Building performance

The performance of the base building tenants rent from is a crucial factor in the overall comfort and efficiency of the space. There are a number of ways to measure and influence building performance, through its Building Energy Efficiency Certificate (BEEC) and NABERS rating, Green Star rating and lighting power density. CitySwitch provides evidence of the benefits of high-performing buildings and sample calculations to assist with the business case for selecting a high-performing building. 

Key elements

Overview of the commercial building disclosure program

Overview of the commercial building disclosure program

The Commercial Building Disclosure program provides mandatory performance ratings for offices, in the form of BEECs (Building Energy Efficiency Certificates).
Why choose a high-performing building

Why choose a high-performing building

An indicative estimate of the financial benefits of high-performing buildings, in terms of electricity saved, reduced absenteeism, retention and productivity.

Related resources

NABERS Essentials - online course

NABERS Essentials - online course

The NABERS Essentials e-Learning course is for anyone who wants to know more about NABERS.

Commercial Building Improvement Guide

Six step introductory guide to upgrading your building, from consideration and baseline assessment to financing, implementation and ongoing management. Compiled for building owners and facilities
managers of B, C and D grade buildings, the guide also provides an extensive list of resources to assist with the upgrade process.

BCO Guide to improving the environmental performance of offices

A guide by the British Council for Offices providing methods to measure building performance, occupant satisfaction, case studies and more. The report says that high performance can create productivity improvements that swamp utilities costs.

Energy efficiency certification scheme

This certification scheme offered by the Energy Efficiency Council certifies professionals that can lead comprehensive energy retrofits of commercial buildings. Certification helps building owners and managers find professionals they can trust and provides a benchmark for energy efficiency professionals.

Explainer: Green Star and NABERS Ratings

How are Green Star, NABERS used in office tenancies? Currently these two voluntary national accreditation programs exist to measure and report on environmental performance of office tenancies and assist in guiding best practice office fit-outs, and they can be complementary.

Claiming Energy Savings Certificates ('Eskis')'

NSW businesses can improve the rate of return on investment for projects by claiming Energy Savings Certificates (aka 'Eskis') which are redeemable for cash based using NABERS ratings as evidence of savings.
The Tenant & Landlords Guide to Happiness: ebook

The Tenant & Landlords Guide to Happiness: ebook

This e-book explores opportunities for improved collaboration and sustainable outcomes between commercial tenants and landlords. Produced by The Fifth Estate in partnership with Sydney's Better Buildings Partnership, it reveals opportunities for an improved leasing process.

Fact Sheet: Why choose a high performing building

Fact Sheet: Why choose a high performing building

A business case scenario showing how best practice indoor office environments can create savings above those from energy bills. A good building makes healthy and happy staff and improves their productivity.

Green Lease Lifecycle Tool

A comprehensive online tool which outlines each step of the leasing process, providing information on who to engage, when to engage them and importantly the key expectations, issues and resources to consider along the way. Produced by the Better Buildings Partnership.
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Case studies

Reader's Digest becomes an energy efficient property

Discover how the Reader's Digest Building in Surry Hills has become a 21st century energy efficient property.

Case Study: WT Sustainability

Case Study: WT Sustainability

WTS took the opportunity, when fitting out their new office in North Sydney, to use in-house expertise and knowledge in integrating sustainable design and construction practice and initiatives. They successfully achieved their goal of a 6 Star NABERS Energy tenancy rating and now have an energy consumption level of 78 per cent less than a typical office.

Case Study: Steensen Varming

Case Study: Steensen Varming

Steensen Varming used their office move to select a green building with strong credentials and enter into a green lease with their new landlord. Selecting a suitable building, plus an approach that maximized daylight, used zoned air-conditioning and recycled office furniture resulted in savings from day one. Staff were engaged in all stages of the move.

Case Study: Goodman Group

Case Study: Goodman Group

Goodman Group have increased staff collaboration, job satisfaction and achieved energy savings of 46 per cent as a result of transitioning to an activity-based workplace. The CitySwitch award-winner cites an innovative staff change management program and technology upgrades as the key to the fitout's success.

Case study: Baenziger Coles

Case study: Baenziger Coles

Baenziger Coles, an architecture and interior design company, has further optimised office energy efficiency by investing in renewable energy. As a result of feed-in tariffs and a reduction in energy use, the Melbourne office is enjoying a good return on investment, along with annual CO2 savings.

Case study: Victorian Dept. of Transport

Case study: Victorian Dept. of Transport

Long-time Signatory, the Victorian Department of Transport, Planning & Local Infrastructure, has achieved a number of operational gains including a 33 per cent reduction in energy use. With the help of the CitySwitch RMIT student program, resource audits have provided useful insights into staff 'switch-off' behaviour, waste avoidance tactics and office equipment procurement to achieve ongoing environmental and economic savings.

Case study: Sustainability Victoria

Case study: Sustainability Victoria

Sustainability Victoria's best practice Green Star fit-out is demonstrating how an office move and upgrade can be completed at competitive rates and deliver ongoing benefits including an improved quality of indoor environment, an increase in staff productivity and significant energy savings. This case study provides an overview of the relocation process and includes a number of technical information downloads detailing the materials and technology utilised.

Case Study: Royal Automobile Club WA

Case Study: Royal Automobile Club WA

The Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia was crowned 2012 & 2013 CitySwitch National Signatory of the Year. A clever Resource Energy Efficiency Plan and subsequent marginal cost curve helped prioritise smart investment in technology and active engagement of their employees.

Case Study: Thomson Rossi

Case Study: Thomson Rossi

Adelaide architectural firm and CitySwitch award finalist, Thomson Rossi, share the steps they have taken to reduce office energy bills. Measures include harnessing natural light and air-flow and reducing the need for printing and photocopying by issuing all staff with iPads.

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Search resources

CitySwitch Signatory of the Year and New Signatory Awards - category judging criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 28 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 10 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 10 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points).
Note, new Signatories submitting for New Signatory of the Year Award need only complete an indicative rating – all other submissions must be accredited.

CitySwitch Partnership of the Year Award - category judging criteria

Eligibility Criteria

Submitted projects should:

  • Involve more than one registered company 
  • Demonstrate that they are  innovative and over and above “business as usual”
  • Demonstrate that they catalyse “market transformation” and or “address a market barrier”
  • Deliver a reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions within the built environment 

Judging Criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 14 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 17 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 17 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points)
  • The submitting entity MUST be a CitySwitch Signatory
Note, Signatories submitting for the Partnership of the Year Award may submit an accredited NABERS tenancy, whole building or base building rating.

It’s easy and free to join the program. Your good-will commitment to the program is an acknowledgement of the business sector’s role in
contributing to environmental sustainability and your intention to reduce your own energy consumption and associated carbon emissions.

As part of this, Signatories to the program commit to achieve an accredited NABERS Energy tenancy rating (between 4 and 6 stars) and
work with CitySwitch to improve their tenancy’s environmental performance.

Find out more about how obtaining a NABERS Energy rating ensures you can benchmark your performance, better manage your progress
over time and promote your star rating achievement.