Originally published in Facilities Perspectives, March 2017
Energy Efficiency at the International Convention Centre Sydney
Australia’s first fully-integrated exhibition space opened its doors in December 2016, instantly transforming the Asia Pacific region’s corporate and public events landscape. In addition to featuring world-class architecture and technical facilities, ICC Sydney integrates smart, design strategies with cost efficient and renewable technologies. Sustainability was an integral element of the venue’s design, it also remains a key component of its day-to-day management.
As facility manager much of the mammoth task to seamlessly operate ICC Sydney– the biggest exhibition space in Australia with seven exhibition halls and a gallery, the country’s largest ballroom for 3500 guests, 70 meeting rooms, a multipurpose event space, media centre, VIP areas and business suites -- falls to Spotless, who is combining its skills and expertise with several partners to ensure the development is run with optimal resource efficiency.
“We have a number of initiatives that will help reduce energy use without detracting from an enhanced user experience,” says Spotless Facility Director Jane Frewen. “We’ve implemented a ground-breaking operational energy model across the convention, exhibition and entertainment facilities. This provides a better understanding of the full energy use of each individual space, and ensures we capture accurate information for carbon reporting.”
ICC Sydney is home to the first community-funded solar energy project of its kind in Australia. Members of the public can buy shares in the Sydney Renewable Power Company, which owns a 520-kilowatt photovoltaic array spread across the convention and theatre buildings.
“Spotless provides maintenance for the solar cells, monitors their generation and registers certificates for the company to trade on the carbon market,” Jane says. “The array is the largest PV system in an Australian CBD and is expected to generate about five per cent of the venue’s power.”
Spotless is also partnering with Sydney University on a climate control program. Research has been conducted on the thermal comfort and energy optimisation of the event spaces, some of which have ceilings up to nine metres high.
“We are using technology to ensure temperatures at ground level are appropriate and consistent throughout the space,” Jane says. “The data helps us understand the effect a large number of occupants has on air-conditioning systems, allowing us to adjust controls to ensure a good level of comfort without jeopardising energy management.”
Spotless is also responsible for the tens of thousands of assets across ICC Sydney’s three main buildings, including mechanical plants, chillers and air-handling units, kitchen equipment, furniture, carpet and fittings. A new barcoding system provides real-time information about each asset, allowing the facilities management team to respond quickly to any issues. “For example, we can replace any damaged chair within 30 minutes, as the barcode provides details about its colour and where a match is kept,” says Frewen. “With a catalogue of more than 60,000 items, we have all the information we need about the life cycle of assets and can access the history of all faults associated with furniture, fixtures and equipment.”
ICC Sydney is the first precinct in the world to be awarded six stars by the Green Buildings of Australia's Green Star Communities and LEED Gold for its environmental and human health performance, paving the way for more sustainable buildings to be operated in the country. Spotless looks forward to providing additional socially responsible and environmentally sensitive FM services for many years to come for the exciting facility.