Case studies

Lifting energy performance in older commercial office buildings

The High Income Sustainable Office Trust (HISOT) aims to improve the energy performance of existing commercial office buildings in major metropolitan markets on the eastern seaboard.

It now has three assets in its portfolio – one in Brisbane’s CBD and two in Canberra.

  • 95 North Quay in Brisbane’s legal precinct has a 2-star NABERS rating. HISOT plans to lift this to at least 4.5 stars through improvements to energy efficiency throughout the 17-storey building.
  • East Block is a landmark heritage building in the Parliamentary Triangle in Canberra and was home to Canberra’s first general post office. The National Archives is expected to re-occupy the building once it is refurbished by HISOT to a higher energy efficiency standard.
  • AMA House, in Barton in Canberra, was purchased with a 3-star NABERS rating. HISOT is looking to lift that to 4.5 stars or above, with AMA remaining on site as the primary tenant.

Leading real estate fund manager EG Funds Management is developing the HISOT portfolio. HISOT is open to institutional investors, including superannuation funds, which have shown increasing interest in low emissions and sustainable investment opportunities in the mid-sized investment market.

HISOT aims to buy and refurbish up to 12 city office buildings in decentralised locations, increasing their energy efficiency, reducing operating costs, and cutting carbon emissions.

Efficiency improvements can include the installation of integrated building and heating, ventilation and air conditioning management systems, including real-time energy monitoring technologies.

The CEFC made a $75 million cornerstone investment in HISOT in 2015, as part of its broader focus on helping the Australian property sector move towards zero carbon emissions.

Uniting Financial Services (UFS) is also a HISOT investor.