In the mid 1980s the firm was appointed to
audit and retrofit a building that had recently been purchased by
the Australia Pensioners League (APL) which claimed they were
losing tenants because of high energy costs, over-heating and an
overall state of disrepair.
Located on the corner of Adelaide Terrace
and Bennett Street in Perth, the then 'Russell Centre' was in need
of attention. Mr Peter Gregory who was representing the APL engaged
the firm to review the new asset.
The initial job involved conducting an
audit on the building and making recommendations to rectify it. The
Board was delighted with the findings and took the recommendations
seriously. As a result, a commitment was made for a comprehensive
retrofit and refurbishment to be undertaken whereby the firm
produced concepts and budgets to upgrade the building.
This comprehensive retrofit and
refurbishment was extremely effective and the best in investment
the APL had ever made. A light well conversion of a light well into
an internal atrium was a key element in the redesign. The all glass
façade was replaced with state of the art reflective glass and sun
control hoods over for climate control through the year and the
maximisation of natural light on the perimeter without undue heat
loading. Insulation and thermal mass was also added to the
perimeter on the building. The integration of night ventilation
into a revamped air conditioning system enabled 50 per cent savings
in energy use for the office spaces compared with the benchmarks
for commercial buildings at the time.
The building was officially opened in 1986
by the then Premier Sir Charles Court and was also a runner up in
the Building Owners and Managers' Awards (BOMA) for 1986.
Monitoring of the energy and the environmental performance
thermally, acoustically and for natural light proved the investment
was an outstanding success. This success resulted in an increase in
rental occupancy along with a 50 per cent reduction in energy use.
These significant savings and increased income allowed APL to repay
their total investment within seven years.