Ironbark Sustainability:

Real Action on climate

Ironbark Sustainability Wiki:

Featured Building Projects

Ironbark Sustainability is dedicated to making sure clients achieve real action in the building sector. By this we mean real environmental impact and actual savings.

Ironbark have delivered a myriad of different building projects. Some projects have focused on developing robust policies, strategies and management while others are more technical such as building audits, feasibility studies, technical and design specifications for building equipment and actual building retrofits.

Please see below for some examples of recent projects.

Sustainable Small Facilities - Hume City Council

Ironbark delivered a program to address sustainability at all smaller facilities owned by Hume City Council. Over a period of 8 months, 16 small to medium facilities were visited as part of a Sustainable Small Facilities (SSF) program. This amount of time allowed Ironbark and Hume to evaluate and fine-tune a best practice approach.

The following services were delivered to all sites:

  • Energy and Water Rating, Audit and Retrofits
  • Behaviour Change session with building occupants;
  • Ratings for Heatwave, Waste Systems and Disability Access.


  • Immediate savings of over $14,500 p.a. in energy and water retrofits, and 20 times that in audit recommendations;
  • A Sustainability Rating to benchmark building performance;
  • Site users informed about sustainability and happy with Council efforts.

See article on Results and Trends from over 1,000 Sustainable Small Facility Assessments

Cost Benefit Business Case of Environmental Performance Standards

A recent business case for Frankston City Council analysed the costs and benefits of applying different environmental performance targets (i.e. minimum, medium and maximum targets) to their upcoming 4-year building capital works program.

Business case figures included: additional capital costs; utility and maintenance cost savings; net simple savings; payback and net present value; and environmental savings.

Environmental performance standards considered were Green Star, NABERS, Sustainable Design Scorecard, energy, water and waste efficiency targets, Energy and WELS Star Rating and waste targets.

The analysis helped Council to decide what targets to set for their range of building projects.

Ironbark staff understand local government and the importance of effective consultation and engagement - to get the true buy-in from stakeholders. They are also excellent project managers - keeping me informed at the right stages so there are no surprises.

Their strategic and innovative way of thinking means that they always have the end goal in mind and can help navigate around potential obstacles. I appreciate that they go the extra mile.

Rachel Weaver, Resource Efficiency Coordinator, Frankston City Council

Level 2 Building Audits - Bankstown City Council

Ironbark performed Level 2 Energy Audits at Bankstown City Council's two depots and the Bankstown Arts Centre.

The thorough analysis of existing infrastructure energy loads, energy and water billing and interval data and power factors, lux levels and operation patterns helped to identify opportunities for improving building usage and technology.

Forty-five individual recommendations were generated that have the potential to save over $50,000 per year at a reasonable payback of 6.5 years.

Reports were delivered as individual PDF site reports as well as in a summary excel format to make it easy for Council to sort information and prioritise next steps.

Cogeneration v's Boilers and Solar Power

Large facilities such as aquatic centres are under pressure to be more energy efficient. A key flagship project being considered for many large sites such as these is cogeneration systems.

Moreland City Council recently commissioned a case study looking at one of its existing cogeneration systems and comparing it to high efficiency boilers linked to a photovoltaic system.

The comparison involved assessing:

  • Costs and benefits;
  • Greenhouse gas and energy savings;
  • Ongoing operational performance;
  • Project risks and issues.

These results inform how Moreland City Council generates heat and electricity for aquatic centres in the future. Check out the outcomes of the study and tips for those considering cogeneration.

Sustainable Building Management and Assessments - Bayside City Council

Bayside City Council have been working since 2010 to ensure that sustainable building considerations were clearly outlined in Council policy as well as integrated into Council operations.

To address these needs, Ironbark helped Council to develop a Sustainable Facilities Management Plan while also delivering Sustainability Audits and Ratings at 115 sites to assess every facility's performance and identify the scope of opportunities.

The audit and rating program provided a realistic basis for the development of an achievable sustainability strategy that is integrated with our organisational financial planning and systems for building maintenance, renewal and upgrade.

Stephen Thorpe, Manager Environmental Sustainability and Open Space


  • Building Management Guidelines approved by Council.
  • Clear targets for energy & water reduction;
  • Methods for assessing the sustainability for new and existing small & large buildings;
  • Integration of sustainability actions, costs & savings into a long term capital works plan and maintenance schedule;
  • ~895 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions & 46,700kL of projected water to be saved annually.
  • Greater buy-in from key staff to continue a sustainable buildings management system.

