How MetroCount has reduced energy usage and waste

MetroCount moved to its green purpose-built headquarters in 1999. The architect-designed building by Odden Rodrigues partner, Simon Rodrigues, with the owner Mike Kenny, was very deliberately constructed to minimise energy usage. During office operation, all staff are aware of MetroCount’s policy to reduce energy consumption, whether by using natural ventilation, commuting by bicycle, ensuring screen power savers operate, or turning off all lights on exit.

Sustainable MetroCount

The key building design points were:

  • The location is south of Fremantle utilising the strong Fremantle Doctor sea breeze all during summer, with minimal air‐conditioning required as a result.
  • The location was also selected beside the bicycle path to the Fremantle train station, and up to half of the staff regularly ride bicycles to work, often in combination with the Fremantle train, reducing greenhouse gases considerably.
  • A special bike rack was constructed, along with shower facilities. Standard and electric corporate bicycles are provided for trips to Fremantle CBD.
Bikes Outside The Office
  • The building orientation is East‐West to allow for maximum winter solar heating and minimum summer solar loading.
  • The construction is floating above ground to enable airflow around the entire building, and flexibility in providing LAN and other service ducts.
  • The maximum insulation available of double 120mm insulation “batts” , along with the separate ceiling noise dampening insulation resulted in almost 300mm of ceiling and wall insulation.
  • The windowing is small to reduce summer heat loading, but with all windows sash opening, thus allowing full natural airflow. The windows all have maximum grade tinting.
  • The air‐conditioning external condensers are mounted under the building to reduce solar isolation heat loading, and to gain excellent thermodynamic efficiency from airflow.
  • The landscaping is primarily Xeriscaping, with cacti and succulents need minimal water, and indigenous coastal trees for shade. Shade sails are also employed to shade the glass entrance doors.

One year after the construction, special white “Insulpaint” coating was applied in 4 layers to the entire building. This has had the effect of lowering the internal temperature during summer by some 10 degrees Celsius, largely eliminating the need for air‐condition during all but the hottest days.

In a major greenhouse gas reduction initiative last year 66 solar panels were mounted on the specially designed sloping roof to form a 15‐20KW solar renewable power generation system.

Night Traffic

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