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Sustainable building for small business

26 Oct 2010

Sustainable building for small business Image

A “little brother” is soon to join Victoria Harbour’s world-class array of sustainable commercial buildings.

Developed by Lend Lease and the Stable Group and to be known as Lifestyle Working Collins Street, the 9500 sq m building is being offered to small businesses as 137 strata-titled suites ranging from 40 to 120 sq m.

According to Stable Group director Ed Horton, the five-level “Lifestyle Working” building at 838 Collin St boasts some environmental credentials which are a world first for a commercial building of this type.

For example, its owners corporation’s electricity bill will be substantially supplemented by solar panels.  And, as there is no cooling tower and natural lighting will dominate, only a small amount of electricity will be required.

A further series of roof-mounted “solar-lots” – comprising 1.5 Kvh solar systems – are available for strata-title purchase by lot owners to subsidise and future-proof their own energy requirements.

The building is aiming for a NABERS 5-star energy and water rating and a minimum of a 5 Star Green Star rating.  A shared pool of electric scooters will be available to “Lifestyle Working” occupants.

Mr Horton said the building had been over-engineered to ensure unprecedented comfort and efficiency.  He said, as a result, only nine square metres per person would be required rather than a usual 14 square metres. 

This was partly achieved by shared meeting rooms for owners and tenants, known in the “Lifestyle Working” context as “privileged” and “semi-privileged” spaces.

Other features include: low operating costs; free wireless internet hot spots; and internet supplied to all suites as part of outgoings.

He said the building offered benefits to small businesses which, until now, had only been available to government and large corporations.

“Up until now the banks wouldn’t lend to people wanting these sorts of benefits because the buildings haven’t been economically viable,” Mr Horton said.

“We’ve challenged convention by designing around people and not models,” he said.

Victoria Harbour already has the largest concentration of sustainable commercial buildings in Australia and is considered a world leader in the field.

Lend Lease, which is developing the project in collaboration with the Stable Group, says “Lifestyle Working” will add diversity to its Docklands commercial mix.

Victoria Harbour project director Ellie Schwab said:  “We are aiming to create a welcoming and safe place to live, work and visit. A place that promotes healthy lifestyles, embodies a strong community spirit and where our environment and heritage is celebrated.”

The Stable Group has already developed a “Lifestyle Working” building in Brookvale, Sydney.  But Mr Horton said the Docklands version would be built to an even higher standard.

“The fundamental differences in this market, are that businesses need to get value for money and differentiate themselves from their competitors,” Mr Horton said.

“The base principles guiding the design and operation of our Lifestyle Working Collins Street development are tangible and measurable value-add benefits – far more efficient space, low operating costs, leading-edge technologies and ground-breaking sustainable initiatives.”

“One of the great appeals of Victoria Harbour from our perspective, is that it is not only a legitimate extension of the Melbourne CBD, it is where three icons of the Victoria converge – Collins St, the tram and
the Yarra.”

“We are delighted to be surrounded by new corporate headquarters such as the Myer national support office, ANZ Centre, Fujitsu, NAB and of course Lend Lease at The Gauge, all of which distinguish themselves in Victoria Harbour.”

“We are creating a place for small and medium enterprises to collaborate and engage with those businesses in accommodation that provides the same  level of facilities as our neighbours.”

“Engaging the community is important to us. There are a number of community-based initiatives we will be announcing over time, including the donatin of one of our Lifestyle Working electric motor scooters, to charity.”

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