Early energy efficiency commitment delivers long-term results

2 min
25 August 2020

In late 2019 we achieved a post-development 5 Star NABERS Energy rating for our Stockland Green Hills (NSW) Retail Town Centre, complementing the centre’s 5 Star Green Star As Built rating. This was a proud achievement for the whole team, a journey that began four years earlier at the time of contract procurement.

At Stockland we use NABERS ratings to help us set and achieve energy and carbon targets in our Commercial Property portfolio. We undertake NABERS ratings annually for our Workplace and Retail assets, and enter into Commitment Agreements to achieve high NABERS ratings in our Workplace developments. NABERS Commitment Agreements help to bridge the gap between design and performance by providing more certainty that a high rating will be achieved in operation through good design, energy modelling, equipment specification and energy monitoring and management.

Right from the start our Green Hills development team had a strong focus on energy efficiency in operation. However, at the time, there was no Commitment Agreement protocol for Retail developments, only Office. So, the Stockland Project Management, Sustainability and Legal teams worked together to embed clauses equivalent to an Office NABERS Commitment Agreement into the Multiplex contract, ensuring the project delivery team remained focused and engaged beyond practical completion and during the defect liability period. We contracted Multiplex to achieve a 4.5 Star NABERS Energy rating, which was a challenging contractual obligation as they were only responsible for the development, not the operation of the centre.

For almost two years after project completion, Stockland and Multiplex along with sub-contractors, the ESD consultant, and the Independent Commissioning Agent, continued to collaborate, monitoring monthly energy performance and tuning operations to optimise efficiency and occupant comfort. Ultimately the 4.5 Star NABERS Energy target contractual requirement was exceeded.

With the addition of a 1.8 MW solar installation, one of the largest rooftop solar systems in the country, and our sustained focus on energy efficiency, we were able to drive down grid energy consumption and peak demand to outperform the benchmarks for Green Star and NABERS and achieve the dual 5 Star rating results.

Exceeding our sustainability aspirations on Stockland Green Hills demonstrates the importance of setting clear project objectives and targets as well as agreed contract conditions at the project procurement stage.