Heating and cooling

Heating, Ventilation and Cooling (HVAC) is part of the services that the base building provides to tenants and it is responsible for a significant part of the building’s energy consumption. Office tenants can influence heating and cooling choices by seeking green lease conditions and high performing buildings. Tenants’ energy savings activities that reduce waste heat, like lighting upgrades, also help to reduce the work of air-conditioners. A relationship with the building manager is essential to optimising heating and cooling for both energy savings and comfort indoors.

Key elements

  • HVAC overview

    Understanding how heating and cooling contributes to electricity consumption helps tenants and building operators collaborate for efficiency.


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  • How tenants can influence heating and cooling

    Tenants can support and improve their building manager's heating and cooling performance in a number of ways


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  • Indoor comfort and temperature set-points

    Adjusting the temperature set-point of the building to better match the weather can make significant energy savings and keep people comfortable


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Related resources

  • BCO Guide to improving the environmental performance of offices

    A guide by the British Council for Offices providing methods to measure building performance, occupant satisfaction, case studies and more. The report says that high performance can create productivity improvements that swamp utilities costs.


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  • Energy Hunter How To Guides and Course

    This kit was developed for small and medium sized businesses across the Hunter Region to identify, manage and improve their energy consumption. This region, traditionally dependent on carbon-intensive industry can become a showcase for clean energy technology and best practice energy efficiency.


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  • A guide to office building quality

    A Property Council of Australia document providing tools for assessing office building quality in new and existing buildings. The tools provide a guide to parameters that typically influence building quality, offering a voluntary, market based approach.


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  • Low Energy High Rise Project

    Research and information for building operators by the Warren Centre showing how NABERS ratings can be improved but up to one star, with very low or no capital cost.


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  • EEX: Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning

    A comprehensive resource from the Energy Efficiency Exchange on reducing demand, optimising service, and upgrading HVAC services to improve overall energy performance.


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  • Video: what affects occupant comfort?

    Occupant comfort, indoor temperatures and energy consumption are are linked. In this video, Sydney University's world-expert on the topic, Prof. Richard de Dear explains the different dimensions impacting occupant comfort at a Better Buildings Partnership event.



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  • Best Practice Maintenance and Operation of HVAC Systems for Energy ...

    HVAC maintenance and operation techniques can be adjusted to save money, reduce emissions and keep occupants comfortable. This Australian Government guide and fact sheets are for  those working with the maintenance and operation of HVAC systems,to help improve energy and water efficiency.


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Case studies

  • Case study: Exergy

    Case study: Exergy
    Exergy are the first CitySwitch signatory to achieve a 6 Star NABERS rating without Green Power. Exergy  focussed on getting the simple things right, including laptops for staff and greater use of the cloud, zoned lighting and occupancy sensors, and energy monitoring that sends an alert when usage is higher than usual.


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  • Case Study: ACORPP

    Case Study: ACORPP
    ACORPP involved staff in selecting a new office and save over a thousand dollars a year in electricity by choosing a space with  natural light, providing laptops, and timers on boardroom air conditioning. ACORPP also chose furniture and fitout materials for certified low environmental impact, recycled content and recyclability.


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  • Case Study: WT Sustainability

    Case Study: WT Sustainability
    WTS took the opportunity, when fitting out their new office in North Sydney, to use in-house expertise and knowledge in integrating sustainable design and construction practice and initiatives. They successfully achieved their goal of a 6 Star NABERS Energy tenancy rating and now have an energy consumption level of 78 per cent less than a typical office.


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  • Case Study: Thomson Rossi

    Case Study: Thomson Rossi

    Adelaide architectural firm and CitySwitch award finalist, Thomson Rossi, share the steps they have taken to reduce office energy bills. Measures include harnessing natural light and air-flow and reducing the need for printing and photocopying by issuing all staff with iPads.




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  • Case Study: DTZ

    Case Study: DTZ
    As the first corporate tenant to join CitySwitch, DTZ has since achieved outstanding energy efficiency results in their Sydney office. They've slashed operating costs by 40 per cent and reduced emissions by 375,000 kg CO₂over 8 years.



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  • Case Study: Craft Victoria

    Case Study: Craft Victoria

    Craft Victoria's advocacy of sustainability extends from their public programmes to the Melbourne tenancy's day-to-day operations. Simple lighting, heating and cooling modifications were driven by a staff green team who were able to slash energy consumption by 27 per cent.




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Search resources

CitySwitch Signatory of the Year and New Signatory Awards - category judging criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 28 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 10 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 10 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points).
Note, new Signatories submitting for New Signatory of the Year Award need only complete an indicative rating – all other submissions must be accredited.

CitySwitch Partnership of the Year Award - category judging criteria

Eligibility Criteria

Submitted projects should:

  • Involve more than one registered company 
  • Demonstrate that they are  innovative and over and above “business as usual”
  • Demonstrate that they catalyse “market transformation” and or “address a market barrier”
  • Deliver a reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions within the built environment 

Judging Criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 14 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 17 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 17 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points)
  • The submitting entity MUST be a CitySwitch Signatory
Note, Signatories submitting for the Partnership of the Year Award may submit an accredited NABERS tenancy, whole building or base building rating.

It’s easy and free to join the program. Your good-will commitment to the program is an acknowledgement of the business sector’s role in
contributing to environmental sustainability and your intention to reduce your own energy consumption and associated carbon emissions.

As part of this, Signatories to the program commit to achieve an accredited NABERS Energy tenancy rating (between 4 and 6 stars) and
work with CitySwitch to improve their tenancy’s environmental performance.

Find out more about how obtaining a NABERS Energy rating ensures you can benchmark your performance, better manage your progress
over time and promote your star rating achievement.