Melbourne’s meeting place

The technology behind livability

A commitment to sustainability has helped Fed Square become a carbon neutral precinct.  

Melbourne's skyline
Photo Credit: John Gollings, courtesy of Federation Square

Since opening in 2002, Federation Square has been embraced as Melbourne’s “Meeting Place”. The size of a city block, it is not just a first-class venue for cultural attractions and events, but provides the type of communal urban space that is vital to the well-being of any city.

Millions of people pass through Federation Square every year. It hosts large-scale exhibitions and small commercial outlets alike, and the complex architecture of the location presents a range of environmental challenges. However, sustainability initiatives implemented under a Siemens Energy Performance Contract have helped optimise energy and water consumption while minimising waste.

Largely invisible to the public eye, these sustainability measures, which have a payback period of just eight years, have helped Fed Square become a carbon-neutral precinct, demonstrating how advanced technology can power the livability of our cities. 

Fed Square’s commitment to sustainability
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Energy efficiency

Simple ingenuity

After years dedicated to reducing water, waste and energy consumption, Federation Square became a carbon-neutral precinct in 2015. Some of these savings are a result of both simple and highly innovative initiatives, supported by Siemens through an Energy Performance Contract as part of Victoria’s Greener Government Buildings Program.  

Lighting the way

The initiatives include a forward-thinking approach to lighting design that incorporates LED lighting and sophisticated occupancy sensors; as well as a water conservation plan and rainwater harvesting

Electricity made smarter

A co-generation plant beneath Fed Square uses natural gas to generate electricity. Co-generation, i.e. the combined production of both electricity and useful heat, is a more thermally efficient use of fuel than electricity generation alone and saves 4,470 kg of C02 emissions every year – the equivalent to taking 1,000 cars off our roads.

Solar power

Energy is produced on-site, with solar panels harnessing energy from the sun

Continuous optimisation

A powerful cloud-based digital platform allows Siemens to keep track of how all these initiatives are performing. By analyzing the vast amount of data that's generated, it becomes possible to further optimise performance over time – making Federation Square even more energy efficient.


Powering Arboria, Architects of Air

January 2018 

ARBORIA exhibition

Step inside a monumental, walk-in, blow-up sculpture of winding tunnels and soaring-high domes. Best of all, it’s sustainably powered by Siemens. A co-generation plant underneath Federation Square uses natural gas to generate the electricity that powers ARBORIA.

ARBORIA is created by Alan Parkinson of internationally acclaimed Architects of Air (UK) and is one of a series of Luminaria, which are inflatable structures designed to generate a sense of wonder and enchantment.

Touring Australia in association with Insite Arts, ARBORIA will exhibit in Melbourne only at Federation Square.

Tickets & more information


Ask an expert

If you'd like to know more about Energy Performance Contracting, get in touch with Siemens Building Technologies team.