Super sustainable projects

Climate and biodiversity emergencies are global challenges that demand strong, adaptive responses. 

In 2019 Hassell joined a group of leading design practices in Australia and the UK to declare a climate and biodiversity emergency and pledged to respond with action.

The world will add 2 trillion square feet of buildings by 2060 – the equivalent of putting up another New York City every month for the next 40 years.”

Bill Gates


Hassell has designed over 2,900,000 square metres of buildings certified or registered as sustainable using rating tools including LEED, Green Mark, Green Star and WELL.

As an active member of international industry bodies – such as the Green Building Council of Australia and the US Green Building Council – we constantly update and expand our sustainable design capabilities.

A sustainable building will typically use 25% less energy, cost 20% less to maintain, and have 17% higher occupancy rates.

Source: National Geographic


The best approach to sustainability depends on the context. What works on one project may not work on another. From designing single buildings to planning whole cities, Hassell responds to the unique natural, cultural and economic circumstances of each project to improve environmental outcomes.

Sustainable and regenerative design creates better performing buildings and spaces that have lasting value. These impact the future of the cities and communities in which we work.

Buildings generate 40% of the world’s greenhouse gasses – twice as much as cars, and planes. The design and construction industries have to do better. 

Architecture 2030


Hassell was a partner in the Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) for Low Carbon Living: a $100 million, seven-year, multi-national research collaboration between industry, government and research organisations. Read more about how we’ve playing our part in looking for solutions to long-term challenges facing cities.

We’ve designed over 2.9M sqm of projects certified sustainable through LEED, Green Mark, BREEAM, Green Star and WELL ratings.


Through these projects, we’ve identified 10 key principles of sustainable design:

  1. Leverage the potential of the site and local climate
  2. Respect and enhance ecosystems
  3. Enhance health and well-being
  4. Protect and conserve water
  5. Optimise energy performance and use renewable energy
  6. Use products and materials that are non-toxic, ethical and sustainable
  7. Reduce pollution and waste, and enable re-use and recycling
  8. Encourage and support use of active and public transport
  9. Consider the full life cycle of projects and materials
  10. Enable adaptation to a changing climate and environment
Some of our standout sustainable projects

130,000sqm building /
83,600sqm fitout


  • A benchmark in robust, responsive and accessible sustainable architecture
  • 6 Star Green Star – Office Design v2 rating from the GBCA
  • Winner World Architecture Festival’s Interiors and Fitout of the Year award, 2010

It accommodates the most contemporary ideas of workplace planning and has excellent green credentials. [It] carries the spirit of a respected institution forward into a modern open and accessible one.”

International jury, World Architecture Festival

Image: Earl Carter

45,000sqm workplace


  • One of UK’s largest agile workplaces with vast spaces broken up by trees and extensive planting
  • Rainwater harvesting system, solar panels, a green roof and high-efficiency lighting to reduce energy use
  • BREEAM rating of excellent’
  • 24,776 plants installed within the building
  • 10% energy needs generated by PV cells
  • 250+ new mature planted trees 

PV cells generate 10% of its electricity needs, the rainwater it harvests feeds its washrooms, the extensive planting oxygenates the atmosphere and the Live Well food program protects waistlines.”

Neil Usher, Sky Workplace Director

View project
Image: Mark Cocksedge



  • Designed for sub-tropical climate, with systems to pre-cool air and external shading to reduce energy use up to 70%
  • Screens throughout showing real-time energy output, water use and waste production – the building as teaching tool’
  • Use of local, sustainable hardwoods in striking auditorium with exposed 220-tonne timber truss roof
  • More than 15 awards for sustainability, timber use and other features

AEB expertly embraces setting and place and has created an exemplar of engagement with renewable resources and local industry.” 

Jury citation, Australian Institute of Architects Queensland Awards

Image: Peter Bennetts



  • First Australian use of structural geopolymer concrete, a low-carbon product made with low GHG emissions
  • Naturally ventilated and able to operate with no mechanical heating/​cooling for over 80 per cent of the year
  • More than a dozen national and state awards for sustainable architecture

The Global Change Institute was founded on the promise of dealing with change … GCI stimulates thinking and generates new ideas to answer community puzzles and global problems.” 

Penelope Wensley AC, Former Queensland Governor

Image: Peter Bennetts



  • Purpose-built for pioneering research into green’ transformation of cities
  • World-class research and teaching facility (first of its kind in Australia) and demonstration site for community
  • Design collaboration with the client’s leading academic green roof technology and urban horticulture researchers

[Hassell] had a track record of building green roofs in Australia. We hope that the Burnley Living Roofs stimulate the development of the green roof industry in Australia by providing tangible built examples [to] view and visit and also be used in our teaching and research.”

Dr Nick Williams, Senior Lecturer, Urban Ecology and Horticulture University of Melbourne

Image: Peter Bennetts

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