19/03/2008 - 22:00

Green wind a-blowin’

19/03/2008 - 22:00

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Green wind a-blowin’

Wind turbines on Adelaide Terrace may sound like a futuristic vision for the city, but architecture firm Woodhead is hoping to break new ground with its design for Stockland’s Durack Centre.

The firm is set to lodge a revised development application with the City of Perth to build three wind turbines on top of a new fivestorey office building adjacent to the Durack Centre, which would provide power for the building’s ancillary services, such as car park lighting.

Woodhead architect John Paul Davies said the turbines were one element of an overall design that he hoped would achieve a five-star green star rating for built product from the Green Building Council of Australia.

It is likely to be among the first projects completed in WA that registered for green star design, with stage one of Bishops See tipped to be the front-runner.

While most of the new projects under way in Perth’s CBD have applied for a green star rating for office design, only one has registered for a rating in the ‘as built’ category, for finished product.

According to data from the Green Building Council, there are 40 buildings in the state registered for a green star rating of some kind, although only one building has received approval.

Westralia Plaza on St Georges Terrace, formerly the Bible House site, has received a four-star green star rating for its commercial office plans.

In the category of green star office design – which gives a rating to a building’s design regardless of whether it is realised in the built product – 30 buildings in WA are registered.

Nine buildings are also on the council’s register for office interiors.

Green Building Council executive director Suzie Barnett said it was disappointing that only one building in WA had been registered for built form, although she said a number of projects due for completion next year were expected to apply soon.

“I would be getting very nervous if we don’t see developers converting their rating to (green star) as built in the next six months,”she said.

Ms Barnett said WA had lagged behind other states in terms of registrations.

“What is probably needed in WA are some incentives from government, which is certainly getting things happening in Queensland,” she said.

“We do have to give the market time and we do need initiatives like bonus densities.” The City of Perth has been considering bonus plot ratios for developers as one strategy to attract green star development, which has the support of the Property Council of Australia.

According to Lincolne Scott state manager Robert Mulcahy, achieving a green star rating will eventually become a prerequisite for developers.

“I think the market is moving that way, particularly if you’re seeking government tenants,” he said.

“Financial institutions and the resources sector are also pushing the market that way.” Hawaiian general manager Stuart Duplock said applying for a green star rating was becoming a standard course of action for developers, although more incentives were needed, particularly for existing stock, in order to make it attractive for building owners to upgrade.

“That’s really where the property industry can do the most in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Mr Duplock said.

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