Posted March 3, 2015

Fed Square now carbon neutral

Fed Square is now a carbon neutral city precinct following a recent audit by Earth Systems Pty Ltd.

The environmental milestone is a well-earned achievement after years dedicated to a sustainability management plan for key environmental areas including water, waste and energy.

Since 2008, Fed Square has reduced its electricity consumption by more than 4.1 million kilowatts, reduced gas consumption by over 12,000 gigajoules, increased the amount of recycling by 73% and installed a rainwater system to save water – enough water it could fill 35 Olympic swimming pools!

These savings are a result from both simple and highly innovative initiatives including:

  • Installation of 88 water tanks
  • Upgrade works to the Cooling Towers to improve water efficiency
  • Installation of a rainwater filtration system in the Fed Square Car Park
  • Installation of waterless urinals and AAA shower heads
  • Implementation of commingle and paper recycling across the site
  • Introduction of organic recycling across the site with a bio-gas plant
  • Installation of thermal energy meters to monitor air conditioning usage
  • Installation of sensor lighting in key areas
  • Purchase of Green Energy for all events in The Square, Fed Square offices and the Fed Square Car Park
  • Tenant education program

Image: Rainwater garden in the car park

The majority of these initiatives are hidden from the public eye including the 1.4km passive cooling system, “The Labyrinth” which lies underneath The Square.

The Labyrinth takes the air traveling across the Yarra River and gently lowers its temperature by pumping it through a maze of concrete walls. The system then directs this air to The Atrium, dispersed by use of a low-velocity displacement system at floor level. In peak summer conditions, the Labyrinth is capable of delivering air to The Atrium at up to 12°C below the external temperature.

Complementing these environmental sustainability initiatives, Fed Square takes a leading role in promoting sustainable living to the Melbourne community.

Each year, the site is host to the Sustainable Living Festival, Earth Hour, Fair@Square and many other promotional activities including clothing exchanges, sustainable architecture forums and environmental exhibitions.

Fed Square has also transformed its car park rooftop into a vibrant edible veggie garden, the Pop Up Patch, with the help of Little Veggie Patch Co. The garden contains over 100 plots available for rent to individuals and businesses as well as being host to weekly workshops and events for the public.

Image: Fed Square Pop Up Patch

High above on the rooftop of the Alfred Deakin Building, Fed Square has set up a village of 10 beehives with assistance from Melbourne City Rooftop Honey. Supporting the urban beekeeping movement in Melbourne, the bee village also produces over 350 kgs of honey each year that is provided to Fed Square’s restaurants and cafes to use in their specials.

Rooftop Honey Spring 2013 - 03
Image: Fed Square’s rooftop beehives

What next? Fed Square has now installed a co-generation plant, which one of the first of its kind to be installed in an urban setting such as a city square. The goal is become carbon negative! Watch this space for progress news over the coming years.