Joe Van Belleghem

3 June 2013 — Lend Lease is busy walking the walk on sustainability, global head of sustainability Joe Van Belleghem told the recent Property Council of Australia Sustainability Development Conference.

Mr Van Belleghem, who is moving next year to take up position in the company’s Centre of Excellence for Development, said innovation was an important part of moving forward in the sustainability field, and the company’s employees also had to realise “this was something we believe in”.

To that end, Lend Lease offices are moving to green walls, veggie gardens on rooftops, collaborative workspace designs and from closed offices to open fresh-air environments with activity based workplaces.

“Plants in offices are improving how our employees feel,” he said. “How we are thriving is going beyond the building now.

“There is a trend towards biophilic principles in the workplace, a trend to reconnecting with nature and we have that obligation for our children’s sake.

“We are moving from green buildings and energy, water and health to amenities – it’s about creating the best places.”

Mr Van Belleghem said the green building movement had also moved to the “green precinct approach”, which was about shared facilities, parks, energy systems and social programs.

For the future, companies needed to have a respect for resources, lead sustainable lifestyles and be future ready – a “holistic triple bottom line”, he said.

“If we pull together that’s when dynamic changes can happen and I am looking forward to the future.”

Mr Van Belleghem talked about two Australian Lend Lease projects that are at the forefront of the sustainable built environment. They are the ANZ Centre in Melbourne’s Docklands and the Commonwealth Bank’s headquarters at Darling Harbour in Sydney.

The ANZ Centre is the largest, single-tenanted commercial building in Australia with the 14-storey building featuring a central atrium space and fully-connected large floor plates.

All points within the building are a maximum of 12 metres from a natural light source, improving the workplace environment and reducing energy consumption.

ANZ’s new global headquarters has workspace of 85,450 square metres over 13 floors and will accommodate more than 6500 employees.

It features a trigeneration plant, black water recycling, rainwater harvesting, solar panels, landscaped roofing, wind turbines and an under-floor airconditioning system that uses cool water from the Yarra to reduce demand on the cooling towers.

The project has a six-star Green Star Office Design v2 rating.

Meanwhile, the Commonwealth Bank Place in Sydney received a six-star Green Star – Office As Built v3 rating, the first Australian building to make the grade for the updated rating system.

The building’s design features save 2500 tonnes of carbon emissions per year and reduce main water consumption by 92 per cent.

The sustainable initiatives include:

  • Efficient building envelope optimising the availability of natural daylight while controlling solar loads
  • Chilled beam technology
  • 100 per cent fresh air provided to office tenancy
  • A trigeneration plant
  • Blackwater treatment and reuse for WC flushing and cooling tower water supplies – the local sewer is used as a reliable source of blackwater
  • 300,000-litre rainwater harvesting tank
  • Use of low-VOC materials improving the internal environment quality
  • Motion sensor-activated lighting to control unnecessary use of lighting systems
  • 80 per cent of on-site construction waste was recycled

The $500 million mixed-use project includes a low-rise campus-style commercial development, Commonwealth Bank Place, and a family and leisure precinct with retail and dining options, a new public park and carpark.

Mr Van Belleghem said the $15 million playground was a highlight of the development and had been created with research in mind that playgrounds were getting “too safe”.

“They found that kids need to learn how to fall,” he said.

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