CBRE Sustainability: 99 Elizabeth Street, Sydney

CBRE has a strong commitment to incorporate sustainability principles into all aspects of the business. Our Sustainability team works closely with our Asset Services arm, which manages more than 1500 properties across the Pacific region, to achieve highly effective sustainability solutions for businesses across Australia, and thereby contributing to sustainable cities.
Award winning residential and commercial property developer, Kyko Group engaged CBRE to achieve a target 4 Star NABERS result on one of its A-grade commercial office buildings, 99 Elizabeth Street in Sydney. When targeting a significant improvement such as this – 1.5 Star to a 4 Star Energy Rating – there is the expectation that a significant CAPEX investment would be required to achieve this. However, under the guidance of CBRE’s expert advice and experience, an alternative, more cost-effective option was identified, engaging with CIM Environmental Group – a platform that helps build better energy outcomes by using data to identify faults that can then be subsequently rectified quickly in buildings.
This technology can gather a few thousand data points every five minutes — which is a finer level of granularity than metre-level analytics software. Anytime an asset moves even slightly away from its optimal performance level, the ACE Platform registers the performance deterioration. Once validated as a genuine fault, the machine learning logic then diagnoses the precise root cause, designs the required solution, and quantifies the dollar impact on the client’s energy bill. CIM Enviro mechanical engineers then use this information to support the client and their contractors in fixing each issue. This approach enables building owners to save an average of between 14% and 32% on their energy cost, with an average payback of six months. This strategy also helps prevent costly, reactive repairs, with more focus on genuine preventative maintenance.
Leveraging this technology allowed the team to identify issues before they become a tenant complaint. This actionable information also allows building operators to better organise resources for faster, more efficient repairs and commissioning services. The ACE Platform streams real-time performance data on building performance. It continuously sifts through massive stores of data, measuring temperatures, pressures, flows, set points, and control commands, amongst other things.
There has been a reduction in tenant complaints around temperature to less than 5% as a direct result of CBRE’s collaboration with CIM Enviro. This was achieved by preempting potential temperature related complaints, which typically account for 60% of all complaints in the office workspace. The project has been a great demonstration of the benefit of machine learning technology when seeking efficient and cost-effective solutions for property owners and their management teams.
A thorough understanding of the building’s performance and knowledge of the HVAC plant operation was demonstrated by putting the correct systems in place for maximum benefit and minimum tenant disruption, such as replacing all stairways lighting from florescent fittings to 20-watt LED fittings. The former fittings were on 24/7 whereas the new fittings dim after 50 seconds to 05 watts, saving energy as a result. CBRE’s desire to utilise the data and existing HVAC plant within the property was a challenge when planning improvements without CAPEX. By teaming up with CIM Enviro and utilising the ACE Platform, they immediately overcame this challenge as they were able to identify and rectify faults without significant investment in physical assets.
Within just 24 months, with no CAPEX and just $48,000 OPEX, a 5 Star NABERS target has been achieved, exceeding the target by a full point. This result is a true testament to the dedication of the CBRE team to the project and to the effectiveness technology provided by CIM Enviro.
The reduction in energy consumption has led to a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. NABERS leads the way in measuring environmental performance in the Australian built environment and achieving a 5 out of a possible 6 Star rating is an accurate reflection of the environmental success of the project.
The project was led by Pierre Lawrence of CBRE’s Technical Services who worked closely with the Sustainability department and with CIM Enviro, combining skill sets and experience from many different areas to exceed the main target. They will remain working together to constantly improve the performance of the building and now aim for a 5.5 Star Rating.
In line with City of Sydney’s targets to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, we believe the learnings on this project will be instrumental in ultimately improving the environmental performance of real estate, creating more sustainable cities and leading the industry to push more innovative sustainability outcomes.

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