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REIQ Journal : September 2008
48 COMMERCIAL & INDUSTRIAL An example of this is 500 Collins Street, Melbourne, which is a 30-year-old, 28level building. It was refurbished three floors at a time with tenants in situ. The owners installed chilled beams which allowed extra air-handling capacity that in turn supplied fresh air. The upshot was a 50 per cent improvement in fresh air rates and a 39 per cent reduction in sick leave days, in addition to an air conditioning system that used 30 per cent less energy than conventional systems. As far as the third R is concerned, recycling building materials after demolition will conserve some of the building’s embodied energy, which is bound up in the building’s materials. Arup’s approach here is far from glamorous, but it is effective: a database of materials that are computer-tracked to their destination. The built environment is too important for us to be paralysed by pessimism, which is counter-productive as well as unjustified by the facts. What we need to do is invest in our existing office stock so that it can meet the demands of today’s tenants for energy efficiency and increased amenity. Every existing building represents a considerable energy investment from the materials and energy that went into its construction. These buildings are a city’s heritage, its skyline and its distinct character. They should be valued for what they are truly worth and not discarded without properly considering realistic alternatives. About the Author Paul Sloman is a principal of Arup. Arup Australasia is part of the Arup Group, which is a global firm of designers, engineers, planners, and business consultants. Arup is the creative and inspirational force behind many of the world’s most innovative and sustainable building, planning, infrastructure, transport and civil engineering projects. The Beijing National Aquatics Centre, for example, was designed by a consortium consisting of Arup, PTW Architects and the China Construction Design Institute (CCDI). For more information visit www.arup.com The most effective way to reach property professionals in Queensland To advertise call 07 3249 7303 or email firstname.lastname@example.org REIQ Journal September 2008