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Associate Professor Sara Wilkinson

Biography

I am a Chartered Building Surveyor, a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a member of the Australian Property Institute.  Prior to becoming an academic, I worked in London providing professional Building Surveying services particularly in refurbishment of commercial buildings and social housing. I  have worked in four universities in the UK and Australia over a 23 year period. I am a member of RICS Oceania Sustainability Working Group and NSW committee and has excellent professional networks globally.

I have a PhD, an MPhil, an MA and a BSc. My PhD examined building adaptation, whilst the MPhil explored the conceptual understanding of green buildings. The MA is in Social Science Research Methods and the BSc is in Building Surveying. I am well published with over 100 publications and books include Sustainable Building Adaptation, Best Value in Construction, A Greener Home and Property Development.

My research focuses on sustainability and adaptation in the built environment, user satisfaction, retrofit of green roofs and conceptual understanding of sustainability. Sara is on the editorial board of five international refereed journals.


Professional

Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS)

Associate Member of the Australian Property Institute (AAPI)

Image of Sara Wilkinson
Associate Professor, School of the Built Environment
Bachelor of Science Bldg Surveying, Master of Philosophy, Master of Arts, Doctor of Philosophy
 
Phone
+61 2 9514 8631

Research Interests

I am currently active in the following areas;
  • Building adaptation and sustainability (also known as retrofit, rehabilitation, refurbishment, adaptive re-use and conversion).
  • Conceptual understanding of sustainability (social, economic, environmental, political and philosophical underpinning of sustainability).
  • Green roof retrofit from building to city scale (retrofit for storm-water attenuation, thermal performance, food production, social engagement). 
  • Measuring and quantifying sustainability in the built environment 
  • Building user / occupant satisfaction in buildings / refurbished buildings.

Can supervise: Yes
Currently I teach at post graduate level in Sustainable Urban Development on building related aspects and Advanced Property Development. I am teaching Sustainable Construction and Development Management from 2016. I have co-ordinated and taught the Honours Program in the School of Built Environment from 2012 to 2015.

Books

Wilkinson, S., Christensen, P. & Sayce, S. 2015, Developing Property Sustainably, First, Routledge, London and New York.
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Throughout the book, international case studies are used to demonstrate how sustainable property development is applied in practice around the world.
Wilkinson, S.J., Remøy, H. & Langston, C. 2014, Sustainable Building Adaptation: Innovations in Decision-making, John Wiley & Sons, Chichester, United Kingdom.
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The book offers guidance towards a balanced approach that incorporates sustainable and optimal approaches for effective management of sustainable adaptation of existing commercial buildings.
Wilkinson, S.J. & Reed, R. 2008, Property Development 5 Ed., 5, Taylor and Francis, London.
Reed, R. & Wilkinson, S.J. 2008, A Greener House The Sustainable Property Investor's Guide to Buying, Building and Renovating, Wrightbooks.
If you own property and would like to increase its value, you can't afford to ignore sustainability. This book will show you how to reduce your environmental footprint while making the most of your greatest financial asset.
Knight, A. & Ruddock, L. 2008, Advanced Research Methods in the Built Environment, Wiley-Blackwell.
This book provides a bridge between the introductory research methods books and the discipline-specific, higher level texts.
Kelly, J., Morledge, R. & Wilkinson, S.J. 2002, Best Value in Construction, 1st, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford.
This book from the RICS Foundation analyses how to provide best value by the effective application of leading edge techniques and processes throughout the entire life cycle of buildings, from the business case which underpins their ...

Chapters

Wilkinson, S.J., Remoy, H. & Hajibandeh, M. 2016, 'Chapter 1 Sustainable Development' in Noguchi, M. (ed), ZEMCH: Toward the Delivery of Zero Energy Mass Custom Homes, Springer, Germany.
This edition encompasses a wide spectrum of hopes and fears around the design, production and marketing approaches to the ZEMCH delivery and operation, and showcases some exemplars budding out in different climates around the globe
Wilkinson, S.J. & Sayce, S.L. 2015, 'Introduction to sustainable property development' in Wilkinson, S.J., Sayce, S.L. & Christensen, P.H. (eds), Developing Property Sustainably, Routledge, pp. 1-19.
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Throughout the book, international case studies are used to demonstrate how sustainable property development is applied in practice around the world.
Wilkinson, S.J. & Sayce, S.L. 2015, 'Stakeholders through the development process' in Wilkinson, S.J., Sayce, S.L. & Christensen, P.H. (eds), Developing Property Sustainably, Routledge, pp. 20-40.
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Throughout the book, international case studies are used to demonstrate how sustainable property development is applied in practice around the world.
Wilkinson, S.J. & Sayce, S.L. 2015, 'Site feasibility: evaluating the site, commitment and sustainability' in Wilkinson, S.J., Sayce, S.L. & Christensen, P.H. (eds), Developing Property Sustainably, Routledge, pp. 41-64.
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Throughout the book, international case studies are used to demonstrate how sustainable property development is applied in practice around the world.
Eves, C., Wilkinson, S.J. & Sayce, S.L. 2015, 'Financing the project: Economic incentives promoting sustainable property development' in Wilkinson, S.J., Sayce, S.L. & Christensen, P.H. (eds), Developing Property Sustainably, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 100-124.
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Throughout the book, international case studies are used to demonstrate how sustainable property development is applied in practice around the world.
Wilkinson, S.J. 2015, 'Sustainable construction issues' in Wilkinson, S.J., Sayce, S.L. & Christensen, P.H. (eds), Developing Property Sustainably, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 147-176.
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Throughout the book, international case studies are used to demonstrate how sustainable property development is applied in practice around the world.
Wilkinson, S.J. & Sayce, S.L. 2015, 'Procuring the project in a sustainable way' in Wilkinson, S.J., Sayce, S.L. & Christensen, P.H. (eds), Developing Property Sustainably, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 177-202.
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Throughout the book, international case studies are used to demonstrate how sustainable property development is applied in practice around the world.
Wilkinson, S.J. 2015, 'Post occupancy and building operation issues' in Wilkinson, S.J., Sayce, S.L. & Christensen, P.H. (eds), Developing Property Sustainably, Routledge, pp. 234-250.
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Throughout the book, international case studies are used to demonstrate how sustainable property development is applied in practice around the world.
Wilkinson, S.J. 2015, 'New build or adaptation' in Wilkinson, S.J., Sayce, S.L. & Christensen, P.H. (eds), Developing Property Sustainably, Routledge, pp. 251-274.
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Throughout the book, international case studies are used to demonstrate how sustainable property development is applied in practice around the world.
Christensen, P.H. & Sayce, S. 2015, 'Planning and Regulatory Issues Impacting Sustainable Property Development' in Wilkinson, S., Sayce, S. & Christensen, P.H. (eds), Developing Property Sustainably, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 125-146.
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Throughout the book, international case studies are used to demonstrate how sustainable property development is applied in practice around the world.
Christensen, P.H. & Sayce, S. 2015, 'Sustainable Property Reporting and Rating Tools' in Wilkinson, S., Sayce, S. & Christensen, P.H. (eds), Developing Property Sustainably, Routledge, London and New York, pp. 203-233.
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This chapter presents a comparison of the key sustainability reporting and assessment rating tools around the globe which are most applicable to property development. It then assesses critically their contribution to the development of buildings in a sustainable manner. As rating tools, at least potentially, can have an influence on market pricing the discussion is not restricted to those tools which are implemented purely at the design and development stage. Taking an objective approach, this chapter asks the question: are we, as a society, collectively and as a development industry, in danger of hitting the targets but missing the point with regards to developing more sustainable buildings with these tools?
Wilkinson, S.J. 2014, 'Defining Adaptation' in Sustainable Building Adaptation, Wiley Blackwells, UK, pp. 3-17.
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This section of the book establishes the definition of adaptation in the context of this publication. It reviews and synthesises the relevant literature, while progressively developing the research questions, hypotheses and the conceptual model towards a knowledge-based approach to sustainable office adaptation. It describes and substantiates latest research demonstrating how to make a preliminary assessment of adaptation potential using Melbourne as an illustrative case study. Further examples demonstrating how the process can be applied to US, Canadian and UK buildings is provided here. The relevance of Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) to adaptation is explained and contextualised in this section.
Wilkinson, S.J. 2014, 'Drivers and Barriers for Adaptation' in Wilkinson, S.J., Remoy, H. & Langston, C. (eds), Sustainable Building Adaptation: Innovations in Decision-making, Wiley Blackwell, Oxford, UK, pp. 18-41.
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This chapter explains lifecycle theory and how it links with adaptation before describing building performance and adaptation theory. From this point drivers and barriers affecting adaptation are detailed. The overarching social, environmental and economic factors are explained as a precursor to a discussion on the specific building attributes associated with adaptations. In this way a comprehensive overview of the theoretical framework in which adaptation decisions are made is provided.
Wilkinson, S.J. 2014, 'Assessing adaptation using PAAM' in Wilkinson, S.J., Remoy, H.T. & Langston, C. (eds), Sustainable Building Adaptation: Innovations in Decision-making, Wiley-Blackwell, oxford UK, pp. 42-58.
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The chapter presents a conceptual model to frame the multiple attributes and the different levels of adaptation that can occur. The importance of 'green' or sustainable features in previous adaptations is used to develop a decision making tool for non-experts to undertake a preliminary assessment of adaptation potential. This method for undertaking a preliminary assessment of the potential for adaptations is based on the attributes shown to be most important through analysis of previous adaptations. Finally a case study is presented to demonstrate the application of the model in practice.
Wilkinson, S.J. 2014, 'Sustainable Adaptation A case study of the Melbourne CBD' in Wilkinson, S.J., Langston, C. & Remoy, H.T. (eds), Sustainable Building Adaptation, wiley Blackwell, oxford UK, pp. 1-277.
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The chapter presents a conceptual model to frame the multiple attributes and the different levels of adaptation that can occur. The importance of 'green' or sustainable features in previous adaptations is used to develop a decision making tool for non-experts to undertake a preliminary assessment of adaptation potential. This method for undertaking a preliminary assessment of the potential for adaptations is based on the attributes shown to be most important through analysis of previous adaptations. Finally a case study is presented to demonstrate the application of the model in practice.

