Webinar: Time to slash embodied carbon in buildings

ONLINE | 20 October | 11 am – 12.30 pm

  • DATE: Wednesday October 20, 2021
  • TIME: 10.30 for 11 am start – 12.30 pm
  • FORMAT: Zoom webinar (check your login prior)
  • TICKETS: Free but booking is essential
  • Recorded for On Demand viewing
A webinar by The Fifth Estate in partnership with Built

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has given the world to 2030 to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint. Leaders in the built environment know change is coming and they’re working hard to find ways to reduce embodied carbon, especially “up front” carbon in new buildings and building upgrades.

But how?

This is an emerging field.

This free webinar is your opportunity to discover what industry leaders and government are doing in Australia and New Zealand to advance the thinking and the practical know-how in this new frontier to secure our future.

What’s critical is collaboration.

If you’re involved in developing, designing, building, managing or planning our buildings and cities there’ s a lot you can learn from this exciting event. Ask questions of our experts and contribute your insights.

Join the conversation

Ask questions

Share your insights


10:30am – Online Portal opens

11:00am – Welcome and introduction

11:05am Brief interview with Brett Mason, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Built

11:10am – Panel discussion:

  • Bronwyn Zorgdrager, Project Director, Atlassian – responsible for the delivery of the new Atlassian Australian HQ at Central
  • Turlough Guerin, Program Leader – Low Emissions Building Materials & Senior Program Officer/Advisor, Department of Planning & Environment NSW
  • Joe Karten, Head of Sustainability and Social Impact, Built
  • Andrew Eagles, Chief Executive Officer, Green Building Council, New Zealand
  • Matt Williams, Principal Engineer, LCI Consultants

Moderator: Tina Perinotto, Editor, The Fifth Estate

12.15 pm – 12.30pm Q&A

Meet the Panellists


Brett Mason

CEO & Managing Director, Built

Brett is the Managing Director & CEO of Built and has overall responsibility for leading Built’s group wide strategy to deliver sustainable business growth.

Joining Built in its second year of operation, Brett is an industry veteran with 30 years’ experience in all facets of construction and fitout in Australia and overseas with tier one contractors. Under his leadership alongside Built’s Founder and Executive Chairman, Marco Rossi, Brett has grown Built from a boutique specialist fitout company over 22 years ago to one of Australia’s largest and most respected private tier one construction groups with offices across Australia and now in NZ and UK.

His focus on building Built into a Top 50 Australian Private Company is based on a strong internal culture and long-term client relationships that have achieved a 78% repeat business rate and seen Built become a $1.7bn construction and development group delivering some of Australia’s largest and most forward thinking projects including Walker Corporation’s Parramatta Square precinct.

Brett is passionate about instigating sector-wide transformation in the construction industry to drive the industry forward and change the way the world is built through industry leading projects and ongoing commitment to the environment and the communities where the company operates. He is leading Built and the industry to embrace innovation, sustainability and social impact using new technology and reimagining better, smarter and more sustainable and socially beneficial ways of constructing. He was a key driver for establishing Built Labs, the company’s internal innovation incubator and thinktank, which is identifying and scaling pockets of innovation across digital construction, DfMA and sustainable construction practices.

In conjunction with Joe Karten, Built’s Head of Sustainability and Social Impact, Brett has committed Built to addressing carbon reduction in the industry, establishing Built as a founding member of the Material & Embodied Carbon Leaders’ Alliance (MECLA) and being amongst the first five construction companies globally to make a commitment to the WorldGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment which challenges companies, cities, states and regions to reach net zero operating emissions in their portfolios by 2030 and to advocate for a net zero carbon built environment by 2050.

Brett is the former President of the Master Builders Association Sydney Division and has previously sat on the Property Industry Foundation’s NSW Board of Advisers. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Hons) Construction Management.

Bronwyn Zorgdrager

Project Director, Atlassian

Bronwyn has over 25 years experience in the property industry working across both the development and construction industries on a range of complex projects. Bronwyn’s management of major mixed use projects and opportunities, including driving alignment of multiple stakeholders, has been a fundamental key to her success. Bronwyn joined Atlassian at the beginning of 2020 as Project Director for Atlassian’s new Headquarters which will anchor the new Sydney Tech Precinct. In this role she is responsible for the Planning and Delivery of Atlassian’s new Head Office that will support Atlassian growth and community engagement for the 15+ year horizon.

