Barangaroo South Case Study



AUTHOR: SCOTT TAYLOR

1. The opportunity and Vision for Barangaroo

Barangaroo is one of the most significant waterfront transformations currently underway anywhere in the world. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for the city of Sydney to create a vibrant, world class destination on Sydney Harbour.

Barangaroo South is place-making in progress. Since 2009, Lendlease has been transforming the former container terminal into a bustling financial district, with world class office space, premium residential buildings as well as lively shopping, dining, entertainment and public places.

The site, on the edge of one of the most scenic harbours in the world, has been closed off to the public for generations, and is being given a new lease of life. Over half of the Barangaroo South area will be open public space.

Barangaroo South will eventually accommodate around 23,000 office workers, 1,600 residents, an international six-star hotel and more than 80 cafes, bars, restaurants and retail outlets.

2. The challenge: transforming a disused container terminal into a place that sets the standard for sustainability, ways of working and life for generations to com

How people live, work and play has changed significantly over the 10 years that Lendlease has been transforming Barangaroo. Our challenge has been to create a place that meets the needs of the Barangaroo community for generations to come. A place that sets the standard for new ways of working, for health and wellbeing and sustainability. A place that is connected, adaptable to new technologies and evolving needs of the Barangaroo community. A place that enables highly customisable experiences for the 10’s of thousands of people in the precinct every day. A place that’s autonomous.

3. How Podium Services supported the vision for Barangaroo, and the benefits

The achievement of Barangaroo’s ambitions to be carbon neutral, water positive and to create zero waste emissions is made possible by Podium Asset Services, who designed, delivered and are now managing Barangaroo’s infrastructure.

Podium Asset Services recognised that enabling a carbon neutral, economically viable precinct required large-scale centralised infrastructure. Instead of designing individual infrastructure for each building, Podium Asset Services took the plant, services and systems for nine buildings at Barangaroo and designed them as ‘one system’ which is housed in a basement. The 77,000 sqm basement is almost as large as one of the 42-storey office towers that sits above it and provides Barangaroo offices, apartments and retailers with power, cooling, heating and water. 

It includes a district cooling plant that saves about 40 Olympic-sized swimming pools of water every year and provides cost effective and energy efficient air conditioning.

The waste management system has enabled the diversion of over 5,400 tonnes of waste from landfill in the past three years – the equivalent of 1,200 elephants. 50 to 60 tonnes of food waste is compacted every month, before its taken off site and converted into green energy and fertiliser. This is only possible because of the centralised approach to precinct recycling. 

The recycled water treatment plant is designed to creating more water than the precinct uses each day. Water used in the precinct is treated and converted into high-quality recycled water which is used for toilet flushing, cleaning, fire sprinklers and watering the plants, enabling Barangaroo to be a water positive.

Placing infrastructure which is typically housed on top of a building, into the basement, made possible for the rooves of Barangaroo buildings to be saturated with 6,000m2 of solar panels, that provide green energy for the precinct.

This ‘collective thinking’ at the centre of Barangaroo’s innovative infrastructure design and operation, removes duplication, enables efficiencies and creates economies of scale that dramatically lower costs. It opens up pathways to zero carbon performance.

By making the infrastructure more compact and placing it underground, Podium Asset Services reduced the amount of land and floor space needed to house the infrastructure, enabling the land to be released towards other uses such as shared public space.

And importantly, Podium Asset Services turned infrastructure, typically a ‘sunk’ cost of any development into a valuable asset, which is delivering development style returns. 

And the sustainability benefits enabled by Podium’s Asset Services contributed to Barangaroo being announced in December 2019, as the first urban precinct in Australia to be awarded carbon neutral status.

Lendlease CEO, Steve McCann, said that 'Fundamental to Barangaroo’s success was the creation of the basement, a "secret city".

Podium’s Integration Services, a business that assesses, designs, deploys and manages data networks and plays a major role in creating Barangaroo into a precinct where forward thinking organisations can adapt to and capitalise on next generation working practises. 

Reliable and resilient digital connectivity is essential in today’s digitally enabled world. Podium’s Network Services designed and delivered the digital infrastructure at Barangaroo South, ensuring that our tenants benefited from the world’s best network infrastructure, electrical resiliency, wireless capability and ease and reliability of connectivity.


A study commissioned by Lendlease discovered that more than 80 percent of Australian office workers faced connectivity issues in the workplace. “Despite connectivity being increasingly fundamental to a business’ operations, there has been little information available to tenants about the quality of connectivity in office spaces until now,” says Kylie Rampa, Lendlease chief executive officer property Australia.

“We recognise connectivity plays a vital role in creating the best places for our customers and this is a driving force behind our partnership with global connectivity rating scheme.”

Lendlease brought the internationally recognised Wired digital connectivity rating system to Australia and applied it to our developments. The four buildings at Lendlease’s Barangaroo South precinct, International House Sydney and International Towers 1, 2 and 3; all achieved a Wired Platinum rating, which is the highest rating possible under the scheme.


The Wired platinum rating enabled by Podiums Network Services confirms that Lendlease’s Barangaroo South buildings join the ranks of other iconic Platinum-rated buildings across the globe, including the Empire State Building in New York, The Shard in London and Willis Tower in Chicago.

4. With Podium, Barangaroo is a sustainable and smart precinct to live, work and play

As the way that people live, work and play changes, so must the way that we design and operate buildings, precincts and neighbourhoods. At the heart of this change for Lendlease is Podium, creating clarity and performance never experienced before.

At Barangaroo, Podium helped transform the disused container terminal into a world leading precinct that’s setting the standard for smart, connected and green precincts worldwide. Podium’s innovative infrastructure solutions enabled unparalleled sustainability performance with hyper efficient energy, water and waste management systems that helped the creation of Australia’s first carbon neutral precinct. And Podium’s world class network solutions helped created Australia’s first Platinum rated network, as rated by Wired digital connectivity rating system. Podium is helping Lendlease create the best places, to be enjoyed for generations to come.


Podium is Lendlease’s property lifecycle platform incorporating digital products and services which harness 60 years of applied experience. The platform creates a powerful solution providing the industry with insights, clarity and performance never experienced before.