Conferences

Wilkinson, S.J., van den Heijden, J.J. & Sayce, S.L. 2015, 'Hybrid governance instruments for built environment sustainability and resilience: A comparative perspective', RICS COBRA AUBEA 2015, The Construction, Building and Real Estate Research Conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors; The Australasian Universities' Building Educators Association Conference, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Sydney, Australia, pp. np-np.
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Mandatory and voluntary governance instruments (such as statutory code compliance; regulation, voluntary certification; bench marking schemes) have been slow in achieving targeted improvements in environmental and resource sustainability of the built environment, facing well documented regulatory and market barriers (Wilkinson, 2013; Van Der Heijden, 2014). If such schemes have not delivered to expectation, are other instruments needed, and what should they look like? Should they be compliance or market driven? Recent research (Van Der Heijden, 2014; Green Construction Board, forthcoming) has identified that hybrid instruments which build on the strengths of mandatory and voluntary instruments hold the potential to overcome the weaknesses of both. This paper seeks to better understand whether such hybrids have the potential, in ways that previous schemes have not, to effect behaviour change. Different types of hybridity are identified and categorised to enable further scrutiny, particularly to better understand their potential value in stimulating changed behaviours by individuals and corporations to achieve improved environmental and resource sustainability of the built environment in Europe and beyond. Through this paper a deeper understanding is sought regarding (i) why these hybrids have emerged; (ii) what they look like, what actors are involved, and how responsibilities are organised; and (iii) why they have the potential to affect behavioural change. A desktop study is used to identify, map and to the extent possible evaluate these
Wilkinson, S.J. & Remoy, H.R. 2015, 'Building resilience in urban settlements through conversion adaptation', RICS COBRA AUBEA 2015, The Construction, Building and Real Estate Research Conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors; The Australasian Universities' Building Educators Association Conference, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Sydney Australia, pp. np-np.
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The built environment contributes 40% to total global greenhouse gas emissions and 87% of the buildings we will have in 2050 are already built. If predicted climate changes are correct we need to adapt existing stock sustainably. Reuse is an inherently sustainable option, which reduces the amount of waste going to landfill. Inevitably settlements and areas undergo change, whereby land uses become obsolete and buildings vacant. At this stage, the options are either to demolish or to convert to another use. In central business districts (CBDs) outside of Australia there is a long history of office to residential conversion. Although these types of conversions are few in number in the Sydney and Melbourne CBD, a trend is emerging in conversion. Some 102,000m2 of office space is earmarked for residential conversion in Sydney as demand for central residential property grows and low interest rates create good conditions. Coupled with this, is a stock of ageing offices and a population projected to increase by 4% to 2031 requiring 45000 new homes. With the Sydney market about to be flooded with the Barangaroo office supply in 2017, the conditions for residential conversion are better than ever. However; what is the level of sustainability in these projects? This paper investigates the nature and extent of the phenomena in Sydney, as well as the political, economic, social, environmental and technological drivers and barriers to successful conversion. Through international comparisons with cases in the Netherlands, the paper identifies the key lessons. To date no major study has been conducted into the Sydney market nor into conversion adaptation. Furthermore most residential development has comprised new construction. There is substantial potential to change the nature of the CBD with residential conversion of office space and this paper explores this potential.
Ghosh, S. & Wilkinson, S.J. 2015, 'Roles of a roof top garden in enhancing social participation and urban regeneration in Sydney CBD.', RICS COBRA AUBEA 2015, The Construction, Building and Real Estate Research Conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors; The Australasian Universities' Building Educators Association Conference, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Sydney, Australia, pp. np-np.
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Urban food production on the rooftops in denser urban areas could recreate lost productive green spaces and could provide meaningful places for social interaction and sustainable practices. With a funding support from City of Sydney's Environmental Grant Programme, a rooftop garden was established for University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) staff members and students on a UTS Student Housing building located in the Sydney CBD. This paper aims to explore aspirations, motivations and expectations of UTS staff and student members in an institutional setting and at an early setting up stage of this garden. Semi-structured interviews had been conducted with the UTS staff and student members to understand their views. Outcomes suggest in this workplace rooftop garden, participants expect to grow food; create important social networks to initiate community building and engagement; share new knowledge and gardening practices and have important access to nature in a workplace or in an institution. Converting vacant and suitable roof spaces of institutional buildings into rooftop gardens have significant potential to contribute to a positive urban regeneration process in denser environments. Institutional supports and appropriate policies would be essential for the uptake.
Firley, E., Hogrebe, N. & Wilkinson, S.J. 2015, 'Building communities and their legal implications - A German case study', RICS COBRA AUBEA 2015, The Construction, Building and Real Estate Research Conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors; The Australasian Universities' Building Educators Association Conference, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Sydney, Australia, pp. np-np.
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In the form of an innovative adaptation of older concepts, the German real estate market has witnessed over the last 15 years a substantial growth in the number of developments that are led by groups of private individuals. The reasons for this trend towards so-called building communities (German terminology - "Baugemeinschaften") are manifold, including the financial motivation to save the developer's margin, the quest for alternative architectural products not provided by the professional market, as much as the creation of long-lasting social connections through the participation in a communal planning, design and construction effort. This paper, jointly authored by an urban designer and a lawyer, focuses on the identification of the German case-studies' major legal issues and their implications on architectural and urban questions. The reason for a multi-disciplinary approach is based on the desire to uncover and highlight the interplay of social and economic forces that otherwise might remain hidden behind the specialists' separations. Ultimately, the practical aim is to help identify the critical moments in the building communities' development process, in which a modification of the legal system might be productive, or the interference of the public sector helpful.
Hurst, N. & Wilkinson, S.J. 2015, 'Housing and energy efficiency: What do real estate agent advertisements tell us?', RICS COBRA AUBEA 2015, The Construction, Building and Real Estate Research Conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors; The Australasian Universities' Building Educators Association Conference, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Sydney Australia, pp. np-np.
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This research examines the appearance of energy efficient words and phrases in real estate agent advertisements in Melbourne Australia and, whether there is a correlation between the use of such lexis and the demographic profiles of various geographic locations. Energy efficient housing has been the subject of research over the last 20 years and is being largely driven by climate change. Newly constructed homes in Australia are required to meet minimum energy efficiency performance standards however; there remains no requirement to uplift the energy performance of existing buildings. Given that 87% of the stock we will have in 2050 is already built (Kelly 2008) there is a clear need to upgrade and adapt existing buildings in terms of energy efficiency (Wilkinson 2014). The current Australian government appears to be embracing a neo-liberal philosophy with the absence of any direct market centred policies allowing market forces to drive change (IEA 2014) However public reaction to this market driven strategy appears to be lagging and many people, when choosing an established home to purchase, seem not to be cognisant or interested in energy efficiency as a criteria when making purchase decisions (Eves and Bryant, 2012). Although limited in volume contemporary research suggests that purchasers of housing are more likely to consider energy efficient and sustainable characteristics in a house if they are more affluent and educated (Eves and Kipps 2010; Zhang 2010). This research examines the appearance of energy efficient words and phrases in real estate agent advertisements in Melbourne Australia and, whether there is a correlation between the use of such lexis and the demographic profiles of various geographic locations. The researchers examined sales data from 91,331 real estate agent advertisements of residential transactions dating from 2008 to 2013. It was found that a limited number of advertisements mentioned energy efficiency and sustainability measures and ...
Ghosh, S., Wilkinson, S. & Adler, D. 2015, 'Social aspects of urban food production: a case study of Coogee Community Garden in Sydney', Conference Proceedings, 8th Making Cities Liveable Conference, Association for Sustainability in Business Inc., Melbourne, pp. 71-86.
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Jupp, J.R. & Wilkinson, S. 2015, 'Through-life Information Management For Commercial Property Practice: Benefits & Challenges of BIM', RICS COBRA AUBEA 2015, The Construction, Building and Real Estate Research Conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors; The Australasian Universities' Building Educators Association Conference, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Sydney, Australia.
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For any property process it is important to have reliable and accurate information about the building, its surrounding environment, and market. This paper describes the difficulties facing property professionals when sourcing, organizing and reusing built environment data through-life and the potential benefits of a Building Information Modeling (BIM) approach to help improve information management in the property domain. Based on a review of the literatures and findings from a stakeholder workshop the paper discusses the benefits and challenges to improving through-life information management. The review of the literature reveals the importance of identifying what information needs to be captured through-life, key attributes of BIM, and the role of structured data. Workshop findings reveal a number of important technical and socio-technical challenges facing property professionals, including the need for information standards, data quality and fidelity issues, security and privacy concerns, and the need for new digital skill sets and knowledge competencies.
Wilkinson, S. & Jupp, J.R. 2015, 'BIM and the Value Dimension: A Commercial Property Development and Management Perspective', Proceedings of RICS COBRA AUBEA 2015, The Construction, Building and Real Estate Research Conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors; The Australasian Universities' Building Educators Association Conference, Sydney, Australia.
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BIM is integral to real-time information coordination between various disciplines within the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), informing decision-making and improving analysis and simulation. Whilst proponents of BIM claim a variety of client benefits, the potential of BIM from the diverse perspectives of the property domain has largely been overlooked, as has the broader scope of the property lifecycle. This trans-disciplinary scoping study explores the role of the 'value dimension' of BIM; that is, the processes that extend beyond the project lifecycle and the data that is used to assess risk, growth and depreciation through the life of the property. The findings of an Australian industry workshop identify the specific information requirements of property professionals before then mapping these with existing project-based BIM deliverables. The paper closes with a discussion of a model of BIM and the value dimension and a roadmap for future research.
Lamond, J., Wilkinson, S.J. & Rose, C. 2014, 'Conceptualising the benefits of green roof technology for commercial real estate owners and occupiers', Conference Proceedings, 20th Annual Conference, Pacific Rim Real Estate Society, Christchurch, New Zealand, pp. 1-10.
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The benefits of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) are increasingly being recognised in terms of reduced flood risk, reduced cost of drainage, improved water quality, lower energy use and other, less tangible aspects, such as aesthetics and amenity. Multiple tools and evaluation techniques exist to estimate the costs and benefits of installations on a total level. These evaluations vary in accuracy and precision and many benefits are difficult to monetise. There are also distributional aspects of costs and benefits that will need to be considered in the ongoing dialogue to encourage appropriate installation of WSUD that have, thus far, rarely been explored in research. In particular, the perspective of the commercial real estate owner, investor or occupier has been neglected in favour of governmental and societal views. This can be understood within the wider context of urban design such as retention or infiltration installations in public spaces; in Central Business Districts (CBDs), however, the installation of green roof technology is seen as one of the main contributors to WSUD and is largely in the hands of private companies. A conceptual model of the distribution of benefits from installing a green roof on a commercial building is presented that can inform the understanding of incentives and behaviours in the corporate real estate market. The results show that benefits accrue directly and indirectly to both owners and occupiers of commercial buildings with green roofs. However, many of the direct benefits are enjoyed by a much wider stakeholder group and these benefits will only be partly recognised as due to the investment in green roofs. Owners and occupiers of commercial buildings may also want to evaluate the indirect benefit accruing via their image of corporate social responsibility and, in addition the possibility of value uplift due to neighbourhood improvement.
Wilkinson, S.J. 2014, 'Transforming the commercial property market using green roof retrofit and sub-leases for urban food production.', Re-engineering the City: Transitions to Urban Sustainability 2020-2050 Conference, Re-engineering the City: Transitions to Urban Sustainability 2020-2050 Conference, Cardiff, Wales UK.
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There are numerous acknowledged benefits associated with the retrofit of impervious roof coverings with edible plants and vegetables. The benefits include reduction of carbon food miles, the provision of healthy fresh food in city centres, increased bio-diversity, reduction of pollution, as well as some improved thermal performance at building level leading to lower greenhouse gas emissions. The time for food to be transported from the `paddock to plate is also reduced with food retaining more nutrients and being healthier as a result. In many countries the practices of urban food production are continued, however it has been lost in many cities and it is worth exploring the benefits and opportunities in re-introducing such practices, both New York and London are adopting city farming albeit on a modest scale. To date no commercial rooftop farm exists within the City of Sydney. One barrier is that owners of city centre commercial properties are risk averse to the concept of having a working farm operating on their roofs. Partly it is `the shock of the new'; it is not a practice with which they are familiar and there is a reticence to embrace the notion. Another barrier is the notion of letting the space to a third party, and all the issues that need to be considered. Finally how is the `value of this roof space determined? This research proposes a `green roof urban farm sub-lease to address key concerns and barriers expressed by owners and sets out standard covenants which could apply. The study also proposes a methodology for valuing roof space for urban food production. It is posited that these changes are a pre-requisite to transforming the commercial property market to render urban food production on rooftop more acceptable and, significantly; to put in place the assurances property owners require.
Wilkinson, S.J., Rose, C., Glenis, V. & Lamond, J. 2014, 'Modelling green roof retrofit in the Melbourne Central Business District', Flood Recovery, Innovation and Response IV, 4th International Conference on Flood Recovery, Innovation and Response (FRIAR), WIT Press, Poznan, Poland, pp. 125-138.
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With the increasing densification in urban settlements the economic and social disruption caused by pluvial flooding events globally is significant and growing. Furthermore these problems are compounded where many cities are located in areas where climate change predictions are for increased rainfall frequency and or intensity. One possible solution is the wide scale retrofit with green roof technology as a means of mitigating stormwater runoff in urban settlements. However it is not known currently where the most effective location for and siting of the retrofitted green roofs in a city or town would be. Moreover the number of and type of green roof required to reduce pluvial flooding is unknown. This paper describes a proof of concept framework for an assessment of the potential to reduce pluvial flood hazard through retrofit of green roofs combining an evaluation of the retrofit potential of office buildings in the Central Business District (CBD) with state of the art urban rainfall inundation modelling. Using retrofit scenarios for Melbourne CBD commercial buildings built between 1998 and 2011 and the rainfall profile of the February 2011 event the modelled depth of flooding were compared. The results show that the potential to mitigate extreme events via retrofit would be enhanced by consideration of buildings within the wider catchment.
Wilkinson, S.J. & Page, L. 2014, 'Exploring the potential for urban food production on Sydney's rooftops', Mass customisation and sustainability in housing, ZEMCH 2014 International Conference, ZEMCH Network, Londrina, PR, Brazil, pp. 87-98.
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There are environmental, economic and social benefits of retrofitting rooftops on city buildings for food production. Environmental benefits include lower carbon food miles, potential reductions in building related operational carbon emissions, reductions in the urban heat island, increases in bio-diversity and reductions in storm-water run-off. Economically, the benefits are reduced roof maintenance costs, lower running costs and access to fresh food. Thirdly the social or community gains are the creation of spaces where people can engage in growing food. Psychological and therapeutic gains accrue when people engage with natural environments However there are barriers which include perceptions of greater risk of building leaks, high costs of installation and maintenance, and access and security issues. Although the technology to design and install food production on rooftops exists, the uptake and the demand have not been high to date. Overall, the gains are not deemed sufficient and in Sydney Australia, the existing numbers of food producing rooftops are testimony to this observation. This research reports on three rooftops set up in 2013 in Sydney which are producing food. The social, economic and environmental aspects and physical aspects of the installation are described in this paper.
Wilkinson, S.J. & Feitosa, R.C. 2014, 'Retrofitting housing with lightweight green roof technology in Sydney - Australia and Rio de Janeiro - Brazil', Mass customisation and sustainability in housing, ZEMCH 2014 International Conference, ZEMCH Network, Londrina, PR, Brazil, pp. 114-127.
