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Key achievements
  • Reduced water use by 44% in community gardens.
  • Reduced water use by 31% in plaza gardens.
  • Reduced water use by 48% in Beehive (community garden north).

QV1 endeavours to be at the forefront of water efficiency and sustainability. In 2008 and 2019, QV1 conducted extensive site-wide water audits across the 43-storey office building to establish valuable baseline water use data. This data was used to compare and assess water use, identify issues and implement ongoing water-saving initiatives.

These efforts to date have achieved a NABERS 4.5 star water rating and recognition as a Platinum waterwise building. Having addressed the high-water use areas inside the building, the QV1 team turned its attention to the external QV1 site.

QVI building – 250 St Georges Terrace
QVI building – 250 St Georges Terrace.

Tackling the less obvious

Irrigation represents a very small percentage of the QV1 site’s total water use. Despite this, it was identified that significant water savings could be made by improving the irrigation across landscaping within the outdoor plaza and community gardens. Located on top of the Hay St car park, the community garden includes 4 large garden beds, an active chicken coop and four beehives.

Substantial savings

In just 12 months, QV1’s outdoor green spaces achieved an average water saving of:

  • Community garden – 44%
  • Plaza gardens – 31%
  • Beehive (Community Garden North) – 48%

“QV1 has always endeavoured to be at the forefront of sustainability and efficiency. Our approach has consistently been focused on educating staff, onsite security and subcontractors to align with our water efficiency goals.

“In doing so, our efforts on water management have achieved outstanding waterwise outcomes – and, more recently, secured a NABERS 4.5 star rating in October 2021.” QV1 Building Engineer Manager, Joe D’Alessandro.

The thriving community garden at QV1
The thriving community garden at QV1.

How QV1 did it

QV1 upgraded its landscape irrigation to smart Hydrawise Controllers along St Georges Terrace and Hay St car park. Previously, irrigation was programmed on a fixed run time with station control. These stations have now been consolidated and water on demand based on real-time weather patterns.

The Hydrawise system can automatically adjust station run times and watering days to ensure irrigation only runs when required.

QV1 has set up standard reticulation programs based on industry recommendations for the different irrigation systems we use, such as drip lines. The systems include a range of adjustment triggers such as high or low temperatures, forecast rain, actual rainfall over the previous day or week and even wind speed.

Together with the Hydrawise controller, QV1 uses an online program called Virtual Solar Sync, which reads weather data (daily evapotranspiration measurements from our weather stations). Based on the environmental conditions, it will predict whether we need to irrigate and automatically adjust our zone run times. This allows for greater water savings and contributes to better overall garden health.

Community Garden Controller

Plaza Controller

Beehive (Community Garden North) Controller

The system also helps us to easily identify problems such as:

  • Monitor the state of pipes with a flow meter. Instant alerts are received in case of a broken pipe.
  • Instantly detect faulty wiring. Constant monitoring of the electrical current flowing to solenoid valves. If the current is too high or too low, the QV1 team will receive an alert indicating what valve isn’t working properly.

What QV1 is doing now

In consultation with Josh Byrne & Associates, QV1 is upgrading the St Georges Terrace streetscape landscaping, incorporating the Hydrawise system. Once completed, it will bring lush vegetation to the streetscape, with approximately 3,200 new plants integrated into ribboned garden beds that weave across the space. The waterwise design uses a mix of Australian native plants and exotic species that complement the architecture of QV1, the interior lobby and the existing retail plaza planting.