Atlassian, as a software developer, has innovation at the core of its DNA. Applying innovation, agility and the appetite for pushing boundaries via the design and delivery of a real estate asset is both challenging and rewarding.


Bachelor of Applied Science (Property Economics) and Graduate Certificate MBA (Economics) – QUT

Andrew Eagles

CEO, Green Building Council NZ

Andrew is a qualified economist with more than fourteen years’ experience in the built environment. Working for consultancies, associations, government and built environment charities, he has a wealth of knowledge in housing, market mechanism, advocacy and the construction supply chain.

Andrew joined the New Zealand Green Building Council in September 2016 as Chief Executive. The NZGBC is the country’s leading not-for-profit for the sustainable built environment. As well as exemplary research, the NZGBC oversees Homestar and Green Star the award winning certifications for New Zealand homes and buildings, and NABERSNZ, the tool for confirming performance of offices in use.

Turlough Guerin

Program Leader – Low Emissions Building Materials, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Turlough is a senior industry leader in sustainable business and government. He has a balanced career portfolio of operational and strategic experience, with both executive and non-executive capabilities. He is governance- and science-trained and has held senior sustainability and stakeholder interface roles in technology, energy, and on major infrastructure projects in the clean energy, communications and construction sectors having worked for First Solar, Telstra and resource companies.

Turlough’s non-executive director experience is in the for-purpose sector including with Hepburn Wind, and Positive Media, Australia’ largest community radio station. His focus has been in linking the principles of sustainable development with core business and organisation functions, supporting the development of communities, and ensuring governance is fit-for-purpose, and that compliance and risk management functions support continuous improvement and sustainable growth.

He is currently the Program Leader for the NSW Government’s Low Emissions Building Materials Program which has supported the establishment of the first government-industry partnership seeking to establish and grow a market for low and net zero construction materials called the Materials Embodied Carbon Leadership Alliance or MECLA. The success of this partnership is reflected in the more than 90 businesses and government agencies joining as founding members. In this program, he sponsors and governs an industry leadership group of construction sector professionals and oversees the Working Group Co-Chairs all of whom are contributing to and committed to growing the market for low and net zero emissions in NSW and Australia.

Joe Karten

Head of Sustainability & Social Impact, Built

Originally hailing from country Oregon and having lived in some of the world’s great cities as well as beautiful rural areas, Joe has a passion for green buildings. He has applied his international technical experience to the Australian green buildings market for the past 14 years. Initially developing rating tools and administering certifications at the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) then transitioning to delivering green buildings from the contractor’s side. At Built, Joe has guided many projects to Australian-first certifications across Green Star, LEED, WELL & NABERS.

Joe sets Built’s sustainability and social impact strategy, guides progress on live projects and contributes to industry think tanks and stakeholder groups to improve the Australian property industry’s response to the environmental and social challenges we face.

He advocates for net zero energy buildings and creating built environments that aren’t just energy efficient and low carbon but also enrich the lives of the people who use them through smart and innovative design, construction and material choices.

At Built, Joe is spearheading the contractor’s sustainability approach including introducing Built’s Green Standard, a real and measurable tool embedded into Built’s project delivery to achieve environmental outcomes including a minimum 90% recycling target and 100% certified green power on Built’s major projects.

He is also leading the charge towards reducing embodied and operational carbon at Built and recently co-authored the report, Taking Action on Embodied Carbon, with colleague Clare Gallagher, National Sustainability Manager at Built. The report outlines the integral role contractors can play in driving down carbon emissions for the property industry through five immediate steps.

Joe was awarded Property Council of Australia Future Leader of the Year in 2017 and named a Green Star Champion by the GBCA in 2021. He has contributed to multiple industry groups for the City of Sydney, GBCA and the Responsible Construction Leadership Group. He is currently co-Chair of the steel committee within the Material & Embodied Carbon Leaders’ Alliance (MECLA).

He holds a Construction Management Bachelor of Science (BSc) and is an accredited Green Star, LEED and WELL professional and Green Star Faculty member.

