The energy-saving design of a new office building in the capital of Australia has achieved a 43 per cent reduction in water consumption compared with that of an average office building of standard design.

“This new building at Canberra International Airport sets a high standard for world’s best practice in energy efficiency and water conservation,” says Watersave Australia director Paul Marsh.

It is the first building to be awarded a five-star rating by the Green Building Council of Australia.

“Experts say the building saves 687,000 litres of water a year compared with a standard building of similar size,” he says. “That is a 43 per cent reduction.”

Watersave has supplied one of several water-saving devices which have been installed in the building to achieve the reduction. Twelve water-free urinals supplied by the company are “top of the list” of water-saving devices installed.

These innovative urinals, which are manufactured by Uridan in Denmark, have been installed in several toilets on different levels of the three-storey office building. They are installed without cisterns as they work without flushing. A patented drain in the urinals covers the urine and prevents odours.

Other water-efficient devices installed include hands-free taps, dual-flush toilets and restricted shower heads.

The taps release water only when their infrared beam detects that hands are under the spout.

The dual-flush toilets and special shower heads enable users to regulate the amount of water they use.

Water meters installed in the building detect leaks from sinks, toilets, cooling towers and other sources.

Paul Marsh says the urinals and other devices achieve a 36 per cent reduction in emissions into the sewer.

Green Building Council of Australia has awarded the building five stars under the Australia Building Greenhouse Rating, a scheme supported by the Australian Government and the Property Council of Australia. A three-star rating is considered standard good practice throughout the building industry in the Australia Capital Territory.

The new building is at 8 Brindabella Circuit in a new commercial estate called Brindabella Business Park beside the airport.

Uridan urinals are tested by Standards Australia and endorsed by the Green Plumbers Association.