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Speculative industrial precinct betting on big demand for sustainability

A speculative development by Frasers Property Australia in Wetherill Park is understood to be the first industrial precinct in Australia to target a 6 Star Green Star Design and As Built v1.1 rating.

Horsley Drive Business Park, whose first sod was turned this week, is a 20.4 hectare site owned by the Western Sydney Parklands Trust. Frasers has entered into a development agreement with the trust to develop a mix of facilities that will all meet high sustainability benchmarks, with the developers targeting a 6 Star rating for every building in the precinct.

“HDBP was seen as an ideal opportunity to not only demonstrate world leadership in the area of sustainability but also to provide direct benefits to customers by reducing their total occupancy costs and annual operating expenses, whilst also improving the health and wellbeing of the people who work in our facilities,” Reini Otter, executive general manager, commercial & industrial for Frasers Property said.

“Frasers Property is increasingly looking for efficiencies and first to market corporate initiatives that set new benchmarks for the property industry, such as those we will implement at HDBP. We believe the property industry as a whole will migrate towards facilities of this nature in the future.”

The trust manages the majority of 5280 hectares of special space corridors across Eastern Creek, Prospect, Horsely Park and Hoxton Park. The majority of the land is either bushland, used for agriculture or recreational open space. It  has selected two per cent of the total Parklands area that is regarded as having low environmental value for the development of business hubs.

“Located on the periphery of the parklands and adjacent to major arterial roads, these hubs are anticipated to provide jobs closer to home for the people of Western Sydney,” Suellen Fitzgerald, executive director of Western Sydney Parklands Trust, said.

In acquiring Australand in 2015, Frasers Property added a number of existing Green Star-rated industrial properties to its portfolio. These include the 4 Star Green Star Kmart Industrial facility in the Eastern Creek Business Park and the 4 Star Green Star Kuehne & Nagel Distribution Centre, also at Eastern Creek.

The appetite for sustainable property in the industrial sector is growing, Frasers general manager sustainability Paolo Bevilacqua told The Fifth Estate last year. Tenants are attracted by the triple benefit, he said, of savings on energy, corporate responsibility and positive branding.

The industrial sector is not the only space in which Frasers is gaining high Green Star ratings.

Going strong on resi

The Fairwater residential development in Blacktown, Sydney, has also been recognised for sustainability achievements with a 6 Star Green Star Communities rating. The Green Building Council of Australia said it was the highest Green Star Communities rating achieved in the state to date.

The development when completed will comprise around 800 residences, all equipped with a new geothermal heating and cooling technology that is expected to give residents substantial energy savings.

Other environmental initiatives included the recycling of 90 per cent of all construction waste, regeneration of a concrete channel to a public open space creek and wetland corridor, incorporation of cycle and walking paths, and linkages to public transport.

Mr Bevilacqua said the project required a Green Star commitment from the outset.

“It’s critical to map out the sustainability initiatives at the beginning of the masterplanning process and an unwavering environmental focus must underpin the whole design and delivery phase,” he said.

“The environmental outcomes we’ve achieved at Fairwater reflect the broader sustainability mantra across our entire operation and the Green Star principles provide a very useful guide.

“It is important for us to be able to benchmark the performance of our properties and developments to continually drive improved performance and better future outcomes. Green Star enables us to benchmark our industrial and office properties, as well as our residential developments and communities.”

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