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The built environment contributes around half of all greenhouse gas emissions and 87% of residential buildings the UK will have in 2050 are already built (Kelly, 2009), there is a need to adopt sustainable retrofit for existing residential buildings. Furthermore these statistics are broadly similar across many countries. The question is; what are viable solutions? One answer may be to retrofit with green roofs as there are environmental, economic and social benefits. Environmental benefits include potential reductions in operational carbon emissions, reductions in the urban heat island, increases in bio-diversity, housing temperature attenuation and reductions in stormwater run-off. Economically, benefits are reduced roof maintenance costs and lower running costs. The social gain is the creation of spaces where people have greater access to nature. However there are barriers to the adoption of retrofitted green roofs; which include perceptions of structural adequacy, risk of water damage, high installation and maintenance cost, as well as access and security issues. In some locations the intent will be to reduce cooling loads, whereas others will desire thermal insulation, or will seek reduction in stormwater run-off. The ability to meet the demands will depend on budget and physical characteristics. Many Australian and Brazilian residential buildings have profiled metal sheet roofing which is a lightweight material with poor thermal performance During summer periods Sydney as well as Rio de Janeiro temperatures can reach 45 degrees Celsius and rainfall patterns are variable and changing. This research reports on an experiment on two small scale profiled metal sheet roofs in both cities which aimed to assess thermal performance. One roof was planted to compare performance to an unplanted roof. The findings are that considerable variation in temperature were found in both countries indicating that green roof retrofit could lower cooling energy demand considera...
Wilkinson, S.J., Osmond, P., Heller, A., Manion, J., Sumich, M. & Sharman, L. 2014, 'Community awareness of green roofs in Sydney', ZEMCH 2014 International Conference, ZEMCH Network, Londrina, PR, Brazil, pp. 99-113.
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There are environmental, economic and social benefits of installing green roofs and walls on city buildings. The environmental benefits are lower building related operational carbon emissions, reductions in the urban heat island, increases in bio-diversity and reductions in storm-water run-off. Economically, the benefits are reduced roof maintenance costs, lower running costs, higher capital and rental values for commercial buildings. Finally the social or community gains are the creation of aesthetically pleasing spaces, landmarksand cultural capital as well as provision of recreational spaces. Furthermore social, psychological and therapeutic gains accrue when the roof or wall is visible to people andis used for social interaction and leisure activities. The perceived drawbacks are perceived greater risk of building leaks, high costs of installation and maintenance, and access and security issues. Whilst the technology to design and install green roofs and walls has existed for hundreds of years the uptake and the demand for green roofs and walls has not been high. Overall, the environmental social and economic gains are not perceived sufficient to create significant demand to set up green roofs and walls. In Sydney Australia, the existing number of green roofs and walls are testimony to this observation. With the aim of addressing the barriers to the uptake of green roofs and walls; it is essential to understand the way in which the key stakeholders; here the community, perceive the technology. With this knowledge it is then feasible to develop an agenda to mitigate any erroneous perceptions that exists. This research reports on a survey with the Sydney community to determine their perceptions of green roofs and walls.
Wilkinson, S.J., Ghosh, S. & Page, L. 2013, 'Options for green roof retrofit and urban food production in the Sydney CBD', RICS COBRA 2013, The Construction, Building and Real Estate Research Conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, RICS, New Delhi, India, pp. 1-8.
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The benefits of retrofitting existing buildings with vegetated roofs are environmental, economic and social. Economic benefits include lower construction costs, lower running costs, and reduced costs of borrowing whilst the social gains include retention of familiar landmarks, and cultural capital. Environmental gains include retention of embodied carbon, and the re-use of existing materials. The environmental benefits are improved thermal performance and reduced heat loss and heat gain in buildings. This can lead to reduced operational energy costs for owners and tenants, providing economic benefits. However, the environmental social and economic gains are not perceived sufficient to persuade many owners to retrofit green roofs. Social, psychological and therapeutic gains occur when the roof is visible to users and is used for social interaction and relaxation. As an alternative food production system, green roofs could promote a shorter food supply chain, contribute to healthier communities and create local jobs and notably reduce the carbon footprints of food production. A little explored environmental gain in Sydney is the retrofit of roofs for urban food production. No empirical research has been conducted into the plant species best suited to urban food production, including native food plants, and the optimum substrate composition and depth, required to suit the NSW climate. The barriers and opportunities for urban food production in a high-density urban environment also require investigation.
Wilkinson, S.J. 2013, 'Exploring measurement of the uptake of sustainability in the built environment through building permit data', RICS COBRA 2013, The Construction, Building and Real Estate Research Conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, RICS, New Delhi, India, pp. 1-8.
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The built environment emits 40% of total greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change through sustainable adaptation is a priority. Typically 1 to 2% is added to the total building stock annually and around 87% of the stock most developed countries will have in 2050, is already built. It follows that precise data in respect of the sustainability measures incorporated into new and existing buildings is recorded and quantified. The benefits are that built environment related GHG reductions may be measured and quantified over time and that policy and regulations may be made more efficient and their effectiveness may be enhanced due the basis of empirical evidence. Cities such as Melbourne, Australia have adopted carbon neutral strategies to deliver emissions reductions which are largely directed to building adaptation. Melbourne aims to be carbon neutral by 2020 and has a target of 1,200 sustainable retrofits to deliver 38% GHG reductions. Whilst some owners use tools to demonstrate sustainability, most do not. Furthermore these sustainable adaptations and new builds number so few they will not deliver sufficient reductions. Predictions of significant increases in gas and electricity consumption in buildings present challenges to policy makers, professional practitioners and the community at large and a method of calculating all building related carbon emissions is required. The framework for quantifying emissions reductions in the total building stock over time is fragmented and largely undeveloped. Existing efforts largely focus on individual buildings. This paper reports the findings of two focus groups held in Canberra and Melbourne in 2012 with key stakeholders to explore the viability of such a proposal within the Australia regulatory system.
Wilkinson, S.J. 2013, 'Sustainable retrofit in the CBD: contemporary practices in Melbourne.', ERES 20th Annual Conference, ERES, European Real Estate Society, Vienna Austria.
Purpose: Retrofit of the existing building stock is essential undertaking to mitigate the effects of climate change and global warming. Pointedly most stock was constructed without consideration of sustainability. Sustainability was legislated in the Building Code of Australia in 2006, with minimum standards for energy efficiency applied to new build and some retrofit projects. Melbourne launched the 1200 Buildings Program in 2008 to deliver carbon neutrality by 2020 after Arup (2008) concluded that retrofitting two thirds of the stock would deliver a 38% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Design / methodology / approach This research used case study to examine what has been undertaken in the 1200 Buildings Program retrofits. This study had two aims which were; to gain a deeper understanding of the improvements made to existing office buildings in the 1200 Buildings Program and, to undertake a comparison of current practices within the programme. Findings The sustainability measures undertaken were largely focussed on building services and energy efficiency. There was less work undertaken to address water economy measures, to the building fabric and little work which addressed social sustainability aspects. Research limitations The cases reflect was what undertaken at given points in time and future practices may change as the economic and social environments vary. The study illustrates Melbourne practices which may or not be replicated in part or full elsewhere. Practical implications The research shows changes in practices are occurring and that energy savings are accruing to owners and tenants. Local practitioners are up-skilling themselves in the technical and environmental knowledge and skills necessary to retrofit the built environment to a carbon constrained future. Social implications Whilst the environmental and energy efficiency aspects of retrofit are covered in the 1200 Buildings Program social considerations are of lesser importance a...
Wilkinson, S.J. 2012, 'The increasing importance of environmental attributes in commercial building retrofits', Proceedings of the Construction, Building and Real Estate Conference, RICS COBRA 2012, RICS and Arizona State University, Las Vegas USA, pp. 309-316.
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Compelling reasons to undertake building retrofit are largely economic and environmental but also social. Retrofit can be less expensive than new build and typically delivers faster projects. Sustainable development is a force for retrofit as the built environment contributes approximately half of total greenhouse gas emissions. Governments search for effective and efficient methods of mitigating the contribution of cities to climate change and building retrofit presents a realistic means of lessening building associated emissions. In Melbourne, the 1200 Building Program is a strategy which aims to escalate commercial retrofits; targeting 1200 Central Business District (CBD) office retrofits by 2020. This research examined all CBD retrofits from 2009 to 2011 to distinguish the nature and extent of retrofits and to ascertain the inter-relationship between retrofits and property attributes. 1422 retrofits were analysed between January 2009 and July 2011. Following an earlier study of retrofits from 1998 to 2008, this research determines whether environmental attributes have become more important over time. The findings support building retrofit in identifiable circumstances and are clearly relevant for increasing built environment sustainability. The research used existing buildings in an international city to ensure relevance to urban settlements where existing buildings can lessen the impact of climate change. NOTE: this paper received the Best Paper Award at the conference
Wilkinson, S.J. 2012, 'Conceptual understanding of sustainability in Australian Construction firms', The Joint CIB International Symposium of W055, W065, W089, W118, TG76, TG78, TG81 AND TG84, Conference Proceedings Vol 1 &2, 2012 CIB International Conference - Management of Construction: Research to Practice, CIB, Montreal, Canada, pp. 318-330.
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Given the connection between energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change and the reality that the built environment emits around half of total emissions, the construction industry has considerable potential to reduce emissions and a key role in mitigating global warming. However there is evidence that our current understanding of the concept of sustainability is fragmented and unclear. There are a plethora of terms used to cover sustainable buildings, such as ecological, green, Gaian which come in and out of fashion over time; do they mean the same thing or are they different? Furthermore do construction firms demonstrate a clear understanding of the concept of sustainability or are they muddled and confused? The consequence of unclear thinking and a lack of understanding is that ultimately the construction industry is unlikely to deliver 'sustainability' efficiently or even at all, with the broader and more onerous consequences for society as a whole. In addition what are the implications for education and should academics be broadening the debate? Using a content analysis of published information regarding sustainability on construction company websites, this paper addresses the questions; (a)what is the conceptual understanding of sustainability within ten leading Australian construction firms and, (b) what is the implication of this level of conceptual understanding with regards to delivering sustainability?
Wilkinson, S.J. & Shelbourn, M. 2011, 'An Australian/UK comparison of contemporary teaching and learning technologies', Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference for Australasian University Building Educators Association, 36th Australasian University Building Educators Association (AUBEA) Conference, AUBEA, Bond University, Gold Coast, pp. 403-417.
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The last decade has delivered substantial changes in construction and property education in Australia and the UK. There has been an increase in the number of courses offered in built environment education and the profile of a typical student has changed. In both countries students are under pressure to balance study and work due to the higher costs of living and education. This has placed demands on providers to deliver teaching and learning which meets student, industry and professional needs. Simultaneously there has been an increase in the application of technology in the business and corporate world which has resulted in increased efficiencies and new challenges. This paper evaluates changes in construction and property education courses to embrace new technology. The focus is on the delivery of innovative teaching and learning materials and the interaction between students, staff and the community. Results from questionnaires from new and existing students at Deakin University and Nottingham Trent University were used alongside examples of teaching and learning as illustrative case studies, the emphasis is placed on pushing the boundaries of the conventional built environment education process. The findings show that by embracing technology there can be a win-win' scenario for students, staff and industry stakeholders. Whilst courses adopt varying levels of technology, it seems inevitable that educators must evolve the delivery of education to become efficient and effective as the century progresses.
Wilkinson, S.J. & Remoy, H.T. 2011, 'Sustainability and within use office building adaptions: A comparison of dutch and Australian practices', PRRes conference Proceedings, 17th Annual Pacific Rim Real Estate Society (PRRES) Conference, Pacific Rim Real Estate Society (PRRES), Gold Coast, Australia, pp. 1-11.
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Local Authorities worldwide are encouraging adaptation as a means of reducing building related urban energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The City of Melbourne is promoting the retrofit of 1,200 CBD properties before 2020 with sustainability measures as part of their policy to become a carbon neutral city. Australian cities date from 1837 to the present day whereas some European cities have been inhabited for over two millennia. The concepts of adaptation and evolution of buildings and suburbs is well developed in Europe, though the scale of some of the post war developments has created different forms of building perhaps less adaptable or suited to change. The need to adapt buildings and to reduce environmental footprints becomes more pressing over time as global concentrations of carbon dioxide increase. Is it possible for Europeans to learn from Australian practices and vice averse? Through examination of office building adaptation in Melbourne and Amsterdam, it is possible to learn where similarities and differences exist and where new practices can be shared. This paper addressed the questions; What are the key attributes influencing adaptations in Melbourne and Amsterdam office buildings, and what are the similarities and differences? Using the Melbourne CBD and Amsterdam as a case study, the research analysed 7393 commercial building adaptations in Melbourne and 98 office buildings in Amsterdam where adaptations were completed. The outcomes of this research show where similarities and differences exist and are relevant to all urban areas where adaptation of existing office buildings can mitigate the impacts of climate change and enhance the city for another generation of citizens and users.
Wilkinson, S.J., Reed, R. & Jailani, J. 2011, 'User Satisfaction in Sustainable Office Buildings: A Preliminary Study', PRRES conference Proceedings, 17th Annual Pacific Rim Real Estate Society Conference, Pacific Rim Real Estate Society (PRRES), Gold Coast, Australia, p. n.p..
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Energy efficiency was first mandated for commercial buildings in 2006 in Part J of The Building Code of Australia (BCA) and regulators are already implementing increased measures in 2010 (ABCB 2010). Further increases will follow as part of the co-ordinated effort to reduce building related greenhouse gas emissions. The introduction of the Energy Efficiency Disclosure Bill 2010 will establish a national scheme to promote the disclosure of information about the energy efficiency of office buildings as well as further highlighting the need for efficiency. Increased energy efficiency in the form of insulation, energy efficient light fittings, sophisticated Building Management Systems (BMS), micro-generation such as solar and wind turbines all result in measurable quantifiable reductions in operating costs for owners and tenants. However convincing all building owners about the sound business case for adopting sustainability measures has not been fully realised. To-date the adoption of cutting edge sustainable buildings in Australia is restricted to a few industry leaders, such as Investa and ISPT in Victoria for example. Sustainable building owners and tenants often benefit from reduced operating costs during the building lifecycle although the 'intangible' effect on businesses (e.g. employee productivity) is uncertain. This aspect has not been accurately quantified and has not been included as part of the measurement of sustainability in buildings. This study will allow property stakeholders, including government policy-makers and investors/developers, to better understand the optimal type and level of sustainability to be incorporated into the built environment. In addition this knowledge will enable policymakers to make more informed decisions with regards to the likely impact of the legislative measures they propose in respect of sustainability and buildings in The Building Code of Australia (BCA) and other relevant legislation.
Wilkinson, S.J. 2011, 'Sustainable retrofit potential in lower quality office stock in the Central Business District', CIB Management and Innovation in the Sustainable Built Environment., MISBE2011: Management and Innovation for a Sustainable Built Environment, CIB Management and Innovation in the Sustainable Built Environment., Amsterdam, Netherlands, p. n.p..
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Given the relationship between energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, the built environment has significant potential to lessen overall emissions. With around half of all greenhouse gas emissions attributed to the built environment; it has a significant role to play in mitigating global warming. With large percentages of office stock structurally vacant in some city centres and only 1 or 2% of new buildings added to the total stock each year; the scope for reductions lay with adaptation of existing buildings. The stock with the highest levels of vacancy and obsolescence offers the highest potential of all. Many cities are now aiming to become carbon neutral. Successful adaptation demands that social, technological, environmental, economic and legislative criteria are addressed. Buildings have to meet user and community needs. City centres comprise a range of different type of office stock with regards to age, size, location, height, tenure and quality. All buildings present challenges and opportunities with regards to adaptation and sustainability and integrating retrofit measures that reduce energy, water and resource consumption. Using a selection of low grade office buildings to develop retrofit profiles, this paper addresses the questions; (a) what is the nature of adaptations in relation to low quality office building stock in the Central Business District (CBD) and, (b) what is the extent and scope for sustainable retrofits to low quality office buildings. Using Melbourne CBD adaptation events of low quality office buildings were analysed between 1998 and 2008 to identify the potential for integrating sustainability into retrofits projects.
Wilkinson, S.J. 2010, 'Alterations and extensions to commercial buildings in the Melbourne CBD'.

