Investa is proud to be an ongoing supporter of Earth Hour. In the words of United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, participation in Earth Hour “shows a determination to take climate action and create a sustainable future, as building a sustainable future depends on all of us today."
Launched in 2007, Earth Hour is now celebrated in over 187 countries. Investa continues to support Earth Hour to increase awareness around climate change and the need for energy efficiency. Every year we work with our tenants to ‘switch off for good’, not just for one hour to blacken the city, to help reduce the operational energy consumption of our portfolio.
Supporting Earth Hour is in line with Investa’s Low Carbon Strategy and ambitious net zero by 2040 carbon emissions reduction target. Emissions reductions will focus on 3 key areas;
- Continuing to improve the operational performance of Investa’s buildings
- Changing the building envelope to deliver further energy and emissions savings
- Sourcing a zero-carbon option for residual power requirements
Investa’s dedicated on site management teams are making progress on the target, with portfolio wide emissions intensity already having reduced by 7% since the target was first set in 2015. Here are some examples of how:
The cheapest energy is the energy we don’t use
Investa’s commitment to innovative building efficiency outcomes is exemplified by the partnership between Investa and Buildings Alive. Buildings Alive’s Rapid Efficiency Feedback (REF) system, based on the ‘Pulse’ tool, first developed as an initiative of the Investa Sustainability Institute and trialled across the Investa portfolio in 2011, provides important performance feedback to our teams managing the day-to-day of our buildings. 130 Pitt Street recently went through a round of sustainable development upgrades where significant energy savings were made through improvements in strategies, including:
- Improving air handling unit efficiency by implementing a supply air static pressure strategy, which adjusts the static pressure set points according to building demand. This means the building’s fans can have a break when they’re not needed;
- Optimising the supply air temperature into the building by regulating the minimum supply air set point value, which reduces the energy needed to cool the building and also improves the building’s chillers’ performance.
- Implementing an optimum start control strategy so that the building achieves comfortable indoor conditions as occupants are arriving to work, not before; and
- Introducing a staggered start control strategy to avoid the air condition system and chillers ramping up to 100% load on start-up, when such use is not needed.
Adding sustainability initiatives to older buildings
Investa’s expertise in delivering energy efficiencies via smart management of building systems continues to deliver year on year improvements with sustainable development upgrades to some of its longest standing buildings. Optimum performance at some of Melbourne’s oldest buildings; assets 120 Collins Street and 242 Exhibition Street, two iconic 25 year old buildings, recorded 11% and 10% reductions in electricity consumption, delivering savings in excess of $140,000 and $110,000 respectively during FY17. This has led to 120 Collins Street achieving a 4.0 Star NABERS Energy Rating, up from 2.5 Stars in 2014.
The specialist team at 242 Exhibition Street are executing proactive efficiency projects including replacing all tenancy and back of house lighting with energy efficient LEDs. In the coming year, all stairwells, carparks and service areas will also be converted to LED lighting, which will result in reduced maintenance costs.
Additionally, management have continued to conduct Energy Optimisation Programs, identifying additional opportunities to control plant equipment in a more economical and smart manner. Resulting improvements include reductions in fan pressures and motor power, reduced reliance on electric trim heating, modulation of pumping power to suit demand and consequently reduced power usage, and efficient methods of controlling chilled and condenser water. These improvements have pleasingly resulted in a 5 Star NABERS water rating for the building.