CEO Statement

Sustainable Domain Transfer

Dear Clients, Suppliers, Partners, Staff & Families,

Due to recent changes to the Australian Domain Administrator’s (auDA) .au domain policy, the Sustainable Team has chosen to transition from our previous domain – – to The Sustainable IT and Website Teams registered this domain last week and are currently conducting a seamless transfer of the website, emails, and related business items. At present, the new domain – – is active and operational across both the website and business emails, whilst our old domain is acting as an alias.

Please note, after Sunday 4th June 2023, the old Sustainable website and email domain will no longer be in service and will not redirect to the new domain. As a result, we do ask to please be mindful that the new Sustainable website domain (URL) is: In addition, please take note that all Sustainable business emails have been updated accordingly:,,, and

The Sustainable Team believes it important to keep our valued Clients, Suppliers, Partners, Staff & Families up to date with critical business changes. Therefore, Sustainable apologises for the late notice and any inconvenience this change may cause now and in the future. The Sustainable Team is working diligently to ensure this business change is as seamless as possible, providing essential support where necessary. For future reference, if you are having issues contacting the Sustainable Team, please ring the Head Office on (07) 3201 1177 to seek direct assistance.

Sustainable thanks you in advance for your understanding and support through this process. If you have any questions regarding the information enclosed in this statement, please do not hesitate to get in touch with the Sustainable Team via phone (07) 3201 1177 or email

Sustainable is dedicated to our valued Clients, Suppliers, Partners, Staff & Families by remaining authentic in our business operations and committed to creating and delivering cutting-edge sustainable homes beyond Client expectations. Owing to your ongoing support, Sustainable has been recognised by our Industry peers since 1994 with over 70 high-level awards. Sustainable thanks you for allowing our Team to deliver truly design-led sustainable living and sensible city infill communities of the future that are always committed to our belief – “By creating better buildings, we create better people.”


Brett McKenzie

CEO Sustainable Pty Ltd. | Remote Locations Pty Ltd.

Queensland Science’s Sustainability & Science Showcase: CEO Brett McKenzie as Guest Speaker

Date:Sunday 19th June 2022
Forum 1:Contributing to a sustainable city, starting with your home and backyard

Sustainable CEO Brett McKenzie was invited by Brisbane Sustainability Agency to attend the Queensland Science’s Sustainability & Science Showcase and contribute to a Forum containing 4 other sustainability industry experts.

The event generated a considerable amount of community engagement, and the discussions created particularly stand as a stepping stone for community sustainability and collectively tackling climate change.

For the forum, Brett was asked to discuss ‘creating sustainable homes and retrofitting current homes for sustainable communities.’ The Sustainable Team have broken down the key aspects of Brett’s speech below, and have outlined ‘waste within the construction industry’ as an important aspect in contributing to sustainable homes and futures.


The construction industry delivers approximately 60% of all its waste to landfill

  • Designing Sustainable Homes starts by reducing waste
    • The Sustainable Team recycles 98% of all waste on-site
      • E.g., Sustainable is currently two-thirds of the way through their Toowoomba build. The Sustainable Team have only taken 5x cubic bags of waste off the site (containing mainly packaging) to landfill. Whereas, most sites will have 5 or 6 skip bins of waste taken off site to landfill int eh same time period.
    • Waste is not only material things, it is also in resources
      • Housing stock is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions
      • A lot of homes are on life support (i.e., need mechanical ventilation, lighting, etc.)

Creating Sustainable Homes

  • When designing sustainable homes:
    • It has to start organically, from it’s location and the history of the area, and by looking at the built-form around it and respecting that
    • Apply 25-Year Lifecycle Modelling around its Occupants
      • Have Adaptable Space
        • Create an environment to zone the house off (e.g., A nursery becomes a media room later on)
      • This:
        • Reduces monoculture in our communities
        • Creates longevity of occupancy

Retrofitting Current Homes

  • Generally, society is quite limited in our approach to retrofitting current stock
  • It is important to:
    • Think laterally of the current space
    • Reflect on the initial design & intent of the home (which is generally quite different to the intent of our lifestyle today)
    • Think about how to make a passive difference to the space by asking the difficult questions (e.g., Is the kitchen in the right location?)
  • In approaching Retrofits, the key aspects are:
    • Bringing it back to basics
    • Implementing a volume (cubic metre) model (i.e., more volume in a room = better passive performance)
    • Looking for the opportunities

