Construction starts at Canberra's first zero emission office building

Construction starts at Canberra's first zero emission office building
Construction starts at Canberra's first zero emission office building

Construction has started at Canberra’s first zero emission office building.

The 13,200 square metre ACT Government Office building will source its heating, cooling and ventilation needs from 100% renewable electricity.

The building, being constructed by Doma, is part of the DKSN precinct in Dickson and is scheduled to be completed in 2020.

Doma Development General Manager, Gavin Edgar said the Dickson office building will be the first in the ACT to use an all-electric system for its heating and cooling.

“The ACT Government’s commitment to climate change leadership will see 100 per cent of the ACT’s electricity sourced from renewable electricity from 2020,” Edgar said.

“We have worked with the ACT Government, as the anchor tenant for 20 years, and our consulting engineers, Rudds, to design the building with an all-electric heating, cooling and ventilation system rather than a gas fired system.

“Traditionally, chillers have only been capable of providing chilled water which helps cool the building and then a gas boiler is required to provide heating.

“The solution being adopted for Dickson provides both heating and cooling for the building using a combination of water cooled and air cooled heat pump chillers which have the capability to reverse their mode of operation and provide either chilled water of heating hot water.”

Edgar said while all electric technology has been implemented in other countries, it has not been substantially tested in climates similar to Canberra’s.

“Temperatures in the ACT vary significantly over the year from season to season, so we have had to cater for this,” Edgar said.

“The chiller arrangements have been optimised to manage the peak heating loads in winter and cooling in summer, as well as handle the shoulder seasons where simultaneous heating and cooling is required.

“To help improve thermal comfort, radiant slab heating has been adopted in the ground level entrance lobby and atrium which will improve the amenity of members of the public visiting access Canberra. 

“Additionally, a large array of solar roof panels are being installed to generate power and help keep electricity bills down.

“The building’s innovations will not only produce an environmentally friendly, zero emissions building in line with ACT Government policy of having 100 per cent of the Territory’s electricity sourced from renewable electricity, it will demonstrate the feasibility of this technology to industry in Canberra and to the wider community.”

ACT Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury said: “This is an excellent initiative, and I congratulate Doma for rising to the zero emissions challenge. Zero emission commercial buildings are both technically feasible and highly cost effective.

Doma and the ACT Government are demonstrating that new commercial buildings can be gas-free, and it lays down the challenge to others in the industry to match this climate-friendly standard.”

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Office ACT

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