Westfield Sydney

"We saw it as incongruous to deliver a world-class centre in the absence of sustainability objectives."

ROBERT JORDAN

Managing Director of Westfield Group Australia and New Zealand

CONTENTS


An iconic shopping destination in Sydney has undergone a green makeover – and now has the Green Star certification to prove its environmental credentials to tenants and customers.

The Green Building Council of Australia has awarded the Westfield Sydney Retail Podium on Pitt and Castlereagh streets with a 5 Star Green Star – Retail Centre v1 rating, representing ‘Australian Excellence’ in sustainable design.

The project at a glance:

  • 5 Star Green Star – Retail Design v1
  • Largest fully-rated Green Star retail precinct in Australia
  • Eighty per cent reduction in potable water consumption when compared to an average retail centre of equivalent size
  • Thirty five per cent reduction in green house gas emissions
  • Ninety per cent of waste recycled during demolition and construction
  • First dedicated tri-generation system in an Australian retail development.

An iconic shopping destination in Sydney has undergone a green makeover – and now has the Green Star certification to prove its environmental credentials to tenants and customers.

The Green Building Council of Australia has awarded the Westfield Sydney Retail Podium on Pitt and Castlereagh streets with a 5 Star Green Star – Retail Centre v1 rating, representing ‘Australian Excellence’ in sustainable design.

The refurbishment of Westfield Sydney makes it the largest fully-rated Green Star retail centre in Australia and complements two other Westfield buildings adjacent to the site: 100 Market Street, certified 6 Star Green Star - Office Design v2; and 85 Castlereagh Street, aiming for a 6 Star Green Star rating under both Office Design and Office As Built v2.

Robert Jordan, Managing Director of Westfield Group Australia and New Zealand, says that sustainable development is central to the company’s vision and aligns with its corporate social responsibility targets.

“The Westfield Group aspired to deliver a sustainable retail shopping centre in the heart of Sydney’s CBD,” he says. “We saw it as incongruous to deliver a world-class centre in the absence of sustainability objectives. Green Star provided us with a platform to enhance and verify the development’s environmental attributes.”

Westfield’s commitment to reducing its environmental footprint has delivered striking results. The centre will slash potable water use by 80 per cent and greenhouse gas emissions by 35 per cent when compared with an average retail centre of equivalent size. More than 90 per cent of all demolition and construction waste has been recycled.

Reduced congestion is another benefit from the project. A streamlined dock delivery system has cut average vehicle waiting times at Westfield Sydney from 44 minutes to about 25 minutes – a 43 per cent improvement. The group was presented with the Award for Excellence in Supply Chain Innovation in New South Wales for the system which is helping to ease CBD congestion and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Bernadette Newton, Green Star Site Coordinator at Westfield Sydney, chose to write her undergraduate thesis on Green Star design and construction risk management controls after working on the project. 

“Green Star gave us a structure to disseminate accurately the environmental targets to project stakeholders early in the process,” she says. 

“As a result, we have grown our ESD skills base both internally and among project contractors. Ultimately, this has confirmed the value of Westfield Group’s commitment to integrate sustainable outcomes as part of its core business strategy.”

The success of the project builds upon Westfield Group’s prior experience at its Doncaster site in Victoria, which received a 4 Star Green Star – Shopping Centre Design PILOT rating. Westfield was a platinum sponsor of the PILOT rating tool. Andrew Robertson, Project Director Development at Westfield Sydney, explains that the team leveraged this initial experience to deliver the 5 Star result in Sydney. 

“We were able to capitalise on our pioneering effort at Doncaster to integrate a host of innovative sustainability initiatives into Westfield Sydney and make it a truly landmark project.”

Wayne Marr, General Manager Design Projects at Westfield Sydney, says the development has transformed the heart of the Sydney CBD and captivated the imaginations of thousands of city workers and visitors who pass through its doors each day. 

“Our project team can be very proud that its hard work has been realised not only with the project’s completion, but with the responsible and sustainable legacy incorporated within,” he says.

What Westfield Sydney Retail Podium achieved

Energy 

Extensive energy-metering systems and the installation of a trigeneration system will reduce the project’s greenhouse gas emissions and electricity costs by approximately 35 per cent when compared with similar non-green retail centres. The trigeneration system will also reduce peak demand by up to 25 per cent, easing the strain on the electricity network and the need for new power stations. Robert Jordan says that the experience gained through Westfield Sydney will be a solid reference point for the company as energy efficiency comes to the forefront of state and federal legislation. He also offers advice for other organisations considering a Green Star rating. “Appoint a Green Star Accredited Professional and develop separate Green Star contracts for each trade,” he recommends, adding that collaboration between teams helps minimise risks too.

Materials

A focus on reuse and recycling minimised the project’s demand for raw materials such as aggregate and cement. This was achieved by retaining 49 per cent of the existing structure, by volume, and specifying concrete containing recycled aggregate. Andrew Robertson estimates that this reduced demand for new materials by more than 28,500 tonnes.

Water

A recycled water treatment system with the capacity to handle 300,000 litres per day, equivalent to 44 Olympic sized swimming pools if run at capacity for a year, was installed as part of the refurbishment. This will catch, treat and recycle rainwater and wastewater from buildings across the site for re-use in cooling towers and the irrigation system.The boldness of scale and the innovative approach to integrating a site-wide treatment plant across the Westfield Sydney precinct is an Australian first for the retail industry, says Jordan. 

“By committing to this system, we are contributing to broader market transformation and helping establish a sustainable retail sector in Australia”, he says. WELS-rated sanitary fixtures and a fire system which re-uses test water complement the treatment system and will further minimise potable water usage.

Transport

The site has immediate access to public transport with several major transport hubs, such as the Town Hall and Museum train stations, and the Elizabeth Street bus interchange, within a short walk. Secure bicycle storage facilities and amenities are provided to make carbon-neutral transportation easier and supplement efforts by the Westfield Group to reduce direct and indirect emissions.