Sustainable Communities

  • It is all about embracing and going back to village life
    • Bringing it back more local & delivering locally produced products
    • Maximising current spaces
      • Introduce community gardens (in backyards for example)
        • Communities become more engaged & a lot safer
        • Less greenfield development

More Information

Sustainability & Science Showcase

Event Host:Hannah Turner
Specialist — Marketing & Community Engagement
Brisbane Sustainability Agency
MC:Dr Karen Hussey
Deputy Director General
Queensland Department of Environment and Science
Renae McBrienTarragindi Community Garden Founder & Resource Recovery Advocate
A/ Professor Carol RichardsSocial, Food & Agricultural Scientist at QUT (specialising in Sustainable Food Systems)
Les BarklaRedcliffe Repair Café Founder
Brett McKenzieFounder & CEO Sustainable Pty Ltd.

PROTECT Podcast x Sustainable

The PROTECT Podcast is an ‘environmental podcast’ created and hosted by Melbourne-based journalist, Angela Fedele. Angela’s podcast explores relevant social topics relating to sustainability and protecting animal welfare and the environment.

CEO Brett McKenzie and the Sustainable Team established a valued partnership with Angela in early 2021. On two occasions, Brett has been invited to present as a guest speaker on the PROTECT Podcast to share his extensive knowledge and experience in the building industry and sustainability spaces. The Sustainable Team thanks Angela for providing a platform to discuss these very timely and crucial community topics.

PROTECT Podcast can be reached on a variety of platforms, including: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, etc. Learn more.

S5, Ep. 3 — “Building For Climate Resilience: Australia’s 2022 Flood Disaster”

May 18, 2022

PROTECT Podcast, Episode 3, S5 – “Building For Climate Resilience: Australia’s 2022 Flood Disaster” | Host: Angela Fedele; Guest Speaker: Brett McKenzie (Sustainable CEO)

The ‘Building For Climate Resilience’ podcast episode provides an insightful look at resilience building, concentrating on Southern QLD and Northern NSW flood history. Sustainable’s philosophy works with local environments through a 25-year Lifecycle Modelling process. Throughout this episode, Brett refers to the 2022 Fingal Head (Northern NSW) Sustainable Custom Design, ‘The Hidden Gem’, as a testament to resilience building. ‘Standing as an example of what is possible, Brett delves into opportunities to restructure local governments, incentives to rebuild for the future and ideas for redesigning and moving entire communities from disaster prone areas.’ YES, it is certainly possible!

S2, Ep. 6 — “Building Sustainable Communities”

March 19, 2021

PROTECT Podcast, Episode 6, S2 – “Building Sustainable Communities” | Host: Angela Fedele; Guest Speaker: Brett McKenzie (Sustainable CEO)

‘Building Sustainable Communities’ briefly explains the importance of engaging sustainable principles within residential design processes. Angela and Brett’s discussion lightly touches an understanding of sustainable building and it’s benefits from a design, performance and community point of view. This podcast episode outlines the relevance of sustainability within the Australian building industry, focusing on creating future developments that reflect truly sustainable communities. As such, this sustainable community conversation encapsulates the important understanding of applying basic sustainable principles and long-term thinking to ensure truly sustainable living.

TREND Windows & Doors: Case Story

“Brett McKenzie On The Positives of Passive Design”

In November 2021, the team from TREND Windows & Doors, a long-standing partner with Sustainable, invited Sustainable CEO Brett McKenzie to showcase his 35+ year sustainable Design & Construct expertise for their Passive Design article running in April 2022. (Please see the article link below.)

Brett and the Sustainable Team take pride in our longstanding 25-year partnership with TREND, and thank their team for showcasing our award-winning experience in the field of passive design.

Sourced from TREND — ‘The Positives of Passive Design’ article.

