Executing well-planned, sustainable infrastructure helps to reduce emissions and environmental footprint while enabling economic development. The Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia’s (ISCA) developed the IS rating – Australia’s only comprehensive rating system for evaluating sustainability across design, construction and operation of infrastructure – as a key tool that assists in the development of sustainable infrastructure. One of the other ways ISCA supports sustainable infrastructure is through the Western Australian Working Group that tackles the challenges of sustainable infrastructure in WA and further develops the IS rating scheme. The WA Working Group are hosting the 2018 WA IS Conference in July to discuss key issues in the sustainability space.

Each working group is created to:

  • Inform, scope and identify current challenges and issues about infrastructure sustainability and future development areas and needs
  • Identify and resolve how the IS tool can be utilised across a range of projects
  • Connect ISCA with other complementary industry initiatives and groups

The activities and outcomes of the working group align with ISCA’s overall mission; to improve the productivity and liveability of industry and communities through sustainability in infrastructure.

ISCA’s Western Australian Working Group

The scope of the Western Australian Working Group includes all infrastructure projects in WA, all stakeholders in the supply chain, as well as planning, design, construction and operation. This includes the continued development of the Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) rating scheme.

Previously, sustainability in project delivery was limited to the consideration of stakeholder and environmental issues, with the occasional inclusion of key sustainability assessment decisions such as site selection.

Now, the IS rating scheme encourages consideration of all aspects of the planning, delivery and even deconstruction of a project from a sustainability perspective; from the overarching management systems, leadership and decision making processes, to procurement, climate change adaptation and the more conventionally addressed stakeholder and environmental issues.

IS has made it clearer in WA what is required from industry, and has helped form a sustainability culture.

Forrestfield-Airport Link project

The Forrestfield-Airport Link project is the first Public Transport Authority delivered project to mandate the achievement of an ‘excellent’ IS Rating, in addition to stipulating Sustainability Milestone Payments connected to the rating score and specific focus categories of energy and carbon, waste and community health, wellbeing and safety. The rail link forms part of the METRONET vision to create liveable communities connected by world class public transport.

With sustainability in mind, the new rail line will be underground in 8km twin-bored tunnels, leading to better environmental outcomes, including less drawdown on the water table, fewer vegetation disturbances and reduced noise and vibration during construction and operation of the rail line.

The installation of solar panels at the new Forrestfield station will result in a reduction of approximately 410,440kWh per year, which is the same amount of electricity used by 56 Perth households per year.

Concrete mixes are specifically tailored for the project’s needs, which has maximised the amount of recycled materials to be used and the design features many new technologies and innovative aspects to ensure the safety of both passengers and staff throughout operation.

Main Roads Western Australia projects

Main Roads’ sustainability policy has helped to establish a clear set of principles for its business that focus on creating lasting social, economical and environmental benefits.

This policy is underpinned by six key aspects which were guided by its policy objective:

  • Sustainable transport
  • Climate change
  • Environmental footprint
  • Behaviour
  • Governance and performance
  • Funding and financing

In support of the sustainability policy, Main Roads has adopted the Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) rating tool. All major infrastructure projects exceeding $20 million utilise the IS framework as part of project development and evaluation.

In 2018, there continues to be a focus on Sustainability across all Main Roads major projects. Initiatives that demonstrate this focus include trials of adaptive and LED street lighting for energy efficiency and the use of recycled content in construction, including crushed recycled concrete and crumbed rubber.

Fremantle Ports – Rous Head Industrial Park Project

Fremantle Ports has developed business sustainability principles to guide planning and decision making and to achieve best outcomes for its customers, stakeholders and the community across the quadruple bottom line (economic, governance, environmental and social).

Fremantle Ports was the first Australian port to register a project for an IS rating and the Rous Head Industrial Park project, at the Port of Fremantle, provided an ideal opportunity to evaluate the effective application of the principles on a capital project.  

The project achieved an ‘excellent’ IS rating, showcasing development of a world-first Congestion Management System (CMS) for trucks alongside a successful conservation area supporting recovery of a nationally threatened bird species; the Australian Fairy Tern.

The CMS diverts trucks from congested terminal and container park sites allowing congestion to clear faster, resulting in improved road safety, less cost to transport operators, reduced truck emissions and increased productivity.

Fremantle Ports has partnered with the Conservation Council of WA (CCWA) to undertake research at the sanctuary and has supported the creation of a Fairy Tern Network.

Fremantle Ports is continuing to work with ISCA to support integration of sustainability into port master planning and operation.

Ideal vision for WA

According to the WA Working Group, WA has massive untapped potential, but also a solid foundation to consolidate upon. The WA Working Group believes major infrastructure should deliver against the quadruple bottom line of social, environmental, economic and governance outcomes without significant trade-offs in one particular area, as well as providing long term resilience for the environment and people.

The working group says WA should consider Australia’s Indian Ocean neighbours (especially Southern Asia and East Africa) where the state could provide leadership and help them unlock their potential.

The 2018 WA IS Conference will be held at the Forrestfield-Airport Link Information Centre on 18 July 2018 and will be co-hosted by the Public Transport Authority, Salini Impregilo – NRW Joint Venture and GHD.

It will cover themes including trends, tricks and tractions in infrastructure sustainability, as well as new projects and future innovations.

The conference is aimed at personnel from across all components of WA infrastructure, including transport, energy, water, communication and waste, as well as government and decision makers.

Click here to register for the 2018 WA IS Conference. 

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