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Burwood Brickworks recognised as the world’s most sustainable shopping centre

News  |  Retail  |  Sustainability  |  23 April 2021
Frasers Property Australia
Media Release
Frasers Property Australia
Burwood Brickworks Shopping Centre, Victoria, Frasers Property Australia

Frasers Property achieves Living Building Challenge® Petal Certification

MELBOURNE, 24 APRIL 2021

Frasers Property Australia's quest to create the world’s most sustainable shopping centre at Burwood Brickworks has been fulfilled. The International Living Future Institute (ILFI), the global authority which administers the Living Building Challenge® (LBC®), today announced Burwood Brickworks has formally achieved Living Building Challenge® Petal Certification. 

The LBC® is the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment. It requires developments to have a net positive impact by challenging them to operate as cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as nature’s architecture. Using the motif of a flower, the LBC® is organised into seven performance areas called Petals.

The Petals independently audited and now achieved by Frasers Property for this Certification refer mainly to the built form of Burwood Brickworks – namely the Place, Materials, Health & Happiness, and Beauty Petals. 

The remaining three Petals – Water, Energy, and Equity – relate to the centre’s operation over time, and these have been impacted by COVID-19 trading restrictions and lockdowns. These Petals must also be independently audited, based on 12 months of operational data, for the centre to achieve full Living Building Challenge® Certification.  

Assuming an undisrupted 12 months of 'typical’ operation, Frasers Property is targeting achieving Certification for the three remaining Petals in late 2022.

No other retail centre development globally has ever attempted the LBC®, making Frasers Property the first organisation in the world to achieve Living Building Challenge® Petal Certification for a retail centre.

"This was a benchmark-altering aspiration that we knew would push us, and the industry, to create buildings that deliver a net benefit to the environment and the community. Reaching Petal Certification was certainly challenging and the pathway to achieve the remaining three Petals, and therefore full Living Building Challenge® Certification, will continue to challenge us, as it should,” says Anthony Boyd, CEO, Frasers Property Australia.

“The vision for Burwood Brickworks was to redefine sustainability in retail by challenging ourselves in new and uncomfortable ways. It meant exposing ourselves to possible failure, inviting new levels of scrutiny, balancing commercial feasibility, challenging our project partners to take the journey with us, and investing time and resources into working with our tenants, so they could play their essential role.

“We’re grateful to our family of retailers at Burwood Brickworks for embracing the LBC®. For some retailers, the requirements of the LBC® necessitated a complete re-imagining of their fitout and operations and then, a few months after the centre's opening, COVID-19 hit.   

"And yet, our retailers showed inspirational perseverance and a commitment to collaboration that has been instrumental in Burwood Brickworks fulfilling its potential to become the world’s most sustainable shopping centre.

“The lessons we’ve learned through the Living Building Challenge® process, and the knowledge we’ve committed to sharing through the industry, will reveal new paths to better sustainability outcomes not only for our projects, but the industry at large,” Mr Boyd says.

One tenant that plays a key role in meeting the Living Building Challenge® is acre Burwood, one of the largest urban agricultural projects in Australia,

Luke Heard of acre says to be part of this major global sustainability achievement is a source of immense professional and personal satisfaction.

“This project is an example of individuals and organisations being willing to push the boundaries to unlock new sustainable possibilities. What we’ve learned on this journey will help not only our business, but other business operators and property development companies to make a positive impact on the places they occupy and the communities they’re a part of.

“Big congratulations to the team at Frasers Property on this achievement.” 

A key outcome of the commitment to shared learnings is the development of the ‘Greensheet’, a comprehensive building materials database of products vetted and used at Burwood Brickworks. 

The Greensheet will be publicly launched soon and will become a fluid and freely-available contribution to the industry, and a foundation for organisations embarking on LBC® projects in the future. 

The Greensheet has been a solid underpinning to a Healthy Materials campaign led by the Living Future Institute of Australia (LFIA), the Australian arm of the International Living Future Institute.

Laura Hamilton-O'Hara, CEO, LFIA says the partnership with Frasers Property that began five years ago has now achieved a world first.

“It was incredibly courageous and pioneering of Frasers Property to take up the challenge and turn ideas into reality. The result is a world-leading, award-winning retail centre that anyone can experience,” Ms Hamilton-O'Hara says.

“Burwood Brickworks sets a new benchmark for our industry but perhaps more importantly, it defines a pathway for others to follow. Congratulations to the entire Burwood Brickworks team on the Petal Certification." 

Frasers Property’s journey towards Living Building Challenge® Certification for Burwood Brickworks is documented through the recently launched website, where everyone, including industry and peers, can find out more about the LBC®, how the centre responds to each of the Petals, how tenants have each played a critical role, the unexpected challenges and lessons, and much more.

Burwood Brickworks shopping centre has been designed by Melbourne-based NH Architecture, with creative input from Russell & George. Hacer Group were appointed as Principal Contractor to ensure the construction met the rigorous design requirements that the Living Building Challenge® demands.

Anchored by Woolworths, Dan Murphy’s and Reading Cinemas, the 13,000 sqm centre incorporates a 2,000 sqm rooftop urban farm and adjacent restaurant operated by acre Farm & Eatery. The rooftop urban farm is a first in Australian retail and fulfils the LBC® requirement for the development to commit a proportion of its area to food production for use on site.

Everyone interested in the Burwood Brickworks journey to Living Building Challenge® Certification can visit: https://www.frasersproperty.com.au/Living-Building-Challenge/home#.

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Frasers Property Australia
Media Release
Frasers Property Australia