Journal articles

Wilkinson, S.J., Bright, S., Dixon, T., Janda, K. & Patrick, J. 2016, '"The evolution of green leases: towards inter-organizational environmental governance"', BUILDING RESEARCH & INFORMATION.
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Improving the environmental performance of non-domestic buildings is a complex and 'wicked' problem due to conflicting interests and incentives. This is particularly challenging in tenanted spaces, where landlord and tenant interactions are regulated through leases that traditionally ignore environmental considerations. 'Green leasing' is conceptualized as a form of 'middle-out' inter-organizational environmental governance that operates between organizations, alongside other drivers. This paper investigates how leases are evolving to become 'greener' in the UK and Australia, providing evidence from five varied sources on: (1) UK office and retail leases, (2) UK retail sector energy management, (3) a major UK retailer case study; (4) office leasing in Sydney, and (5) expert interviews on Australian retail leases. With some exceptions, the evidence reveals an increasing trend towards green leases in prime offices in both countries, but not in retail or sub-prime offices. Generally introduced by landlords, adopted green leases contain a variety of ambitions and levels of enforcement. As an evolving form of private–private environmental governance, green leases form a valuable framework for further tenant–landlord cooperation within properties and across portfolios. This increased cohesion could create new opportunities for polycentric governance, particularly at the interface of cities and the property industry.
Janda, K.B., Bright, S., Patrick, J., Wilkinson, S. & Dixon, T.J. 2016, 'The evolution of green leases: towards inter-organizational environmental governance', Building Research and Information, pp. 1-15.
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© 2016 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis Improving the environmental performance of non-domestic buildings is a complex and 'wicked' problem due to conflicting interests and incentives. This is particularly challenging in tenanted spaces, where landlord and tenant interactions are regulated through leases that traditionally ignore environmental considerations. 'Green leasing' is conceptualized as a form of 'middle-out' inter-organizational environmental governance that operates between organizations, alongside other drivers. This paper investigates how leases are evolving to become 'greener' in the UK and Australia, providing evidence from five varied sources on: (1) UK office and retail leases, (2) UK retail sector energy management, (3) a major UK retailer case study; (4) office leasing in Sydney, and (5) expert interviews on Australian retail leases. With some exceptions, the evidence reveals an increasing trend towards green leases in prime offices in both countries, but not in retail or sub-prime offices. Generally introduced by landlords, adopted green leases contain a variety of ambitions and levels of enforcement. As an evolving form of private–private environmental governance, green leases form a valuable framework for further tenant–landlord cooperation within properties and across portfolios. This increased cohesion could create new opportunities for polycentric governance, particularly at the interface of cities and the property industry.
Wilkinson, S. & Feitosa, R. 2015, 'Retrofitting Housing with Lightweight Green Roof Technology in Sydney, Australia, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil', Sustainability, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 1081-1098.
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The built environment contributes around half of total greenhouse gas emissions and with 87% of residential buildings that we will have by 2050 already built, it is vital to adopt sustainable retrofitting practices. The question is: what are the viable solutions? One answer may be green roof retrofitting. The environmental benefits include reduced operational carbon emissions, reduced urban heat island effect, increased bio-diversity, housing temperature attenuation and reduced stormwater run-off. The economic benefits are the reduced maintenance costs and lower running costs. The social gain is the creation of spaces where people have access to green areas. However, the barriers to retrofitting include the perceptions of structural adequacy, the risk of water damage, high installation and maintenance costs, as well as access and security issues. Many Australian and Brazilian residential buildings have metal sheet roofs, a lightweight material with poor thermal performance. During the summer, temperatures in Sydney and Rio de Janeiro reach 45 degrees Celsius, and in both cities, rainfall patterns are changing, with more intense downpours. Furthermore, many residential buildings are leased, and currently, tenants are restricted by the modifications that they can perform to reduce running costs and carbon emissions. This research reports on an experiment on two small-scale metal roofs in Sydney and Rio de Janeiro to assess the thermal performance of portable small-scale modules. The findings are that considerable variation in temperature was found in both countries, indicating that green roof retrofitting could lower the cooling energy demand considerably.
Forsythe, P. & Wilkinson, S. 2015, 'Measuring office fit-out changes to determine recurring embodied energy in building life cycle assessment', Facilities, vol. 33, no. 3/4, pp. 262-274.
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to quantify and profile the indicative amount of retrofits in office buildings as a necessary step in quantifying the recurring embodied energy in office buildings. Buildings are a major source of energy usage and emissions, and office buildings are a significant contributor to this situation. Life cycle assessments in this area have tended to neglect the potentially large impact arising from recurring embodied energy associated with office fit-out – which is often akin to a short-term consumable rather than a long-term durable in many multi-storey buildings. Design/methodology/approach – This study used building permit data from the Melbourne Central Business District (n 986) over the period 2006-2010 (inclusive) to quantify the number of retrofits and related trends. Building on this, a small number of targeted case study buildings were used to probe specific issues in profiling trends associated with high-frequency trends arising from the main sample. Findings – The data show that the number of retrofits varies according to location, grade, size and the age of buildings. Using the case study data, there is initial evidence to suggest that between 46 and 70 per cent of the floors in a high-rise office building will undergo retrofit in a five-year period. Further research should apply these data to recurring energy modelling for office buildings. Research limitations/implications – One limitation which applies to this study is that the research is limited to a defined geographical area in one Australian city, Melbourne. Secondly the study covers a specific period, and the number of retrofits may be affected negatively or positively depending on the prevailing market conditions. Practical implications – This paper raises important questions in respect of life cycle carbon emissions in the context of prevailing trends to shorter lease terms and practices around fit-out. Originality/value – The retrofit of office buildings t...
Wilkinson, S. 2015, 'Building approval data and the quantification of sustainability over time: A case study of Australia and England', Structural Survey, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 92-108.
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© Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose – The fifth IPCC report on climate change concluded current progress to mitigate anthropocentric climate change is not making any impact. As the built environment emits 50 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, mitigating climate change through sustainable construction and adaptation is a priority. Although many new buildings have sustainability ratings, they comprise a minute amount of the total stock. Meanwhile policy makers are adopting strategies to become carbon neutral with targets that require measurement. The purpose of this paper is to propose a means of quantifying the uptake of sustainability across all stock over time using existing policy frameworks. Design/methodology/approach – Given that this is a scoping study to explore the potential to adapt existing frameworks to facilitate the quantification of the uptake of sustainability measures over time, the research adopted a focus group technique with experienced stakeholders in Australia and England. Qualitative research is inductive and hypothesis generating. That is; as the research assimilates knowledge and information contained in the literature ideas and questions are formed, which are put to research participants and from this process conclusions are drawn. Findings – It is technologically feasible to collect data on sustainability measures within the building approvals systems in Victoria and NSW Australia and England and Wales and a conceptual model is proposed. Economically, costs need to be covered, and it is unclear which group should pay. Socially, the benefits would be to determine how society is progressing towards goals. The benefits of achieving reduced carbon emissions would be mitigation of the predicted changes to climate and informing society of progress. Politically, it is unlikely there is a will to make provisions for this proposal in existing regulatory systems. Research limitations/implications – The key limitations of the resear...
Wilkinson, S.J., Lamond, J., Proverbs, D., Sharman, L., Heller, A. & Manion, J. 2015, 'Technical considerations in green roof retrofit for stormwater attenuation in the central business district', Structural Survey, vol. 33, no. 1, pp. 36-51.
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© Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose – The key aspects that built environment professionals need to consider when evaluating roofs for the purpose of green roof retrofit and also when assessing green roofs for technical due diligence purposes are outlined. Although green or sod roofs have been built over many centuries, contemporary roofs adopt new approaches and technologies. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – A mixed methods design based on a systematic review of relevant literature from parallel disciplines was used to identify and quantify the social, economic and environmental benefits of retrofitted green roofs in commercial districts. The technical issues of concern were drawn from a desk-top survey of literature and from stakeholder focus groups undertaken in Sydney in 2012. Findings – There are perceptions amongst built environmental practitioners that may act as artificial barriers to uptake. There is little direct experience within built environment professionals and practitioners, along with a fear of the unknown and a risk averse attitude towards perceived innovation which predicates against green roof retrofit. Furthermore projects with green roofs at inception and early design stage are often 'value engineered out of the design as time progresses. There is a need for best practice guidance notes for practitioners to follow when appraising roofs for retrofit and also for technical due diligence purposes. Research limitations/implications – The focus groups are limited to Sydney-based practitioners. Although many of these practitioners have international experience, few had experience of green roofs. A limited number of roof typologies were considered in this research and some regions and countries may adopt different construction practices. Practical implications – In central business districts the installation of green roof technology is seen as one of the main contributors to water sensitive urban design ...
Wilkinson, S.J. 2014, 'How Buildings Learn: Adaption of low grade commercial buildings for sustainability in Melbourne', Facilities, vol. 32, no. 7/8, pp. 382-395.
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Purpose Informed adaptation of existing stock is imperative because the challenge of attaining sustainable development in the 21st century will be won or lost in urban areas. Local Authorities promote adaptation to reduce building related energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The City of Melbourne aims to retrofit 1,200 CBD properties before 2020 as part of their carbon neutral city strategy. Australian cities date from the early 1800s to the present day and the concepts of adaptation and evolution of buildings and suburbs is not as well developed or entrenched as in other continents. As such there is a pressing need for greater knowledge and awareness of what happens to buildings over time. Design /methodology /approach This research examines all building adaptation over a period from 1998 to 2008 within the Melbourne CBD. This paper concentrates on the question; what is the pattern of adaptation within low grade office buildings over time? Using the Melbourne CBD as a case study, the research analysed all commercial building adaptations. Here a range of office building types are selected and profiled to discover what happened to them during the period and to ascertain what may be learned as a result to inform future adaptation strategies and policies. Findings Adaptation of existing buildings is vital to deliver the emissions reductions required to transition to carbon neutral urban settlements. In the short term, it is opportune to capitalise on existing behaviour patterns in respect of adaptation and to `learn how buildings learn, rather than seek to instigate major changes in behaviour. Limitations The researcher acknowledges that the depth of analysis for each individual case does not attain levels achieved through a purely qualitative approach to data collection and that this is a limitation of this method of data collection. Practical implications Examination of adaptation patterns showed that the events were similar regardless of age o...
Eves, C. & Wilkinson, S.J. 2014, 'Assessing the immediate and short term impact of flooding on residential property participant behaviour', Natural Hazards, vol. 71, no. 3, pp. 1519-1536.
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The past decade has seen an increase in the number of significant natural disasters that have caused considerable loss of life as well as damage to all property markets in the affected areas. In many cases, these natural disasters have not only caused significant property damage, but in numerous cases, have resulted in the total destruction of the property in the location. With these disasters attracting considerable media attention, the public are more aware of where these affected property markets are, as well as the overall damage to properties that have been damaged or destroyed. This heightened level of awareness has to have an impact on the participants in the property market, whether a developer, vendor seller or investor. To assess this issue, a residential property market that has been affected by a significant natural disaster over the past 2 years has been analysed to determine the overall impact of the disaster on buyer, renter and vendor behaviour, as well as prices in these residential markets. This paper is based on data from the Brisbane flood in January 2011. This natural disaster resulted in loss of life and partial and total devastation of considerable residential property sectors. Data for the research have been based on the residential sales and rental listings for each week of the study period to determine the level of activity in the specific property sectors, and these are also compared to the median house prices for the various suburbs for the same period based on suburbs being either flood affected or flood free. As there are 48 suburbs included in the study, it has been possible to group these suburbs on a socio-economic basis to determine possible differences due to location and value. Data were accessed from realestate.com.au, a free real estate site that provides details of current rental and sales listings on a suburb basis, RP Data a commercial property sales database and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The paper found that sa...
