What new building techniques and materials will future sustainable retail centres incorporate?

What new building techniques and materials will future sustainable retail centres incorporate?
What new building techniques and materials will future sustainable retail centres incorporate?


The materials and techniques used to build a retail centre will have a significant effect on the development’s sustainability over time.

Trends towards sustainable development are shifting the way the property industry thinks about the materials used in construction to focus on their entire life span from extraction or manufacture to disposal, rather than solely the period during which they are used in a building.

To meet the highest standards of sustainability, builders are eliminating products that harm the environment and human health – such as chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons that were once common in air conditioning and refrigeration units, toxins such as lead, mercury, and wood treatments containing creosote, arsenic or pentachlorophenol.

The Living Building Challenge standard includes a “Red List” of materials or chemicals that cannot be used in developments seeking to meet its criteria.

But sustainability is affected by more than the choice of materials: the way in which products are sourced also plays a role. Sustainable development emphasises selecting locally sourced materials where possible to support and invest in the local economy as well as to eliminate unnecessary transportation. This also includes contractors and consultants who advise on the project.

The LBC standard, for instance, requires projects to source at least 20 percent of the materials they use from manufacturers located within 500km of the construction site. A further 30 percent of the materials construction budget must come from within 1000 km. Another 25 percent of materials must be sourced from within 5000km, and only 25 percent can be sourced from further afield.

Consultants must come from within 2500 km of the project location.

The Living Building Challenge’s focus on a sustainable, regenerative future considers the use of materials from the design phase through to the end-of-life deconstruction phase. The Challenge allows only for minimal disposal, requiring waste to be eliminated or diverted. Leftover products are collected for reuse and recycling.

On the 5.8 hectare Central Park site in Sydney, developed by Frasers Property Australia and Sekisui House, 93 percent of demolition waste was recycled.

Lendlease’s development at Barangaroo South targeted diverting 97 percent of its construction waste away from landfill.

Other examples of sustainability during the construction phase include employing building practices to minimise dust, noise and disruption to the surrounding community during construction, and seeking community input and engagement during development.

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Development Sustainability


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