Greener outlook for City of Sydney buildings

By Lilia Guan

The City of Sydney has called for expressions of interest (EOI) to retrofit at least 44 of its building around Sydney, New South Wales central business district.

City of Sydney manager of environmental strategy, Nik Midlam, said the buildings include: Town Hall House; Cook and Phillip Aquatic Centre; Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre; MArtic Place; Customs House; and the Woolworths building; as well as depots community centres; libraries; and child care centres.

“These buildings currently account for half of the City’s carbon emissions and water use,” he said.

“The EOI sets out a reduction in energy and water consumption of 20 percent with a 23 percent reduction in greenhouse emissions by 2012/2013 from 2005-2006 levels.”

Mr Midlam said the tender bids could include a range of technologies such as LED lighting, movement detectors, building energy management systems, insulation, double glazing, dual flush toilets, rainwater harvesting and recycling grey water.

“There are no set targets for the tender. Basically a company has to come and tell us how they will achieve a 20 percent reduction in both water and energy consumption,” he said.

“It’s a positive experience and we’ve seen that achieving a 20 percent is achievable, without there being a pay increase in electricity and network charges.”

Mr Midlam said the Council’s 2030 goals also includes a 70 percent reduction in the Council’s greenhouse gas emissions from the 2005/2006 level of 48,500 tonnes of CO2 and 25 percent reduction in water use form the 2006 level of 500 million litres.

“Earlier this month we called for tri-generation energy systems in major city buildings,” he said.

“These systems are installed in city buildings to produce electricity, heating and cooling. It should be three times more energy efficient than a coal-fired power station.”

The City has also established a $2 million annual fund for the installation of renewable energy systems such as solar panels.

“We’ve been encouraged by our needs to look at a broader district connect to other businesses,” Mr Midlam said.

“We’re looking at working with private organisations to improve energy efficiency in offices through its CitySwitch Green Office program. This includes companies like Leighton Contractors; PriceWaterhouseCoopers; Stockland; Commonwealth Bank; Mirvac and Westpac.”

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