Since 2011, Investa has reduced its electricity intensity by 8.5 percent and its greenhouse gas emission intensity by 10 percent through building management a number of tenant incentives.
The latest environmental performance data released by Investa Office shows it has achieved an 8.5 percent reduction in electricity intensity and a 10 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emission intensity across its $7.41 billion office portfolio since 2011 – contributing to lower energy costs in its buildings and lower, relative outgoings for tenants.
During a period when Australia experienced the hottest summer on record, with high temperatures placing extra pressure on building services such as air conditioning, Investa continued to reduce overall base building energy use, achieving a weighted average NABERS Energy Rating across the portfolio of 4.32 Stars, without the use of Green Power, up from 3.99 Stars the previous year.
Investa supplements its own active building management with a range of products and services designed to incentivise tenants to save energy and to operate more sustainable work places. An example is its lighting efficiency program – the Investa Sustainability Incentive – which encourages tenants to invest in upgrades to office lighting controls aiming to reduce energy use within their tenancy. This also reduces the heat load and burden on air-conditioning for the building as a whole, thereby reducing overall operating costs and contributing to enhanced financial performance of the buildings for investors.
Investa’s tenants also have access to products that contribute to healthier, more productive workplaces such as Ecospace, which is designed to educate tenants on how to create a more sustainable office fitout when they are refurbishing their workspace, through the use of low emission paints and carpet tiles, waterless urinals and efficient lighting and controls.
Beck Dawson, general manager of corporate sustainability, says: “We are aware that our biggest impacts lie in the management of our assets and particularly in the use of electricity, gas and water. As a result, we are committed to maximising the environmental performance of buildings across our portfolio.
“With temperatures getting warmer and further extreme weather conditions anticipated in the coming years, along with steadily increasing electricity costs, it’s clear that the focus on energy consumption is critical to both the effective performance of our assets and our ability to provide our tenants with comfortable working spaces that are economical to run.”
A commitment to repositioning older properties and improving their environmental performance has been a pivotal part of Investa’s strategy. In 2013, for the first time, Investa achieved 5.5 Star NABERS ratings on four buildings, with three of these being assets built more than 18 years ago.
260 Elizabeth Street, Sydney, a 24 year old building, was one of the most efficiently operated base buildings in the City of Sydney during 2012/13. Through a combination of strategic repositioning and active management, the building achieved a 5.5 NABERS Energy Rating without the use of Green Power, well above the CBD average of 3 Stars. Despite the buildings in the Brisbane portfolio averaging 29 years of age, there was a 17 percent reduction in emissions intensity for the year, in addition to a 4.5 Stars weighted average NABERS Energy Rating and 4.1 Stars NABERS Water Rating.
Dawson adds: “In the Sydney CBD alone, 65 percent of the buildings standing today will still be here in 2030, it is therefore important that building owners identify what aspects of managing buildings and capital expenditure will have the greatest impact on environmental performance. This is particularly so for older buildings, which may not have the base specifications or design to enable strong environmental performance.
“An important part of this for Investa is harnessing the ‘people factor’ to help boost performance of these older buildings and ensure we provide innovative data tools and learning processes that help our employees actively manage their buildings.”
Investa has also continued its commitment to transparency by making environmental performance data for its managed buildings available for review via online building scorecards.
“It is unprecedented to disclose and maintain ongoing energy tracking data, but we have found that the increased level of transparency has enabled tenants to be more engaged with the environmental benefits of sustainability upgrades and it also allows them to see real cost savings,” Dawson concludes.