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World first environmental rating for Melbourne’s new convention centre

The new Melbourne Convention Centre has been awarded a 6 Star Green Star environmental rating, the first in the world for a convention centre. Opening for business in 2009, the new centre is the centrepiece of a $1 billion development project in the newly created suburb of South Wharf in central Melbourne.

The 6 Star Green Star environmental rating was awarded by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) under its Green Star – Convention Centre rating tool for the convention centre’s innovative environmental design and operational features.

The design of the new Melbourne Convention Centre was put through a rigorous ratings process and confirmed as having world leadership status.

A 5 Star Green Star rating signifies Australian excellence but a 6 Star Green Star rating stands out as setting new global standards for a convention centre.

GBCA executive director David Craven says the rating system takes into account a range of factors from materials to indoor environmental quality. “This rating means the new Melbourne Convention Centre will be a public building for the future, with drastically reduced impact on the environment.”

Minister for Tourism, Tim Holding, says while many competitors are promoting their green features, Melbourne is setting new global standards.

“We’ve already got 18 large international conventions booked for the new centre worth more than $293 million to Victoria, this rating will help us draw many more business tourists to the State.”

Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre chief executive Leigh Harry says the end result will create a whole new experience for delegates attending conferences.

“Delegates will literally breathe easier. Cool air will be released at a lower level of the building, not second hand air which is traditionally pumped through the ceiling of large buildings.”

Leigh Harry says this builds on what the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre is already doing in its current day to day operations.

“As a team we are dedicated to ensuring our business is conducted in an environmentally friendly way – this covers everything from the way we recycle and/or dispose of waste to how we educate our clients to ensure they too are thinking about the environment in the way they run their meetings, events or conferences.”

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