Building Green: City of Melbourne shares its green secrets

THE City of Melbourne, considered among Australia's greenest councils, has put out a comprehensive guide to making your building more environmentally friendly.

More than 70 entries cover everything from removing asbestos and conducting energy, waste and water audits, through to controlling heating and cooling, landscaping, purchasing office equipment and recycling.

Each entry details benefits, risks, opportunities, costs and payback, and also provides references to additional resources.

The benefits it lists under "cleaning", for example, include reducing the risk of skin irritation and maintaining indoor air quality, and reducing the environmental impact of dyes.

But the associated risks are that "green cleaning products may be more difficult to source" and that further standards need to be developed before product choices can easily be made.

The process involves selecting products that are biodegradable, non-toxic and "contain no phenolic compounds or petroleum solvents."

"Green cleaning" products may cost "marginally more" than standard cleaning products, but they are becoming equivalent, the guide says.

And it provides three references to help you find the relevant cleaning products.

The guide is for building owners and managers in large or small buildings, to help reduce environmental footprints and energy bills.

Lord mayor John So said Melbourne was serious about becoming a sustainable, green city, and that a joint effort was needed to make that happen.

To access the guide, go to

This article first appeared in Business Community Intelligence, May 2008