Property Australia

Why Canberra’s 23 Furzer Street is a sustainability superstar


A Canberra office building shows how innovative thinking and strategic investment can deliver spectacular outcomes for people and the environment, as the building’s owner, Mirvac, sets a path to net positive.

Mirvac was a winner at the recent Property Council of Australia / Rider Levett Bucknall Innovation and Excellence Awards in Sydney for ongoing environmental leadership at 23 Furzer Street.

The Woden office, completed in 2010 by DOMA and purpose-built for the federal government, was presented with the CEFC Award for Best Sustainable Development – Existing Buildings.

According to the Property Council’s chief executive, Ken Morrison, 23 Furzer Street sets a high bar in an industry which already has a world-leading reputation for commitment to sustainability.

“Australia’s buildings are responsible for 23 per cent of our greenhouse gas emissions, and the property industry is fully-committed to playing a central role in our transition to a low-emissions future.

“Mirvac’s ongoing investment and operational excellence at 23 Furzer Street has achieved a six-star ratings sweep,” Morrison explains.

This includes 6 star ratings for energy and water efficiency under the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) and a 6 Star Green Star – Performance rating from the Green Building Council of Australia.

At the time, the GBCA hailed the ‘world leadership’ Green Star rating as a “watershed moment” for the property industry, demonstrating that a “smart, sustainable design can lead to even better, more sustainable outcomes in operation”

The 6 star NABERS Energy rating equates to a 50 per cent reduction in carbon intensity when compared to a 5 Star NABERS Energy rating.

“Mirvac purchased a great building in 2010, and rather than rest on their laurels, they continue to look for ways to improve the building’s performance – something that is great for the environment and great for the people who work in the building,” Morrison adds.

Mirvac set a bold target of net positive by 2030 when it first launched its sustainability strategy, This Changes Everything, in 2014. It has reduced its carbon intensity by 21 per cent since FY13 through 350x350 Project of the weekenergy efficiency leadership.

Last week, Mirvac released a new plan, Planet Positive, which outlines its steps over the next 11 years, which includes maximising energy efficiency and developing all-electric buildings powered by 100 per cent renewable energy.

From 2030 and for each year afterwards, Mirvac will avoid emissions equivalent to planting more than 1.4 million trees and taking 22,300 cars off the road, says Sarah Clarke, Mirvac’s group general manager for sustainability and reputation.

RLB has partnered with the Property Council of Australia to present the Innovation & Excellence Awards program since its inception in 1982.

Award winners were announced on Friday 17 May at a gala dinner at the International Convention Centre Sydney. Check out the 2019 winners.