Fed Square is an iconic destination and Melbourne’s gathering place, where visitors are immersed in unique cultural experiences and architecture that celebrate Victoria’s rich heritage and identity.
Fed Square faces a unique set of environmental challenges because it is a multifaceted precinct with major public events, complex infrastructure, cultural institutions and a range of commercial operations.
Through close collaboration with tenancies, partners and public stakeholders, Fed Square has achieved great results in the area of environmental sustainability and is now a carbon neutral city precinct following an independent external Green House Emission Audit by Earth Systems Pty Ltd.
The environmental milestone is a well-earned achievement after years dedicated to a sustainability management plan for key environmental areas including water, waste and energy.
Since 2008, Fed Square has reduced its electricity consumption by more than 4.1 million kilowatts, reduced gas consumption by over 12,000 gigajoules, increased the amount of recycling by 73% and saved 89 million litres of water – that’s approximately 35 Olympic swimming pools of water.
At the 2016 FM Industry Awards for Excellence, Fed Square won the Sustainability and Environmental Impact award for achieving carbon neutrality.
Watch our mini-documentary episode below about all our incredible Sustainability initiatives, including the Labyrinth, the giant maze beneath Fed Square that acts as a passive heating and cooling system!
Fed Square is part of an Australian first project with Melbourne’s most iconic organisations to support the development of a wind farm that will be built near Ararat in regional Victoria.
Melbourne Renewable Energy Project unites 14 leading universities, cultural institutions, corporations and Councils to source energy from the new 80 MW wind farm.
It is expected that more than 140 jobs could be created in the construction phase, with around eight ongoing jobs in the operation and management of the facility.
This power purchasing project will be an Australian first. It shows that large organisations can combine their purchasing power to support the development of new renewable energy plants in regional Australia.
Long before phrases like carbon footprint became front of mind, Fed Square was laying the foundations for environmental sustainability. Beneath the Square for example, lies a concrete labyrinth; a 1.2 km passive cooling system, designed to cool The Atrium, Deakin Edge and some public areas during summer and to supplement heating during winter.
Utilising the specific climatic qualities of Melbourne, cool air is pumped through the Labyrinth’s cells at night, cooling the concrete walls. By day, air is gently pumped through the cells, the air cooled in turn by the concrete walls. In winter the Labyrinth’s thermal mass maintains an inherent warming potential that can be supplemented as required. The system directs air to The Atrium, dispersed by use of a low-velocity displacement system at floor level. In peak summer conditions, the Labyrinth is capable of delivering air to The Atrium at up to 12°C below the external temperature. This system uses one tenth of the energy used by conventional air conditioning and drastically reduces carbon emissions.
Further design features include: double glazing on all external windows, a sleep mode for escalators, variable speed drives on A/C pumps and a hermetic seal in The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, which reduces air conditioning requirements by over 50%.
Fed Square has a comprehensive environmental management plan that underpins daily operations. This plan focuses on the delivery of environmental sustainability measures across six categories: water, waste, energy, air, noise and landscaping.
As a result of this plan Fed Square Pty Ltd has implemented a range of initiatives including:
Fed Square has also installed a co-generation plant, which one of the first of its kind to be installed in an urban setting such as a city square. The goal is to now become carbon negative. Watch this space for progress news over the coming years.
During the annual Open House Melbourne event, Fed Square opens up its doors for a series of behind-scenes-tours.
Fed Square is striving to become a leader in sustainable events, something we are working towards with the help of our clients and contractors. We are focusing on minimising our waste and eco footprint by making changes to what we bring onsite and how it’s disposed of when everyone’s gone home. Whether you’re planning an event, attending an activation or just passing through the Square, we’re asking you to help us make a difference.
As a globally iconic public space, Fed Square has a social responsibility to push for change in the way we host events and public gatherings and there is no time like the present to dig in and make an impact. It’s important to us that future generations can enjoy events at Fed Square for many years to come and what we do now will help make that possible.
Planning to hold an event at Fed Square? See our Sustainable Events Guide here.