News & Media

Burwood Brickworks: the shopping centre of tomorrow

Retail  |  Insights  |  31 May 2018
Frasers Property Australia
Frasers Property Australia
For Facility Perspectives magazine
Burwood Brickworks retail

Frasers Property Australia is aiming to create the world’s most sustainable retail development at Burwood Brickworks shopping centre in Melbourne

MELBOURNE, MAY 2018 – At Burwood Brickworks shopping centre in Melbourne, Frasers Property Australia is aiming to create the world’s most sustainable retail development, one that achieves the highest global sustainability standard: Living Building Challenge certification.

While the environmental, social and financial sustainability measures will be many and varied, perhaps the most visually and conceptually striking is the 2,000 sqm urban farm planned for the shopping centre’s rooftop.

Earlier this year, Frasers Property put a call out to commercial parties interested in operating the rooftop urban farm at Brickworks via an Expressions of Interest campaign.

The campaign struck a real chord. With over 50 responses received, there has been no shortage of progressive ideas and approaches which recognise the unique opportunity on offer. Frasers Property is in the process of reviewing the Expressions of Interest to welcome the best operator on board.

Part of the consultant team on the urban farm is high profile sustainability expert Joost Bakker. The invitation to creatively consult on the design concept for the rooftop was an opportunity he “could not resist”.

Bakker says the vision and design for the centre seeks to re-invent the way we think about sustainable mixed-used developments and food sourcing.

“Mulching excess organic material for compost, implementing closed loop water reduction management and limiting food and waste transportation are just some of the measures that will be employed on the rooftop to lessen the ecological footprint,” Bakker says.

“Minimising the amount of energy needed in Burwood Brickworks’ urban rooftop farm and restaurant underlines the commitment to an improved social consciousness whilst providing genuine health benefits for both consumer and retailer alike.

“There is such a hunger for this kind of development throughout the world. It really fills a gap in the market to feed and nurture conscious consumers. New consumers want to shop, eat and relax in environments that truly support a sustainable world,” he says.

With the EOI campaign for the urban farm in its final stages, Frasers Property is broadening the call for specialty retailers interested in setting up shop at Brickworks and is taking an open-minded approach to the retail mix. A national supermarket, liquor chain and cinema (STCA) have recently signed to anchor the ground-breaking development.

Progressive food and beverage operators are a particular target of the retail leasing campaign, with tenancies ranging from 25sqm to 300sqm.

“We want to hear from new and innovative concepts which fit the dining, entertainment and leisure focus for the centre. The visitor experience is a key consideration, and this means an engaging mix of retailers and a vibrant dining precinct in the most comfortable environment imaginable,” says Peri Macdonald, Executive General Manager – Retail, Frasers Property Australia.

“The centre will integrate shopping, entertainment and community spaces to create a memorable place for people to have memorable experiences. There is also scope for the centre to serve an educational purpose, and with a number of schools in close proximity, this is something we will explore,” he says.

To achieve Living Building Challenge certification, Burwood Brickworks shopping centre must generate more energy than it consumes on an annual basis. 105% of the energy required for the building will be generated through a mixture of on-site rooftop solar PV and off-site renewable energy, utilising the latest in battery storage.

Building fabric measures such as insulated high quality glazing will reduce energy demand, and a centralised air-conditioning system servicing all tenants will increase performance and reduce waste heat, resulting in more efficient operating costs. The water system will capture, treat and re-use all rain and waste water, resulting in net positive water use.

Materials conservation both during construction and occupation will also result in a net positive waste outcome, with strict waste protocols in place for materials used in construction and tenancy fitouts. Use of sustainable materials, with a focus on removing the worst-in-class ‘Red List’ chemicals, will deliver better air quality. The biophilic design includes an abundance of greenery, natural daylight and fresh air throughout the centre via a sawtooth style roof to fulfil peoples’ need to connect with nature.

Additionally, provision has been made for a 100sqm community space to run programs as well as annual open days to educate the community on the unique aspects of the centre.

Tenants may choose to participate in the embedded energy network Frasers Property is integrating at Burwood Brickworks, which will offer best-in-market rates for use of the renewable electricity and thermal energy generated on-site.

Burwood Brickworks shopping centre will be the heart of the mixed-use Brickworks community being developed by Frasers Property 15kms east of Melbourne CBD. The 12,900sqm centre will benefit from a catchment of some 100,000 people, with a cinema (STCA), child care centre, medical centre, health and fitness opportunities proposed as part of the tenant mix.

The centre has been designed by Melbourne-based NH Architecture and Managing Director Roger Nelson say the architectural approach re-imagines the site’s history “by utilising the concept of a ‘repurposed’ factory shed as the foundation element in form and spirit.’’

“The honest use of expressed structure and raw materiality is part of a typology that is reminiscent of the various established markets around Melbourne,” Mr Nelson explains.

The construction program will take approximately 18 months, with the centre expected to open in early 2020.

The approximate cost of the sustainability initiatives in isolation is approximately $14 million, though Mr Macdonald says the commercial returns are expected to more than justify this investment.

“We will demonstrate that developing a net positive sustainable shopping centre – one that gives more than it takes from its environment – is not only commercially viable, but preferable. The aim is to create a more comfortable centre to visit, designed to encourage people to stay, and it follows that with increased dwell times comes greater expenditure,” Mr Macdonald says.

The Burwood Brickworks mixed-use community is being designed to achieve a 6-Star Green Star Communities rating.

Retailers interested in a tenancy in Burwood Brickworks shopping centre should call Frasers Property on 13 38 38 or visit

Frasers Property Australia
Frasers Property Australia
For Facility Perspectives magazine