Matt Williams

The chance to work on Atlassian’s new hybrid timber Sydney headquarters was enough to lure Lendlease sustainability manager Matt Williams to join LCI Consultants as principal of the sustainability team, after nearly 20 years with his former employer.

The building services consultancy has managed to snag a spot alongside Stantec to do the building services components of the Australian software company’s new headquarters near Sydney’s Central Station.

As principal of the sustainability team, Williams will be looking at the project’s environmental ratings and other sustainability components.

He told The Fifth Estate that it’s exciting to work with a client that’s “really keen” and “questions everything”.

“They are driving us to do things better.”

Atlassian co-founder and co-chief executive officer Mike Cannon-Brookes has been a huge advocate for the clean energy transition, even pouring a portion of his personal wealth into a giant solar farm and storage facility and to power Singapore via an undersea cable.

While the Atlassian project was certainly attractive to Williams, who has spent the past two years working on the Sydney Metro projects, it’s not the only reason he made the jump to the “family scale” consultancy.

A mechanical engineer by training, Williams started his career working closely with clients, and was keen to return to a more client-facing role.

His new gig had given him “the chance to work with multiple clients at once”.

Atlassian’s new headquarters near Sydney’s Central Station.

Other notable projects his new employer has been involved in include a LEED Gold rating for the Sydney Football Stadium and smaller sports facilities for councils.

LCI Consultants experts in “good old-fashioned efficiency”

The Sydney office was started by a group of ex-AECOM engineers in 2016 and now employs around 75 people, making up the bulk of its national workforce of 150. There are also LCI Consultants offices in Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Perth.

Williams says the consultancy excels at “good old-fashioned efficiency”.

“Not everything needs to be the latest bling.”

He believes “sensible engineering input at the right time” is often missing from mid-range development. Often, it’s the basics that get overlooked, such as making ducts too small so that the equipment needs to work too hard.

Williams says the consultancy has a strong pipeline of work, including in healthcare and data centres, which will help insulate the company from the worst of Covid.

He says data centres are a real growth industry at the moment because they are going at “100 miles an hour”, and the major data centre operators such as Amazon are committed to reducing their energy usage.

Tech Central

The Atlassian project is part of the emerging “Tech Central” hub for Sydney around Central Station

Dexus and Frasers Property Australia will build two towers in the precinct, one of 37 levels and one of 39 levels, under the branding of  Central Place Sydney.

The joint developers last week announced that the winners of the global design competition for the project were Melbourne based Fender Katsalidis and Chicago headquartered Skidmore Owings & Merrill or SOM.

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