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IBM Centre Perth – A decade of building efficiency

IBM Centre Perth – A decade of building efficiency






Perth’s IBM Centre is a 4-storey building located in West Perth. It was built in 1988 and like many buildings of its age and lifecycle, started off with poor operational performance.

The building’s owner & developer, Primewest has worked with HFM over the past decade to plan and undertake various projects designed to improve its performance.


  • The building had a 0-Star NABERS Rating (Prior to HFM’s involvement), the client’s goal was to achieve a 3.5-Star rating.
  • Minimum disruption to tenants was a major consideration within the project strategy.
  • Metering system and maintenance practices in place at the time of starting the project.


Significantly improve the performance of the building, taking it from 0-Star to 3.5-Stars NABERS.


1. Performance Management Strategy

HFM was responsible for creating and implementing the Performance Management Strategy for IBM Centre, this involved collating and managing utility data, tracking the building’s performance, setting achievable targets, quantifying and verifying efficiency initiatives and driving the performance during the refurbishment (construction) phase.

HFM oversaw commissioning and the implementation of the performance management strategy into the operational phase to drive the targeted result.

2. Energy Procurement Process:

HFM negotiated a new electricity supply contract for the building via a formal RFP process to align with the overall project objectives and timelines.

3. Mechanical Technology Retrofit
  • Central plant mechanical upgrade (chiller plant, ancillary plant, boilers)
  • A fundamental design and operational shift from a constant volume central AHU system to a floor by floor variable control capability (retrofits to floor by floor dampers, controls, new internal zone VAV’s and diffusion, upgraded control and dampers to perimeter induction units).
  • Upgraded the mechanical Building Management System (BMS) and access control system concurrently.
4. Metering Technology Retrofit:

Installed an Automated Meter Reading (AMR) system for both billing and performance management purposes.

This metering system was strategically separated from the scope of the central plant BMS to facilitate an independent data capture platform for performance management of the mechanical & BMS plant, lighting systems, lifts, tenant light & power and tenant supplementary systems.

5. Lighting Technology Retrofit:

Lighting was upgraded to current technology for the common and external areas. This was done after the major refurbishment was completed, as a separate project to incrementally improve the building’s performance.

6. Ongoing Utility Monitoring:

For several years, HFM has been providing IBM Centre ongoing utility monitoring services via Yardstick, an intelligent solution that includes automatic data capture, continuous measurement and analysis of key information such as

utilities consumption and emissions, as well as recommendations for further improvement.

7. NABERS Ratings / BEEC Assessments

Over the past decade HFM has undertaken several NABERS ratings & BEEC Assessments for this building

8. Solar Feasibility Study:

HFM undertook a solar feasibility study in which the building’s specific circumstances were reviewed taking into consideration important criteria such as compliance, risk assessment, environmental impact, equipment operational efficiency forecast, CAPEX/OPEX budgeting and ROI.

9. Demand Side Management Program:

For various years, HFM has offered IBM Centre a Capacity Charge Mitigation Plan, as well as alerts on the days the plan should be implemented.

10. Solar Deployment:

The site installed 185 KW of renewables on the roof of the complex in 2020 – Noting the site is now tracking at 5.5 star.

11. Future Action Points:
  • Target 6-star NABERS rating
  • Solar
  • Equipment Fault Detection


  • IBM Centre exceeded the targeted 3.5-Star NABERS rating and deliver a 4.5-star outcome less than 12 months post refurbishment phase.
  • The building achieved a 5-Star NABERS rating for the first time during the 2011/12 financial year and has maintained this result for 8 consecutive years.
  • Tenant comfort conditions improved due to improved climate control, air circulation and ventilation.
  • Enhanced capital value due to reduced operational expenditure, reduced variable outgoings.
  • Reduced base building emissions – emissions fell 47% in the 12 months following the refurbishment.
  • Lower Capacity Charges.
Nabers rating IBM Centre over the years showing a dramatic improvement in energy efficiency

Nabers rating IBM Centre over the years showing a dramatic improvement in energy efficiency