Red Cross goes green with new building opening today

9 December 2021

Australian Red Cross’ new South Australian head office has opened, promising to deliver a minimal environmental footprint while achieving savings to the organisation.

South Australian Director Jai O’Toole said the Percy Court Building embraces its heritage, yet sets a new environmental standard, creating the lowest emissions in the organisation’s portfolio of  buildings around the country.  

“We are serious about doing our bit to mitigate the risks of climate change. Every day we see the impact climate change is doing in our work with the most vulnerable people,” Mr O’Toole said. 

“This site uses solar power, sound absorbent panels on each desk, recycled or carbon neutral flooring, reclaimed water to irrigate our gardens, upgraded insulation and air conditioning, and plantings in common areas to improve air quality. It has an electric vehicle charging station and the furniture is made with recycled materials,” he said. 

The building was opened by new Red Cross South Australian Patron, Her Excellency the Honourable Frances Adamson AC, Governor of South Australia, with addresses by  the SA Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink, representing the Premier and Federal Minister for Families and Social Services Senator Anne Ruston.  

“It is designed for both longevity and functionality, bearing in mind the need for us to be responsible custodians of donor funds,” Mr O’Toole said. “Within five years we will actually recover costs and start to save money, through savings in energy costs, water use, and rent. This site will allow Red Cross to free up over $1 million per annum over the next 20 years, which will be channelled to assist our work supporting people facing hardship and crisis. 

“The site has a purpose-built Emergency Services operations and call centre, meaning that when the state experiences emergencies like bushfires, heatwaves or floods, Red Cross will have state-of-the-art resources to deliver an effective emergency response.”   

Mr O’Toole said the building was also fully accessible, making it easier for people of all abilities to work, volunteer or connect with Red Cross.  

“The building is fully disability compliant, with built-in hearing loops, large audio-visual equipment, the desks are set up so staff with special ergonomic needs are catered for. Many amenities and fixtures are at a lower height so people in wheelchairs can access them, there are automatic doors, wide corridors, level flooring throughout the building and height adjustable desks.  

Red Cross is proud to now have a new place to call home in Adelaide for many years to come.  

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