Review the last shopping centre and office sector benchmarks to stay up to date with best practice water performance. Read how managers saved water in shopping centres and office buildings.

How is the industry baseline for performance determined?


The following benchmarks are a result of a review of 110 retail centres by HFM Asset Management on behalf of Water Corporation and Property Council of Australia. The target group of retail buildings are those with a gross lettable area (GLA) greater than 5000 m2 and with available water consumption data.


The results are used to determine the best-practice water use performance for water-cooled and air-cooled retail buildings. The industry benchmark is reviewed every 2 years to ensure best practice water use within retail buildings. Read the full report here.


Major regional and regional shopping centres


Best practice
(water cooled)
Best practice
(air cooled)
1 kL/m2(GLAR)/annum 1 kL/m2(GLAR)/annum 0.8 kL/m2(GLAR)/annum

Sub-regional and neighbourhood shopping centres

Average Best practice
1.09 kL/m2(GLAR)/annum 1.0kL/m2(GLAR)/year

How to calculate your water use benchmark

To measure your water use performance against the industry baseline for shopping centre water use, calculate your water use benchmark;

Divide your annual water use (based on your reading year - contact us if you need the data) by your gross lettable area retail (GLAR).

Calculation: annual water use/GLAR = your performance in kilolitres per square metre per year (kL/m2(GLA)/annum)

Office buildings water use benchmarks

These benchmarks are based on data from 82 office buildings in the Perth CBD. Compare your water use benchmark and check out our water saving tips for the office.

Building type Water cooled
Typical - building that hasn't implemented major water efficiency measures or doesn't have major leaks 0.75-0.86 0.61-0.75
Mid-range - building with a water management plan & proactive about water efficiency measures 0.61-0.75 0.48-0.61
Very well managed - building with proactive management & good design 0.48-0.61 0.35-0.48
Best practice -building with proactive water management & best practice design <0.48 <0.35

Calculating your water use

To calculate your water use performance, divide your annual water use (based on reading year – contact us if you need the data) by your net lettable area (NLA). This gives your water use performance in kilolitres per square meter per year.


Calculation: annual water use/NLA = your performance in kilolitres per square metre per year (kL/m2/year)

Tip! Use your submeter data to subtract water use from other facilities, such as food or retail outlets, in your calculations.

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