Property Australia

Best developments driving jobs, growth and prosperity


The ceremony and celebration may have been virtual, but there was no shortage of applause for the winners of the 2020 Property Council of Australia / Rider Levett Bucknall Innovation and Excellence Awards.


  Three key takeaways:

  • The awards program, now in its 38th year in partnership with RLB, showcases innovative projects, pioneering solutions and inspiring leadership in Australia’s property industry.
  • Winners in 19 categories were announced last Thursday 22 October
  • Investa’s Barrack Place took home the coveted Rider Levett Bucknall Australian Development of the Year Award.


“An impressive 127 finalists were announced back in December 2019, and it has certainly been a long wait for us to unveil the winners,” says the Property Council’s chief executive Ken Morrison.

“In a year of unprecedented change, our industry’s commitment to designing, building and managing great places remains steadfast,” Morrison adds.

“Our industry provides jobs for more than 1.4 million Australians, more than mining and manufacturing combined and shapes the future of our cities, as the winners of these awards demonstrate.”

Investa’s Barrack Place was presented with the coveted Rider Levett Bucknall Australian Development of the Year Award.

“Investa’s Barrack Place reminds us of the role that offices play in supporting people to do their best work while creating activity, vibrancy and productivity in our CBDs,” says RLB’s managing director in New South Wales Matthew Harris.

RLB has partnered with the Property Council to present the awards program since its inception in 1982. More than 600 people attended the ‘virtual’ awards presentation hosted by TV personality and former Olympian Johanna Griggs, with a small contingent of well-dressed but socially distanced judges, sponsors and Property Council Board members enjoying the show in person.

“Our awards continue to champion the role that a strong property industry plays as a driver of jobs, growth and prosperity for all Australians,” Harris concludes.

21_ Investa 

Rider Levett Bucknall Australian Development of the Year Award

Investa's Barrack Place (NSW)

Located at 151 Clarence Street, and strategically placed between Martin Place and Sydney’s Western Corridor, this A-grade commercial office tower was completed in 2018.

Designed by Architectus, the 23-storey building features a contemporary glass tower atop a masonry podium façade. A fine grain ground-floor network of laneways creates an active thoroughfare between Clarence and Kent streets.

With abundant natural light and spectacular views across the city, Investa’s Barrack Place boasts a 6 Star Green Star rating for completed construction. It also features Australia’s first WELL Core-and-Shell Gold pre-certification, recognising a building design that contributes to occupant health and wellbeing.

“Investa’s Barrack Place delivered Australia’s first operational smart building digital twin, Bluetooth smart-phone entry, exceptional end-of-trip facilities, advanced air filtration and multiple green spaces,” Harris says. RLB provided commercial certainty on the project.

“Investa and Oxford Properties have transformed a dated 1960s concrete tower into an inspiring, dynamic office building that embodies the future of work,” Morrison adds.

Investa’s Barrack Place also took home the Colliers International Award for Best Office Development and the Landcom Award for Best Sustainable Development – New Buildings.


Avenor Award for Best Residential Development

Oxley + Stirling (QLD)

Sitting on a bend between two reaches of the Brisbane River, Oxley+Stirling comprises 219 apartments over 15 storeys. The building maximises spectacular outlooks with an architectural form shaped by the views. Oxley+Stirling effortlessly combines beauty, luxury and sustainability, with passive environmental design that embodies the principles of a traditional Queenslander.


Growthbuilt Award for Best Affordable Housing Development

Ingenia Lifestyles Chamber Pines (QLD)

Ingenia Communities has developed an innovative land lease ownership model to provide more independent, financially free and flexible home ownership options for downsizers. At Ingenia Lifestyles Chamber Pines, a new home construction design was offered at a compelling entry price point of $229,000 – well below the median house price in the Logan region of $400,000.


Woods Bagot Award for Best Public Building

Green Square Library & Plaza (NSW)

Located in a former marshland and below the water table, Green Square Library & Plaza is at the heart of a community that will be home to 61,000 people by 2030. The 2,300 sqm library is flooded with natural light, thanks to 40 skylights, while a subterranean garden provides quiet space in the fresh air. A central wastewater system and low-energy displacement ventilation system contributed to the library’s 5 Star Green Star rating.


Hiflow Award for Best Shopping Centre Development

Stockland Green Hills (NSW)

A $421 million redevelopment doubled the size of Stockland Green Hills to create a retail, dining and entertainment destination centred around community connection and experience, accessibility and inclusivity. Located in East Maitland, Stockland Green Hills has served the local community since 2002. The project created more than 2,500 new jobs during construction as well as ongoing jobs in retail, customer service, operations and hospitality.

“Stockland Green Hills demonstrates why retail will remain at the heart of the communities. Since the redevelopment, food catering has almost doubled, the apparel market share has grown and so has customer engagement. Stockland Green Hills now rivals any leading metro shopping centre in Australia,” says RLB’s Oceania chairman Peter Tulla.


Pure Projects Award for Best Tourism & Leisure Development

Novotel Brisbane South Bank (QLD)

When it opened in May 2018, Novotel Brisbane South Bank signalled a ‘next generation’ era for the flagship Accor brand. The only internationally branded 4.5-star accommodation in South Bank, the Novotel takes inspiration from iconic hotels in Paris, Bangkok and Sydney. Achieving energy efficiency is a cornerstone of its operations – and is 27 per cent more efficient than a benchmark building.


InfraBuild Award for Best Mixed Use Development

Lighthouse, Dee Why (NSW)

Meriton’s architectural landmark blends residential, retail and commercial in four buildings with unobstructed panoramic views of the ocean, beach and lagoon. Completed in August 2018, the 351 apartments of one, two and three-bedroom apartments sit alongside 16,000 sqm of retail and commercial space, and a 3,000 sqm piazza-style dining precinct. A childcare centre can accommodate 159 children.


