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Canberra Australia’s Greenest Airport? Ha!

youami 7 February 2009 15

At 1.15pm yesterday I was driving along the new overbridge on Piallago Avenue at the airport and noticed that they had about half a dozen sprinkers on watering the new baby shoots along the bridge’s new embankment. 

Not only were the sprinklers in use at the heat of the day, which I think would be around 37C, but half the sprinklers were spraying water all over the road! 

Whilst the decision to water may come from ACT Government, remember the deviation is partly funded by Canberra Airport and they make a claim to be Australia’s greenest airport! 

Firstly, not only do they use sprinklers in the heat of the day, but half of Brindabella Business Park is carpark –open carparks for that matter, and the buildings are four or five stories high!  Surely, their claim of being green cannot be limited to energy efficient light globes, window awnings, and trees in between carparks!  It would be comparing it to buying a diet-coke to go with your Big Mac meal.


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15 Responses to Canberra Australia’s Greenest Airport? Ha!
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SheepGroper SheepGroper 11:25 am 08 Feb 09
OpenYourMind2 OpenYourMind2 12:06 am 08 Feb 09

The thing that has always annoyed me is part of the reason the buildings at the airport get a good environmental rating is their facilities for cyclists (showers, bike parking etc.), never mind that the airport has never made any effort to make it easy for cyclists to get to the office complex. In the current configuration, cyclists have to ride the road at the front of the airport terminal and run the risk of getting cleaned up by taxis and cars dropping off travellers none of who are looking out for a bike.

I’d like to know how many of the new buildings at Brindabella have any signed up tennants. Surely even the Snow empire must be copping a big hit from having that many brand new buildings vacant.

Hopefully staff who get a hint that their department or business is moving to the airport lobby their employers to change the decision. The traffic is awful, the bicycle/bus situation is woeful, airconditioning systems fail regularly and there is a lack of facilities. The gardens are pretty, but it feels like your face is being rubbed in it when you come home to a parched lawn – and to top it off the urinals are water saving units!!!

Ok, rant over.

2604 2604 11:19 pm 07 Feb 09

arescarti42 said :

Canberra needs more office space, a problem you can’t really solve without building more buildings.

You can refurbish old buildings at about 1/10th of the environmental cost of building a new one. But the tendency is to tear these buildings down and build new ones – for example, the Cameron Offices and Benjamin Orange/Yellow in Belconnen, and the old Health buildings in Woden.

There are also buildings like Anzac Park that are vacant and could be gutted and refurbished. Also, there is a lot of office space vacant or about to become vacant – just off the top of my head, part of 2 Constitution Avenue (old tax building), all of the areas currently occupied by the Attorney-General’s Department, and (in a couple of years time) the areas currently occupied by DEEWR.

SheepGroper SheepGroper 9:12 pm 07 Feb 09

The copper piping used for irrigating the trees on the edge of the road that’s now car parking was buried under the car parking material, I’d say that wasn’t environmentally friendly.

youami youami 7:46 pm 07 Feb 09

GregW said :

Someone has a bit of a grudge, don’t they youami? For someone with seemingly no knowledge of environmentally friendly development, you sure make some bold assertions. Let me just say that despite no requirement to (federal land), the airports decision to target a 5 star ABGR ratining, didn’t come easy or cheap. Indeed these new buildings would be close to the ‘greenest’ buildings developed in Canberra. Yes I know that an airport can’t be green in the absolute but you do have to give credit where a good job was performed.

You are right, I have absolutely no qualifications or knowledge of the construction of environmentally friendly development other than my own observations and the internet and clearly I can’t accept the latter as a source of truth. I also accept that the buildings are 5 star but my point still stands that they were using sprinklers –irresepctive of whether it was bore or recycled or town water– in the middle of the day! You still need to use enegy of some sort to get the water to the sprinklers. And the % of land use for carparking in BDP is significantly high when compared to other capital city airports in Australia. Also, why are the new buildings only several stories high? I would have thought the higher the better as it would have reduced the building footprint and consolidated land use. I suspect the height is to do with development restrictions and perhaps aviation issues of some sort as I know the buildings already at BDP has an effect on wind across the runway.

It might appear environmentally friendly and give them credit for taking it into account but it is still an airport in a city that is dominated by private car use and low density commercial precincts.

Ian Ian 7:02 pm 07 Feb 09

Greenest? I’d believe brownest – it really is a shit airport. I thought the worst in Australia, but then I went to Launceston last year. Still Canberra is way up there in the shit airport stakes.

ant ant 5:54 pm 07 Feb 09

The airport has signs up saying it’s OK to water all that grass and stuff as they’re not using drinking water. No, they just sink bores. Due to the weird planning rules they live under, they don’t have to have their bores approved like the rest of us.

