The 400 George Street building is located in the prestigious North Quarter of Brisbane's CBD, adjacent to the Magistrate’s Court. Constructed in 2009, the building comprises 35 levels, with a total net lettable area of 43,978 m2 spread across office, retail and childcare spaces. The building boasts a 99.8% occupancy rate, with blue-chip corporate, and government tenants.

Parking is available for 223 vehicles across four basement levels, alongside an end-of-trip facility which provides showers and toilets.  With a 5.5-Star NABERS Energy, 4.5-Star NABERS Water and 6.0-Star NABERS Indoor Environment rating, sustainability is important to this commercial development. The property managers Cromwell Property Group partnered with Caroma to deliver best-in-class sustainability and water efficiency outcomes in the newly built 400 George end-of-trip facilities.

Caroma Smart Command® is an ecosystem of intelligent products that enable building managers to monitor water use in real-time and make smarter decisions that reduce maintenance costs, while improving hygiene and up time. Caroma Smart Command enabled bathrooms allow building managers to collect data on a range of metrics from water usage to the number of activations. Data is accessible through a mobile app or integrated to an existing Building Management System (BMS), enabling the facility manager to make informed decisions and monitor the impact in real time, driving efficiencies such as cleaning and maintenance resourcing.

The end-of-trip facilities at 400 George feature a range of Smart Command products. These include:

  • 7 touch-free toilet panels
  • 2 urinals
  • 9 touch-free taps
  • 27 intelligent showers
  • 26 eco valves

In collaboration with Cromwell, Caroma undertook a case study at 400 George to determine the real-world impact of the fixtures. The goals of installing the Caroma Smart Command products were to reduce the water usage in end-of-trip by 5% and retain NABERS ratings, measure and improve the tenant experience, and provide a pathway to enable maintenance cost reductions throughout the building’s lifespan. The case study was conducted during Queensland’s floods, which, along with COVID restrictions, reduced the building’s capacity to around 65% for the duration of the study. The case study drew results from a combination of cloud data and user behaviour study to build a holistic picture of both the quantitative and qualitative results of the Caroma Smart Command range.

Over the course of the 12-month study, it was noted that Caroma Smart Command fixtures contributed a mere 1% to the building’s overall water consumption. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. The fixtures generated a host of direct savings through the technical features of the products, and indirect savings through behavioural monitoring of their usage.

Caroma Smart Command identified three behavioural parameters that would most contribute to the savings:

  • 35% of toilet usage to be half-flush
  • Target of five minutes for shower times
  • 60% of male bathroom visits to be urinal.

Signage was placed around the facilities to influence these behaviours. For the Half Flush Ratio, 400 George was 5% off the target of 35%. 41% of male sanitaryware activations at the end of trip were Urinal, well below the 60% benchmark. However, when it came to shorter showers, 400 George was consistently below the 5min benchmark and as a result saved 186.51 kL of water. Had the other benchmarks been met, there would have been an additional saving of almost 5.86 kL.

Data from Caroma Smart Command’s usage was quantified and showed significant water savings across the range. Optimised tapware delivered a 3.35KL water saving, saving 0.12 Litres every activation through precise activation only when required. Methven Satinjet Kiri MK2 low-flow showers (5L/min) used 82.5kL less than would have been used in a 9L/min shower, delivered through an average 5.58L saving every time someone showered at 400 George. Finally, Caroma Smart Command Eco-Valves saved 400 George 160kL via two leak detection events, drastically reducing the time taken to detect and remedy leaks in the building.

All up, Caroma Smart Command delivered a total saving of 432.62kL to 400 George St during the course of the case study, directly saving $1,557.40 in water costs, reducing CO2 by 385kg and contributing 3.7% towards the next half-star NABERS uplift for 400 George, had the building been fully occupied, extrapolation predicts a 5.7% uplift in NABERS half-star with behavioural issues addressed. A significant result considering the end-of-trip is but 1 floor in 400 George and accounted for only 1% of the building’s overall water consumption. 

In addition to water sustainability, the data collected from fixture usage has helped to direct cleaning resources and provided clear visibility on which fixtures will require maintenance before others. During interviews and surveys, the tenants scored the 400 George end-of-trip extremely high with a 95% satisfaction rating.