Real estate investor and fund manager Cromwell Property Group (ASX:CMW) (Cromwell) has commenced work on a significant facility upgrade at our McKell Building in Sydney's Central Business District.
The multi-million dollar project involves converting the building’s existing commercial gas-fired heating system to an electric heat-recovery reverse cycle heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
Cromwell’s Head of Property Operations, Tessa Morrison, said the upgrade of the 24-storey building has been designed to help ‘future-proof’ the asset by replacing outdated, 1970s-era infrastructure with modern, energy saving equipment.
“The McKell building is a 1970s-constructed building with an existing NABERS 5.5 Star energy rating, so while it is already significantly energy efficient, we are undertaking this project to reduce emissions and drive further energy efficiencies,” said. Ms. Morrison.
“This is the first time that a multistorey, 25,000sqm commercial building in the Sydney CBD has undergone an electrification upgrade – and we’re excited to have engaged experienced mechanical air conditioning contractor Velocity Air to help deliver the project.”
Efficiencies in the new reverse cycle HVAC system will mean that hot air removed as part of the building’s air conditioning process will be recycled back into the system for use elsewhere, including heating the building’s water.
The new reverse cycle system will also be able to be programmed for seasonal efficiency, meaning reduced energy consumption throughout the year.
Cromwell acquired the McKell Building in June 2013, and the Haymarket property is solely occupied by a NSW Government tenant.
Ms. Morrison said the project was only achievable with support from the building’s occupier and was expected to be completed in early 2024.
“The McKell Building electrification upgrade project presents an opportunity to deliver a sustainable outcome that aligns with Cromwell’s Net Zero carbon reduction pathway, alongside a significant tenant that is also committed to sustainability,” said Ms. Morrison.
“While we recognise that the decarbonisation of the grid has still some way to go, we are future-proofing the building through our electrification project – and estimate that we will achieve an initial 5% energy reduction of the total base building electricity consumption through the installation of a heat recovery chiller.
Cromwell Property Group is committed to meeting our current and future ESG responsibilities, including a proposed Cromwell Portfolio Net Zero target for operational control buildings by 2035.”