It took many months of creative thinking, careful planning and meticulous box-ticking but the engineering team at Umow Lai has achieved yet another environmental first. Queensland’s Sherwood Road Bus Depot has achieved the very first 5 Star Industrial As-Built rating in Australia.

Leading the project was Umow Lai’s Lizzie Adams. According to Lizzie, “As an avid supporter of public transport, the opportunity to contribute to such an important element of the social infrastructure was particularly exciting for me. There was a terrific energy on site, as the whole team knew we were trying to achieve something really out of the box. Commercial & Industrial Property (CIP), the designers and builders were just so collaborative that certification and compliance matters were never a problem, as they were always available to workshop solutions. Best of all, they were open to new ideas, one of Umow Lai’s particular trademarks. It takes a certain mindset and the ability to think differently to make a project of this nature successful. Even the subcontractors, some of whom had never worked on a Green Star project, were on board from the start.

“As the ESD consultants on this build, it was a fantastic challenge. The thing about achieving an As-Built rating is that you have to physically deliver what you promised and then prove it. You have to be incredibly diligent, and demonstrate that everything, right down to the last can of paint, is accounted for.”

As you would expect from a 5 star Green Star facility, it is a fantastic work to place. To this end, a strong focus was given to occupant amenities. The offices, breakout areas and workshops are light filled, and they have excellent passive design and natural ventilation, making the most of the Queensland climate.

Pushing the benchmark for energy-efficient, adaptive air conditioning in this type of facility, heat-recovery technology was integrated with mixed-mode natural ventilation. This integrated system was pioneered in Umow Lai’s own 6 Star office.

Umow Lai is particularly excited to see excellent site water collection, re-use and management strategy. Industrial facilities often have a high water demand, but a similarly large area of hard surfaces that can be used to collect water. Normally, an industrial site may only consider collection of roof rainwater, however, utilising bio-filtration systems, stormwater from the hardstand is also collected and treated to provide most of the depot’s water demand.

“I’m so proud of what we’ve achieved at Sherwood,” says Anthony Matthews, Director of Umow Lai. “We are all incredibly happy with the result and are now setting our sites towards a 6-star Industrial project! That’s the thing about this kind of work- it’s exciting, it’s cutting edge, and each success paves the way for a higher benchmark.”

About Us

Umow Lai is an Australian engineering practice which leads the world in sustainable solutions. In 2011, our work on Melbourne’s Pixel building saw us achieve a perfect Green Star score and the world’s highest LEED rating from the US Green Building Council. The project is now a benchmark to which the world aspires.

We see potential, not brick walls; creative solutions, not obstacles. Our work doesn’t just make us different, it speaks for itself.