Watch: Lendlease COO on the next generation of megaprojects

Denis Hickey talks new building materials and the industry's climate change mandate

Want a clue as to how the world’s skylines could change in the future? Look at the auto industry.

“If you go back into the seventies, all cars were metal-based. Now they’re all carbon fiber,” said Denis Hickey, COO of Lendlease, the Australian-based development and construction behemoth that’s making a big push in New York. “Once you bring in a higher level of predictability and design engineering, can you bring in new materials for structure, new materials for facade and use recycled materials and things that we probably don’t intuitively think about now?”

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Hickey sat down with The Real Deal’s Hiten Samtani for a broad conversation about how to build at scale, across cities with different engineering and political challenges, and how to do it sustainably. Lendlease’s U.S. projects include a mixed-use development at 1 Java Street in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, a $600 million office and residential project in Los Angeles and a joint venture with Google to bring 15,000 housing units to the Bay Area.

Hickey discussed some of Lendlease’s big efforts to tackle climate change through their projects, from a “living shoreline” on the East River to a cross-laminated timber project in Sydney. He also talked about how the company’s in-house proptech team is making investments aimed at digitizing the construction and development sectors.

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Watch the above video for highlights, and check out the whole conversation in Q&A format here.