By Madeline Briscoe

Industry leadership is one of the four cornerstones of our business, we are committed to using our knowledge and resources to help others embrace and deliver more sustainable outcomes. One way we are making an impact is through the Green Building Council of Australia’s (GBCA) Expert Reference Panels. Cundall have been supporting the GBCA for over 13 years to drive change in the industry and have delivered more Green Star projects than any other consultant in Australia. We are delighted to announce that six of our team members have been chosen to sit on six out of the ten GBCA Expert Reference Panels to help drive change in the industry and shape the future direction of Green Star.

Below we will hear from three of our panel members about why their area of expertise is important and how they’re driving change in the industry.

Lewis Hewton – Life Cycle Assessment

Why is Life Cycle Assessment important in the built environment?
It provides us with a deeper understanding of how our design decisions ripple right back through the environment and can be felt for decades to come. The raw materials which make up a building are on a journey. While right now we know where they are, lifecycle assessment helps us understand where those materials have come from and where they are going to be in 10, 20 or 50 years. This information empowers us to make better design decisions today that lead to more sustainable outcomes over the life of an asset. The same techniques can also be applied to energy saving initiatives and design features.

How are you helping to drive change in this area?
My focus is making lifecycle assessment integral with everything we do from day one on a project. Most of the embodied carbon in a building is made up by the steel and concrete in its structure and this is one of the first things to be locked down in the design. Similarly, initial high-level engineering decisions will have significant impact on the operations of a building (HVAC system types, passive design opportunities etc.). Therefore, lifecycle assessment needs to be adopted while the building form and scope is at its most malleable. My focus is also on combining this work with whole-of-life costing techniques to provide the greatest opportunity for truly sustainable outcomes on a project to be realised. 

Oliver Grimaldi – Community, Planning and Engagement

Why is Community, Planning and Engagement important in the built environment?
Climate change is a global issue that has been created by all humans on the planet, and without profound societal transformations, humanity risks destabilising our whole ecosystem. It is at this scale that we need to be thinking how to vastly and quickly change our ways and behaviour. Planning our new and existing communities with our environment in mind is essential to having an impact to everyone’s lives on a community level which can then filter down to everyday routine. Empowered communities are better able to develop flexible, diverse, and equitable networks of resilience that can improve their health, preserve their natural resources, and improve engagement between people in a changing world.

How are you helping to drive change in this area?
I have primarily been involved at masterplan level to help deliver more sustainable and healthy communities on the projects we are currently working on. My focus has been expanding on engagement at council and government level to help drive change and instil new ways of planning our societies and communities. This has also involved key speaking roles at various conferences and seminars to expand the message of community impacts on sustainability and our environment.

David Collins – Building Development and Contracts

Why is Building Development and Contracts an important aspect of sustainable design?
The Building Development and Contracts team is tasked with tackling the processes and procedures that exists throughout the construction industry. Without careful consideration, these processes and procedures can have a significant impact on the types of sustainability initiatives and processes that can be implemented.

Time and again we see great sustainability initiatives fall over because of a misalignment in the value proposition between the developer, building and tenant. This expert reference panel is aiming to align and simplify these issues, to create a smoother pathway to a sustainable future.

How are you helping to drive change in this area?
This expert panel includes presentation from developers, owner operators and head contractors. From a consultancy angle we work with all of these groups and can often see the issues from all angles and connect issues. I am using my 12 years of experience to discuss the issues faced through all aspects of development, construction and operation to aid the group discussions.

Cundall is committed to creating a more sustainable planet, both through the projects they work on and in their workplace. To learn more about how Cundall are leading the industry in sustainability, read our Sustainability Strategy, One Planet, One Chance.

Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. Great stuff – I am meeting the chief exec of UKGBC on 21st March and will make sure she is aware of all e are doing in Aus



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Climate Change, Climate Change Adaptation, Green Ratings, Madeline Briscoe, Sustainability, Sustainable Cundall


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