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Stokehouse achieves a different five-star rating

Published 6 January 2022

The Stokehouse Precinct

The Stokehouse Precinct was recently awarded a five-star rating, but it’s not the food that is being celebrated at the St Kilda restaurant in this case.

Stokehouse Precinct has been awarded a 5-Star ‘Australian Excellence’ Green Star Design & As Built Rating by Green Building Council Australia; a first for a fine-dining restaurant in the Southern Hemisphere. This is consistent with the sustainability initiatives we are encouraging our major tenants, such as Stokehouse, to embrace.

Council worked collaboratively with owner Frank van Haandel and the Stokehouse team to help reinstate the building in a contemporary form after it was devastated by a fire in 2014. When rebuilt in 2016, the aim was to return the restaurant to its former glory while becoming one of the first Design and Built 5-Star Green star buildings of its type.

Mr van Haandel says: “I am extremely proud of what we have achieved when it comes to sustainability at the new Stokehouse Precinct, and what we have learnt. We are hoping to motivate and assist many other hospitality venues around Australia to follow and achieve a similar result.”

For Stokehouse Precinct, sustainability is not an afterthought – it is integral to the design, construction and operation of the venue. Features include:

  • A geothermal-hybrid system to heat and cool the facility by utilising the constant temperatures of the earth underground
  • 50 – 60 metre wells for the refrigerant to circulate through 18 units, which is more efficient than traditional heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
  • A 28kW solar system on the roof orientated east and west as well as using Solarban 60 glazing on its windows to minimise heat and reduce the cost of heating and cooling the restaurant
  • A cutting-edge waste management system with a range of innovative technologies and procedures to maximise the amount of reuse and the development of a circular economy
  • An ORCA aerobic biodigester unit for processing food waste which functions like a stomach to break down organic food extremely effectively
  • An on-site glass crusher that reduces glass bottles to a granulated form. The granules are then stored in a bin for collection and re-processing
  • The flooring being milled with reclaimed timber from a farm wind break in Gippsland, which was partially fallen and coming to a life cycle end
  • Accoya cladding being chosen as a lighter wood than traditional Australian timbers. This resulted in savings in external fixings for the design of the large opening screen doors and dynamic louvre system which uses Accoya fins. Accoya wood siding is 100 per cent non-toxic and contains no biocides or harmful chemicals
  • Boral Envisia Concrete to reduce the amount of Portland cement concrete by 65 per cent, resulting in a far lower-carbon material for the same strength as conventional concrete. Effective water recycling in the pouring of the concrete also meant that 90 per cent of water was recaptured or reclaimed in the process.

The restaurant has formally committed to maintaining or improving on the following stipulated benchmarks for local procurement of food and beverages for at least ten years of operation:

  • 10 – 20 per cent of produce sourced from local Victorian organic farmers
  • 70 per cent of produce sourced from farmers within Victoria and 100 per cent from within Australia
  • 100 per cent of seafood sourced from within Australia with 40 – 50 per cent sourced from within the Port Phillip Bay Area
  • 100 per cent of house beer is Australian.

“Because of the large volume of people attending our restaurant, it obviously uses a high volume of energy including gas, electricity, water and therefore making a 5 Green Star rating an incredible achievement,” Mr van Haandel said.

The restaurant works with suppliers on their own sustainability programs, including Clamms Seafood, which changed their business practices to halt the supply of fish in polystyrene. Stokehouse is also part of the “Shuck Don’t Chuck” initiative through The Nature Conservatory.

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This article is featured in the January edition of Divercity. Divercity brings you the latest City news, what's on, service updates and local exclusives, such as discounts and freebies. To keep up to date with news about your City and Council, sign up now.