Australia Post’s Rising Star

Tetra Tech’s High Performance Buildings Group explores our work on Australia Post’s refurbished workspace.

The commitment to a 5 Star Green Star rating is demanding for any new building to achieve. But refurbishing an already remodeled 1960s building, this becomes a monumental challenge.

When Australia Post acquired freight company StarTrack, it required building enhancements which brought together the two businesses and allowed for greater collaboration, an agile workspace, and a design which provided a modern, sustainable workplace for the future.

A complete overhaul of the building’s services was the first step towards achieving client aspirations. The base building and fitout systems were very much intertwined, operating as one system. Separating these out and maneuvering the tenant into their own operating space provided them with much greater flexibility to accommodate future moves, changes, and additions. It also meant that Australia Post didn’t need to explore the base building spaces to make any modifications. This allowed the building to operate more efficiently.

The solar installation undertaken on the roof is one of the largest of its type in Australia. Although the roof space was inadequate to accommodate the quantity of panels required to achieve sustainability targets, positioning vertical and angled panels overcame this challenge. The installation now generates 370 MW of electricity per year which represents a considerable saving of 30 tonnes (33 tons) of carbon dioxide a year. Despite a 25 percent increase in the number of building occupants, electricity, gas, and water usage has been reduced by over 40 percent, representing the world’s best practice for a commercial office building.

A significant facade upgrade also helped to improve the energy performance of the building. While the large windows maximize natural light and showcase external views, consideration was given to improving thermal efficiency while balancing the need for aesthetic impact.

A refurbishment of this scale with its sustainability and operational considerations—one of the external tenants operates on a 24/7 basis—required a cohesive and fully coordinated approach from all parties involved.

The new building is a thriving hub of communication and collaboration with open and connected workspaces both physically and visually. All break out spaces are regularly used, and the building is now imbued with a new, cohesive energy that reflects Australia Post’s purpose of connecting and supporting the community. As a result, staff wellbeing and engagement has significantly improved.