Wilkinson, S.J. 2014, 'Are sustainable building retrofits delivering sustainable outcomes?', Pacific Rim Property Research Journal, vol. 19, no. 2.
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Retrofit of the existing building stock is essential undertaking to mitigate the effects of climate change and global warming. Pointedly most stock was constructed without consideration of sustainability. Sustainability was legislated in the Building Code of Australia in 2006, with minimum standards for energy efficiency applied to new build and some retrofit projects. Melbourne launched the 1200 Buildings Program in 2008 to deliver carbon neutrality by 2020 after Arup (2008) concluded that retrofitting two thirds of the stock would deliver a 38% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. This research used case study to examine what has been undertaken in the 1200 Buildings Program retrofits. This study had two aims which were; to gain a deeper understanding of the improvements made to existing office buildings in the 1200 Buildings Program and, to undertake a comparison of current practices within the programme. The sustainability measures undertaken were largely focussed on building services and energy efficiency. There was less work undertaken to address water economy measures, to the building fabric and little work which addressed social sustainability aspects. The cases reflect was what undertaken at given points in time and future practices may change as the economic and social environments vary. The study illustrates Melbourne practices which may or not be replicated in part or full elsewhere. The research shows changes in practices are occurring and that energy savings are accruing to owners and tenants. Local practitioners are up-skilling themselves in the technical and environmental knowledge and skills necessary to retrofit the built environment to a carbon constrained future.
Wilkinson, S.J. 2014, 'The preliminary assessment of adaptation potential in existing office buildings', International Journal of Strategic Property Management, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 77-87.
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It is said that the battle for sustainability will be won or lost in the world's cities and a major tactic in this challenge will be the sustainable adaptation of existing buildings. Evidence based decision-making tools are required for the management of built assets. This research examined every building adaptation event between 1998 and 2008 with the relative importance of property attributes derived using a principal component analysis (PCA), from which a weighted index of optimal decision-making attributes in a predictive model was proposed; the Preliminary Assessment Adaptation Model (PAAM). The model is discussed and applied in an illustrative case study. Given further development and testing the PAAM might be useable by non-experts and property managers to appraise the suitability of a building for potential adaptation.
Wilkinson, S.J. 2014, 'Office building adaptations and the growing significance of environmental attributes.', Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 252-265.
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Abstract Purpose – The purpose of this study was to investigated the importance of environmental attributes for office building adaptation and whether the importance of environmental attributes for adaptation has changed over time from 1998-2008 to 2009-2011. With 1-2 per cent added to the total stock of buildings each year and the need to take action to mitigate the impacts of predicted climate change (IPCC, 2013), it is necessary to focus efforts on adaptation of existing buildings. Design/methodology/approach – This research adopted a quantitative approach, using a database of office building attributes and applying principal component analysis to ascertain the respective importance of various building attributes in adaptation. Using two databases; the first dating from 1998 to 2008 and comprising 5,290 adaptation events and the second covering the period 2009 to 2011 and comprising 1,272 adaptation events, a comparison of results was undertaken. Findings – The findings indicate the importance of some environmental attributes in building adaptation has changed and that legislation and changes market perceptions towards to promote built environment sustainability may be having a positive impact. The research demonstrates that different property attributes vary in importance over time and used existing buildings in an international city to confirm application to urban settlements elsewhere where existing buildings can be adapted to reduce the effect of climate change. Research limitations/implications – The databases are limited to Melbourne, Australia and to these specific points in time. It is possible that other cities are seeing changes in adaptation practices to accommodate increased awareness and the growing importance attributed to environmental issues; however, additional studies would be required to ascertain whether the level of importance was stronger or weaker than that found in Melbourne. Practical implications – The impacts of the mandatory Th...
Wilkinson, S.J. 2014, 'How buildings learn: Adaptation of low grade commercial buildings for sustainability in Melbourne', Facilities, vol. 32, no. 7-8, pp. 382-395.
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Purpose: This paper aims to study the adaptation of low grade commercial buildings for sustainability in Melbourne. Informed adaptation of existing stock is imperative because the challenge of attaining sustainable development in the 21st century will be won or lost in urban areas. Local authorities promote adaptation to reduce building related energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. The City of Melbourne aims to retrofit 1,200 central business district (CBD) properties before 2020 as part of their carbon-neutral city strategy. Australian cities date from the early 1800s to the present day and the concepts of adaptation and evolution of buildings and suburbs is not as well-developed or entrenched as in other continents. As such, there is a pressing need for greater knowledge and awareness of what happens to buildings over time. Design/methodology/approach: This research examines all building adaptation from 1998 to 2008 within the Melbourne CBD. This paper concentrates on the question: what is the pattern of adaptation within low grade office buildings over time? Using the Melbourne CBD as a case study, the research analysed all commercial building adaptations in Melbourne. Here a range of office building types are selected and profiled to discover what happened to them during the period and to ascertain what may be learned as a result to inform future adaptation strategies and policies. Findings: Adaptation of existing buildings is vital to deliver the emission reductions required to transition to carbon-neutral urban settlements. In the short-term, it is opportune to capitalise on existing behaviour patterns in respect of adaptation and to "learn how buildings learn", rather than seek to instigate major changes in behaviour. Research limitations/implications: The researcher acknowledges that the depth of analysis for each individual case does not attain levels achieved through a purely qualitative approach to data collection and that this is a limitati...
Wilkinson, S.J. 2013, 'Conceptual understanding of sustainability in the Australian property sector', Property Management, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 260-272.
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Purpose - The built environment is responsible for around half of total greenhouse gas emissions and the majority of emissions are produced during building lifecycles. As such the property sector has considerable potential to reduce lifecycle emissions and can contribute in mitigating global warming. However our existing conceptual understanding of sustainability is variable to the point of being disjointed and ambiguous and this could imply our efforts to realise reductions may not reach their potential. This paper seeks to address these issues. Design/methodology/approach Adopting a qualitative paradigm, this study used published information on property company websites regarding sustainability in a content analysis to address the questions: What is the conceptual understanding of sustainability within the ten leading Australian property firms? and What is the implication of this level of conceptual understanding with regards to delivering sustainability?
Wilkinson, S.J., Van der Kallen, P.A. & Kuan, L.P. 2013, 'The Relationship between the Occupation of Residential Green Buildings and Pro-environmental Behavior and Beliefs', The Journal of Sustainable Real Estate, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 1-22.
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The United Nations strives to promote a healthier society and to develop sustainability, with initiatives such as the New Green Economy, which is part of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This paper uses a survey of owners and occupiers, using two conceptual frameworks known as the Four Myths of Nature and place theory to investigate whether living in 'green' buildings induces behavioral changes leading to a greener society. The results show that it is not possible to conclude that green buildings are inhabited by green occupants, and that physical design and green development alone can harness the attitudes and behaviors associated with green citizenship. Thus, policymakers and developers should not exclusively rely on agreen built environment to promote green behavior.
Wilkinson, S.J. 2013, 'Up on the roof. Living Architecture and Sustainability', Australia and New Zealand Property Journal, vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 334-341.
With the drive to increase sustainability of the new and existing building stock, one option building owners can consider is whether to install a green roof. As new buildings comprise a 1-2% per annum addition to the total stock, we need to increase the adaptation of the existing commercial property stock to reduce building related greenhouse gas emissions (CSIRO, 2002). As much as 29% of our urban settlements comprise roof space, and yet we typically do little with it. By 2005 Germany had over 13 million square metres of green roofs (10% of total roof space), which had increased from 10 million square metres in 1996. The question is; are we missing an opportunity? This paper reviews issues around green roof retrofit and UTS research on urban rooftop food production.
Wilkinson, S.J. 2013, 'Dissertation research and writing for construction students.', Journal of International Real Estate and Construction Studies, vol. 2, no. 1.
https://www.novapublishers.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=13120 Dissertation Research and Writing for Construction Students. Dr Shamil. G. Naoum. Routledge, London, 2013, pp. 174. ISBN 13: 978-0-415-53844-2 Paperback. Reviewed by Sara J Wilkinson*. The dissertation or thesis can often seem like an overwhelming and insurmountable obstacle to students unless you have a comprehensive book that guides through the process sequentially. In this third edition of the text, Shamil Naoum once again takes the reader and novice researcher diligently through the research journey. The contents of the book come out of the authors experience of supervising undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations which showed a need for a text to guide students on basic research techniques and to illustrate how a thesis could be structured and written. The first edition was published in 1998, the second in 2007, and the publication of this third edition is testimony that the text has stood the test of time.
Remoy, H. & Wilkinson, S.J. 2012, 'Office building conversion and sustainable adaptation: A comparative study', Property Management, vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 218-231.
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Purpose: The City of Melbourne seeks to retrofit 1,200 CBD properties by 2020 as part of the strategy to become carbon neutral, whilst Amsterdam aims to cut CO2 emissions 40 per cent by 2025. Oversupply in the Amsterdam office market makes conversion to residential use viable. In examining converted buildings in Amsterdam and the Melbourne CBD typical attributes of converted stock can be identified to target retrofit measures. This paper seeks to focus on these initiatives. Design/methodology/approach: In Amsterdam five case studies were undertaken to reveal and define building attributes that explain the viability of these conversions. On the other hand, the Melbourne study was based on a database assembled containing all Melbourne CBD office building adaptations carried out between 1998 and 2008. The research analysed the conversion of office buildings and the scope for sustainable retrofit evaluating a limited number of attributes known to be important in adaptation. Findings: The outcomes of this research showed similarities and differences in scope, which are relevant to all urban areas where adaptation of office buildings can mitigate the impacts of climate change and enhance a city for another generation of citizens and users. Practical implications: The outcomes highlight the property attributes that explain conversion viability and that are most strongly associated with conversions. In addition the research identifies some sustainability measures that are possible with this type of stock. Originality/value: The paper compares and contrasts qualitative data from a small sample of buildings in Amsterdam with quantitative data from a census of all change of use adaptations in Melbourne from 1998 to 2008. The contrasting approaches make it possible both to explain the driving forces of adaptations and to deliver statistical evidence of what is described in the case studies. Despite the differing approaches it is possible to compare and contrast the attr...
Wilkinson, S.J. 2012, 'Adaptation patterns in premium office buildings over time in the Melbourne CBD', Journal of Corporate Real Estate Vol 2 No. 4, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 157-170.
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Purpose: Achieving sustainable development in the twenty-first century will be won or lost in the world's urban settlements, informed adaptation of existing stock is vital. Local Authorities are encouraging adaptation to reduce building related carbon emissions. The City of Melbourne aims to retrofit 1,200 central business district (CBD) properties by 2020 to become carbon neutral. As Australian cities date from the early 1800s and the adaptation of buildings is not as entrenched as in Europe, there is a pressing need for greater knowledge of what happens to buildings over time. The purpose of this study is to examine building adaptation from 1998 to 2008. This paper concentrates on the question; what is the pattern of adaptation within premium grade office buildings over time? Design/methodology/approach: Using the Melbourne CBD as a case study, the research analysed all commercial building adaptations. After a uni-variate statistical analysis of all premium office adaptations, two case studies were selected and profiled to discover what happened to them during the period and to ascertain what may be learned as a result to inform future adaptation strategies and policies. Findings: This research has established that there is a high rate of adaptations to existing commercial buildings which leads to the disposal of functional and serviceable fixtures and fittings to landfill sites. This practice results in the unnecessary loss of embodied carbon which compromises efforts to deliver carbon neutrality in its widest sense. In the short term we need to learn to take advantage of existing behaviour patterns in respect of adaptation and to learn how buildings adapt and to incentivise the needed behavioural changes. Research limitations/implications: The selection of case studies allowed an examination of the data at a deeper level, though it is acknowledged that the depth does not equal that achieved in a purely qualitative approach whereby stakeholders are intervie...
