Gavin White, director - Sydney; Davis Demillo, sustainability consultant – Sydney team leader

Australian engineering services firm ADP Consulting is already about 100 employees strong but now it’s growing its sustainability capacity in Sydney to match the strength of the Melbourne team as net zero carbon and ESD expectations in general start to rise.

ADP Consulting sustainability team leader Davis Demillo was brought on last year to set up the Sydney team, currently at three staff with plans to recruit two or three more.

He told The Fifth Estate the firm wants ESD engineers who can take a holistic approach and look for ways to achieve sustainability and energy efficiency gains on each building site before considering additional features.

The company wants to be at the forefront of a transition in engineering that includes ESD at each stage of the project rather than “tacking it on at the end”, he says.

“Gone are the days where you provide your standard services, and as long as its compliant, then ‘who cares?’” 

He says the firm is now pushing its design approach to “another level” and is open to emerging design approaches and technologies such as passive house.

Demillo says that the company’s directors are driving the sustainability focus and believe “it’s the way of the future”. It helps that the management team is very involved in the day-to-day operations and that founders Laurent Deleu and Jason Afford, who started the firm in 2011, were spurred to leave bigger firms where they felt encumbered by bureaucratic processes.

The market is also starting to expect a higher standard of sustainability, especially the company’s bigger clients such as Stockland, Frasers Property and Mirvac, but this attitude is now filtering down to include other clients such as shopping centre clients.

The firm is also responding to an industry-wide shift of focus to building occupants rather than just building performance. Demillo says an internal culture dedicated to the wellbeing and health of employees has helped ignite the team’s enthusiasm for this approach.

The new National Construction Code Section J provisions are also driving change, he adds, as are rating tools such as NABERS and Green Star.

“There’s now signs that the benchmarks for these tools will become even harder than they already are because we’re moving towards net zero carbon. It means everyone has to keep up with that,” he says.

The company has over 100 employees in total across offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane providing a range of building services, including mechanical, electrical, hydraulics, acoustics, fire protection and fire engineering.

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