Sustainability Awards judge in profile: Mirvac’s David Palin

  •   26 June 2017

David Palin, sustainability manager at Mirvac, is a judge for this year’s Sustainability Awards.

Palin leads a team of in-house sustainability professionals and is responsibile for the delivery of Mirvac’s This Changes Everything sustainability strategy across the office and industrial and retail portfolios.

He is chair of the Better Building Partnership’s Waste Technical Working Group, a member of the PCA’s Asset Management and Sustainable Development committee and the Calculating Cooling Steering Group.

Architecture and Design spoke to him about holistic design, SMART building technologies and indoor environment quality.

What are you looking for as a judge?

I’d like to see design that actively contemplates the entire building community, including investors, tenants, operators, service providers, and how they will interact and interface with the building throughout its life.

I’ll also be looking for holistic design that seeks to enhance operational performance and considers how the building will be refurbished and upgraded through its life cycle to maintain relevance; a design that responds to and integrates new technologies.

How much do you think sustainable design has changed over the past couple of years?

We have seen an evolution in sustainable design disciplines with a continuing focus on carbon, energy and water and an increasing focus on resource recovery, wellbeing, the supply chain and the implementation of SMART building technologies.

What do you think is the most pressing sustainability issue for the industry at the moment?

Since the Paris Agreement on climate change, there has been a renewed emphasis on strategies to achieve net zero emissions. Coupled with the current high levels of volatility in domestic energy markets, this will be a huge driver for sustainable design and renewable technologies.

What is a new technology or approach that you hope gains wider use?

I expect to see an increasing implementation of SMART building technologies that will provide greater insights into a building’s usage and enable a new level of building optimisation.

New technologies, such as integrated communication networks, with non-proprietary, open engineered systems will provide better access and integration of data and this will enable much greater insights into performance. Along with this enhanced data management capacity, we will need to build ethical standards and protocols around the collation and usage of data.

Do you think sustainability is still an add-on or is it incorporated holistically?

Sustainability is, in general, being incorporated holistically. It needs to be an integral component or the environmental and financial performance benefits will be lost. Designers must consider how sustainable elements will be used and how the intent of the design will be transferred to the building occupants and operators.

Where do you see sustainable design heading in the next few years?

We will see more attention to the building environment, as well as factors such as indoor environment quality and its impact on productivity and wellbeing. We are also seeing more interaction with our supply chain partners and a continued evolution of the important industry rating tools, including NABERS and Green Star.