House debates

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Request for Detailed Information

Parliament House: Energy and Water Measures

Photo of Greg HuntGreg Hunt (Flinders, Liberal Party, Shadow Minister for Climate Action, Environment and Heritage) Share this | | Hansard source

asked the Speaker, in writing, on 23 November 2009:

What measures have been taken to save energy and water use in Parliament House.

Photo of Harry JenkinsHarry Jenkins (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

Since the building was opened in 1988 electricity consumption has been reduced by 40% and gas consumption by 73%, with a total energy consumption reduction of 58%.

This has been achieved through a number of measures, including:

  • improvements in air conditioning system fans and pumps;
  • upgrades to the heating and air conditioning control system;
  • upgrades in the building management system;
  • timer based lighting controls to some areas;
  • replacing incandescent lamps with compact fluorescents (more energy efficient) in Public and circulation areas; and
  • waste heat recovery from computer rooms for swimming pool heating.

Further energy saving initiatives being developed include:

  • replacement of the low-load chiller with more energy efficient equipment;
  • installation of energy efficient lights in offices and carparks;
  • energy efficient lighting design incorporated into all new construction work;
  • removal of instant boiling water units from some suites and offices; and
  • assessing the feasibility of implementing tri-generation and solar power systems at Parliament House.

The Department of Parliamentary Services has implemented a number of water saving initiatives to date including:

  • annual flower displays discontinued;
  • overall irrigation restrictions based on condition monitoring of soil moisture levels;
  • irrigation of nine hectares of gardens and lawns stopped, and watering of the Senate playing field, ramps, courtyards and formal gardens reduced;
  • turning off 20 external water features in and around Parliament House;
  • use of recycled water in the forecourt water feature;
  • 40kL storm water capture tank installed for overflow of forecourt water feature;
  • water restriction shower heads installed in all bathrooms and change rooms showers; and
  • increase of air-conditioning temperature set point in public and general circulation areas (less water consumed by the cooling tower).

Further water saving initiatives in progress include:

  • trials of drought resistant couch grass that requires no water in winter;
  • installation of low flow urinals in the male public toilets;
  • installation of dual flush toilets and sensor activated water taps in all public toilets; and
  • plans to undertake further projects using local rainwater collection.

These measures have resulted in the following water savings achievements:

  • water consumption in 2008-09 was the second lowest on record since the building was opened in 1988;
  • water consumption during 2007-08 and 2008-09 was reduced by 49% and 38% respectively from that during 2006-07; and
  • water consumption during 2008-09 was 10% less than the ACT Stage 3 water restriction target.