Victoria proposes National Framework for Sustainable Government Office Building

By Staff Writer

Victorian Finance Minister Tim Holding called for a national agreement to improve the sustainability of government office buildings around the country.

At a meeting of state and territory finance ministers last week, Mr Holding challenged his fellow minister’s to provide leadership in sustainability to the construction and commercial industry.

“Collectively, state governments manage 4 million square metres of office space and there is an increased urgency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and conserve water and energy and provide healthier buildings that impact less on the environment,” Mr Holding said.
“By working towards a National Framework for Sustainable Government Office Buildings, we can ensure time and cost savings, as well as increased benefits for the environment.”

Victoria’s office accommodation portfolio totals 664,500 square metres, comprising 104,000 square metres in 22 Government-owned buildings, and a leased space size of 560,500 square metres.

Mr Holding said the Victorian Government had implemented a number of green initiatives to reduce its environmental footprint, including:
* consolidating several departments into two buildings  to allow departments to work towards a 5-Star rating for the tenancy fit-out for each building;
* reviewing  and updating a set of guidelines for all government accommodation that requires an increase in the Green Star rating from 4 to 5 Stars through sustainable design;
* using the Australian Building Greenhouse Rating for the monitoring of ongoing energy performance in existing buildings and tenancies;
* committing to reducing energy consumption in all government office accommodation by 20 per cent by 2010. About 15 per cent reductions were achieved between 1999 and 2006;
* reduced water consumption in government owned office buildings by installing flow restrictors and efficient showerheads, waterless urinals, efficient cooling towers and rainwater harvesting; and
* committed to increasing its purchase of green power from the current 10 per cent to 25 per cent for all Government accommodation by 2010.

For more on energy efficiency for office space see the article Measures for greener office buildings in the September 2007 edition of Government News magazine.

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