A professional resource for the design curious

Get the latest design news direct to your inbox!

2020 Sustainability Awards winners, we owe you the world!

The Australian A&D industry never ceases to amaze us and this occasion, in the wake of the 2020 Sustainability Awards winners announcement, is no exception.

2020 Sustainability Awards winners, we owe you the world!


November 13th, 2020

Pat yourselves on the back everybody. Today, we’re another exceptional digital awards ceremony down and another long list of notable achievements (and achievers) richer. 

Last night’s digital gala and awards ceremony for the 2020 Sustainability Awards was resoundingly an incredibly gratifying event for all involved – and even, by way of inching closer towards a healthier, happier planet, those who weren’t. We’ve many projects, people and innovations to be proud of, so let’s hop straight to it.

Here are all of the official and decidedly deserving 2020 Sustainability Awards winners – to which we all owe the world!


The projects

Best Adaptive Reuse
Lilydale House at Marrick & Co

By Mirvac Design and Tonkin Zulaikha Greer

The adaptive reuse of the heritage Nurses’ Quarters as Lilydale House makes a charismatic centrepiece in Mirvac’s urban renewal of the former Marrickville Hospital site.

The landmark mixed-use precinct integrates Marrick & Co, Mirvac’s sustainable medium-density housing development, with Council’s outstanding new library and community pavilion.

Redevelopment brings new connections and open spaces for socialising, creates safe and equitable access to new amenity, improves local habitat through new plantings, promotes wellbeing, mitigates long-term environmental impacts, and supports local economy, culture and community. 

Highly Commended: Marrickville Library and Pavilion by Steensen Varming (Engineering & ESD Consultants) & BVN (Architects)


Commercial Architecture (Large)
Burwood Brickworks Shopping Centre

By NH Architecture and Frasers Property Australia

Burwood Brickworks Shopping Centre is a self-sufficient, doesn’t exceed the resources of its location and contains socially equitable, culturally rich and ecologically restorative spaces that connect people to light, air, food and community. It produces more energy than it consumes, captures and re-uses all the water it needs, incorporates biophilic design, avoids the use of toxic and worst-in-class building materials, and has a net positive waste impact.


“Burwood Brickworks redefines sustainability in retail, a sector synonymous with waste.”


The centre is vying to achieve Living Building Challenge (LBC) certification, the most rigorous sustainability standard in the built environment in the world, administered by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). Globally, just 24 buildings have achieved full LBC certification, and aside from Burwood Brickworks, no other retail project in the world has aspired to do so. The result is a building that operates with the simple efficiency and beauty of a flower.

Highly Commended: Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service Healthcare Hub by Kaunitz Yeung Architecture


Commercial Architecture (Small)
Acre Farm Eatery

By ZWEI Interiors Architecture and NH Architecture

Part of the Burwood Brickworks development by Frasers Property, the world’s most sustainable shopping centre, Acre Eatery is an urban rooftop farm showcasing ‘farm to table’ eating in an urban setting. With over 2500sqm of roof space, the site comprises of hydroponic glasshouses, quail coops, worm farms and over 1000sqm of garden beds all delivering fresh produce direct to the restaurant table at Acre.

Highly Commended: T2 Bondi Junction by Sandbox Group


Education & Research
Monash Woodside Building for Technology & Design

By Grimshaw Architects

The Woodside Building for Technology and Design is a landmark, state-of-the-art technology and education design building to accommodate the faculties of Engineering and Information Technology at the Monash University’s Clayton Campus.   The building hosts 750 staff and students, divided in 5 levels, and is currently the largest Passivhaus Building in the Southern Hemisphere.

Highly Commended: PICAC Narre Warren by FMSA Architecture


Multiple Dwelling
Gilles Hall, Monash University

By Jackson Clements Burrows Architects with AECOM

Gillies Hall, a new student accommodation on Monash University’s Peninsula Campus, has been designed and built to redefine comfort and create opportunities for students to meet and learn from others. Comprising 150 studio apartments and common areas, the six level accommodation provides exceptional single occupancy studios and dedicated collaborative spaces for students to study, engage and relax. Utilising mass timber structure and Passive House design and certification, the building puts occupant comfort, health and wellbeing as a central focus. The building provides an ideal indoor environment at an energy and carbon footprint dramatically lower than any similar type building in Australia.