“As sustainability becomes synonymous with beautiful architecture, passive design is no longer an afterthought. This design approach leans on surrounding climate and building elements to naturally heat or cool your home. And in turn, it works to reduce your energy bills and environmental impact. It’s true that passive design is a positive force in more than one way. One person who leads the way in the passive design space is Brett McKenzie, CEO of Sustainable. Brett is a long-time champion of passive design principles. With over 35 years of experience in construction and building design and over 25 years of partnership with Trend, Brett has seen how …”
[Click here to read the full article on the TREND website]

“Passive design is about creating buildings, spaces and habitats that are much more meaningful and healthy for the individual.” — CEO Brett McKenzie

Trusting Clients Inspire Good Architecture!

It is often our most trusting clients who bring out the most creative scope in our in-house experts. 

A 2018 Sustainable Custom Home effortlessly flaunts how the power of good architecture creates truly uplifting, inspirational and timeless spaces.

Before Sustainable’s valued clients approached the Team in 2017, they were well-aware and following the build process of the 2017 Sustainable Recipe House, The Kingfisher. Impressed with the company’s philosophies, the professional couple connected with Sustainable and were quickly underway to build their dream sustainable home. 

Trust Plants the Seed for Creative Freedom

When our clients approached Brett McKenzie and the Sustainable Team, they had never built a home before. Their life was in Singapore and predictably, they wanted to embrace the “Aussie dream” — a patch of land, their own home and the Hills Hoist!

Having lived in extremely compacted spaces and repressive living, our clients were looking for something different and placed a high focus on sustainability and minimalistic construction. This was one, exciting, but also quite frightening for them because they were used to very small footprints with no back yards.

Sustainable CEO Brett McKenzie said,

It was very important for me in the design process to be able to respect our client’s journey, but always adding the inspiration or introducing them to new possibilities of not only creative, uplifting and ambiance of space, but security of place.

Trusting since day one, our clients gave Brett and his Team a lot of creative freedom for a site that required a lot of creative thinking.

As always, there were certain wish lists regarding preferences of spaces to cater for personal needs, but these clients gave Sustainable a very open and refreshingly free scope of what they wanted. This is always Sustainable’s clean canvas to express and share our incredible experience and passion to drive outstanding homes.

The Clients let me have an enormous scope in the sense of Design, so I really cut loose a little bit!” This was unexpected, but also quite refreshing for a couple that were understandably anxious and vulnerable to the experience.

Brett McKenzie | Sustainable CEO

Untamed Sites are the Most Powerful

Our clients had bought a block in Upper Kedron and were told by project builders to buy a flattened block with retaining. For most residential developments, flat blocks are necessary, but for Sustainable we believe that flattened sites kill the character, atmosphere and natural power and energy of the site. (It also increases costs!)

Brett McKenzie describes how his Sustainable Team approach flat sites:

When they flatten a site like this one was, it takes the natural power away from the site. We actually recreated contours within the site to embrace it’s power again.

I wanted to get the flow back into the site and almost recreate the contour with the design.

The home is empowered by the recreated contour coming up off the road, flowing up into an upper level and flowing back down to the back level of the home. In doing so, Sustainable created an undercroft, which is a shaded and sheltered area above where the pool and courtyard now sit.

The Beauty of Floating Architecture

The home also boasts a strong connecting blade [wall] that goes through the middle of the house, creating floating architecture.

I had a strong connective blade running through the middle of the home, getting the architectural features of the house to feel as though they hovered off of it.

As you move through the house you walk underneath the blade like an arc, moving from one side of the blade to the next as you move from the front of the home to the back.

The beauty of it is that you don’t even realise that you’ve moved from one side of the house to the other. It’s a bit surprising when you do realise.

Brett McKenzie | Sustainable CEO

Pushing Boundaries in Passive Design

As Sustainable leads in sustainable Design & Construction, Brett shares how his Team is continually exploring new ways in which to push the boundaries of passive design with this 2018 Custom Home.

The challenge for us was that the block had the retainer wall, so it was restrictive on how far, or as much of the block we could go back on and explore.

For the project market, the challenge is the contour. And, the clients wanted a pool so we had to think where do we put the pool and how do we make that the really passive and powerful region of the home?

By putting the pool in the middle of the house makes it extremely passive, because amazing breezes come off that pool, go through the breezeway and into the living room and bedrooms.

The Key to Good Architecture

Of all the spectacular and passive spaces within this Custom Home, Brett noted that the most inspirational space is the living room. He describes it as being embracing, yet very open and continually uplifting. 