March, A., Rijal, Y., Wilkinson, S.J. & Özgür, E.F. 2012, 'Measuring Building Adaptability and Street Vitality', Planning Practice and Research, vol. 27, no. 5, pp. 531-552.
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A long-standing urban design principle is that successful places exhibit vitality, being vibrant and diverse. This vitality depends on levels of economic and social success that sustain over time urban diversity including cafes, restaurants, delicatessens, bakeries, cinemas and galleries, grocery stores, pubs and clubs of varying sizes and types to suit individuals of varying taste, preference and socio-economic status. Accordingly, a successful public realm includes a complex 'transaction base' of activities. Since vitality occurs in physical, primarily human-made built forms and spaces, the qualities of physically permanent urban places influence vitality. However, the built form may eventually become inappropriate for its original purpose, the use redundant, or changes to demand may occur. Many buildings and spaces, specifically, are therefore refurbished or reused, but time, cost, inability, or environmental constraints associated with changes may impede physical change and therefore the ongoing maintenance and enhancement of places' vitality. Importantly, some physical structures facilitate adaptability better than others overcoming a decline of activity or the need for expensive adaptation or outright demolition and redevelopment. This research examines the suggestion that greater levels of place adaptability facilitates higher levels of ongoing vitality, due to the ability for structures to be used for a range of purposes over time, without the need for changes to physical form, particularly in the move to higher densities. The paper outlines a method for measuring vitality and building adaptability in parallel and reports the results of empirical research of key locations in Melbourne's Central Business District (CBD). It is argued using empirical data that adaptability, when translated to actual adaption, facilitates sustained vitality.
Wilkinson, S.J. 2012, 'Back to the future: heritage Buildings, sustainability and adaptation in the Melbourne Central Business District', Historic Environment, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 7-13.
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Humans have adapted buildings for almost as long as they have constructed shelters. With an acceptance of links between energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and climate change, many perceive the built environment as a sector with high potential to reduce overall emissions. The built environment is responsible for around half of all greenhouse gas emissions and could play an important role in mitigating global warming. Many global cities aim to become carbon neutral, Melbourne leads the way with a target of neutrality by 2020 with others following such as San Francisco with a 2030 target. With only around two per cent of new buildings added to the existing stock each year, clearly the scope for emissions reductions lies largely within the adaptation of existing buildings. Buildings have to meet the needs of users and the wider community. As such, successful adaptation requires stakeholders to address social, technological, environmental, economic, and legislative criteria. Heritage buildings often account well in terms of embodied energy, though they may not be energy efficient. Whilst unlisted buildings present their own challenges and opportunities, heritage stock adds another layer of complexity to adaptation and sustainability practices, given the varied heritage-related restrictions on the nature and extent of retrofit measures that may reduce energy, water, and resource consumption. Concentrating on Melbourne, Australia, this paper addresses the question: what is the nature of adaptations in relation to heritage and non-heritage office building stock in the Central Business District (CBD)? The study analyses 1,548 commercial building adaptation events of heritage buildings, surveys the extent and nature of adaptations between 1998 and 2008, and identifies future considerations for integrating sustainability into heritage retrofits.
Wilkinson, S.J. 2012, 'Analysing sustainable retrofit potential in premium office buildings', Structural Survey, vol. 30, no. 5, pp. 398-410.
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Purpose: The built environment has high potential to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions and with around 1-2 per cent of new buildings added to the total stock annually, the scope for reductions lies with adaptation of existing stock. Existing buildings comprise a variety of attributes and present challenges and opportunities with regards to adaptation and sustainability, and integrating retrofit measures that lessen energy, water and resource consumption. Design/methodology/approach: Through a quantitative analysis of a Building Adaptation database, this paper addresses the questions; what is the nature of adaptations in relation to Premium quality office building stock in the Central Business District (CBD) and, what is the extent and scope for sustainable retrofits to Premium grade office buildings. Findings: The nature and extent of adaptations to Premium office buildings are identified and quantified in respect of attributes such as adaptation level, building age, location, construction form, envelope, shape and height and operating costs. Practical implications: The findings provide an insight for policy makers and others in respect of the nature and type of adaptations typically undertaken in Premium office buildings. The research identifies the typical attributes found in buildings undergoing adaptation and specifies the type of sustainable retrofit measures particularly suited to buildings with those attributes. Originality/value: The research is based on an analysis of 'all' office building adaptations from 1998 to 2008, which facilitates a unique study of what has occurred with regards to adaptation practices. From this starting point it is possible to determine where opportunities lie to capitalise on work being undertaken.
Wilkinson, S.J. & Reed, R. 2011, 'Examining and quantifying the drivers behind alterations and extensions to commercial buildings in a central business district', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 29, no. 7, pp. 725-735.
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The drive to undertake building adaptation has increased in momentum, the primary reason being adaptation can be less expensive than new build and conventionally result in faster project delivery times. The issue of sustainable development is another clear driver for adaptation and collectively buildings contribute around half of all greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time governments seek effective and efficient ways of reducing the contribution of cities to climate change and building adaptation appears to offer a practical means of reducing building-related emissions. One example is the â1200 building programâ which aims to increase adaptation rates with a target of 1200 city centre office adaptations by 2020 as part of the strategy to achieve carbon neutrality. Through a longitudinal examination of building adaptations it is possible to identify the nature and extent of typical levels of adaptation, as well as determining the inter-relationship between different types of adaptation and building attributes. Melbourne city centre was used for a case study which analysed 5290 building adaptation events between 1998 and 2008. The findings promote the adaptive reuse of buildings in specific circumstances and are directly applicable for increasing sustainability in the built environment. The case study focused on existing buildings in a global city to ensure relevance to urban centres where existing commercial buildings can become part of the solution to mitigate climate change.
Reed, R., Bilos, A., Wilkinson, S.J. & Schulte, K. 2009, 'International Comparison of Sustainable Rating Tools', The Journal of Sustainable Real Estate, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 1-29.
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This paper undertakes an international comparison of global sustainability tools and examines their characteristics and differences. Most importantly, it focuses on which tools from different countries can be directly compared with each other (i.e., is a five-star building with one rating system directly comparable with a four-star rating of another rating system?). The results are designed to provide some clarification of the assessment tools for sustainable buildings, which in turn will assist investors, developers, tenants, and government bodies in making informed decisions about green buildings. In addition, it is envisaged that removing some of the uncertainty associated with sustainable buildings will increase transparency for stakeholders and facilitate their acceptance.
Wilkinson, S.J. & Reed, R. 2009, 'Green roof retrofit potential in the central business district', Property Management, vol. 27, no. 5, pp. 284-301.
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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the potential for green roof retrofit to commercial buildings in a city centre to property managers and other property professionals. Design/methodology/approach: This paper addresses the research question: what is the potential of existing buildings in the CBD to accommodate a retrofitted green roof? Furthermore, it questions how many buildings are suitable for green roofs? The researchers compile a unique building database incorporating information about 536 commercial buidings and evaluate the potential suitability of each building to undergo a green roof retrofit. Assisted by other commercially available databases and software, the researchers are able to assess each roof based on criteria derived from an extensive literature review. Findings: A relatively small proportion of roofs are found to be suitable, partly a result of local climate conditions and rainfall patterns, and the physical property stock. On a purely physical assessment, only a very small proportion of CBD stock is found to be suited. These buildings are most likely to be in low secondary locations, ungraded or B grade buildings, privately owned, concrete framed and not overshadowed by adjoining properties. Practical implications: Property managers and other property professionals can now determine the potential of their portfolio stock for green roof retrofit based on the review of building attributes required for success adaptation in this paper. It possible that greater potential for green roof retrofit exists in the suburbs or regional towns where lower rise buildings may reduce the amount of overshadowing found in city centres. Follow-up research could focus on a comparison of regional and suburban developments. Originality/value: This is the first study of its kind and has assessed such a large number of buildings for their suitability for green roof retrofit; the findings provide a reliable guide for policymakers regarding the...
Wilkinson, S.J., James, K. & Reed, R. 2009, 'Using building adaptation to deliver sustainability in Australia', Structural Survey, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 46-61.
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Purpose: This paper seeks to establish the rationale for existing office building adaptation within Melbourne, Australia, as the city strives to become carbon neutral by 2020. The problems faced by policy makers to determine which buildings have the optimum adaptation potential are to be identified and discussed. Design/methodology/approach: This research adopts the approach of creating a database of all the buildings in the Melbourne CBD including details of physical, social, economic and technological attributes. This approach will determine whether relationships exist between attributes and the frequency of building adaptation or whether triggers to adaptation can be determined. Findings: This research provided evidence that a much faster rate of office building adaptation is necessary to meet the targets already set for carbon neutrality. The findings demonstrate that a retrospective comprehensive examination of previous adaptation in the CBD is a unique and original approach to determining the building characteristics associated with adaptation and whether triggers can be identified based on previous practices. The implication is that a decision-making tool should be developed to allow policy makers to target sectors of the office building stock to deliver carbon neutrality within the 2020 timeframe. Practical implications: Drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are required to mitigate global warming and climate change and all stakeholders should be looking at ways of reducing emissions from existing stock. Originality/value: This paper adds to the existing body of knowledge by raising awareness of the way in which the adaptation of large amounts of existing stock can be fast tracked to mitigate the impact of climate change and warming associated with the built environment, and in addition it establishes a framework for a decision-making tool for policy makers.
Wilkinson, S.J. 2008, 'Work-life balance in the Australian and New Zealand surveying profession', Structural Survey, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 120-130.
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Purpose: This paper aims to establish and illustrate the levels of awareness of work-life balance policies within the surveying profession in Australia and New Zealand. The culture and characteristics of the Australian and New Zealand work force are to be identified. The key aspects included in work-life balance policies are to be illustrated and the perceived benefits for the surveying profession are to be noted. The paper seeks to posit that it is vital to comprehend the levels of awareness of work-life balance issues within the surveying profession first, so that benchmarking may occur over time within the profession and second, that comparisons may be drawn with other professions. Design/methodology/approach: There is a growing body of research into work-life balance and the built environment professions. Using a questionnaire survey of the whole RICS qualified surveying profession in Australia and New Zealand, this paper identifies the awareness of work-life balance benefits within the surveying profession. Findings: This research provides evidence that awareness of the issues and options is unevenly spread amongst professional surveyors in the region. With shortages of professionals and an active economy the pressures on existing employees looks set to rise and therefore this is an area which needs to be benchmarked and revisited with a view to adopting best practice throughout the sector. The implications are that employers ignore work-life balance issues at their peril. Practical implications: There is much to be learned from an increased understanding of work-life balance issues for professionals in the surveying discipline. The consequences of an imbalance between work and personal or family life is emotional exhaustion, cynicism and burnout. The consequences for employers or surveying firms are reduced effectiveness and profitability and increased employee turnover or churn. Originality/value: Leading on from Ellison's UK surveying profession stud...
Dixon, T., Colantonio, A., Shiers, D., Reed, R., Wilkinson, S.J. & Gallimore, P. 2008, 'A green profession? A global survey of RICS members and their engagement with the sustainability agenda', Journal of Property Investment & Finance, vol. 26, no. 6, pp. 460-481.
