Innovation in the property sector

The University of Queensland is home to one of Australia’s first net zero energy and carbon buildings.

Labelling itself a ‘living laboratory’, the Global Change Institute is a springboard for trialling sustainability innovations that will become the norm for our future buildings.

The 6 Star Green Star rated building captures and stores its own power through one of the largest solar arrays in Queensland, meeting its own power needs every single day, no matter the season and, even exports power to the grid.

The Institute is an exercise in innovation.

No industry is immune to the concept of disruption. It’s a buzzword that has infiltrated board rooms and panel discussions, with a world driven by digital technology and smart solutions on the horizon.

Beyond the buzzword, which conjures up images of robot baristas serving us our morning latte, disruption serves as an opportunity to critically address more pressing matters, like climate change.

This week, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a startling report urging us to take immediate action on climate change to stop global warming creeping above the 1.5 degree-threshold.

In no uncertain terms, climate change is the biggest disruptor our industry faces.

In fact, digital technologies can help us navigate solutions to the threat it poses to people and the planet.

From 3D mapping, autonomous vehicles, sensors and virtual reality, the property industry is on the cusp of developing new tools to plan and build smart, resilient cities.

In Sydney’s west, the City of Parramatta is one of the first to respond to disruption. Investing $2 billion into its Parramatta Square development, it’s on the road to becoming one of Australia’s first smart cities.

In 2015 it became the first city to register for a Green Star – Communities rating tool and has set an agenda to ensure that the natural environment thrives alongside its burgeoning population. Sustainable utilities including recycled, potable water and natural gas are vital components to the urban renewal plan, as well as sensor technology to help map and manage the needs of its diverse community.

Earlier this year, the Green Building Council of Australia released its Carbon Positive Roadmap, which rallies industry to tackle decarbonisation head on.

The Roadmap challenges companies to improve building performance standards to become ‘net zero’ by 2030.

It’s certainly a tough challenge, but it responds to the urgent call to action from the IPCC to reduce our carbon footprint.

In the next decade, Australia’s built environment will feel mounting pressure to adapt and innovate to new technologies that will facilitate population growth, the rise of agile working and decarbonisation.

It’s our role to transform and take leadership by creating sustainable buildings, cities and communities.

Climate change is one disruption we simply cannot ignore.

Want to discuss disruption with your industry network? Join us at Transform in Sydney on March 19-20.