Eagle Lighting Australia Award for Best Workplace Project

Arup Melbourne Workplace (VIC)

Arup and HASSELL partnered to create a workplace that offers flexibility, connectivity, sustainability and wellness. The Arup Melbourne experience begins at arrival, via an elevated Sky Park which transforms how people move through the workplace. Arup’s innovative work culture is on show across multiple zones and activity centres, with expansive voids and mezzanines creating five separate terraced levels. The workplace has achieved 6 Star Green Star and WELL Platinum ratings.


EPM Projects Award for Best Master Planned Community

Harcrest (VIC)

Designed and developed by Mirvac, Harcrest offers amenity, parks and premium living among the well-established neighbourhoods at Wantirna South in Melbourne’s east. Harcrest residents have access to around 6.5 hectares of public open space, including a large lake and wetlands, neighbourhood parks, bbq and picnic facilities, playgrounds, a community garden and an orchard. The Harcrest Hub shopping centre, which opened in 2013, offers a mix of convenience, food and beverage tenancies.


S4B Award for Best Heritage Development

York&George (NSW)

A fusion of past and present, York&George delivers commercial office space in meticulously restored historic warehouse buildings. Owners Fife Capital and John Wardle Architects used a stacking design to create a seven-story retail and office podium below a 32-story residential tower. The podium integrates the historic Carlton House and Spiden House fronting York Street with modern flagship retail fronting George Street.

“The project team navigated heavy rail tunnels, multiple heritage buildings, activity along Sydney’s busiest retail precinct, and construction of the Light Rail and development over a geological fault zone to deliver a striking new presence on the Sydney skyline,” says RLB’s Matthew Harris.


LJ Hooker Commercial Award for Best Business or Industrial Park

Coopers Paddock, Warwick Farm (NSW)

Stockland purchased an 11.5-hectare industrial site – six times the size of the Sydney Cricket Ground in Warwick Farm in 2015 from the Australian Turf Club. Fully leased on completed in March 2018, the $96 million office warehouse estate delivers innovative architecture, well-considered urban design, community and social amenity, and sustainability. The significant repatriation of land and replanting of native vegetation has benefited the community and the development has invigorated the local economy.


CEFC Award for Best Sustainable Development – Existing Buildings

EY Centre, 200 George Street (NSW)

Located at 200 George Street, EY Centre combines innovative architectural features with high-performance engineering to deliver market leading operational performance. The Premium grade office tower, owned by AMP Capital and the Mirvac Property Trust, has achieved 6 Star Green Star ratings for design, construction and performance, 5.5 Star NABERS Energy and Indoor Environment ratings, while Mirvac’s tenancy was the first Australian workplace to receive a Gold WELL certification.


Procore Award for Development Innovation

25 King (QLD)

A striking expanse of timber and glass, 25 King is Queensland’s first engineered timber commercial building and the tallest and largest (by gross floor area) in Australia. Built to demonstrate that mass timber buildings can be achieved at scale, 25 King showcases a safe, sustainable, commercially-viable alternative to reinforced concrete construction. Each storey’s facade was sequentially enclosed following completion of its floorplate, creating a safer worksite and vastly reducing dust and noise impacts to adjacent buildings. Lendlease has delivered a 74 per cent saving on embodied carbon when compared to business as usual.


PEXA Award for Project Innovation

Cultivate Urban Farm (NSW)

Cultivate, developed in a partnership between Mirvac and Farmwall, converts under-used spaces such as car parks, basements and vacant retail and office space into urban farms. The fresh produce is used by local chefs and retailers, while urban farming workshops help office workers learn about cultivation, nutrition, health and wellbeing.


Gough Recruitment Award for Government Leadership

Collins Square (VIC)

One of Australia’s largest commercial office developments, Collins Square was delivered by Walker Corporation in partnership with Development Victoria. The vibrant commercial mixed-use precinct features a business hub, 48 retail outlets and 32 commercial tenants over five towers and a heritage-listed building in the heart Docklands. Spanning an entire city block, Collins Square is home to some of the country’s largest businesses.


NS Group Award for Future Leader of the Year

Daniel Burke, Project Manager, Turner & Townsend

Daniel Burke delivers projects that provide better health, education and employment infrastructure for rural and regional communities. Among his significant projects are the Alpha Health and Emergency Services Precinct, the first modular development in Queensland to combine a hospital, fire and police station and staff accommodation. He also managed the Aurukun Primary Health Care Centre refurbishment project and delivered the Palm Island Health Care Centre and Bwgcolman Retail and Business Precinct projects. Passionate about reconciliation, Burke has mentored Indigenous students and played a central role in Turner & Townsend’s Reconciliation Action Plan.

“Daniel is passionate about delivering great places that benefit people, especially in remote and regional communities and demonstrates. His accomplishments underscore the role that our industry plays in shaping cities and integrating communities,” says Morrison.


Intermain Award for Diversity (less than 250 employees)


Growthbuilt promotes diversity in all its forms, but its work to enhance gender diversity on worksites caught the attention of the award judges. Currently, 25 per cent of Growthbuild’s workforce is female, well above the industry average (11.7%). In addition, 20% of leadership roles are held by women. Growthbuilt has set a target that 40% of its workforce and 30% of leadership will be female by 2021.


FDC Award for Diversity (more than 250 employees)


A recognised global leader in diversity and inclusion, Stockland was ranked sixth in Equileap’s global top 100 list for gender equality in 2019. Stockland has been recognised by Australia’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency for five consecutive years. Australia’s largest diversified property company, Stockland has achieved pay parity, half of its executives are women, and its Senior Women’s Sponsorship program is creating a pipeline of career opportunities that has led to promotions for half the women involved.