“It’s just so uplifting. It captures and protects. It gives them privacy and ambiance, but a vulnerability because it is so open.”

I believe that is what good architecture does — it is simple, it responds to the land whether it is restrictive or inspired, and good architecture must provide an ambiance and vulnerability that is timeless in form and spirit.

I believe the key in being able to continually create these spaces for our clients is to respect where the clients have come from [usually quite restricted and secure], and create spaces that are not too open, too vulnerable, or too overwhelming, but just enough to reflect the introduction to all of these experiences subtly and unsusceptible.

This magnificent home definitely provides that security and opportunity of space with an uplifting but creative embrace. Every time you walk into that space it’s definitely spiritual.

Incredible outcomes in advanced sustainable living requires an enormous level of trust from our clients, which was certainly received with this 2018 Sustainable Custom Home.

“It is profound that our most awarded homes are always those where our client’s had strong, relaxed trust in our experience and creative strengths to create amazing homes of timeless space.”

I’m not sure if the client’s strong trust in me was because they had never built a home before and did not have the confidence to specifically outline what they wanted, or, and what I truly believe is that they had a high level connection with me. They were very empathetic people, and so their connection was genuine with me. Our connection was in honesty and that built trust very quickly.

Brett McKenzie | Sustainable CEO

It was wonderful working with our clients to build such a creative and beautiful space, and it is fantastic that we have established such a strong relationship that the Sustainable Team are now currently well underway with future projects with them in 2022/23.

Congratulations! The Sustainable Team thank you for your trust.

Sustainable are the leaders in sustainable Design & Construct and remain committed to our belief — “By creating better buildings, we create better people.”

ATTENTION Clients, Partners & Suppliers

Sustainable’s Head Office is currently closed due to the current circumstances occurring across SEQ & Northern NSW. 

Due to extensive flooding, no staff are able to access our Brisbane Head Office at this stage. 

Our Team located in the Northern Rivers of NSW are currently isolated. 

We are doing our best with limited internet access and we thank you for your patience with us during this time. 

Our thoughts go out to those who have been severely impacted. We hope you all stay safe.

The Sustainable Team 

Navigating COVID-19 in 2022 | HIA Industry Insights

Many of us were prepared to embrace the future, seize a new industry routine and relieve ourselves from the crippling border closures and lockdowns.

Although promised by government leaders with the rise of vaccination rates, 2022, at least for the Construction Industry, has not mitigated industry pressures and has certainly not alleviated the COVID fog — for at least 12 months. 

Sustainable, with the strong leadership and guidance of CEO Brett McKenzie, has been preparing for the worst of 2022 since the last quarter of 2021.

As complex issues and challenges continually emanates from the seemingly never ending pandemic, taking its form with lockdowns, border closures and isolations, the Sustainable Team have learnt to adapt and embrace the new “normal”. 

We knew that it was going to get worse before getting better.

In our professional opinion, we believe that the Industry targets are forecasting a slight stabilise around Easter [2022].

We know that multiple COVID-19 Cases are only further fragmenting our supply. We are seeing material supply slowly stabilising, but human resources are reduced by up to 20 or 30 per cent.

Therefore, securing materials is currently extremely critical to project schedules and in minimising client risk.

Sustainable CEO Brett McKenzie

Sustainable is working hard in keeping up-to-date with industry insights and navigating the significant pandemic impacts to successfully accommodate long-term futures, manage industry demands and play to the current market trends.

HIA Industry Insights — What You Need To Know

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) interviewed 5 of the industry’s experts to identify the economic outcomes, technology trends, and how businesses will continue to navigate the impact of COVID-19.

In combination with our in-house experts, Sustainable have provided you with the following details, outlining the important information about how and what residential building will look like in Australia over the next year and in the future.

