Architects Take Charge: New Database Tackles Building Specs

The Australian building supply chain needs to embrace ProductAware or risk being left behind

Fri 17 May 24


Australian architects are taking a stand on greenwashing, with the powerful Australian Architects Declare movement establishing ProductAware – the new go-to destination for product disclosure and sourcing Australia-wide.

According to the movement, representing more than 1,000 architectural practices across Australia, “the materials and products that designers specify have huge potential to move the dial.” However, “transparency of information, greenwashing, and difficulties in comparing “apples with apples” make assessing sustainability overwhelming.” 

“Which is why we’ve set up ProductAware,” according to a statement from the movement, adding that “it’s not the answer to every problem…but it could be a big step forward in elevating sustainability and decarbonisation in the built environment, through the sharing of product sustainability information and broad industry adoption.”

Wood Central understands that the database is free to access, and the takeup amongst building material suppliers has been “immense” since it was launched in April. Already, Australia’s leading architects are using the database for building specifications, whilst Green Star Professionals and assessors are using the portal to verify claims.

The push to establish ProductAware comes after the ACCC cracked down on greenwashing last year. Footage courtesy of @BehindtheNewsABC.

“Once suppliers are checked not to be robots, they are free to list products and data,” a prominent member of the Architects Declare Movement told Wood Central. “This means that enquiries and paperwork can be channelled in a single location, and, again, there is only one site for them to update.”

“People can enter as much data as they have, with the intent that if two products are similar, people will choose the ones that are more complete and have better numbers…what’s more, it’s free to use.”

Wood Central understands that the questions and categories have been extensively peer-reviewed, with the products linking to sustainability metrics – and comes amid a push to assess green credentials coming as more and more attention turns to Scope 3 emissions.

Last year, the NSW Government introduced itSustainable Buildings State Environment Policy, the first in Australia to mandate that architects and designers measure embodied carbon in the future of their designs. While the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has cracked down on companies making falsified claims about sustainability.


  • Jason Ross

    Jason Ross, publisher, is a 15-year professional in building and construction, connecting with more than 400 specifiers. A Gottstein Fellowship recipient, he is passionate about growing the market for wood-based information. Jason is Wood Central's in-house emcee and is available for corporate host and MC services.


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