Whole life carbon in practice: Leadership in sustainable design

Laing O'Rourke
3 min read

The Central Station Metro (CSM) project has been awarded a 6 Star Green Star Design Review rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. This rating represents ‘world leadership’ in environmentally sustainable building design and is a first for Laing O’Rourke in Australia.

In line with both the client, Sydney Metro, and Laing O’Rourke’s sustainability approach, and using a road map from Green Star, the team committed to embedding sustainable principles into the design of the new metro station. To provide certainty for our client, the Laing O’Rourke team, with Woods Bagot and the Aurecon GHD design joint venture, set a target to achieve a minimum 5-star rating for the project.

The team has also achieved the highest possible level Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) Rating v1.2 score for the CSM Sydney Trains asset areas. The team has done an outstanding job in reaching a Leading Rating Level of 85 points, exceeding both their contractual target (75 points) and their contractual stretch target (79 points).

With the IS Rating achievement, all project assets in design now have the highest possible sustainability rating levels, for their respective rating scheme.

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“We were genuinely stretching the daylights out of the targets back in 2017 and for the CSM team to say ‘thanks, but we reckon we can do better’ (and achieve it) is beyond incredible – especially given the complexity of the project, the interface with Green Star and the existing sustainability technical specifications”

Hollie Hynes General Manager, Sustainability and Environment Australia

There were a number of major achievements on the project that led to this rating, including:  An Australian first innovation for collaborating with the project waste services provider to be the first Australian construction project that use a Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) certified waste services company. Separate to the IS Rating, a world first innovation was recognised by Global Ecolabelling Network who have stated CSM is the “first construction site and project to be included on a Type 1 Ecolabel programme in accordance with ISO 14024 Environmental Labels and Declarations for waste services”.

Implementation of Return & Earn to donate to local charities. The team shared the idea and learnings across their networks, which has led to multiple Sydney Metro contractors replicating this initiative on other projects, delivering impact beyond this programme of works.

Commitment to sustainable procurement and encouraging good sustainability practices and innovation through the supply chain.

Reducing energy by 36.53% over the 100 year design life of the project compared to the forecast base case footprint.

Substituting potable (drinking) water by 90% over the 100 year design life of the project compared to the base case footprint.

Reducing the carbon footprint of materials by 21% over the 100 year design life of the project compared to the base case footprint.

Delivering community benefit initiatives that respond to the community priority issues – support people experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness, workforce development and industry participation, and integrated transport for a connected city.

Not only did the team deliver above the plan for this city-shaping infrastructure project, they stretched their targets to provide a number of Innovation Challenges such as the contribution to Laing O’Rourke’s Reconciliation Action Plan, local workforce targets and certifying their waste provider to the new GECA standard. This is a prime example of what can be achieved by working collaboratively with our client, setting targets, and engaging a team with an unapologetic focus on sustainability.