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NT project sets new benchmark for sustainable tropical design

27 May, 2009

The Northern Territory's first 4 Star Green Star building has set a new benchmark for sustainable tropical design.

Power and Water Corporation has been awarded a 4 Star Green Star - Office Design v2 rating from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) for its Ben Hammond Complex in Darwin.

According to Robin Mellon, the GBCA's Executive Director - Green Star, the new building not only showcases green features to increase energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also demonstrates that good tropical design and sustainability can go hand-in-hand.

"Power and Water's 4 Star Green Star building is evidence that good tropical design can overcome the challenges of distance, extreme temperatures and humidity to deliver a sustainable building," Mellon says.

Power and Water's Employee and Organisational Services General Manager, Rebecca Kardos says that the new office was an opportunity to apply electricity, water and waste management strategies from the earliest phases of the project.

"We wanted to demonstrate how achievable it is to design a green building without compromising design and making it costly. The 4 Star Green Star certification recognises not only the design elements incorporated into the building but the efforts of the team behind it," Kardos says.

Built by Laing O'Rourke, the design of the new office and workshop buildings was undertaken by GHD and Darwin-based MKEA Architects.

The redevelopment across the Ben Hammond Complex is the largest commercial project to date in the Territory to incorporate a comprehensive environmental strategic design resulting in a 20 per cent reduction in energy and water use across the site.

"Power and Water's certification is proof positive that Green Star is evolving and can be relevant not just in all Australian climates, but in other tropical settings, such as those of Indonesia and Malaysia," Mellon says.

The GBCA recently established a new Asia-Pacific Committee to support the acceleration of green building in the region,  Mellon says, and the Council is looking at ways to adapt Australia's rating tools to local conditions.

"Power and Water's 4 Star Green Star rating is certainly a big step in the right direction for the Northern Territory and Asia-Pacific region," Mellon concludes.

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