In its development of the built environment, Canberra Airport has adopted green building principles which will significantly minimise carbon emissions. The most significant of these principles is the use of tri-generation to service new commercial buildings.
Tri-generation is a process wherein natural gas is used as the input source of energy to generate electricity. Excess heat, otherwise known as fugitive emissions, that would have otherwise been lost during the production of electricity, is utilised to heat the buildings in winter and cool them in summer using state of the art absorption chillers. The hot water which is generated is available for use as domestic hot water. The tri-generation plant also has the potential to produce surplus power which can be sold back to the grid as greener electricity.
Tri-generation plants, which are located in the new buildings in Brindabella Business Park and the Majura office precinct, are currently Australia’s largest on site gas tri-generation plants, and will dramatically reduce energy use, carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally, the new Airport terminal will also have tri-generation plant to generate the building’s electrical power requirements and condition the occupied spaces.
Combining tri-generation with a number of cutting edge design elements in these buildings is predicted to reduce carbon emissions up to 75% compared to most office buildings and up to 40% compared to a 4.5-5 star NABERS building.