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Purpose; This study seeks to provide a review of the background and context to the engagement of RICS members with the sustainability agenda, and to examine the extent to which the surveying profession uses relevant information, tools and techniques to achieve the key objectives of sustainable development (or sustainability). Design/methodology/approach: The paper analyses results from a major international online survey of 4,600 RICS respondent members, supported by 31 structured telephone interviews. Findings: The results suggest that, although sustainability is highly relevant to RICS members' work, a lack of knowledge and expertise is making it more difficult for sustainability tools and other information to be used effectively. Research limitations/implications: The survey is based on a substantial number of responses which are broadly representative of the global RICS population. A key implication is that laggard faculties include the disciplines of commercial property and valuation. Practical implications: The research suggests that key stakeholders must work together to provide better information, guidance and education and training to hardwire the sustainability agenda across RICS faculties. Originality/value: This is the first truly global survey of its kind and focuses particularly on those faculties that play a major role in property investment and finance (i.e. valuation and commercial property), comparing their position with that of other faculties in an international context.
Ang, S.L. & Wilkinson, S.J. 2008, 'Is the social agenda driving sustainable property development in Melbourne, Australia?', Property Management, vol. 26, no. 5, pp. 331-343.
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Sustainable property development has increased in market share over the past two to three years globally and locally. This research aims to analyze the drivers and barriers to sustainable property development in Melbourne using the triple bottom line (TBL) theoretical framework. The TBL posits that sustainability has social, economic and environmental aspects to fulfil. A questionnaire was sent out to 190 developers in Melbourne who promoted sustainable property development to ascertain their views about the drivers and barriers. This research indicates that in the 2007 Melbourne market the drivers were social rather than economic. The data reveal that social reasons are considered more than economic arguments for incorporating sustainability into developments. The business case, or the economic drivers for sustainability alone do not convince developers. The questionnaire survey informed us about developers' views but not why they have these views. The sample was limited to Melbourne. More developments are required for developers to become convinced of the benefits. The relatively low price of energy undermines the business case for sustainability in property here and needs to be fully costed. This paper illustrates that whilst the theoretical framework cites three key areas for sustainability, the reality is that developers are currently driven by social and environmental factors primarily and the business case is not accepted by the majority of developers.
Wilkinson, S.J. & Morton, P. 2007, 'The emerging importance of feminist research paradigms in the built environment', Structural Survey, vol. 25, no. 5, pp. 408-417.
Purpose: This paper seeks to establish and demonstrate the relevance of feminist research methods within built environment research. While no one definition of feminist research exists, many feminist researchers identify characteristics which distinguish it from traditional social science research; it is research that studies women, or that focuses on gender. Design/methodology/approach: There is a growing body of research into women and the built environment adopting feminist paradigms. This paper explains the dynamic, evolving philosophical basis of feminist research methods drawing comparisons to traditional positivist methodologies and demonstrates that feminist research has characteristics that can be imported into other research paradigms. Findings: The paper shows that there is much to be learned from an understanding of feminist research for all researchers in the built environment and that by adopting different approaches to research, researchers may find new and original ways of examining complex issues. Research limitations/implications: The implications are that all researchers in the built environment should consider the benefits of adopting a feminist approach in their research especially where the researcher is seeking to gain a deeper understanding of peoples' experiences. Originality/value: This paper seeks to raise awareness of the benefits of adopting feminist research methods in a discipline dominated by traditional approaches to research.
Hoxley, M. & Wilkinson, S.J. 2006, 'The employers' perspective of the impact of RICS education reform on building surveying', Structural Survey, vol. 24, no. 5, pp. 405-411.
Purpose: This paper seeks to present the second part of research funded by the RICS Education Trust to investigate the impact of the 2001 education reforms on Building Surveying. The first part of the research involved the collection of data from university course leaders. Design/methodology/approach: This research involved the collection of data from large national, mainly London-based, employers of building surveyors at a focus group meeting. Findings: The paper finds that issues of concern to these employers include the extent of construction technology knowledge of graduates, the delivery of contract administration, theplacement year, post graduate conversion courses and the high referral rate for the Assessment of Professional Competence (APC). Recommendations include advice to universities on the design of building surveying undergraduate and conversion courses, a call for further research on the high APC referral rate, and greater liaison between industry and universities. Research limitations/implications: The main limitation of the research is that the employers from whom data were collected were mainly large, national firms. Further research would be required to elicit the views of smaller regional organisations. Practical implications: Both parts of this RICS Education Trust funded research provides a foundation for the Building Surveying Faculty of the RICS to complete their review of the education and training of building surveyors. Originality/value: The research provides useful data on the impact of RICS education reform on building surveying, but mainly large, national firms.
Rhodes, L. & Wilkinson, S.J. 2006, 'New build or conversion?: Stakeholder preferences in inner city residential development', Structural Survey, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 311-318.
Purpose: This research aims to analyse the preferences within key groups for the conversion of existing buildings or the construction of new buildings for private residential purposes in Sheffield city centre. Design/methodology/approach: A literature review analysed the factors which have increased in importance and influenced the choice between city centre private residential conversion and new build. Interviews with professionals including developers, planners and property agents, the key stakeholders and in this case, practitioners within Sheffield, examined the sustainability, technical and financial issues in the residential property development. Findings: The results revealed that developers preferred new build for city centre private residential development. Though the urban planners of Sheffield had no preferences, they encouraged the reuse of buildings, but due to a scarcity of suitable redundant buildings for conversion it is inevitable that the city will see new build on the cityscape in future. Practical implications: As the housing market loses the impetus of recent years the predictions made in this paper will provide useful advice to property developers in avoiding costly investment mistakes. Originality/value: This study provides a case study upon which to base similar studies of residential urban regeneration projects in other locations.
Wilkinson, S.J. & Reed, R. 2006, 'Office building characteristics and the links with carbon emissions', Structural Survey, vol. 24, no. 3, pp. 240-251.
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present research which analysed energy consumption in the Melbourne central business district (CBD) office stock and examined all buildings to identify CO2 emissions in 2005. The rationale was that, by profiling a large group of buildings, it would be possible to identify characteristics of the stock. For example, do older buildings typically emit more CO2 per square metre than newer buildings? Design/methodology/approach: This research conducted a detailed analysis of all Melbourne CBD office stock to identify which patterns and trends emerged regarding building characteristics and carbon emissions. The study examined variables such as building size, number of employees, occupancy levels, physical characteristics and building age. Findings: By examining all office stock and aggregating data, the results confirm that it is possible to identify general physical building characteristics and carbon emissions. This research confirmed that clear relationships existed within the Melbourne CBD office stock in terms of building size, age and the density of occupation in relation to CO2 emissions. Originality/value: Practitioners can apply this knowledge to the professional advice they give to clients to assist in achieving increased energy efficiency in the office stock, for example in refurbishment being conscious that smaller buildings will be generally less energy-efficient than larger ones.
Wilkinson, S.J. & Hoxley, M. 2005, 'The impact of RICS education reform on building surveying', Structural Survey, vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 359-370.
Purpose: It is of major concern to the surveying profession that the seven years between 1994 and 2001 witnessed a decline in the numbers of UK student surveyors of nearly 50 per cent. This was significant, especially when considered in the context of rising student numbers overall. The RICS decided to implement an education policy with the aim of increasing graduate quality. Changes were introduced in UK universities from September 2001. A number of universities saw their professionally accredited courses withdrawn as the RICS imposed academic entry standards and research output based on the UK Government's Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) criteria on which to base their 'partnership' relationships. Figures released by the RICS in 2003 indicated that surveying student numbers increased by 17 per cent in all areas except building surveying, where they fell by just under 25 per cent to 445 in 2001. The paper seeks to answer a number of questions. Why were building surveying courses failing to recruit students whereas other surveying courses have increased their numbers? If the figures continue to decline or remain at these low levels, what is the future for the BS? In short, could building surveying become an endangered profession? Design/methodology/approach: All UK university BS course leaders were approached by questionnaire and approximately half responded. The study was partly funded by the RICS Education Trust. Findings: The small amount of quantitative data collected suggests that recruitment is static at a time when other built environment courses are recruiting well. Course leaders expressed strong views about the impact of the education reforms. Research limitations/implications: Failure by some BS course leaders to provide some statistical data prevented completion of the quantitative part of the study. Originality/value: Key recommendations have been made to the BS Faculty Board of the RICS about the future of BS education.
Wilkinson, S.J. & Russell, G. 2005, 'Closing the gap? Building surveyors in Oceania', Structural Survey, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 193-202.
Purpose: The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has implemented a policy to expand its influence around the world. Quantity or construction surveyors had an established presence and history of working overseas, offering their services particularly in the Middle- and Far-East. Property surveyors found the transition to working in European Union (EU) countries relatively straightforward and numerous UK property consultancies have European, Asian, North American and Oceanic offices. Furthermore UK-based firms establishing partnerships with overseas real estate firms expanded significantly over the past decade. Building surveying (BS) is a different case. Small numbers work in commonwealth countries but it is limited and in many countries professional and academic qualifications are not recognised. This paper aims to consider the extent of the barriers and opportunities facing RICS chartered building surveyors (CBS) in Oceania (taken as Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Fiji) and whether the gap is closing. Design/methodology/approach: A desktop study reviewed the political, economic and sociological issues that affect the employment opportunities and professional services CBS offer throughout the world. Six opportunities and ten barriers were put to the RICS Oceania Building Surveying Faculty to ascertain their perceptions of these barriers and opportunities. No previous study had identified barriers and opportunities in Oceania for the BS and this research adopted a census survey of RICS practitioners currently employed in the region and the results form the most comprehensive picture of the current position. Findings: Many respondents felt that stronger links and/or mergers with the different Oceania professional property and surveying bodies would open a large field of opportunities to the CBS. Some provided comments on future business opportunities, for example "leaky buildings", "dilapidations / 'make good' work", and seemed to be in...
Reed, R. & Wilkinson, S.J. 2005, 'The increasing importance of sustainability for building ownership', Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 339-350.
Purpose - This study seeks to investigate the degree to which energy efficiency is incorporated into office building refurbishment and capital expenditure with the emphasis placed on a cost-benefit analysis from the owners perspective. Design/methodology/approach - In order to develop a research framework, a thorough literature review was conducted of three disciplines being construction technology, building refurbishment and property management. The study identifies differences between varying levels of capital expenditure to ensure an existing building is more energy efficient, with the emphasis placed on the cost of implementation and the potential for tenants to acknowledge the increased energy efficiency via higher rents. Findings - Office buildings have been identified as a contributor to global warming during the construction phase, however during the building lifecycle there is a greater contribution to CO2 omissions. Whilst various building designs and construction techniques have evolved to improve energy efficiency, the focus has largely been placed on new buildings where it is easier to incorporate change and innovative approaches. However, the proportion of new buildings constructed each year is relatively small in comparison to existing building stock, which requires regular capital expenditure to maintain and attract new tenants within a competitive marketplace. Practical implications - The increasing importance of energy efficiency affects the office market in a variety of different ways. Originality/value - This paper identifies important links between the environment and the built environment, and the implications for office building owners.
Wilkinson, S.J. 2004, 'A method for evaluating workplace utility', Property Management, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 218-229.
Acquiring offie buildings that provide the required level of utility and maintaining the buildings in that state, should be a priority for any organisation. Failure to do so may give rise to increased churn, reduced productivity, higher employee turnover, increased staff absenteeism and rising health care costs associated to heightened stress. There is, however, no single measure of utility of public sector office buildings. Data collection involved the use of focus groups and an online survey of 1800 building occupants. The findings suggest that the utility of public sector office buildings can be measured using a 22 item scale comprising four dimensions. The potential applications of the scale and its use in current research are examined.

