20 September 2012 — The GPT Group has received international recognition for shopping centre Charlestown Square – winning a gold award for sustainable design and a silver award for development and design, at the International Council of Shopping Centres Asia Pacific Shopping Centre Awards last week.
The judges were impressed by Charlestown Square’s overall sustainability, drawing attention to GPT’s care in minimising the redevelopment’s ongoing environmental impact, and its focus on the community in its design.

GPT head of development Anthony McNulty said the Charlestown Square project, just out of Newcastle, focussed on all layers of design from a high level urban planning framework down to the fine detail of placemaking.

“Charlestown Square is a wonderful hub for this thriving community to visit and has been delivered in a way that has minimal impact on the environment today and well into the future,” he said.

Key sustainable features are:

  • A solar thermal plant to power air-conditioning
  • The generation of the majority of electricity for use on site from two natural gas fired high voltage electricity generators (lowering Co2 emissions by almost 50 per cent when compared to taking power from the grid using coal-fired electricity)
  • The new retailers within the expansion run off energy created on-site
  • Motorised louvers in the food terrace to create natural cross-ventilation
  • More than 80 per cent of waste diverted from landfill
  • Rainwater harvest tanks for amenities flushing, cooling towers and irrigation systems.

Charlestown Square has Australia’s first retail solar thermal cooling plant.

Earlier this month, the GPT Group took home three gongs from the 2012 NSW Government’s Green Globe Awards held in Sydney.

The awards were for Best Energy Efficiency Strategy, Best Business Sustainability Strategy and Best Built Environment Sustainability Award for GPT’s work environment.

The annual awards are the leading environment awards, recognising environmental excellence, leadership and innovation, in NSW.

GPT’s chief executive officer and managing director Michael Cameron said the company’s integrated approach to sustainability had seen it pioneer a range of strategies that demonstrated success and reset market expectations for what was achievable.

See the Green Globes article, and other winners, at www.thefifthestate.com.au/archives/38378

The GPT Group was also this month recognised as a sector leader in retail in the 2012 Global Real Estate Sustainability benchmark survey.

The annual world-wide survey provides a global standard for assessing, monitoring and improving the sustainability performance of real estate portfolios.

See our article on the survey at www.thefifthestate.com.au/archives/38373