The Ponds Shopping Centre in Sydney’s north west has delivered Australand’s first 6 Star Green rating, and the only 6 Star Retail Centre Design rating in Australia.

The $40 million centre designed by NH Architects is part of a new breed of shopping centres aiming high on sustainability, such as Stockland’s Shellharbour Shopping Centre, which will have Australia’s largest rooftop solar installation; and Highpoint shopping centre in Maribyrnong, Victoria, which was just awarded the Property Council of Australia’s Victorian development of the year and national best shopping centre development.

Shopping centres account for half of all retail emissions and 4-5 per cent of Australia’s total emissions, so the sector is a key target for improved performance in the property sector.

With The Ponds, the $290,000 worth of sustainability features is expected to lead to a reduction of $45,000 in operating costs a year.

Australand national sustainability manager Paolo Bevilacqua said his company had set a minimum 5 Star Green Star goal for all of its retail centres.

“Solar PV is a particular focus for all of our projects, providing clean, renewable energy in addition to a commercial benefit by reducing power costs,” he said.

He also said retail centres provided a great opportunity to showcase green building to the masses.

“Retail centres provide an opportunity to not only reduce… impact but to interact with the public to educate them on green buildings through demonstration and leadership, which is a position we have adopted. Investors and tenants are increasingly seeking green buildings which over time will be reflected in valuations and overall performance.”

Green Building Council of Australia chief executive Romilly Madew said international research already showed green shopping centres had higher sales per square metre.

Key sustainability features of The Ponds Shopping Centre include:

  • Solar PV system – generates power to the car park lights and fans
  • LED lighting in the main mall area
  • Naturally ventilated
  • Economy cycle airconditioning to enclosed mall area that uses fresh air when outdoor conditions are suitable
  • Sustainability criteria in the Tenancy Fitout Guide
  • Rainwater for toilet flushing and irrigation
  • Cycle facilities for workers and visitors
  • Full life cycle analysis

The centre is expected to open later this month.

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