Eurobodalla Shire Council Training in Auditing Software Program

Ironbark have trained Eurobodalla Shire Council staff to use the environmental building audit software Engeneous.

To date Council have applied their new auditing skills at over 60 Council-owned facilities where they undertook simple retrofits, engaged with occupants on sustainability and generated a 5 star sustainability rating and an audit report all in the one visit.

This program identified that greenhouse gas emissions and water can be reduced by around 30%. And it is projected that the on-the-spot retrofits alone have already saved about $28,000 in annual energy and water costs.

Engeneous is an online, open-source software tool to help local governments audit their buildings in a strategic and affordable manner (for more information).

Aquatic and Leisure Centre Sustainability Course

In partnership with Aquatics & Recreation Victoria (ARV), Ironbark Sustainability (Ironbark) delivered a series of workshops to help centre staff and management teams take control of the sustainability agenda at their sites.

The workshops included topics such as cogeneration, sourcing revenue for projects and easy savings to be made.

The course provided attendees with key information and practical tools to assist them in assessing the performance of their own facilities and improving sustainability. One of the take away benefits from the workshop series was site-specific sustainability management plans.

We pride ourselves on working hand in hand with many different areas within local government to best integrate sustainability into long term practice. Working with aquatic and recreation centre staff and council management teams is a natural fit.

Paul Brown - Ironbark Managing Director

Troubleshooting Energy Performance and Building Comfort

Monash City Council hired Ironbark to assess certain design issues and equipment issues at one of their community buildings.

This was primarily a troubleshooting job where the aim was to improve the comfort of the occupants while at the same time ensuring energy use was minimised and all systems were working properly.

Over a period of 2 months Ironbark’s building designer and HVAC engineers collaborated with Council staff and building occupants to work out a solution and prioritise improvements.

The outcomes of the troubleshooting were amazing. Through Ironbark’s work we can now understand the building performance. The most important outcome was defining the short and long term actions to carry out to improve the building performance. We haven’t had any complaints since the short term actions were in place!

One thing I like most about Ironbark is their good communication. They are able always to provide updates regarding progress and are always there for any questions. Reports are delivered on time and have a high attention to detail.

Andrea Fernandez, Environmental Management Co-ordinator, Monash City Council

Sustainable Behaviour Change programs

Sustainable behaviour change programs have been delivered to most buildings where Ironbark has performed building audits. Specialised behaviour programs have been delivered to building occupants at a range of facilities owned by Sunshine Coast, Hume, Hobsons Bay and Port Phillip City Councils.

Behaviour change materials were developed as part of the program in the form of posters and stickers that encourage the efficient use of energy, water and waste.

At City of Port Phillip, in addition to posters and stickers, a Building Efficiency Management Plan was delivered in the form of a manual. Ironbark worked with facility managers to ensure the manual, posters and stickers contained information on efficient building use specific to each facility. This enabled details such as heater thermostat control locations and appropriate passive heating and cooling techniques to be tailored to suit each building.

Sunshine Coast's Power Down Program included: a way to track progress in behaviour change; a decision making tool for timing the replacement of inefficient lights; and a Green Leasing Contract process.

Building Design Review - Bayside City Council

In 2010, Bayside City Council planned a significant renovation and extension for a sports reserve pavilion in Hampton. Ironbark visited the site, sourced the renovation designs and specifications, and spoke to the facility manager and appointed designer. The Sustainable Design Scorecard (SDS) tool was used to rate the building's environmental performance.

A report was generated that outlined what the original building design's SDS score was, combined with technical information on how to improve the building design and achieve a higher SDS score and better sustainability outcomes.

This design review was completed over one week.


  • A report with specific recommendations that ensured the design and management of the site met with Councils requirements around sustainability.
  • Building designer and Council staff had a clear understanding of how to improve the sustainability of the design to reach Council building goals.

RMIT University Building Audits

Ironbark was engaged by RMIT University to conduct energy audits on all buildings at the City, Brunswick and Bundoora campuses.

In order to make the implementation phase of the program easy Ironbark also provided full excel spreadsheets with locations, product types, cost and savings as well as campus wide HVAC reports and a separate Green IT report.

The sites included a wide range of facilities; medical, physics, and engineering laboratories, offices, car parks and residential accommodation.

The program was completed over a 6 month period and covered over 80 buildings and over 300,000 sqm of floor space.

Where to
find us

Ironbark Sustainability

Suite 8, 70-80 Wellington Street
Collingwood VIC 3066

1300 288 262