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The Sustainable House of Westpac: how Westpac is shaping the future of banking

31 August 2020

The future of banking takes modular, flexible shape in Westpac’s new, innovative branch design.

The future of banking comes to life in the Sustainable House of Westpac — a sophisticated innovation melding flexibility and sustainability to reduce waste, reshape the customer experience, and redefine the retail environment.

At the beginning of the design process, our long time client Westpac came to us with a vision. Their goal?

A sustainable, future-proofed design enabling them to adapt to evolving customer and business requirements and to grow the business responsibly, with less waste and significantly reduced cost and time for branch launch and maintenance.

Guided by this vision and together with Head of Property Rachel Winder and the wider organisational team, we created the Sustainable House of Westpac.

In its simplest form, Sustainable House is a kit of parts, with ATM room walls, meeting rooms, teller counters, iPad kiosks, and 24/7 lobby ceiling systems, doors, and pendant lighting as the main pieces.

A fully customisable design solution, it enables Westpac to mould and optimise each location’s banking environment whilst achieving multiple business objectives:

— Cutting the traditional building timeframe from 12 to 4 weeks

— Reducing construction waste by at least 50%

— Enabling accessible design (including design for dementia and design for violent and aggressive behaviour (VAB))

— Streamlining brand consistency

— Offering an elevated customer experience

Sustainable House’s pieces sit within a custom Westpac database, which reflects a slate of thoughtfully chosen building materials that balance brand consistency, quality, sustainability, and functionality.

Every element, from the signature red bench cushions to the teller counters to the lunch tables, has been carefully selected to embody Westpac’s brand, and each fixture and fitting is crafted from high-quality materials, chosen for lower embodied energy wherever possible.

Ninety per cent of Westpac’s design elements are reusable. The database holds information about product lifecycles and alerts Westpac when something needs replacing, allowing them to better estimate costs, and an efficient QR code scanning process makes full use of their facilities management systems and enables them to quickly order new parts.

Sustainable House enables Westpac to tailor individual property footprints over time to suit customer and business needs — and to do so without touching the landlord’s shell.

By utilising rooms and systems meant to slot into existing spaces — including the landlord’s wall linings and ceilings — without interfering with basebuild services such as sprinklers and air conditioning, Sustainable House removes a cumbersome component of typically expensive bespoke design and opens up the business to new and lucrative leasing opportunities where their nimbleness and agility lend them negotiatory advantage.

A paragon of sustainability in design, the Sustainable House of Westpac charts a bright path into the future of banking — a future founded on flexibility.