Design Industry News

Burwood Brickworks: setting new benchmarks

Brickworks Shopping Centre – setting new benchmarks
Brickworks Shopping Centre – setting new benchmarks

Frasers Property Australia has launched the commencement of a ground-breaking mixed-use development in the heart of Melbourne including a shopping centre with Australia’s first rooftop urban farm.

Key Facts:

  • Burwood Brickworks’ masterplan approved to create nearly 3,000 jobs
  • 700 new homes to be built, with the first available from Spring 2018
  • DA for the world’s most sustainable shopping centre approved by Whitehorse City Council

The former brickworks site in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs will be transformed into one of Australia’s most sustainable communities after Frasers Property Australia’s ambitious masterplan for the development – including 700 homes and plans for the world’s most sustainable shopping centre – received the green light. Sustainability is at the heart of operations at Frasers. The company creates places where resources are re-used, recycled and restored. It fosters new ideas to support people and the planet, and undertakes tangible initiatives to help people lead happier, healthier lives.

Burwood Brickworks will inject new heart and soul into the suburb. It will integrate diverse housing choices, 2.5 hectares of open space and parklands, and community facilities including two large public spaces connected to an urban plaza adjoining a shopping centre complete with a rooftop urban farm.

More than 5,000 expressions of interest have been received for the 700 homes expected to hit the market in Spring this year. A range of freestanding and semi-detached terrace housing and apartments, and a selection of exclusive land lots, will be available.

Meanwhile, Melbourne-based Hacer Group has been appointed to build the community’s new shopping centre, with DA approval for the development now received from Whitehorse City Council, the construction will commence on the 12 June.

“Approval for the project has taken some time and that’s because of the complexity of what we want to achieve at Burwood Brickworks. This community will set a new benchmark for what’s possible in sustainable urban design,” says Sarah Bloom, General Manager – Residential Victoria, Frasers Property Australia.

“This project exemplifies everything we stand for: building sustainable, liveable communities that promote the long-term health and wellbeing of our residents and, especially in the case of Burwood Brickworks, for visitors too.”

The 12,700m2 Burwood Brickworks shopping centre, to be anchored by a 4,200m2 Woolworths and a proposed Dan Murphy’s. The centre will be a major drawcard to a catchment of some 100,000 people, with a cinema, child care centre, medical centre, health and fitness operators proposed in the tenant mix.

Progressive food and beverage operators are a particular target of the leasing campaign, with tenancies ranging from 25m2 to 300m2.  “The visitor experience is a key consideration and this means an engaging mix of retailers and a vibrant dining precinct in the most comfortable environment imaginable,” says Peri Macdonald, Executive General Manager – Retail, Frasers Property Australia.

“The centre will integrate shopping, entertainment and community spaces to create a memorable place for people to have memorable experiences. There is also scope for the centre to serve an educational purpose, and with a number of schools in close proximity, this is something we will explore,” he says.

Woolworths Senior Property Manager Brad Karge says the company is delighted to secure a key retail tenancy in the world-leading sustainability project because it closely aligns with Woolworths’ own environmental commitments.

“The new Burwood Brickworks Woolworths store will draw power from the solar panels installed in the centre and be fitted out with LED lights to reduce power usage. The store’s refrigeration and air-conditioning will generate a reduced carbon footprint and use natural refrigerants, and we will also have an area in-store where customers can bring in their soft plastics to be recycled,” Karge says.

“The new Burwood Brickworks Woolworths will provide local residents with a modern and exciting shopping experience while continuing to deliver great prices on products, a vibrant fresh food offer and the convenience our customers are looking for.”

In a major boost to the local economy, the mixed-use project is expected to create almost 3,000 new jobs, including more than 700 ongoing jobs in the shopping centre.  The first residential lots, medium-density housing options and apartments are expected to be completed in late 2020, with the retail centre expected to be completed by late 2019.

Creating a ‘Living Building’ retail precinct

Frasers Property is aiming to make Burwood Brickworks shopping centre the first retail development in the world to achieve Living Building Challenge certification, which includes targets such as generating more energy than it consumes on an annual basis. A mix of on-site rooftop solar PV and off-site renewable energy, utilising the latest in battery storage, will generate 105% of the energy required for the building.

Building fabric measures such as insulated high-quality glazing will reduce energy demand, and a centralised air-conditioning system servicing all tenancies will reduce and re-purpose waste heat, resulting in more efficient operating costs. The highly specialised water system will capture, treat and re-use all rain and waste water, resulting in net positive water use and reduced reliance on the stormwater and sewer systems.

Materials conservation in construction and occupation will result in a net positive waste outcome, with strict protocols in place to re-purpose up to 99% of construction waste away from landfill. Use of local, salvaged and sustainable materials will deliver better air quality, further reducing the centre’s carbon footprint.

The biophilic design includes an abundance of greenery, natural daylight and fresh air throughout the centre via a sawtooth style roof to fulfil visitors’ desire to connect with nature and create an environment which encourages longer dwell times and return visitation.  Tenants may choose to participate in the embedded energy network at Burwood Brickworks, which will offer best-in-market rates for use of the renewable electricity and thermal energy generated on-site.

The approximate cost of the sustainability initiatives in isolation is approximately $14 million, although the commercial returns are expected to more than justify this investment.  “We will demonstrate that developing a net positive sustainable shopping centre – one that gives more than it takes from its environment – is not only commercially viable, but preferable. The aim is to create a more comfortable centre to visit, designed to encourage people to stay, and it follows that with increased dwell times comes greater expenditure,” Macdonald says.

The shopping centre has been designed by Melbourne-based NH Architecture and Managing Director Roger Nelsonsay the architectural approach re-imagines the site’s history “by utilising the concept of a ‘re-purposed’ factory shed as the foundation element in form and spirit.’’

“The honest use of expressed structure and raw materiality is part of a typology that is reminiscent of the various established markets around Melbourne. To us, this project meant an opportunity to be part of the solutions, to be a catalyst for changing behaviour. So in a way, it is attempting to look at what the future has to hold for projects in our built environment with regards to materials, energy, water and waste,” he says.

Frasers Property is targeting 6 Star Green Star Design and As-Built ratings for Burwood Brickworks shopping centre, which will be an Australian retail first.

The Burwood Brickworks mixed-use community is being designed to achieve a 6 Star Green Star Communities rating, with approximately 500 new trees to be dotted throughout the civic plaza, open spaces, landscaped reserves, neighbourhood parks and pedestrian greenways.

About the author

Shopping Centre News

Shopping Centre News is the leading publication for the shopping centre industry in Australia and New Zealand.

SCN is one of the most authoritative publications in the world for the shopping centre industry. Each issue contains articles on Design, Legal issues, Marketing, Leasing, Centre Management and Development. It features contributions by industry experts from around the globe. Shopping Centre News is the only publication in the world that features centre statistics on Turnover, Turnover per square meter and Specialty Shop turnover per square meter for every major centre in Australia.

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