Highly Commended: Arkadia by DKO Architecture + Breathe Architecture with Oculus


Prefab & Modular
The Foundry 

By Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT) and Sissons with Mirvac

The Foundry is the third and largest new commercial building Mirvac has completed at South Eveleigh. It spans 55,000sqm over six storeys with expansive floorplates nearing 9,000sqm, earning the title of one of Australia’s first ‘groundscrapers’ in reference to its large-scale, low-level design which fosters a campus-style, sustainable working environment that promotes health, wellbeing, collaboration and productivity.

Highly Commended: Sackville Studios by studio edwards with Sphera Lighting


Single Dwelling (New)
Upside Down Akubra House

By Alexander Symes Architect

The Upside Down Akubra House seeks to do things differently and to form an empathetic and nurturing relationship to the big landscapes around the Northern-Central district of NSW. The Upside Down Akubra House, inspired by the wide brim of its namesake, it marries beauty and functionality to create an off the grid family home on a 314 hectare cattle farm an hour south of Tamworth in regional NSW.

The living spaces are arranged around the perimeter with a functional service core featuring operable skylights that bring light and ventilation into the heart. A simple material palette of concrete, timber and corrugated metal unifies internal and external spaces. Not only is the form of the house drawn from the landscape, it is also nurtured from its place; collecting all the energy and water required for occupation on its vast sloping roof. The brief for a simple, robust and self-sufficient house has been met with a combination of high-tech solutions and thoughtful passive design.

Highly Commended: Edgars Creek House by Breathe Architecture


Single Dwelling (Alteration)
Warehouse Greenhouse

By Breathe Architecture

The home is built to Passivhaus standards, is extremely air-tight with only 1.2 air changes per hour and uses passive solar design to maximise sun penetration in winter and shade the interiors in summer. It has a highly thermally efficient envelope, is cross-ventilated and harnesses the existing buildings thermal mass.

It has high performance, double glazed tilt-and-turn windows, which were installed inside the existing glazed openings – essentially adding a third layer of glazing with a large cavity (making this a triple glazed dwelling). Incredibly, there is no active heating or cooling in this residence, instead, it solely relies on the tight thermal envelope and the HRV system.

Materiality took precedence over form and ethics came before aesthetics while remnants of the existing building are preserved and expressed revealing its imperfections and years of layered wear. Prioritising the longevity of the existing warehouse, the project is a simple, contextual extension built using as many reused, repurposed materials as possible.

Highly Commended: Balgowlah CLT Passivhaus by betti&knut architecture & The Snug by Green Sheep Collective


Urban & Landscape
For Our Country

By Edition Office and Daniel Boyd

For Our Country, is the inaugural National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial, commissioned by the Australian War memorial (AWM) and is located on Ngunnawal and Ngambri Country. The work provides a space from which to contemplate and commemorate Indigenous connection to country and the sacrifice that Indigenous serving men and woman have made in the protection of their country.

A basalt stone field outlines the outer face of the memorial, establishing a collective gathering space defined by a two-way mirror glass veil which captures the landscape and the viewer within a cloud of mirrored lenses. This reflection is seen to exist on the other side of this veil, establishing an empathetic othering whereby a viewer can witness themselves and their surroundings as existing elsewhere, both in space and time, allowing the contemplation of an indigenous gaze and an indigenous experience of war, conflict and sacrifice.

Highly Commended: The Canopy Precinct by Scott Carver with Supermanoeuvre


The people

Emerging Sustainable Architect / Designer
Talina Edwards

Talina Edwards was one of the first woman architects in Australia that qualified as a Certified Passive House Designer and designed a home that successfully achieved Passive House Certification. The award-winning “Owl Woods Passive House” is a ground-breaking project demonstrating leadership with world’s best practice in terms of sustainability, performance, efficiency, resilience, durability, quality, beauty, comfort and occupant health.

It proves what is achievable, but also necessary for more climate-responsive and responsible buildings. Edwards has played a leading role promoting sustainable architecture by sharing her knowledge, experiences and passion to inspire others through presentations, articles, podcasts and social media.


