Perth office building becomes first Carbon Neutral commercial building in WA

20 October 2021

The Workzone East building in Perth has achieved the significant title of becoming the first Carbon Neutral commercial building in Western Australia.

The achievement for the seven-level office building, situated at 1 Nash Street in the CBD, is the result of a collaboration between Knight Frank’s Asset Management Services team, which manages the facility, in partnership with the building owner RF CorVal and Cundall.

Workzone East, which was built in 2013, was designed as a 5 Star Green Star building. In addition to seven levels of office space with a total net lettable area of 12,361sq m, it has a roof level plant area and basement parking for 83 cars.

The building is fully occupied, with the key tenant being the WA Government’s Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD).

The Carbon Neutral certification for the building was provided by NABERS against the Australian Government’s Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard for Buildings for the period ranging from October 13, 2021 to October 12, 2022.

Knight Frank Facilities Manager Janitha Kaushal said “the Workzone East Facilities Management team set a sustainability goal earlier this year to achieve the first Carbon Neutral commercial building in WA”.

Supported by Con Tsioulos, Director of Commercial at RF CorVal, they engaged engineering design and advisory experts, Cundall, the first accredited Carbon Neutral consultancy in the world. Cundall’s experts produced a five-year sustainability roadmap to assist with the implementation of the agreed strategy.

“Fortunately, our facilities team is passionate about sustainability and had already spent three years fine tuning the energy efficiency operations at Workzone East, which resulted in an improved NABERS Energy rating from 4.5 Stars to 5.5 Stars, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions from 535,355 kg CO2 in 2017 to 349,960kg CO2 in 2021,” said Mr Kaushal.

“These measures, which included altering lighting schedules, introducing sensor lighting systems, upgrading to LED lighting, implementing a control strategy for air conditioning usage through the lifts and tenancies, helped to minimise the carbon offset and achieve the carbon neutral certification within just months.”

As part of the sustainability strategy, Knight Frank and RF CorVal also installed Electrical Vehicle charging points in the basement carpark. With the involvement of the WA Government tenant (DPIRD), Workzone East is recycling around 48% waste from total waste generation in the building and recently introduced compost waste which is intended to be used in the open garden area outside.

They are also currently working with a plumbing contractor to upgrade the gas heavy duty boilers with an energy efficient heat pump system to the end-of-trip facilities. It will help to reduce the gas usage in the building and also reduce the carbon footprint.

When choosing carbon offsets for the asset, carbon credits from a renewable energy project approved by United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change were purchased. Climate Active members are required to use offsets that result in genuine emissions reduction.

Con Tsioulos, Asset Manager of Workzone East and Director of Commercial at RF CorVal, said “We acknowledge that through our activities as a property owner and manager, we can positively contribute to the environment by reducing energy, water usage and waste.

“For this reason, we are continuously looking to implement energy efficiency initiatives across our portfolio.

“We are delighted that these efforts have resulted in achieving the first Carbon Neutral rating for a commercial building in Western Australia. This achievement will not only set the bar for the Perth market but for the balance of our portfolio.”

Mathuran Marianayagam, Principal at Cundall said “RF CorVal take a progressive approach to their asset portfolio with a particular commitment to energy efficiency and focus on sustainable outcomes. Knight Frank are collaborative and were incredibly easy to work with in our preparation of the Sustainability Roadmap for the asset.

“We were able to establish clear commitments and a roadmap towards reduced environmental impacts. And it was this clarity that allowed us to achieve Carbon Neutral status for the building ahead of schedule.” The Carbon Neutral certification for Workzone East follows Knight Frank’s success earlier this year in achieving the first 6-Star NABERS Energy Rating office building in WA without green power or onsite renewable energy for Workzone West at 202 Pier Street.