A large breakout space houses couches and a bar for staff to relax in. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
An office with a breakout area containing a pool table and a bar, light and airconditioning sensors and desks positioned to take in high-rise views has been ranked a world leader in sustainability.
The fit out of the ISIS's Canberra office has been certified with the first six green star rating of its kind in the ACT for its interiors.
The office at 121 Marcus Clarke Street has become the seventh project in Canberra to be given the highest ranking under the Green Building Council of Australia certification scheme.
ISIS gets green star rating
ISIS ACT general manager Ben Wright at work in the office in Marcus Clarke street. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
The Canberra branch of the national business moved to level nine of the building when work was completed in 2010.
The office has an open-plan design with desks located around the perimeter of the floor, offering views over Canberra and light that automatically adjusts as outside conditions change.
There are private pods with individual light and airconditioning sensoring and automation, carbon dioxide monitors, an enclosed printing area to stop the escape of fumes, and a central area with a bar, pool table and lounge.
Electricity is provided in zones, which allows monitoring of individual areas and little sensor lights turn on at night to guide late-evening workers as they walk around the floor.
ISIS ACT general manager Ben Wright said the central area was a fun space for staff that let them meet more informally and was also used as a space to host clients.
He said achieving the ranking has been a complex process but had been worth it for the benefit it had brought his staff.
Mr Wright said a survey among staff showed 24 per cent of them felt more productive in the new surroundings.
"There's definitely a productivity improvement in the staff, not just because of the air quality and amenity but the flexibility in where they work and flexible hours," he said.
Mr Wright said as ISIS was a commercial fit-out specialist and a founding member of the Green Building Council, it was important to lead the way in the industry but just as crucial was the happiness of staff working in the building.
He said such fit outs did not have to be hugely expensive and said the Marcus Clarke work had been economical.
The Green Building Council of Australia launched the green star rating system in 2003 and a decade later have more than 635 green-star rated projects - between four and six stars - in the country.
The building council and Property Council of Australia Office Market report for 2012-13 shows that 19 per cent of office space in the ACT is green-star certified.
Buildings in Canberra that have achieved the highest ranking of six stars include 9/31 City West Offices, Trevor Pearcey House, the head office of the Australian Ethical Investment, the CIT Sustainable Skills Training Hub, the Gold Creek Primary School Environment Centre and the Nishi office block in NewActon.
The Frank Fenner Building at the Australian National University was certified to the six-star standard for new office buildings just last week.
While the focus of the rating system had been on new and retrofitted buildings, the council launched a performance category in October for existing buildings.
Green Building Council of Australia chief executive Romilly Madew said the performance rating would "help us tackle the far greater challenge of improving the efficiency of our existing building stock".
"Once a building owner has an understanding of how a building is currently performing, practical action can be taken to improve the building's operational performance and reduce its environmental impact - and its costs," she said.