Smarter Thinking

Mission: To create the first smart portfolio by 2020

Our progress so far

Thinking progressively is the key to doing things differently, maintaining a competitive edge, and delivering better products. This year, we have continued to embrace new technologies, invest in our people, and embed innovation into everything we do. As well as driving better sustainability outcomes across our buildings, this focus has enabled us to improve the health and wellbeing of our employees, and become the first Australian company to earn a gold WELL rating from the International WELL Building Institute. We believe that where there’s a will, there’s always a smarter way.

TECHNOLOGY

There’s no doubt that technology is one of the strongest forces driving our business, and the world in which we operate. Almost every facet of what we do is affected by technological change, from the way we deal with waste on construction sites, to the impending impact of artificial intelligence on the workforce.

This year we continued to explore, learn from, and make the most of emerging technologies to drive better outcomes across our business, whether it involved enhancing the air quality in our offices, or identifying emerging issues through our smart working groups. Here are a few of the highlights.

The smartest building on the block
This year, we were especially proud to attain gold WELL certification for 200 George Street, Sydney. This is a new standard that focuses on the occupants’ experience, aligning with our commitment to delivering buildings that support human health and wellbeing. You can read the full story here.

Data analysis and tracking
Over the past 12 months, we have concentrated our efforts on tracking and benchmarking data from the buildings we manage. Technologies such as smart metering, LED lights and chiller plant optimisation have had a major impact on our energy efficiency, but we want to keep improving. By holding monthly analytics meetings, we’re able to see what’s working well and refine our systems further to drive better performance – not only in terms of energy efficiency but also with regard to the thermal comfort, health and wellbeing of the occupants of our buildings.

SAMBAs on the move
Designed to measure the comfort of building occupants, our SAMBA  units have continued to provide great insight into the thermal conditions, lighting, acoustics and air quality at 200 George Street. We are now looking at using SAMBA units in other assets, to measure and improve their internal environments in a similar way. Two measures we plan to explore in more detail are total volatile organic compounds and particulate matter (fine particles in the air), to monitor how these vary across a building and throughout the day, with the aim of improving the air quality in our buildings.

The Living Lab continues to evolve
Now in its second year, the Living Lab at 200 George Street, which is where we conduct live research into the quality of the indoor environment, is well and truly established. The sensor units are up and running and the SAMBA units are in place. The challenge has been pulling all the data together in a meaningful way. We have used the lab to run a few tests around things like thermal inertia, and have many more experiments planned as part of our ongoing innovation.

Updates in store for our offices
As technology evolves, we know our office tenants’ requirements for robust infrastructure to meet and anticipate data opportunities will only grow. With this in mind, we are undertaking an audit of all our office buildings with the end goal of upgrading all of them to have fibre optic ‘backbones’. This will future-proof our assets, keep us on the front foot as technologies such as 5G emerge, and enable better intelligence on the way our buildings can operate more efficiently with energy, water and waste.

Sharpening our cyber security
Mirvac attended the Intelligent Building Conference (IBcon) again in 2017, and continues to leverage best practice insights to strengthen our cyber security. For the full story click here.

OSPREY WATERS WINS RASI AND UDIA AWARDS

Last year, we launched the Residential Awards for Sustainability and Innovation, an internal competition also known as the RASIs. The first winner of this award was the team from Osprey Waters, which impressed our panel with its thoughtful submission. In an exciting turn of events, Osprey Waters went on to become a double winner at the 2016 Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) Awards, taking home both the 2016 National UDIA Environmental Excellence Award and the highly coveted Russell Perry award for Urban Development Excellence in WA.

So what makes Osprey Waters so special?

Located on the Peel Inlet in Mandurah, WA, Osprey Waters unites residents with a nearby estuary and surrounding bushland, delivering connected and convenient waterside living. The UDIA judges were especially impressed with the integration of landscaping into the design, which included refurbishing the natural environment and planting over 2,700 new native trees. Natural vegetation has been retained, and wildlife habitats protected, including those belonging to birds such as the osprey and black cockatoo. The development also includes 6.4 hectares of landscaped natural parkland with walkways, boardwalks, beautiful tree-lined streets, playgrounds and barbecue amenities encouraging community, connectivity and activity.

The preservation and cultivation of these habitats really makes a difference to our customers, who have shared with us through the Mirvac liveability survey that access to green space for physical and mental wellbeing is valuable.

At Osprey Waters, Mirvac made the display home special. Using innovative building techniques and materials: the display home is carbon neutral in its operation and provides an ideal vehicle to educate prospective buyers and residents about the benefits of sustainable living.

76%
(up 14% from FY16) of Mirvac’s people say they have some form of flexibility, whether formal or informal and this is a significant factor in our excellent employee engagement results.

WORKFORCE

In FY17, flexibility continued to be a major focus at Mirvac, with our building balance initiative inspiring a new business-wide program entitled My Simple Thing, which encourages conversations between employees and managers at all levels of the organisation to identify simple measures which are meaningful and help improve work-life quality.

In addition, the agile working environment we’ve created at our 200 George Street head office in Sydney has been a great success, and is being extended to other offices.

For more on our People & Culture, click here.