Industrial Construction Boom Brings About Opportunity for Sustainability

The current boom in the industrial sector of construction has created ample opportunity for sustainable and forward thinking developments.

With Australia aiming to achieve a net zero target by 2050, there is a strong focus within the construction sector to limit the footprint of industrial construction. 

We have experienced a 150 percent year-on-year increase in industrial workload - largely due to COVID’s ‘online shopping boom’ which accelerated the growth of industries like eCommerce and logistics.

“The majority of projects delivered by Hansen Yuncken have been distribution centres, specialised storage warehouses, temperature controlled facilities, manufacturing alongside a number of speculative projects for future tenants,” says CEO, Peter Salveson.

“COVID has certainly influenced clients to think differently in respect to design and user experience of our facilities. We work collaboratively with developers and clients to adopt innovative systems and processes to help facilitate industry-wide use of emerging – technologies such as online communication and inspections, design portals and quality management.

“While there hasn’t been a dramatic change in the look of these buildings, we have observed a very noticeable shift toward more sustainable work practices and environments. Workplaces are changing to make the workplace a better place to be.”

Sitting firmly at the coalface of this sustainable change gripping the construction industry, the recently completed Williams-Sonoma Logistics Facility for Frasers Property in NSW last year is targeting a 5-Star Green Star certification. This is in addition to a recently delivered 6-Star rated facility for Ceva in Truganina, Victoria. The facility was designed to incorporate solar generation, water reuse and minimisation, energy monitoring and minimisation, interior comfort increased through thermal comfort, efficient commissioning and material selectivity.

Another innovation to reduce environmental impact includes the on site waste recycling centre implemented at Victoria’s 80,000m2 Secon Freight Logistics site. The centre was used by all trades involved in the project to discard various metal bins, timber, plasterboard and general waste.

“Not only did this initiative reduce time and costs for the client, the project saw a significant reduction in materials sent to landfill and should be viewed as a model for projects of this scale nationwide,” says Salveson.

“These projects represent our diversely talented project team and innovative methodologies blended with efficiencies and our focus on supporting key issues including sustainability.

“In addition to protecting our environment, there has also been a strong focus on pandemic-resilient design, particularly among new industrial projects. We have also seen growing demand for the inclusion of provisions and amenities to better promote work/life balance, such as fitness and childcare facilities, cafes and eateries. Creating a ‘sense of place’ for staff has become more important as a result of the pandemic.”

Salveson says industrial projects will play a significant role in sustainable development, as they utilise their potential for solar energy generation, rainwater collection and reuse, as well as ensuring minimal energy usage throughout operations.

“We are seeing high demand for projects ranging from 15,000 to 80,000m2. There is a steady, strong pipeline of industrial projects with facilities ever increasing in size and complexity.

“Over the past five to ten years, large industrial precincts have emerged in the Western suburbs of Sydney due to the proximity of transport networks, both existing and developing. However, looking forward, the location of these facilities are to be located across the outer metropolitan areas of Sydney and Melbourne.

“Even as pandemic restrictions ease, we expect the demand for industrial facilities to continue to rise. Our job is to ensure this rise in demand is married with a continued focus on environmentally sustainable practice. Protecting our planet is always front of mind, and we look to deliver that in every project we undertake.”

Collectively, our expert industrial project teams have delivered approximately 150 industrial projects worth $2.6 billion since inception, and will continue to champion sustainability in this sector.

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