Cromwell delivers intricate refurbishment at 700 Collins Street

As part of the Bureau of Meteorology’s (BoM) lease renewal at 700 Collins Street in Melbourne, Cromwell committed to upgrade various areas of the base building and tenancy.

Cromwell appointed FDC Construction & Fitout (FDC) as the contractor for the refurbishment. Works included lobby and bathroom refurbishments, and tenancy works across BoM’s six levels of occupation, as well as an end-of-trip facility extension and upgrade on level one.

The scope

The scope of the refurbishment was to increase the base building to PCA (Property Council of Australia) A-grade standard, comply with BCA (Building Code of Australia) Part J energy efficiency requirements, as well as the Access to Premises Building Standards 2010 and Disability Discrimination Act. To achieve this, a number of efficiency initiatives were implemented.

The refurbishment

ProCoat - a powder, solvent-free coating alternative to liquid paint - was used to revitalise the ceilings across all six levels. Restoring the ceiling in this way was far cheaper than replacing the tiles, and was completed in significantly less time. It also reduced the dependence on artificial light by providing better light dispersion throughout each floor.

In addition, Winter Garden sunlight sensor automated blinds were installed. These blinds maximise natural light, while reducing direct sunlight and glare.

Tridonic, a global leader in efficient lighting solutions, was commissioned to implement an intelligent lighting control system to replace the fluorescent lights. Task-specific lighting management and SMART sensors were installed alongside a reinvented emergency lighting system, which is set to significantly reduce costs and energy.

Intelligent energy metering was installed on each individual floor of BoM’s occupancy. Specifically, an automatic meter reading system was installed to collect data, and an energy performance management system for analysis and reporting. Individual metering of floors, as opposed to whole-building metering, allows identification of energy inefficient areas.

The bathrooms across all six levels were refurbished, which included new tapware, toilets and urinals, all of which had a minimum 4.0-star rating under the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme.

Further measures included the installation of digital directory boards, as well as painting the internal lobby area of each level. The end-of-trip facility was extended by utilising an unused section of the carpark adjacent to the existing facility. This additional space allowed the implementation of more showers and bike storage facilities.

The challenge

Throughout the works, BoM staff remained in-situ at 700 Collins Street. As such, Cromwell was required to carry out the refurbishment with minimal disruption to the occupants.

The solution

The refurbishment works were divided into seven stages which reduced the impact across the tenancy. Works were undertaken after hours where possible, particularly the lighting and ceiling upgrades. Where works were necessary during operating hours, such as the bathroom upgrade, access remained to the facilities on the floor above and below.

Effective communication between Cromwell, FDC and BoM also ensured a smooth process. BoM often conduct live and pre-recorded media crosses, meaning coordination between all parties was vital to ensure these continued with no disruption.

The outcome

The BoM refurbishment was delivered on time, on budget, and with minimal disruption to 700 Collins Street building occupants.

Michael Whitehead from BoM stated, “Overall the project was very effective and efficient in its delivery.”

“The end-of-trip facilities are an outstanding example of the consultation within the project with many of the staff requests adopted and implemented within the new facility. The feedback from our staff has been overwhelmingly positive,” concluded Mr Whitehead.


700 Collins Street

Considered the gateway to the Docklands Precinct at the western end of Melbourne’s CBD, Cromwell acquired 700 Collins Street in October 2004 for $133 million. At the time, this was a landmark purchase as it formed the cornerstone investment of the Cromwell Diversified Property Trust, and went a long way towards achieving Cromwell’s 2001 five-year target of $1 billion in assets under management.

The building is a 17-level, A-grade office tower, comprised of both office and retail space, as well as an end-of-trip facility. The building provides tenants with a central location, refurbished lobby, large floor plates, excellent natural light, panoramic views, access to public transport and a high carpark ratio. As at 31 December 2018, and through consistent refurbishment and ongoing modernisation, 700 Collins Street was valued at $303 million.