SheepGroper SheepGroper 5:49 pm 07 Feb 09

arescarti42 said :

Canberra needs more office space, a problem you can’t really solve without building more buildings.

Not according to the office vacancy rates reported this week, Civic has a large percentage of offices standing vacant, with more becoming available later this year, and the newer office buildings at the airport seem to have difficulty attracting tenants. The one built where the little river and planned park was, was completed months ago and is still vacant.

GregW GregW 5:14 pm 07 Feb 09

Someone has a bit of a grudge, don’t they youami? For someone with seemingly no knowledge of environmentally friendly development, you sure make some bold assertions. Let me just say that despite no requirement to (federal land), the airports decision to target a 5 star ABGR ratining, didn’t come easy or cheap. Indeed these new buildings would be close to the ‘greenest’ buildings developed in Canberra. Yes I know that an airport can’t be green in the absolute but you do have to give credit where a good job was performed.

sepi sepi 4:12 pm 07 Feb 09

http://cbr.webtrak-lochard.com/template/index.html

You have to wait half an hour to get the noise readings tho.

I-filed I-filed 4:10 pm 07 Feb 09

Where is the amazing flight tracking facility a link to which was posted on RiotAct a while ago? Close to realtime, tracking flights on a map … can anyone refresh me?

kathysav kathysav 3:02 pm 07 Feb 09

I just wish that people working at BBP would turn off the lights when they go home. Even better, the as-yet-unoccupied buildings have floors completely lit up – all night, every night. Motion sensors, anyone?

arescarti42 arescarti42 2:23 pm 07 Feb 09

2604 said :

The whole “Greenest airport” thing is a crock for a number of reasons. Here are a couple:

– How much energy does it take to build a new office building? Excavation, plus the manufacture and transport of new steel, new concrete, and new glass, all uses huge amounts of energy – probably enough to power an existing building for 50-60 years.
– In most cases, office workers use much more petrol driving to the airport than they would if the offices were located in their local town centre, or even Civic.

Energy used in building construction isn’t much of an argument. It’s not like the new buildings at the airport are replacing existing ones. Canberra needs more office space, a problem you can’t really solve without building more buildings. To the Airport’s credit, they seem to take environmental impact very seriously. http://www.brindabellabusinesspark.com.au/bbp-environmental/environmental.cfm, i was very impressed with what they’ve done. I’ve noticed the excessive and inefficient irrigation around Brindabella Park as well. I don’t find it so concerning, seeing as they use rain water and reclaimed effluent for all their irrigation.

Transport is another thing though, It certainly sounds like public transport to the airport precinct is pretty pathetic. Then again, public transport seems pretty pathetic throughout most of Canberra to me.

2604 2604 11:06 am 07 Feb 09

The whole “Greenest airport” thing is a crock for a number of reasons. Here are a couple:

– How much energy does it take to build a new office building? Excavation, plus the manufacture and transport of new steel, new concrete, and new glass, all uses huge amounts of energy – probably enough to power an existing building for 50-60 years.
– In most cases, office workers use much more petrol driving to the airport than they would if the offices were located in their local town centre, or even Civic.

MrPC MrPC 9:53 am 07 Feb 09

Spare a thuoght for those of us who work at Brindabella Business Park. The bus service is infrequent, services to Civic are run by two competing operators (Deanes and ACTION), the ACTION drivers don’t give a stuff and often leave early, and the Deanes service only runs once every half hour (with about two exceptions).

Just yesterday the Route 737 departing Civic at 7:18am (Fleet number 300) departed Civic a full two minutes early. Or he tried to, I madly waved him down and gave him an earfull about leaving early. “I leave at 7:18, that clock (pointing to the one at the Interchange) is wrong. I go off this clock” (pointing to his wayfarer machine). I looked at that and even that said it was 7:17am, a minute before he was due to leave, as the bus sat stopped in the middle of the road. I’d been aiming for the 7:10 Deanes bus but missed a bus out in the suburbs and didn’t make it into Civic until after it had left.

Had I been any more delayed in the convenience store and missed the 7:18 as well, and had the traffic been especially bad at the roadworks site as the next two buses pass it at 7:58, then I probably would have been late for work no matter which of the next two buses I took.

Why do I mention two buses? They don’t co-ordinate their timetables with each other. There’s a 20 minute gap between the 7:18 and the 7:38 ACTION buses, then the Deanes bus comes two minutes later at 7:40. The Deanes buses are somewhat less gutless than the clapped out ACTION buses, and the gutless ACTION buses go up one extra hill at West Russell, so those two buses both arrive at BBP at virtually the same time, about a minute or two too late to be useful for 8:00am starters and about 28 minutes too early for 8:30am starters. Smart planning, eh?

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