“What makes the 6 Star Green Star – Office Design v2 Certified Rating that has been awarded to 171 Collins Street so special is that it is the first premium–grade commercial 6 star building in Melbourne for 20 years,” said Eben Simmons, sustainability expert and an Associate Director of Umow Lai. The building services company provided the engineering and environmentally sustainable design services for the project.

“171 Collins Street is an excellent example of a refined design for a well-engineered building that we were involved with from the concept stage right through to the end,” Eben added. “Knowing that this award represents ‘World Leadership’ in environmentally sustainable design is a most rewarding outcome.”

Being jointly developed by joint venture partners Charter Hall Office Trust (Charter Hall) and Cbus Property, this iconic building represents a new generation, high performance office tower of 20 floors at the ‘Paris’ end of Collins Street.

“The rating also consolidates Umow Lai’s expertise as a leading provider of buildings that are innovative and technologically advanced,” Eben noted. “We are a medium sized company but punch well above our weight having been involved with 10 out of the 18 projects certified in Victoria for 6 green stars.”

Umow Lai worked closely with the joint developers, architects Bates Smart and contractor Brookfield Multiplex.

Some of the significant design features of 171 Collins Street include:

  • 17 large campus-style, flexible floor plates
  • High performance fitted, high performance insulating glass to maximize the reflection of light
  • Under floor displacement air conditioning system
  • Exposed metal fins
  • An impressive, nine storey glass atrium that provides natural light to both the tower and the adjoining Mayfair building.

Eben Simmons says that while many of the environmentally sustainable features may be hidden from view, they are nonetheless highly sustainable, “For instance, the under floor air distribution system introduces fresh to provide a healthier and more environmentally comfortable workplace for increased productivity and energy efficiency.

“We also designed a system for grey and rainwater harvesting that will be collected from the bicycle store and communal show and re-used, primarily for WC flushing and in the air conditioning system. Elsewhere, co-gen, high efficiency chillers, fans and pumps will help achieve maximum reductions in carbon emissions.

“Umow Lai’s experience working on some other major six star projects helps ensure that the aims and high standards being set for 171 Collins Street will be met.” Eben Simmons heads Umow Lai’s project team.

Located on Collins Street near the corner of Russell Street, the new tower rises behind the elegant, heritage-listed Mayfair Building. It will include 33,500 sqm of net letable area, including 17 floors of premium, high-end commercial space and a ground floor lobby that runs from Collins Street through to Flinders Lane. It includes 1,687 sqm of letable boutique office suites in the adjoining Mayfair Building.

Umow Lai

Umow Lai is a national, Australian-owned building services and sustainability consultancy. It employs over 90 staff in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and has associate offices in Hobart, Adelaide, Perth, Hong Kong and Vietnam. The company is a member of the Green Building Council of Australia, the Property Council of Australia and a Founding Member ceremony of the China Green Building Council, one of only 14 foreign founding member firms.

Among the high-profile sustainable building projects Umow Lai has been involved with are:

  • The University of Adelaide’s Ingarni Wardi (formerly Innova21) – 6 Star Green Star Education v1 rating from the GBCA, the first project in Australia to achieve a 6 Star rating under the Green Star Education v1 tool and the first University in Australia to achieve an Education v1 rating;
  • Pixel, a building that achieved the highest LEED rating in the world. In July, it was also awarded a 6 Star Green Star – Office As Built v3 Certified Rating’
  • Legion House Sydney that is aiming to become carbon neutral;
  • Fujitsu’s Docklands headquarters – a 6 Star Green Star-Office Interiors v1.1 rating.