Melbourne, Australia [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] The sustainable energy industry congratulated Szencorp on the opening of Australia’s greenest commercial building. With 30 percent of all its energy self-generated, the building has set new standards in efficiency and sustainability by achieving a 70 percent reduction in energy use compared to conventional office buildings, an 82 percent reduction in piped water use, 72 percent reduction in sewer discharge and 87 percent recycling of the building structure.Describing the building as a terrific example of the future for commercial building projects in Australia, Ric Brazzale, Executive Director of the Australian Business Council for Sustainable Energy, said, “Its key features including solar energy and ceramic fuel cell technology for electricity generation and hot water supply, the latest insulation and glazing technologies, natural ventilation and world’s best practice energy efficient lighting and air condition make it a stand out in sustainable office design.” Said to offer a payback in five years, with zero greenhouse emissions, the Szencorp building in Melbourne uses a demonstration version of a fuel cell powered domestic combined heat and power (micro-CHP) unit, designed to produce 1 kW electricity and heat for hot water. The CHP unit, designed and manufactured by Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd., converts natural gas into electricity and heat using an electrochemical process. “The building is a demonstration of how energy efficiency and the energy needs of modern businesses can sit comfortably together through the use of good design principles,” Brazzale explained, “a commitment to improved energy performance and increasing opportunities for local power generation technologies. Increasingly, companies are beginning to realize the opportunities and long-term cost effectiveness of energy efficiency.” “Australia’s growing demand for energy — projected to increase by 50 percent by 2020 under current conditions — is unsustainable if we are to take obligations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions seriously. We must acknowledge that Australia will soon be competing in a carbon-constrained global economy and will need to pursue the opportunities it presents,” said Brazzale.