  • The Industry is expecting continued 12-month global supply chain challenges. 
  • Due to state and international border closures and increased lockdowns, Australia is suffering from significant supply, material and labour shortages, which is consequently causing the industry to face major price increases. As a by product, there is an increased lack of skilled labourers, especially in the wet trades, such as tilers, brick layers and concreters 
  • There is a significant undersupply to “property market segments, from land to new builds and established property market” (HIA, 2022)
  • It is reported that there are “delays with land developers getting land to market”, causing houses to take longer to build (HIA, 2022)
  • The future of the industry is highly dependant on immigration, as many Australian’s are deciding to relocate away from dense city populations. This is mainly due to the increased use of technology within both personal and business settings — you can now work from anywhere. 
  • It is becoming increasingly popular for people to invest in houses, rather than apartments, which is further increasing the housing demand.
  • “Managing the impact of current lockdowns, labour and material shortages, and rapidly increasing costs of materials will be our greatest challenge” (HIA, 2022).
Brett McKenzie and the Sustainable Team are always committed to rising above Client expectations and delivering sustainable housing of the future. 

20 Years of Membership with HIA!

The Sustainable Team are honoured to receive and announce an impressive milestone: Achieving 20 Years of Membership with Housing Industry Association (HIA).

We proudly endorse our long and strong relationship with HIA, where in 20 years the Sustainable Team have received over 40 HIA GreenSmart Awards, both locally and nationally.

What a great time to reflect on Sustainable’s 20 Year HIA Membership with one of Sustainable’s proudest moments in their early years — 2003 HIA National GreenSmart Building of the Year Award. CEO Brett McKenzie and the Sustainable Team were awarded the National Building of the Year in Perth for the 2002/2003 Brookwater Landmark Display Home (refer to images below). This was, and still is, a notable achievement in Brett McKenzie’s career and for the Sustainable Team as a whole.

Thank you HIA, Sustainable take pride in sharing this longstanding relationship.

Mental health amongst the Construction Industry

The Sustainable Team has certainly endorsed Housing Industry Association’s (HIA) transparency with the impeding challenges and mental health concerns currently suppressing the Australian Construction Industry. 

We’ve certainly been weathering this perfect storm.

Brett McKenzie | CEO

In the HIA Building News Magazine (October, Issue 3), HIA President Queensland Peter Wood wrote a raw and honest industry account, titled ‘Take care of each other as we weather the storm.’ Wood’s statement unravels the truth about what has been happening in the construction industry over the last 18 months, describing it as “one prolonged crisis”, whilst also placing a large emphasis on mental health. A few of Wood’s most striking statements are detailed below.

As our industry fights on during 2021, there is an uncomfortable truth emerging. Many of us are simply not okay.

…construction workers are six times more likely to die from suicide than from a workplace accident.

The pandemic and subsequent HomeBuilder boom have meant that many of us have had to deal with consistent challenges over an extended period of time. Many of us are drained and feel as though we are ‘going to battle’ every day.

The last 18 months have been some of the most challenging that any of us have ever faced. The pressure is real, and the pressure is constant for many parts of the industry.

HIA Economics tells us that we are roughly nine months into a 12 month cycle of material and labour supply issues. Things will improve, but the ride to get us to that point is rough, and our industry is a bit battle-scarred.

Peter Wood | HIA President Queensland

Sustainable CEO Brett McKenzie has been managing these industry challenges closely with our clients, staff and sub-traders, and has been open about that since early October of 2020. These are the exact concerns that Brett has had with what is ahead for the industry; and the ‘Perfect Storm’ has certainly happened.  

Brett McKenzie said,

It feels like we are another six to 12 months off of being able to come out of the other side of it, so it is absolutely critical that we manage this by looking out for each other, being transparent and honest with our clients, suppliers and work force.

With more significant roll out ahead, it is important for us at Sustainable to communicate this with our Team of employees, trades, suppliers and clients, and for our clients to support us as we support them.

And that dove tails into a really important factor of what we do from a long-term master planning life cycle of our Sustainable Homes — creating spaces that provide not only refuge, but inspirational spaces that deliver all the emotions of life; so our buildings are not just living and breathing, they are also supportive and provide structure for us to keep a healthy mind. 

Even though our Sustainable Team has faced many challenges — in terms of supply and demand with chasing materials and the fragmented pressure of the industry — our business operates under a well-developed Sustainable D&C Management process, which is solely based on permanent internal training and mentoring. 

This means that we are able to manage these challenges as best as we possibly can for our clients and minimise any cost impediments where possible, as our profiles are well prepared and we are strong believers of what we do for our clients. 

