribution centre to be awarded a four-star rating under the Green Star – Industrial As Built v1 rating tool.
The Sherwood Road Bus Depot, which was developed by Commercial & Industrial Property (CIP), championed by the Brisbane City Council and owned by Telstra Super, has been awarded a five-star Green Star – Industrial As Built v1 rating, and is also the first of its kind to be granted this rating.
“Both the Metcash Distribution Centre and Sherwood Road Bus Depot are landmark Green Star projects, with their certification proving that sustainable construction in the industrial market is achievable,” Romilly Madew, chief executive of the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA), states.
“Sustainability can be a simple way to deliver cost savings in the industrial sector. Operating from a Green Star-rated industrial facility has the potential to increase efficiencies, cut costs and reduce carbon emissions, not to mention reduce worker injuries and boost employee satisfaction and performance – benefits that will be realised at both the Metcash Distribution Centre and Sherwood Road Bus Depot for many years to come,” Madew notes.

The Metcash Distribution Centre incorporates more than 77,000 square metres of ambient and temperature-controlled warehouse storage areas and 5,500 square metres of A-grade corporate office space. The building features energy efficient lighting that will reduce energy consumption by around 30 percent and save more than 2800 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year. Up to 300,000 litres of rainwater per year will be captured from the warehouse’s roof before being recycled for landscape irrigation, toilet flushing, cooling towers and truck washing. A Green Star Innovation point was awarded for the materials efficiencies achieved through using jointless steel fibre reinforced concrete for the warehouse floor slab, which reduced the amount of concrete needed by 16 percent, and the amount of steel needed by 40 percent.
“The building’s energy efficiency initiatives alone are generating ongoing operational cost savings of 30 percent, when compared to a standard warehouse facility,” James Vesper, head of sustainability at Goodman Group comments.
“We believe this project is representative of a shift in thinking about the value proposition of sustainability and certification within the industrial sector. Sustainability was a top consideration across all aspects of the Metcash development. The delivered outcome is commercially competitive and aims to provide Metcash with a market advantage,” he adds.
Silvestro Morabito, chief operating officer of Metcash, comments: “The Metcash grocery distribution centre in Western Sydney achieves four key measures of sustainability – benefits in running costs, individual employee benefits, improved organisational culture and environmental benefits. We are really pleased with the Green Star rating, which signifies that the distribution centre represents best practice in environmentally sustainable design. It will offer ongoing environmental and cost efficiencies, while also fostering a sense of pride and a culture of innovation.”

The Sherwood Road Bus Depot achieved its five-star Green Star – Industrial As Built v1 rating for a range of initiatives, including light-filled offices, breakout areas and workshops, and excellent passive design as well as natural ventilation which makes the most of the Queensland climate. The project was also recognised for its site water collection, reuse and management strategy that treats stormwater through a bio-filtration system, which then provides most of the depot’s non-potable water demand.
The Brisbane City Council was committed to capturing the benefits of a Green Star-rated building when engaging development, design and construction company CIP to develop “a low-impact and environmentally sustainable facility employing the latest technology and design innovations” at Sherwood.
“Telstra Super was attracted to this development because it supports a progressive and sustainable approach to transport infrastructure, and offers long-term value for all parties involved,” imparts Telstra Super chairman, David Leggo, who also chairs the fund’s investment committee. “We are proud to align ourselves with this state-of-the-art facility, which is not only a quality addition to our property portfolio, but also an important part of the city’s growing infrastructure.”
Particularly notable achievements included the recycling of more than 90 percent of waste generated throughout construction and demolition, a 50 percent abatement in greenhouse gas emissions as compared to benchmark projects, a 35 percent net reduction (by mass) of structural steel while conserving structural integrity, and the use of concrete with an overall average cement reduction of 46 percent through the replacement of Portland cement with industrial by-products such as fly ash and granulated blast furnace slag.
“Both the Metcash Distribution Centre and the Sherwood Road Bus Depot are examples of high performance industrial facilities that are comfortable, cost-effective, productive and environmentally sustainable. These projects demonstrate that it is getting easier to be green,” Madew concludes.

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