Low Energy High Rise (Phase 1)

Australia's first building refurbishment to sign a five-star commitment agreement with the Australian Building Greenhouse Rating (ABGR) system, the renovation of 40 Albert Road in Melbourne retained 96% of the original building structure and 88% of the façade. Screening provides a modern aesthetic while reducing glare. Image courtesy: Szencorp

This Warren Centre project has identified practical means to improve the energy performance of Australia’s stock of large commercial buildings by addressing the non-technical barriers to energy efficiency.

The Low Energy High Rise Building Research Report, which involved a survey of 127 buildings in Australia’s capital cities and extensive analysis covering the attitudes and energy management practices of tenants and building, asset and portfolio managers, showed that most buildings could achieve a 4 Star NABERS Energy base building rating solely through improved management practices.

The report proves that major improvements in energy efficiency are possible without huge capital expenditure. The greatest environmental gains can be achieved with little or no cost. Even better, energy savings can put money back into the pockets of owners and tenants.

Buildings where management is at least partially in-sourced perform better by as much as 1.3 stars NABERS energy rating and buildings where the building, asset and portfolio manager all feel able to affect efficiency perform better by 0.9 stars.

This project would not have been possible without the engagement of a large number of people (some of whom are listed in the Steering Committee and Planning group linked below) or without the financial support of the sponsors.  We thank them all.



The slow up-take of energy-efficient technologies in the sector results in missed opportunities to:

  • Reduce energy consumption by half
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduce water consumption through improved energy efficiency
  • Reduce peak electricity demand
  • Create significant financial savings
  • Improve working conditions and productivity of occupants
  • Enhance the value of buildings and their rental returns.

Initial discussions indicated the problem was not a shortage of technology but a range of nontechnical barriers preventing the application of that technology and a range of other measures that, if implemented, would greatly reduce the energy use and greenhouse gas production from the commercial building sector. The project is being conducted in three stages.



Stage one, as you could see above, was working with stakeholders to understand what has been done already; collect a vast amount of data on energy use in commercial buildings and related management practices; identify the barriers to
energy efficiency and propose a suite of initiatives to overcome these barriers.

Stage two, currently underway, intends to test the industry-developed suite of initiatives in a range of representative buildings & disseminate the project’s overall results nationally to stakeholders, including government, during and at the completion of the project.

Stage three intends to, after a suitable time, assess the uptake of the initiatives and their impact on improved energy efficiency.


[one_half] Principal Sponsors

Australian Greenhouse Office
Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism

Demand Management and Planning Project
A collaboration between Energy Australia and Transgrid managed by NSW Department of Planning

Platinum Sponsors

Bassett Consulting Engineers

Gold Sponsors
Colonial First State Property
Haden Engineering
Investa Property Group
Queensland Environmental Protection Agency
Sustainability Victoria

[/one_half] Silver Sponsors
City of Melbourne
Department of Environment & Heritage
Energetics Pty Ltd
Envirolite Pty Ltd
Spotless Group Limited

Bronze Sponsors
CSR Bradford Insulation
Hastie Group Limited
Low Energy Supplies & Services



See Steering Committee and Planning Group.

[box] Low Energy High Rise documents: 


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