Melbourne agrees to environmental upgrades

Two Melbourne based building sites will receive environmental upgrades under signed agreements with between local government and the private sector.

The upgrades were signed under the City of Melbourne’s 1200 Buildings Program for 123 Queen Street and the Kings Technology Park (KTP) precinct.

In the first privately funded environmental upgrade agreement through the 1200 Buildings Program, the 123 Queen Street agreement was signed between the City of Melbourne, National Australia Bank (NAB), Low Carbon Australia Limited and the building owner.

Retrofitting the site for $1.3 million will include a trigeneration system for electricity, heating and cooling, occupancy sensors and double glazing.

The building owner in the KTP agreement between the City of Melbourne and Sustainable Melbourne Fund will provide $3.2 million towards the retrofit of the business precinct 100 Dorcas Street, South Melbourne.

Four of the five precinct buildings in the KTP upgrade will be fitted with chillers, cooling towers, lighting systems, heating and air conditioning and controls.

The retrofit aim for the 123 Queen Street agreement is to cut CO2-e emissions by approximately 2500 tonnes per year, while the KTP agreement aims for 2600 tonnes per year.

Chair of the Future Melbourne (Eco-City) Committee, Cathy Oke said the availability of Environmental Upgrade Finance through the 1200 Buildings Program overcomes traditional barriers to retrofitting.

Ms Oke said it enables building owners to seize the business opportunities that upgrades present

“There is mounting evidence that higher rated buildings have increased appeal to both buyers and tenants and appreciate more in value,” Ms Oke said.

She said the signings showed building owners were becoming aware of the benefits and improved competition through “better performing buildings”.

Sustainable Melbourne Fund chief executive, Scott Bocskay said there is strong interest in environmental upgrade agreements from the commercial property sector and in what makes a retrofit eligible for funding.

“Environmental upgrade finance represents one of the most significant breakthroughs worldwide in financing retrofitting of commercial buildings,” Mr Bocskay said.

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