New Grants

Round 7 of the Green Building Fund  is open to applications, with a closing date of Tuesday 29 March 2011. Applications must be submitted by 5pm local time in the State or Territory in which the application is lodged.

Description: The Green Building Fund aims to reduce the impact of Australia’s built environment on green house gas emissions, by reducing energy consumed in the operation of existing commercial office buildings, hotels and shopping centres.

Background

The Green Building Fund was established in October 2008.  Its aim is to reduce the impact of Australia’s built environment on our greenhouse gas emissions, by reducing the energy consumed in the operation of commercial office buildings. The program has since been expanded to include hotels and shopping centres.

Most program funding is directed towards retro-fitting or retro-commissioning existing commercial office buildings and (since the program’s expansion) existing hotels and shopping centres, under Stream A of the Green Building Fund.

A limited number of grants were provided for improving industry capability in the operation of commercial office buildings, under Stream B of the program (closed to new applications).

The program is merit based and very competitive.

Stream A

Stream A of the Green Building Fund aims to reduce energy consumed by an existing commercial office building, hotel or shopping centre located in Australia, and so reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Grants of between $50,000 and $500,000 are available, for up to half of the cost of retro-fitting and/or retro-commissioning a commercial office building, hotel or shopping centre to become more energy efficient and so reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

For these purposes, a commercial office building means a building where more than 70 per cent of the floor area was occupied by commercial offices within 12 months before an application is made, and is to be occupied by commercial offices within 12 months of project completion.  The commercial office space must be used for commercial purposes by the owner of the building (for example, as a source of rental income from tenants).

A hotel, to qualify for the program, must be able to obtain a rating under the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) as a hotel, during the year prior to submission of an application, and one year after completion of a grant project.

A shopping centre must be able to obtain a reliable NABERS rating as a shopping centre, during the year prior to submission of an application, and one year after the completion of the project.  This excludes shopping centres of less than 15,000m2 as the NABERS protocol indicates the rating of these would not be reliable.

How to apply

To apply for the Green Building Fund, an applicant and project must meet designated eligibility criteria.  Eligible applications are then assessed against the program merit criteria.

To be eligible to compete for funding, an applicant must be:

  • a non tax-exempt organisation incorporated under a law of the Commonwealth or a State or Territory; and
  • the owner or part owner or agent of the owner of the commercial office building or hotel or shopping centre that is subject of the retro-fitting or retro-commissioning project.  The Program Delegate may allow a member of a joint venture that owns the commercial office building, hotel or shopping centre, or an entity that has a long-term lease on a building it operates as a hotel, to apply; and
  • able to demonstrate the level of greenhouse gas emissions prior to commencement of the project and the projected savings in greenhouse gas emissions likely to result from the project; and

able to demonstrate an ability to fund the cost of the project not met by the Green Building Fund grant.

The proposed project must be aimed at retro-fitting or retro-commissioning an existing commercial office building, hotel or shopping centre located in Australia, to reduce energy consumption.  This must be designed to achieve a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Examples of eligible projects may include:

  • upgrades to heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems
  • changes to the building fabric, such as external glazing and shading
  • building management and control systems to enable better monitoring of energy use
  • application of co-generation systems or renewable energy.

The Stream A Customer Information Guide provides further details of eligibility including the project commencement and completion date requirements.

Merit assessment

Eligible applications are assessed against three Merit Criteria:

Potential greenhouse gas emissions reduction (worth 60% of merit score)

This is based on projected reductions in carbon dioxide (equivalent) emitted per annum.

Applications must include a statement from a National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) assessor, of the greenhouse gas emissions prior to commencement of the project, and likely reductions arising from the project.

Demonstration potential (20% of merit score)

This looks at the potential to measure and share project learning and outcomes, including innovative technologies and approaches that could be adopted for other commercial office buildings, hotels and shopping centres.

Project design and management (worth 20% of merit score)

This requires evidence that the project has been well planned to achieve and maintain the best possible outcome.  This includes a well articulated and realistic project plan, staff and contractors with appropriate expertise and experience, and appropriate commissioning and staff-training plans.

For more information about how Treadstone can help you with Government Grants call us now on (03) 9016 3575  or sign up for our Government Grant newsletter.

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