Waterfront Brisbane sets new benchmarks in Queensland for construction site circularity

By Tamanna Wadhwani  October 30th, 2023

The $2.5 billion Waterfront Brisbane project, led by Dexus, has scaled new heights in sustainable building by recycling 97 per cent of construction and demolition waste to date.

Ten months into the construction program, 97 per cent of the construction and demolition (C&D) waste coming from Dexus’s new Waterfront Brisbane project site has been recycled or reused.

The $2.5 billion project of the transformation of the Eagle Street Pier and Waterfront is set to deliver “a global standard business and tourist destination that aims to maximise its prime riverside location with enhanced open spaces and amenities and a revitalised premier waterfront dining hub”.

Co-owned by Dexus and Dexus Wholesale Property Fund, Waterfront Brisbane is proving to be ahead of the game in the construction industry – a sector that generates around 29 million tonnes of waste in Australia each year – by embedding circular economy principles in its construction plan.

“Our recycling and recovery rate has set a new benchmark and is a result of the project’s focus on circular economy outcomes, underpinned by Dexus’s Sustainability Strategy, while working with project partners who share our values and commitment to sustainability,” said Waterfront Brisbane Project Director, Matthew Beasley.

The project comprises two new office towers, a riverfront retail precinct and expanded public space, including the widening of the riverwalk and a new destination dining experience at Naldham House.

Image Source: Dexus

Image Source: Dexus

Dexus told Planet Ark that traditionally, C&D waste was ‘co-mingled’ in skip bins and trucked to landfill, leaving little avenue for recycling. Of the leftover waste materials created onsite, Dexus is harnessing the power of leading-edge technology and innovative supply chains to minimise environmental impact, reduce the use of virgin materials, lower the quantity of waste sent to landfill and, consequently, lower the project’s greenhouse gas emissions.

They have achieved these goals to date by:

  • Partnering with companies to dismantle and sort the waste onsite.

  • Donating retail fit outs to charity.

  • Providing the Brisbane Arboretum with any organics waste generated on site for composting.

  • Recycling timber, concrete and metals into construction materials for new projects in Brisbane.

  • Repurposing furniture, granite and metal in partnership with Brisbane-based studio Five Mile Radius for inclusion in the completed precinct.

  • Sending some of the materials to be repurposed at Archerfield Air Base, Port of Brisbane, the Ampol refinery at Lytton and a water treatment facility at Luggage Point.

  • Transporting a significant part of this waste by barge to reduce truck movement and carbon emissions.

Dexus’s project exemplifies the critical role that collaboration and investing in innovative solutions plays in successfully achieving circularity.

Dexus’s delivery partner John Holland (construction) and subcontractors Delta Group and Fitzgeralds Constructions Australia (demolition specialists) have meticulously sorted waste on site and transported it to Rino Recycling in Pinkenba to be prepared for reuse.

The project is targeting the world’s best practice environmental performance ratings including a 6-star Green Star rating, 5.5-star NABERS Energy, 4.5-star NABERS Water, 4-star NABERS Waste rating and a Carbon Lite Precinct target. This smart, integrated precinct also aims to integrate a myriad of active and sustainable transport options including the latest in e-vehicle stations, e-bikes and premium end-of-trip facilities.

Learn more about Dexus’s Waterfront Brisbane project.

Tamanna Wadhwani

Tamanna moved from India to Australia to pursue a degree in environmental science and conservation biology. After learning about the concept of a circular economy in 2020, she worked with various organisations in this sector and is interested in solving complex climate change and waste management problems. She loves to communicate with people about all things sustainability or animals. Outside of work, Tamanna is a budding hip hop dancer who also loves travelling, cat cuddles and reading.

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