Mirvac says that it is focussing more on 30-minute cities, innovative housing design with integrated technology to help manage costs like energy bills, and prioritising places that help people connect with each other in order to create healthy, and sustainable cities by 2050.
According to Stuart Penklis, Mirvac’s head of Residential, now is a transformative time for property developers such as his company.
“A collaborative approach between the Mirvac in-house development, design, construction and sales and marketing team is essential to driving bigger thinking about our future challenges and opportunities,” he says.
Pointing to some of Mirvac’ previous builds like their construction at Sydney’s now-iconic Green Square, Penklis says that Mirvac is committed to creating “whole of place communities,” that he also notes, requires designers and builders to incorporate a “blending of uses.”
“Green Square,” says Penklis, “will be the centrepiece of the transformation of South Sydney.”
“Society is changing fast, and we will see some of our cities double their population by 2050. Sydney’s population alone is expected to exceed 7.4 million by 2050 and with this, commuting will become life-changing as people seek housing solutions that support a work-life balance,” he says.
“Mirvac’s view of Australian cities in 2050 is that they will be much more dynamic and complex than they are now, no longer homogenous places of business - they will blend social, residential, commercial, retail and community experiences in both the physical and digital realms.”
“We are creating the vision for a 30-minute city,” Penklis says.
“Mirvac is reimagining urban life,” he says, adding that “How to support the communities is critical.”
Technology is another area that Mirvac is looking to harness in order to provide benefits for residents, both in terms of comfort and sustainability.
“Housing will be transformed by technology that aims to make life easier, so we get more out of our home environments,” Penklis says.
“That means advances brought to us by future automation and robotics with homes that intelligently run themselves, driving energy efficiency.”
In 2050, the home is where technological innovations and design will result in environments that make us feel better and help us achieve a balance,” he says.
Penklis pointed to Mirvac’s ‘House With No Bills’ pilot, a research project in Melbourne looking into what it will take to offer homes with zero energy bills, as having the potential to revolutionise housing in Australia by uncovering how to eventually deliver off-grid housing to the mass market.
“We will see suburbs with zero energy bills in 2050 and cleaner transport such as electric vehicle fleets from private vehicles through to driverless electric public transport."
"We are already implementing design considerations to future proof our buildings and communities to accommodate these changes,” he says.
“There is no doubt homes will change dramatically, however essential to our future is welcoming smart development that optimises space through good design.”
Penklis also says that in order to build a bright future for Australians, “development should be self-sustaining, incorporating the environment and technology and ultimately improving connectivity in our cities.”
“With more people working from home in the future, our home environments will be designed to help us switch off and to improve our social connectivity,” Penklis says.
Mirvac’s NSW general manager of Residential Toby Long says that, “Sustainable is what we do.”
But he notes, to be able to achieve the required level of sustainability, “Design and planning are essential.”