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WorkSafe Victoria opens doors to uber-sustainable Geelong office

WorkSafe Victoria’s new headquarters at 1 Malop Street in Geelong – the first Australian office to gain WELL Building Standard Gold precertification for its fitout – has officially opened, on time and on budget.

The $120 million, 14-storey, 15,220 square metre A-Grade office building – which also has WELL Platinum Core & Shell and 6 Star Green Star ratings – was officially opened on Thursday evening by Victorian finance minister Robin Scott, and is part of a government decentralisation policy that has seen more than 700 jobs shifted to the region. Of the 500 staff who have come from Melbourne, Mr Scott said 90 had bought homes in the region and more were renting.

He said the move from Melbourne to Geelong was a “monumental undertaking”.

“WorkSafe’s new head office is a proud symbol of our investment in Geelong and regional Victoria, and will be an excellent base for WorkSafe to continue to deliver for workers, employers and the Victorian community,” he said.

1 Malop Street

Part of the reason for the sustainability outperformance was $68 million in debt finance provided to developer Quintessential Equity by the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to “stretch” the energy efficiency of the project and target a 5.5 star NABERS Energy rating.

Energy efficiency technologies include:

  • a high-performance facade with a high thermal performance building envelope
  • high building air tightness, targeting best practice air leakage rates, to reduce energy use by up to 10 per cent
  • a 90-kilowatt solar array expected to provide 15 per cent of base building energy
  • a high-efficiency mechanical plant with air-to-air heat exchanger
  • humidity and CO2 sensors and controls
  • electric vehicle charging facilities

On the wellness side, there’s natural stone and timber finishes, high acoustic performance and soundproofing, water filtration, circadian lighting and “club-style” end-of-trip facilities with space for 100 bikes.

Quintessential Equity chief executive Russell Bullen said the building was an exemplar of sustainability.

“Quintessential Equity is proud to partner with WorkSafe in developing this building that’s leading the way for sustainability and occupant wellbeing in Australia and the world,” he said.

CEFC chief executive Ian Learmonth said the building demonstrated how current technologies could deliver sustainability benefits.

“Increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy in the built environment are critical to lowering Australia’s carbon emissions,” he said.

The office will be open to the public this Sunday.

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