By Aimee Chanthadavong

As part of improving business strategies, Colonial First State Global Asset Management’s (CFSGAM) Grand Plaza Shopping Centre is the first Australian shopping centre to achieve NABERS three-stars Energy and Water rating.

The NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change & Water (DECCW) manages the NABERS program nationally and developed the NABERS Energy and Water rating tools for shopping centres to complement tools for office buildings, hotels and homes.

Rowan Griffin, head of sustainability for CFSGAM Property, told Retailbiz that the program achievement will help improve its shopping centre performance.

“To us, it’s is a really good way to benchmark our centres and improve set improvement plans,” he said.

“It’s just part of our business strategy and what NABERS does is it let us create efficiency. This is an easy way to implement an efficient and cost effective savings plan that is good for the owners and the tenants.”

The Browns Plains property energy efficiency features include variable speed drives on selected pumps and fans, EffTrack chillers plant efficiency monitoring and base building electricity metre monitoring equipment.

Meanwhile, its water efficiency features include air-conditioning condensate, water harvesting for reuse in amenities, sub-metering for high consumption areas and base building water meter monitoring equipment.

Griffin said these further changes will be implemented based on the results from NABERS’ independent assessment.

“NABERS allows us to conduct an independent assessment and from there we work out what we’ll have to do as part of our plan to improve the building,” he said.

“At the same time, as much you think our building is already performing efficiently, it’s when you look at it from different eyes, such as the NABERS benchmarking tool, that you find how you  really perform against the benchmark,

“We’ve used them in our office buildings where we’ve used the tool since 2002 and we’ve gradually transformed all of our office buildings.”

CFSGAM is expected to re-evaluate efficiency and performance strategies across its portfolio of 34 shopping centres with three more expected to be completed by the end of the year.