Non traditional outputs

Wilkinson, S.J., 'Edible Walls', Sydney Design 2013, Powerhouse Museum Harris Street.
The exhibition comprised two vertical wall installations from UTS with supporting text. I worked with Judith Freidlander ISF, Berto Pandolfo and Lindsay Page DAB.

Reports

Wilkinson, S.J. & Jupp, J.J. Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) 2015, Building Information Modelling and the Value Dimension, pp. 1-54, London.
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Wilkinson, S.J. Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors 2014, Building Permits and Sustainability: A method for measuring the uptake of sustainability in the built environment over time., pp. 1-38, www.rics.org.
The built environment emits 40% of total greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change through sustainable adaptation is a priority. Typically 1 to 2% is added to the total building stock annually and around 87% of the stock most developed countries will have in 2050, is already built. It follows that precise data in respect of the sustainability measures incorporated into new and existing buildings is recorded and quantified. The benefits are that built environment related GHG reductions may be measured and quantified over time and that policy and regulations may be made more efficient and their effectiveness may be enhanced due the basis of empirical evidence. Cities such as Melbourne, Australia have adopted carbon neutral strategies to deliver emissions reductions which are largely directed to building adaptation. Melbourne aims to be carbon neutral by 2020 and has a target of 1,200 sustainable retrofits to deliver 38% GHG reductions. Whilst some owners use tools to demonstrate sustainability, most do not. Furthermore these sustainable adaptations and new builds number so few they will not deliver sufficient reductions. Predictions of significant increases in gas and electricity consumption in buildings present challenges to policy makers, professional practitioners and the community at large and a method of calculating all building related carbon emissions is required. The framework for quantifying emissions reductions in the total building stock over time is fragmented and largely undeveloped. Existing efforts largely focus on individual buildings. This research examines the viability of measuring and quantifying the uptake of sustainability in the built environment over time. The research comprised a series of focus groups staged in the England and Australia during 2012 and 2013 with policy makers, practitioners and regulators.
Wilkinson, S.J., Proverbs, D., Lamond, J. & Rose, C. Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors 2014, Retrofit of Sustainable Urban Drainage (SUDS) in CBD for improved flood mitigation, pp. 1-56, London UK.
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Flood damage was estimated to cost A$20bn in Australia in 2011 and in 2007 in England flooding cost businesses £0.75bn. Surface water flash flooding has been driven by higher incidence of intense pluvial events; the lack of permeability in high-density areas; and the inadequacy of Central Business District drainage systems constructed to cope with different weather patterns and buildings. In the light of future uncertainties, continued reliance on piped drainage systems is creating unsustainable demands for ever-greater capacity, or the creation of underground storage facilities. As an alternative to expanding the existing grey infrastructure Water Sensitive Urban Drainage (SUDS) in are being advocated and legislated for. This research examined the potential for mitigation of pluvial flooding in CBDs through retrofitting of WSUDS. Two case study areas explored the challenges and opportunities for retrofit of WSUDS in cities with varying climate zones, urban design and governmental regimes. The contribution is to provide empirical data and knowledge in the emerging area of retrofit of WSUDS and provide material to build capacity to contribute to improved drainage and flood mitigation for commercial property. Software was developed to model the Bureau of Meteorology data of actual flood events. The significance of this research is that it shows that retrofit is sometimes needed outside flooded areas. It was shown that stormwater flooding can be slowed significantly by wide-scale retrofit and that policy makers could save money and disruption to city inhabitants through adoption. It provides a framework for others to follow to examine retrofit potential in their cities.
Wilkinson, S.J. RICS 2013, Sustainable Urban Retrofit Evaluation, pp. 1-66, London.
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This research updates the 2011 study by Assoc. Professor Sara Wilkinson on the importance of environmental retrofitting of commercial buildings in the Melbourne, Australia. This second study seeks to gain a deeper understanding of improvements made to the building stock through the City of Melbourne's 1200 Buildings Program. Adaptation of the existing building stock is an essential component in attempts to mitigate the effects of global warming, given that 87% of the stock that will be here in 2050 is already built and secondly that 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions are derived from the built environment. In Australia the majority of Australian stock has been designed with little or no consideration of energy efficiency and sustainable retrofit become more of an imperative going forward. In 2008 the City of Melbourne launched the 1200 Buildings Program as a key strategy to deliver carbon neutrality by 2020. In retrofit multiple attributes are important and they can be labelled as economic, location and land use, physical legal, and social. The question is; which attributes are of most importance in office building retrofits? This research provides answers to this question in the context of the Melbourne stock. Significantly this study examined all CBD retrofits from 2009 to 2011 to establish which attributes were of most importance. The findings show that legislation aimed at integrating sustainability into the built environment through the Building Code of Australia and Mandatory Disclosure is having an impact on retrofits.