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Case study: 445 Flinders Street, Townsville QLD

Case Study | 12 Oct 2022

Castlerock Property purchased 445 Flinders Street in Townsville for $92.8 million in April 2020, setting a new sales record for commercial office buildings in the North QLD region. A year later another record was broken when Castlerock was awarded North QLD’s first 6 star NABERS Energy rating. How did Castlerock Property achieve the acclaimed rating?

Case Study - 445 Flinders Street Townsville QLD
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    445 Flinders Street in Townsville was exactly the type of asset Castlerock Property was looking for.

    In 2020, 445 Flinders Street boasted a 5.5 star NABERS Energy rating and a 5 Star Green Star rating, two increasingly important proof points for an owner wishing to retain government tenants.

    “Most government agencies require a minimum of a 4.5 star NABERS Energy rating before even considering a building, with some requiring 5 stars,” says Castlerock Property Group’s National Facilities Manager, Dayne Carmichael.

    “For us, a high NABERS rating confirms we have an asset that is sustainable in every sense of the word.”

    Castlerock’s portfolio features 25 government-leased properties, located in various regional and suburban locations throughout Australia including Ipswich in Queensland, Launceston, Tasmania, and Morwell in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.

    High sustainability ratings translate into high occupancy rates, and Castlerock has achieved an impressive 98% occupancy rate for its buildings.

    “We want to be a market leader in sustainable asset management because it’s not only the right thing to do, but because it also saves money and helps us retain tenants,” Dayne notes.

    View the case study here: 445 Flinders Street, Townsville QLD

    We have maintained the 6 star NABERS Energy rating for two years – this equates to 36,165 kWh of energy and 92,969 metric tonnes of carbon emissions saved per annum. That’s the equivalent of charging 1,903,072 smartphones.

    Dayne Carmichael
    National Facilities Manager, Castlerock Property

    Fast facts

    • Completed in 2013, the 12-storey building at 445 Flinders Street in Townsville comprises 10,189 square metres of lettable area with 190 parking bays and three podium levels
    • The building held a 5.5 star NABERS Energy rating and a 5 Star Green Star rating when it was acquired by Castlerock Property in 2020
    • 90% Leased 445 Flinders Street houses the North Queensland Disaster Recovery Centre and is nearly 90% leased to the Queensland Government

    The basics of building tuning

    Castlerock’s highly experienced team of facility management specialists are focused on finding every possible avenue of energy efficiency in each building.

    While solar panels and recycling bins are visible, building tuning is hidden from view. But building tuning remains the low hanging fruit of energy efficiency, and it is not uncommon to achieve a 30% reduction in energy consumption simply by maximising the performance of mechanical services.

    One success factor for Castlerock is its mechanical engineer who undertakes building tuning across the entire portfolio.

    “The lessons we have learnt in Townsville may apply to our assets in Perth or Launceston. We are able to compare properties to look for patterns and disparities,” Dayne says.

    A sustainable building operation is an iterative process, with each energy efficiency victory on one building transferred to the next.

    Castlerock has seven buildings with 5.5 star NABERS Energy ratings and another six with 5 star NABERS Energy ratings.

    “We have a healthy competition within our facilities management team to promote and push NABERS ratings. Everyone wants their buildings to achieve the coveted 6 star NABERS Energy rating.”

    NABERS drives our facilities management team because everyone wants their building to be the best. NABERS gives everyone a benchmark to work towards.

    Dayne Carmichael
    National Facilities Manager, Castlerock Property

    Upskill to uplift

    Buildings may be bricks and mortar, but they depend on people to ensure they perform at their peak. Energy efficiency knowhow is an essential element of good management.

    Dayne and Castlerock’s CEO Hank Bronts both undertook NABERS Assessor training to better understand the NABERS system. “This allowed us to rate our smaller buildings and helped in understanding how we can improve our buildings. We now have the knowledge to ‘creep the gaps’ between our buildings and best practice.”

    NABERS also helps Castlerock to communicate complex and technical measures with a simple message – making the invisible efforts in the plant room visible.

    For a building owner like Castlerock, this means easier access to finance, clearer reporting on ESG obligations and a competitive advantage in the market with tenants.

    “Tenants are definitely becoming more conscious of the value of a sustainable building – and NABERS helps us to share with them what we are doing to ensure their building is best practice and beyond,” Dayne says.

    “We invest the time, effort and money to improve the NABERS ratings across our entire portfolio, because we know tenants will reap the rewards as energy and water costs fall.”

    View the case study here: 445 Flinders Street, Townsville QLD