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CEFC finances innovative green makeover for historic Geelong landmark

28 June 2016

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is financing a property development that will create an exemplar green building in Geelong in Victoria, to serve as the new headquarters for WorkSafe Victoria.

The CEFC is lending unlisted property fund manager, Quintessential Equity (QE), $68 million to 'stretch' the design of the $120 million 14-level commercial office tower to a market leading 5.5 star standard under the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS). 

The Quintessential Equity development is the CEFC's largest commercial office investment.  As a result of the CEFC-financed design improvements, 1 Malop Street will create the first multi-storey Victorian commercial office building outside of the Melbourne CBD to achieve a 5.5 star NABERS energy rating. 

Located at one of Geelong's most iconic sites, 1 Malop Street project is designed by architects, peckvonhartel. It will merge the original heritage Dalgety & Co. building into a landmark property consisting of some 15,500 square metres of CBD PCA A-Grade office accommodation.

CEFC Chief Origination and Transactions Officer Paul McCartney said ensuring the building was constructed to a higher standard than otherwise planned, reflected the CEFC's strategy to drive Australia's commercial property sector towards carbon neutral buildings.

"This exemplar building will demonstrate the considerable attractions of energy efficient and more liveable work environments," Mr McCartney said.

"Higher rated properties consistently outperform their lower rated counterparts with a range of ongoing benefits, including the ability to command higher returns and attract long-term quality tenants, while operating with lower energy use costs and lower emissions outputs. It is also a great demonstration of how clean energy solutions can work to give an historic landmark a new lease on life as a low carbon building."

The financing is part of a broader CEFC focus on working with building owners and developers to provide financing solutions across a range of property sub sectors to help drive higher industry-wide energy efficiency standards.

"High quality urban design will become increasingly important as the population densities of our cities grow. Building innovation undertaken now immediately benefits today's workforce and helps develop a smarter working environment for the cities of tomorrow," Mr McCartney said.

"This is especially important since many commercial buildings can have a lifespan of more than 40 years."

Quintessential Equity Head of Development, Guy French-Wright said there was a growing demand for affordable high-quality green office space in Geelong.

"Our 1 Malop Street development will set a new gold standard for near city office accommodation, providing a high quality, bespoke workspace designed specifically around the ethos of Live, Work, Play. It will be a legacy project which will form the centrepiece of the next phase of growth and development in Geelong," Mr French-Wright said.

"Quintessential Equity is committed to developing the most sustainable and energy efficient building possible for Worksafe and the city of Geelong. To date only nine buildings in Victoria have strived for and achieved a 5.5 star NABERS base building energy rating.

"Through the support of CEFC we have been able to make this target a reality and are now in a position to improve the energy efficiency of the building from 5 star NABERS to a 5.5 star NABERS base building energy rating. Although not required by Worksafe, this will ensure an additional 25 per cent reduction in the building's energy consumption and will mean additional cost savings for all tenants.

"The opportunity to work with CEFC has created a genuine win-win outcome for Quintessential Equity, WorkSafe, CEFC and the city of Geelong and I would like to thank CEFC for its contribution to the project."

WorkSafe Victoria CE Clare Amies said the organisation was proud its new headquarters will become an example of sustainability and energy efficiency for years to come.

"We are delighted with the CEFC's support of 1 Malop Street. The NABERS 5.5 star rating will complement the building's 6-star Green Star rating. We are excited our new home will become a case study for those striving to develop and provide 21st century commercial office buildings specifically tailored to modern workforces and working practices," Ms Amies said.

The 1 Malop Street project is highly significant for both Quintessential Equity and the Geelong community, with the development set to create approximately 180 construction jobs at its peak construction period and support approximately 1,000 full-time jobs once the building is complete. The new site will offer 14 levels of premium office space, including a basement, secure on-site parking, a ground-floor café, on-site concierge, rooftop exercise and BBQ areas, and club style end-of-trip facilities with 100+ bike racks. Upon completion, it will feature stunning views across Corio Bay, Johnstone Park, the Arts Precinct and over Geelong CBD.

Factors that lift Malop Street's base building NABERS energy performance rating to 5.5 stars from 5 stars are:

  • Replacing 600 kW air cooled chiller with 900kW water cooled chiller and 1500kW cooling towers
  • Enlarging pipework sizing and upgrading all pumps to reduce energy usage
  • Adding a proprietary central plant controller to optimise performance of chillers, pumps and cooling towers
  • Replacing 2 x 381kW standard water heaters with 2 x 432kW high efficiency water heaters
  • Replacing 3,500sqm of base building lighting with very low energy light fittings
  • Significantly increase in photovoltaic coverage to the roof and including higher efficiency systems
  • Upgrading façade to include thermally broken mullions and higher performance glazing

About Quintessential Equity

Quintessential Equity Pty Ltd is an unlisted property fund providing syndicated investment opportunities across Australia. Established in July 2010 and specialising in the Commercial and Industrial sectors, Quintessential Equity develop and manage property assets on behalf of a diverse portfolio of investors. The property fund management group offers a level of industry expertise and advice that is second to none, bringing years of engineering and development experience to the table. With a core focus on commercial office and industrial properties in CBD areas and strategic locations, the organisation assesses and alleviates the potential risks and secures long-term cash flow plus positive capital growth for portfolio properties. Quintessential Equity is built on hard work, integrity, agility and long term relationships. These values are the bedrock upon which the business has been established and is fundamental to everything it does on behalf of their employees, investors, and tenants.