Abode Hotel Woden Canberra – Abode Hotel Woden has become Australia’s first Green Star hotel and demonstrates the potential for adaptive reuse of old office stock in Canberra.
The Australian Green Building Council has awarded the hotel a four-star Green Star energy rating for design, construction and operation.
Abode Hotel Woden Canberra
Helen Bell, the council’s director of research, said the building’s transformation from a vacant office building to a thriving hotel was at best adaptive re-use.
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In its former life as Juliana House, the building housed the Commonwealth Health and Aging Department. It sat empty for several years before Geocon bought the building and turned it into a 152-room hotel.
“As Canberra continues to grow and the ACT Government continues its ambitious plan to renew the city, this approach shows how smart, sustainable thinking can help revitalize tired areas of our city,” Bell said.
Nick Georgalis, managing director of Geocon, said the company’s decision to adopt adaptive reuse instead of reuse led to a sustainable product.
“It was a tough proposition because we were new to the Green Star process and there was no rating tool for hotels at the time,” Georgalis said.
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“Because it was an adaptive reuse, we were limited to some environmental efficiency, such as optimizing the facade, but we got a great result that represents best practice in sustainability.”
“It shows not only that you can achieve sustainable results in the regeneration of a building like this, but that there is confidence in doing it and investing in Canberra’s tourism product,” Barr said.
Barr said there are other buildings in the nation’s capital that have been adapted for reuse as hotels, and he believes it’s a trend that will accelerate.
Eclipse House, an 11-storey office building opposite the ACT Legislature in the CBD, will become a $40 million hotel.
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“Obviously there’s demand for new hotel products, we’re ramping up our tourism business and you’ve got direct [international] flights,” Mr Barr said.
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