Brett McKenzie continues to express his thoughts on the matter,

It has certainly been frustrating and stressful for everybody. It is a daily management struggle — all the best laid out plans from yesterday at five o’clock turned to crap at five this morning.

Industry standards of fixed price contracts and funding models do not consider a pandemic with rapid rise of costs with no access to materials.

In 2003 we had a massive price increase, but we had a very good supply of materials. Today, we are dealing with rapid cost increases and massive supply shortages, something the Australian construction industry was not prepared for.

Unfortunately the uncertainty and also the already evident situation that is causing some businesses to not be able to weather the “Storm”, thus clients, sub-trades and employees were effected enormously.

The accessibility of materials and all the sorts of pressures being placed on the industry are causing enormous stress, so it is important for us to make sure that we have healthy minds, which is a major passion of our Sustainable Philosophy to design healthy homes.

Personal and mental wellbeing is in our Sustainable DNA. Our passion, since our inception 35 years ago has been to design healthy, sensory homes that promote improved mental wellbeing for all occupants of the home, including visitors. 

Our Sustainable Homes are designed to provide retreat and support that continually regenerates and influences healthy minds. We design homes so that our client’s can live in spaces that are inspirational, to live in spaces that provide retreat, and to live in spaces that allow them to value that space, and for it to be uplifting and healthy to them. 

Sustainable are major supporters of the HIA Charitable Foundation (HIACF) who have partnered with Beyond Blue, providing resources to individuals to help manage mental health in the construction industry. 

For anyone growing up in Australia, a bucket hat is a symbol of protection and exploration.

HIA Charitable Foundation

The latest part of their agenda is their “Bucket Hat Campaign”, which Sustainable have taken part in. The HIACF Bucket Hats are designed to open up conversations across the construction industry and beyond, so that we can keep a healthy mind and feel supported through these challenging times.

If you would like to enquire about purchasing the bucket hats for you or your team, contact:

Beyond Blue is available 24 hours a day on 1300 224 636 for anyone that needs assistance.

Or the following charities are also available:

Mates in Construction1300 642 111

Lifeline13 11 14 

Sustainable’s Commitment to Training and Opportunity

Training programs are important in delivering and promoting sustainable futures, not only for the construction industry, but for individuals to learn practical skills that are critical to training people up organically. 

Sustainable’s 30-year-long commitment to training and providing opportunities has been paramount since our inception. As part of Brett McKenzie’s (Sustainable CEO) philosophy — if he was never given the opportunity, he would have never been able to be involved in an industry that can make such a difference. 

Sustainable CEO Brett McKenzie said,

“Apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities allow me to impart my critical knowledge of Sustainable Design & Construction onto the emerging generations, influencing the future of the industries.”

This is very important.”

“We need to go ‘back to the future’ to deliver the cutting-edge, human skills required to administer sustainable community housing of the future.” 

For over 30 years, Sustainable has successfully assisted in excess of 20 apprentices and trainees. Most of which have come from local and regional areas, including Ipswich, Warwick, Toowoomba, Gympie and Moonie, with a strong representation of over 7 apprentices from Ipswich Grammar School (IGS). In fact, one of our IGS apprentices became a qualified Tradesman last month, and we have also recently signed on a new school-based apprenticeship with another IGS student. 

In addition, Sustainable has always prided our involvement of recruiting regional apprentices and trainees. It is an absolutely crucial part of our Sustainable operation to provide critical training opportunities to individuals originating from rural areas, where the opportunity is undeniably limited. The Darling Downs (DD) region in particular is where Sustainable has trained a total of 8 successful apprentices, with one of our current DD apprentices due to become a fully qualified Tradesman in early 2022. 

“Due to the changing work environment, in the sense of an industry that has become very fragmented with different processes, with an emerging workforce and short-term thinking, providing training to rural communities creates a barrier for building companies and builders to be committed to training, especially in rural areas,” said Brett McKenzie.

It is critical that we provide opportunities to engage these fresh young minds of the future, to re-shape, re-think and develop new skills and techniques that deliver the Sustainable housing stock required to take charge in our changing and evolving resource costs, and climate management.

Since our inception, Sustainable has been committed to Training & Opportunity to deliver the Sustainable housing stock of the future. 

See our Career Opportunities here:

Phone: (07) 3201 1177