Property Australia

Burwood Brickworks meets the sustainability challenge

Karen Jamal Karen Jamal April 27, 2021

Burwood Brickworks in Melbourne is officially the world’s most sustainable shopping centre after Frasers Property Australia achieved Living Building Challenge certification. 


  Why we love this project: 

  • No other retail centre development globally has ever attempted the Living Building Challenge, which requires projects to deliver a net positive impact by operating as cleanly, beautifully and efficiently as nature’s architecture 
  • Frasers Property has developed a ‘greensheet’ – a comprehensive building materials database of products vetted and used at Burwood Brickworks – which will be freely-available to the industry 
  • Burwood Brickworks’ rooftop urban farm is an Australian retail first and fulfils the Living Building Challenge requirement for food production on site. 


The International Living Future Institute (ILFI), the global authority which administers the Living Building Challenge, has awarded Burwood Brickworks ‘Petal Certification’. 

Living Building Challenge uses the motif of a flower, with seven performance areas – or petals – covering place, materials, health and happiness, beauty, water, energy and equity. 

Frasers Property has received its certification based on four of the categories, with assessment of water, energy and equity impacted by COVID-19 restrictions. These petals will be independently audited, based on 12 months of operational data, for the centre to achieve full Living Building Challenge certification. 

Frasers Property’s chief executive officer Anthony Boyd says the vision for Burwood Brickworks “was to redefine sustainability in retail by challenging ourselves in new and uncomfortable ways”. 

Meeting the Living Building Challenge requirements was a “benchmark-altering aspiration that we knew would push us, and the industry, to create buildings that deliver a net benefit to the environment and the community”. 

This meant “exposing ourselves to possible failure, inviting new levels of scrutiny, balancing commercial feasibility, challenging our project partners to take the journey with us, and investing time and resources into working with our tenants”. 

Anchored by Woolworths, Dan Murphy’s and Reading Cinemas, Burwood Brickworks was designed by Melbourne-based NH Architecture with creative input from Russell & George. Hacer Group was principal contractor. 

210319_LiveProud2021_HaydenEOSr_0367The 13,000 sqm centre incorporates a 2,000 sqm rooftop urban farm and restaurant operated by acre farm and eatery. One of the largest urban agricultural projects in Australia, acre offers a true ‘paddock to plate’ experience, with diners sitting alongside rows of vegetables and fruit trees, a greenhouse for micro-greens, a quail coop, chicken hutchworm farms and vertical strawberry patch. 

Acre’s Luke Heard says the lessons learnt during the pursuit of the certification will “help not only our business, but other business operators and property development companies to make a positive impact on the places they occupy and the communities they’re a part of”. 

Laura Hamilton-O'Hara, CEO of the Living Future Institute of Australia, the Australian arm of the ILFI, calls Frasers Property’s decision to take up the challenge “incredibly courageous and pioneering”. 

“Burwood Brickworks sets a new benchmark for our industry but perhaps more importantly, it defines a pathway for others to follow. 

Assuming an undisrupted 12 months of 'typical’ operation, Frasers Property is targeting full certification in late 2022. Frasers Property has documented its certification journey on a recently launched website.