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Australasia first, Gold level sustainability rating

Mon., 19 April, 2021

The R2P Project is the first project in Australasia to obtain a certified Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia V2.0 Design Rating. The R2P Project is contractually required to achieve a Bronze rating at completion, however, the R2P Project has exceeded this requirement for the design phase, achieving a Gold level rating.

“The Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) is a member-based, not-for-profit peak body operating in Australia and New Zealand with the purpose of enabling sustainability outcomes in infrastructure.” (https://www.isca.org.au/)

One of the ways ISCA enables these outcomes is through an Infrastructure Sustainability rating scheme to drive and measure sustainability for key phases of infrastructure projects including planning, design, construction and operation.

The R2P Project’s Environmental and Sustainability Manager (Anna Kordahi) and the Design Sustainability Lead (Cathy Chesson), together with the sustainability team (Chris Smith, and Kirsty Tanner), worked collaboratively with members of the project team and the Department for Infrastructure and Transport (the Department) to identify sustainability initiatives to address key impacts, promote sustainability, educate, collate and write the submission material.

In late 2020, the sustainability team submitted material detailing how the R2P Project addressed Infrastructure Sustainability during the Design phase.

Key highlights in the submission included:

  • Development and implementation of a Multi-Criteria Analysis tool to ensure that sustainable outcomes (social, economic and environmental aspects) are considered in significant project decision making processes.
  • Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions during the construction and operation of the R2P Project by:
    • lower wattage road lighting;
    • use of GreenPower at the Polonia Reserve Compound; and
    • use of materials with lower greenhouse gas emissions (use of recycled asphalt pavement, reduced Portland cement concrete and recycled materials in kerbing).
  • Achieving circular economy outcomes through the trial use of Reconophalt, an asphalt product containing waste soft plastics supplied by Downer. The R2P Project and the Department worked with Downer and Green Industries SA to identify and obtain suitable funding under the Circular Economy Market Development program to assist with the development of an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). The EPD provides data and knowledge required to make informed decisions on material selections regarding circular economy outcomes and greenhouse gas reductions.
  • Reuse of the Regency Road overpass ‘off-site’ hardstand material (~8,500m2). The hardstand was constructed out of a quarry rubble (PM2/20), to enable reuse in the project area once the ‘off-site’ build was complete. Reused material was used to form motorway pavement subbase layers for the overpass ramps.
  • Development of a robust system for assessing material sustainability risks and opportunities in the supply chain. This process assisted in the drive of specific sustainable outcomes such as:
    • The use of materials with EPDs.
    • Increased awareness for the use of Supplementary Cementitious Material in concrete mixes (benefits include improved concrete performance, reduced use of cement and reduced greenhouse gas emissions).
    • The requirement to comply with site specific workforce participation targets including local participation (over 95%), women in construction workforce (1%), women in construction management (25%), trainees and apprentices (7%), and employment of Aboriginal people (4%).
  • Setting of various resource management targets (which are on track to achieve), for example:
    • 20% reduction in embodied greenhouse gas emissions from the base case to final design for the Regency Road Overpass.
    • 90% recycled material used for a temporary car park.
    • Reuse traffic signal infrastructure and light poles on site.
    • Divert over 90% of waste fill, office waste, organic waste, concrete and low level contaminated waste from landfill.
    • Reuse site offices and water collection tanks from a previous project instead of purchasing new.
  • Leaving a positive social and environmental legacy through the planting of butterfly gardens in the project boundary, and at local schools in the vicinity of the project. Details of this initiative are:
    • Providing a suitable habitat for butterflies in an urban area, which assists to counteract the negative impact that urbanisation has on declining native biodiversity.
    • Engagement of a fauna specialist to drive awareness on biodiversity (and butterflies) at local schools through a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program.
    • The STEM program focused on creating awareness on what students can do to promote biodiversity in their local areas.

Thank you to Anna and the sustainability team who worked extremely hard to ensure that the project obtained (and exceeded!) the ISCA ratings throughout the R2P Project.

The R2P Project is continuing to implement the sustainability initiatives established through the design phase and will submit material for the ISCA As Build Phase towards completion of the project.

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