Environmentally sustainable design in interiors

Wednesday, 09 June, 2010

CSR’s Triniti Project was awarded a 5 Star Green Star - Office Interiors v1.1 rating for the fit-out of its new offices located in the Triniti III building in the Stockland Triniti campus at North Ryde. Stockland has registered the Triniti III building for a Green Star - Office As Built v2 rating which stands alongside the 5 Star Green Star - Office As Built v2 ratings it achieved for campus buildings I and II.

“The CSR Triniti Project is the first to achieve a 5 Star Green Star - Office Interiors v1.1 rating in the first round,” explains the Chief Executive of the Green Building Council of Australia, Romilly Madew.

“This was the result of a very high-quality submission, and the CSR Triniti Project joins just a handful of other projects that have achieved their Green Star ratings in the first round.”

CSR product is used throughout the Triniti III building including the fit-out of CSR tenancy and includes Virdian Glass, Bradford Insulation, Gyprock Plasterboard, Cemintel Fibre Cement, Fricker Ceiling Systems, Hebel Aerated Concrete and Rockcore & Alturi Panel Systems.

“The standards achieved through the fit-out have driven cultural change within the organisation. Our energy consumption costs are down, our staff have better breakout amenities and there is a much better level of communication with our new open plan working environment,” says CSR’s Chief Executive Officer of Building Products and Aluminium Division, Rob Sindel.

The fit-out of the new premises has seen good results when compared to the previous CSR premises; for example, a reduction of 23% in office space (from 8420 to 6486 sqm) and a reduction of 60% in office storage space as a result of improvements to filing and other storage systems.

Additionally, a survey carried out internally revealed that, on average, 45% of employees were leaving their computers on at night. CSR has implemented a power-saving inititiative to put PCs into hibernation mode after two hours, which will save approximately 45% of PC energy consumption.

The project was awarded two innovation points for environmental design initiatives. One innovation point was awarded for the inclusion of internal stairs, which have been designed to reduce the environmental impact of the building and improve the indoor environmental quality of the fit-out. A further innovation point was awarded for the acoustic design initiative, which features Ecophon floating acoustic panels for optimal acoustic performance. When combined with education and planning of the office space, the acoustic panels deliver a better indoor environment quality for workers. Further acoustic benefits are delivered by the use of Fricker ceiling systems and Ecophon wall panels used in meeting rooms and breakout areas.

Smart design features such as energy-efficient lighting controlled by time switches, movement sensors and perimeter sensors, and the use of LED lighting of the staircase and the sky signage are claimed to contribute significantly to lower energy usage.

CSR Gyprock EC08 Fire plasterboard, a fire-grade board with high acoustic properties, was used throughout the building and fit-out. The plasterboard is certified by Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) and therefore assisted by reducing the documentation required to contribute to the Green Star certification points.

Bradford Glasswool Partition Batts, used for the ceilings and partitions, assisted by further improving the acoustics of the building and also contributed to improving the building’s energy efficiency and level of comfort.

The use of Viridian’s EVantage SuperBlue glass for the facade, with a vertical glaze, offers good light transmission and reduced the need for artificial lighting within the building.

Performance of this glass was enhanced by using it in the Viridian ThermoTech Double Low E insulating glass units. This is claimed to minimise variations in office temperature, which ultimately improves comfort and reduces the running costs of the building.

The indoor environment quality of the office space was also carefully considered, with the placement of workspaces designed to optimise the provision of natural light provided from floor to ceiling glazing. The majority of workstations are positioned within 8 m of the windows to allow long-distance views and a visual connection to the outdoors. All staff members - including management - are in open-plan workspaces.

The indoor environment quality is further enhanced through indoor plants, the use of materials with low or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and separately enclosed and exhausted print and photocopy rooms. The use of Gyprock compounds, adhesives and sealants, all of which have low VOCs and are CETEC approved, also had a positive impact on Green Star credits.

CSR has embraced the ‘three Rs’ of ‘reduce, re-use, recycle’ - for example, the number of printers, copiers, scanners and fax machines has been reduced from 129 to 22 machines, 17 of which are large multifunction machines located in central utility rooms. These initiatives, together with the smart green building features, are said to deliver a carbon emissions reduction of around 50% in the first year for the head office premises.

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