Melbourne’s creative spirit flourishes in battle to win $10,000 NABERS comp

The competitive spirit was intense at Mad Men (and women) for the Planet as teams vied to come up with the best creative display for a NABERS rating.

Roving artist Jacqueline Hannigan moved among the groups bringing their ideas to life on paper.

Early on there were wild ideas such coffee cups that display messages as they warm up and cool down, and even NABERS tattoos. Then later, more polished ideas began to emerge.

The Energy Action team came up with an active concept where building occupants and visitors would be able to jump on a bike and cycle to power environmental messages on a large screen.

The digital display would communicate the NABERS energy and water ratings of the building.

“We are also going to try to relate it to activities that everybody identifies with,” a spokeswoman said.

“For example, how much you have to ride to make a cup of coffee, take the lift from the ground floor to the top floor or to watch a conference call. It’s actually humanising it, or bringing it to the personal, so it’s part of the education process.”

The passion for coffee was also evident across the room. Another team noted that Australians love their coffee and the only thing they loved more was a free coffee!

Their concept involved NABERS-branded coffee cups that displayed the energy rating of each building and fun facts about how that rating was achieved.

“Essentially you would keep the lid and every six lids you would get a free coffee,” the team explained. Of course, the waste aspect would have to be worked out – maybe branded reusable cups would be the solution!

The Ausenviro team

The Ausnviro gang offered the concept of the NABERS tree – a hologram of a living organism that is a part of the workplace and reflects its efficiency.

Artist Jacqueline Hannigan

The team explained that it would be seen on a daily basis in the foyer reflecting where the building is and where it is going. The goal of the tree would be to grow and flourish to a maximum of six stars.

“We want to bring in some visual elements,” they said. “We don’t want it to be a static image; we want it to truly alive.”

Each week the tree would react to whether the building was efficient or not; so get thinner and wilt if energy use was high, or get taller and stronger if energy savings were made. Audio such as chirping birds would be heard as efficiency grows and prospers.

CH2 also incorporated the sounds of nature in “Sensi-Lift” – a fully immersive sensory experience in the building’s lift. The concept would enable staff and visitors to “experience the wellbeing and natural benefits of a healthy indoor environment with all the hallmarks of the sensory wonders of the outside world”.

Images of the forest would be projected along with sounds of rustling leaves, flowing water and humming bees to communicate the indoor air quality. Forest scents could also be used to immerse people in the forest environment.

“You would be in an office building and just take a step into a forest and you would feel good and that’s how you feel working at CH2,” the team’s spokeswoman said.

One mixed table humanised the concept with the idea of a mascot for each building who would communicate sustainable messages from the facility managers and owners of the building.

The mascot would relay messages such as “on Casual Friday the air conditioning will be two degrees lower so wear extra clothes” or “use the stairs to go one floor”, and this would improve the building’s energy rating over the course of the year. The end goal would be to earn extra stars for the mascot.

“It would create change within the building and create more of a community within the building with various tenants,” said the team’s spokesman.

ISPT introduced the practical idea of a portfolio rating for participating property groups to use in conjunction with their branding.

“We could put a NABERS logo on our signature – ISPT is a NABERS 5 Star accredited organisation,” the spokesman said. “We would love to have that at the top of our signature to show everyone we communicate with that this is really important to us.”

Another group dreamt up the idea of NABERS ambassadors.

“So like a fire warden, we thought we’d have a NABERS warden,” the team announced, generating much laughter.

Decked out with badges, they would conduct drills to let staff know how they are doing and how much better they could be doing. Led by the facility managers, the ambassadors would strive to generate a competitive spirit in the building, encouraging tenants to learn lessons from each other and compete with neighbouring buildings to be the most efficient.

Dexus planned big with laser projections on the exterior of the building at low level over three floors. Passers-by would see a scrolling image of the NABERS rating and the owner’s brand and each rating would be tied back to significant Melbourne landmarks.

For example, the water star rating would be linked to an image of Albert Park Lake.

The energy star rating would be linked to an image of the Arts Centre.

Garry Hendrix, ISPT

“We could do a barometer showing the lights on it,” the spokeswoman said.

The waste rating would be linked to MCG and a barometer would highlight the volume of waste generated.

The status of the indoor environment would be communicated through an image of the Dandenongs.

Perhaps the most exciting idea to come out of the workshop was the donning of virtual reality goggles to see the building’s invisible workings come alive. Sustainability Victoria and oOh!Media want to take occupants on a walk through 50 Lonsdale Street – the Sustainability Victoria building – where there is a 5.5 star Energy rating, 4 star Water rating and 5 star Indoor Environment rating.

Sachin Bhanot and Richard Stokes from CBRE.

“There would be an activation space when you walk into the lobby … you put on the virtual reality goggles and the building comes alive,” the team spokesman said. “So you are in the lobby but basically you are walking through the building.”

Visitors would be able to see the HVAC system; waste streams as they are collected, transported and disposed of; pollutants coming off the carpet; and thermal comfort represented visually. Maybe even hear the ventilation system doing its work.

Best Dressed winner Jack Dunstan, Hux

The mind boggles!

To be in the running for the $10,000, remember to enter the NABERS Creative Stars competition by Friday 9 June.

The proceeds of Mad Men for the Planet went to the Women’s Property Initiatives, which owns and runs affordable housing properties for women and children that are homeless, marginalised and often escaping domestic violence.

Mad Men NABERS Creative Stars competition details:


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