Property Australia

Ideas on innovation


Creating an environment where it’s safe to experiment is the secret to innovation, says Lendlease’s Sandra Perosh, as she looks back on the success secrets to International House Sydney.

Lendlease has a strong innovation track record, and last year took home the industry’s most prestigious award for innovation – the Rider Levett Bucknall Australian Development of the Year – for International House Sydney. In 2018, International House Sydney also won the coveted global World Architecture Festival’s use of certified timber award.

Australia’s first engineered timber office, International House Sydney was hailed as an “industry game changer”.

Sandra Perosh, general manager NSW, building at Lendlease, is very proud of the building, which she says is a testament to Lendlease’s commitment to innovation.

“Our people have a lot of smart ideas, but we’ve also created an environment at Lendlease where people have the confidence to put those ideas on the table,” Perosh says.

At International House Sydney, for example, the project team developed a new laminated timber beam solution to meet the requirements of a commercial building. The timber deck system delivered open, flexible floor plates favoured by today’s tenants, while also reducing construction times and hours workers spent on site.

At sibling building Daramu House – designed by the same architect off the back of International House Sydney’s success – the combined solar and green roof is brimming with 15,000 plants – reducing reflectivity, heat effects and stormwater runoff, enhances biodiversity and aesthetics and boosts insulation and occupant comfort.

Additionally, Daramu House’s proposed biofuel generator will provide power for the district cooling plant, while reducing carbon emissions and ongoing energy costs.

“Our people look to solve problems – our own and our customers – and in doing so push the limits of what’s possible,” Perosh adds.

While most organisation are full of ideas, many teams find it difficult to translate those ideas into meaningful outcomes that deliver value for customers. Innovation requires different mindsets, metrics and management methodologies to those used routinely in a business.

Lendlease encourages its people to experiment to build innovation muscle, and to play in the sandbox without fear of failure. “We encourage people to challenge the norm,” Perosh says.

Perosh says cutting edge research “certainly encourage us to continue to test the boundaries”.

Lendlease has since applied its learnings to other projects, including 25 King in Brisbane, Australia’s tallest engineered timber office building. Late last year, Lendlease also became one of the first Australian builder to become carbon neutral.

“We will continue to push the limits, because we want to deliver places that work in 30 years’ time, not just today.”