Lifetime Achievement
Paul Haar

For over 40 years, Paul Haar has advocated for sustainability by example, through many projects both in and around architectural practice. Haar’s highly regarded knowledge of thermal performance, building materials and construction detailing have seen him also commissioned to troubleshoot where green builds by others have gone awry. Australia’s premier commercial green building, 60L in Carlton Victoria, had him engaged in this capacity for six years (2002-2008).

His expertise with water engineering, renewable energy systems and horticulture, have seen Haar also teaching outside architecture, to seminars and courses on permaculture, agroforestry, health promotion and community development.

In his engagements with students and young graduates, Haar emphasises how our environmental and COVID emergencies present as many new opportunities for work towards sustainable futures as they pose constraints to business as usual.

By sharing his own story, he illustrates how a career in regenerative architecture can be launched, scaffolded and enriched by volunteering in community based building work and other environmental pursuits.


Women in Sustainability
Nadine Samaha

Nadine Samaha established with her partner level architekture>konstrukt 26 years ago to fulfill the need for a comprehensive interdisciplinary service that pursue sustainable built outcomes. To broaden her knowledge, Samaha became LEED green associate and green classroom professional.

As lecturer on ESD at RMIT, she empowers students with tools to improve the built environment and runs workshops on climate change, biophilic and regenerative design.

As an AIA Chapter councillor and chair of SAF, in collaboration sometimes with Architects Declare, Samaha promotes sustainability issues to architects, academics and the public through forums and webinars on climate change, zero emissions and low carbon.


The innovations

Green Building Material
Carbon Neutral Floors by Interface

Interface’s Carbon Neutral Floors was achieved from our mission to live zero. Zero waste, greenhouse gas emissions and net water use, 100 percent renewable energy and a closed technical loop via product take back, 100 percent recycled or biobased materials and other goals related to transportation, stakeholder well-being and business models that “redesign commerce”.

The goal is to make products with the lowest carbon footprint possible that help restore the health of the planet. Interface says it’s committed to lower our carbon footprint across all areas of our business. Providing environmentally responsible flooring solutions to the built industry where both embodied and operation carbon can be reduced even further.

Highly Commended: Citizen _ Pop-up Coffee Pavillion by ZWEI Interiors Architecture


Smart Building

By Joe Adsett Architects with Solaire properties and Eco Lateral Environmental Consultants

“This home is the absolute epitome sustainable building design, energy innovation and smart home technology. This home is Australia’s largest architecturally designed passive house and one of only 38 ever built to this standard in a Sub Tropical climate anywhere in the world.”

Highly Commended: InterContinental Double Bay Sydney by ample


Waste Elimination
Marrick & Co

By Mirvac Design and Tonkin Zulaikha Greer

Guided by One Planet Living principles, urban design brings connections and open spaces, creates safe and equitable access to new amenity, improves habitat, promotes wellbeing, mitigates environmental impact, and supports local economy, culture and community.

Collaborative consumption is encouraged via a resident-managed tool library, reading library, bulky goods store & kitchen garden. Outdoor spaces provide significant new biodiversity, human comfort, social interaction & stormwater filtration. The Residents’ Garden, rooftop kitchen garden, barbecue area & pizza oven allow residents to grow & prepare healthy food.

Highly Commended: Citizen _ Pop-up Coffee Pavillion by ZWEI Interiors Architecture


Best of the Best
Burwood Brickworks Shopping Centre

Burwood Brickworks is one of very few retail buildings to engage with the cultural history of the site and bring these dynamic stories to life. There is a permanent art installation on the ceiling of the internal mall and façade of the centre along Middleborough Road painted by Wurundjeri, Dja Dja Wurrung and Ngurai Illum Wurrung artist Mandy Nicholson which tells the indigenous tale of the forming of the Yarra River.


One of very few retail buildings to engage with the cultural history of the site and bring these dynamic stories to life



INDESIGN is on instagram

Follow @indesignlive

The Indesign Collection

A searchable and comprehensive guide for specifying leading products and their suppliers

Indesign Our Partners

Keep up to date with the latest and greatest from our industry BFF's!

Related Stories

While you were sleeping

The internet never sleeps! Here's the stuff you might have missed