Matt Williams

Principal, LCI Consultants

Matt has more than 20 years experience in Sustainable Design in the Built Environment and has been involved in some of the most successful and beloved projects across Australia including Rouse Hill Town Centre, Victoria Harbour Melbourne, Barangaroo and Darling Harbour. Matt is a Mechanical Engineer by training, graduating with First Class honours from Brunel University in West London back in 2002.

Matt has always had a passion for machines and the way they work and so a ‘slide’ into engineering seemed inevitable from a young age. Prior to university Matt spent a year working at an aircraft fuel pump manufacturing and repair facility learning all about continuous improvement techniques and workflows. During that time he caused only one site worker walk-out from an ill-considered and unofficial ‘time and motion study’ for his college course, naively using live subjects. At university Matt did two industrial work placements; the first one for Eurostar trains (the ones that connect London to Paris) where he discovered that the most crucial piece of engineering on the train was, unexpectedly, the drivers airconditioning unit. From this first foray into thermodynamics Matt realised his interests lay in HVAC and so his second placement was in Cundall’s London office, learning all about airconditioning in buildings.

Shortly after graduating Matt emigrated to Australia where he helped Cundall set up their first Australian office in Sydney, a period of huge growth and making good industry contacts. Cundall worked with GPT and (as they were then, Bovis) Lendlease on the Rouse Hill Town Centre project and Matt spent many months at 30 The Bond modelling all the solar access and thermal comfort of Rouse Hill Town Centre’s laneways and squares. Even today, Rouse Hill Town Centre is an exemplar of alternative retail centre design and inspired subsequent visits to The Grove and 3rd Street Prom in LA.

When Cundall first started they provided ESD advice exclusively and so Matt moved to Steensen Varming to further his Mechanical skills, designing systems for 88 George Street Sydney, one of the first heritage buildings to achieve a Green Star rating. Over 2 years Matt also worked on the mechanical designs of a number of university buildings at UNSW, Charles Sturt University and ANU and it was through one of these buildings that Matt re-acquainted himself with Graham Carter and Asar Younes of Lendlease’s internal design group.

When the chance arose to join Graham’s Sustainable Design team Matt jumped at it and spent nearly 5 years there, managing ESD for a number of projects including Myer’s National Headquarters in Melbourne’s Docklands and a number of residential buildings down there including Convesso, Concavo, Serrata and Australia’s first cross-laminated timber building, Forte. Matt’s passion for multi-unit dwellings led to him participating in the development of a Green Star rating tool for apartments and through this he investigated the rapidly changing smart meter and embedded network space and was able to install one of the first (and probably one of only a few) zigbee-enabled smart home energy monitors across about 100 apartments in Victoria Harbour.

Matt’s next step in Lendlease was to work for the NSW & ACT Construction part of the business, supporting the teams whose job it is to deliver the wild and wonderful whims of the ESD designers. One of the first achievements in this role was to pitch and deliver a community-funded 420kW solar PV array on the roof of the Sydney Convention Centre, one of the first of it’s kind back in 2012. But through this role it became increasingly evident to Matt that the Builder’s primary influence is not the energy and water efficiency of the final product, as might be expected; it was, in fact, more to do with the opportunity and impact around material procurement, particularly where clients may not be pursuing the common energy and environmental targets. The challenge for Builders was, and still is, to make environmentally friendly materials common practice and the default go-to solution. In Matt’s last role at Lendlease he helped to challenge the Sydney Metro Martin Place and Victoria Cross construction teams to reduce the carbon footprint of concrete-intense structures in line with Transport for NSW’s aspirations.

These sustained pressures on the concrete and steel supply chain appear to be finally delivering outcomes. Matt went back to ESD consulting in early 2020, joining LCI Consultants as the Principal of their ESD team and working on Atlassian Central. Matt is collaborating with EOC, TTW, WT Partnership and Built-Obayashi as the delivery contractor, to benchmark the embodied carbon footprint of an innovative hybrid timber and steel structure. It’s hoped that through design refinement and leading procurement practices that the upfront embodied carbon footprint of the building can be half that of a conventional building in the same location and scale. At this stage, the building will also include innovative façade solar PV panels and an airconditioning strategy driven by thermal comfort, with PMV rather than air temperature as the vehicle to halve operational energy consumption in comparison to a conventional office building of the same size and place.


Taking Action on Embodied Carbon

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