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The NSW Government has become the first government agency in Australia to achieve a 5-Star Green Star rating across its commercial office portfolio.

Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey, said the NSW Government was leading the way on sustainability, with its portfolio of 22 NSW Government-owned commercial office buildings also ranked first in Australia for water efficiency and eighth for energy efficiency according to the NABERS Sustainability Portfolio Index.

“The NSW Government has outperformed every other local, state and federal government office portfolio in Australia in terms of overall building sustainability,” Mrs Pavey said.

“Improving building performance has reduced our greenhouse gas emissions, saved taxpayers around $344,000 in annual portfolio utility bills, as well as encouraged economic growth and local employment through building works.”

Property & Development NSW, part of the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, manages the state’s significant property portfolio and works closely with its government agency tenants to deliver quality, efficient and sustainable workplaces.

The agency’s 22 owned office buildings in metropolitan and regional NSW also attained Climate Active carbon neutral building certification for offsetting greenhouse gas emissions through efficiency measures, emission reduction projects and residual carbon offsets.

Mrs Pavey said the energy and water productivity gains had been achieved through the introduction of measures such as LED lighting, converting gas to electric heating, water-efficient fittings and fixture upgrades, rooftop solar systems, and smart meters and data analytics that enable building operation optimisation.

The portfolio ratings improvements have reduced annual carbon emissions by 1,178 tonnes, reduced annual energy consumption by 37 per cent, and annual water consumption by 13.1 per cent.

This is equivalent to offsetting energy emissions from 210 average homes and saves over six million litres of water annually.

Green Building Council of Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Davina Rooney, applauded Property & Development NSW’s commitment to carbon reduction and thanked it for its leadership.

“We congratulate Property & Development NSW on this achievement. What sets this project apart is that it’s the first government-owned portfolio of buildings to reach a 5 Star Green Star – Performance v 1.2 certified rating,” Ms Rooney said.

“Achieving 5 Star Green Star for a portfolio of 22 assets across NSW represents Australian excellence in building operations, making this is a significant achievement for the NSW Government.”

Property & Development NSW Deputy Secretary, Leon Walker, said it was important for government to lead by example.

“These energy rating improvements show how significant benefits can be achieved by using cost-effective and proven technologies that provide a quick payback on their investment,” Mr Walker said. 

“It paves the way for other site owners to implement similar energy efficiency upgrades and to reap the same environmental and financial benefits.”

Property & Development NSW will continue to implement energy and water efficiency initiatives across its owned sites, including installing Internet of Things (IoT) multi-site smart building systems and an Australian-first rollout of multi-site smart battery systems later this year.