Meet our Sustainability Awards Jury & see what they think about the 2022 program | Architecture & Design

2022-06-29 03:57:06 By : Ms. karena Cai

After 16 years, the 2022 Sustainability Awards are now officially Australia’s longest running and most prestigious awards program entirely dedicated to celebrating excellence in sustainable design and architecture in the built environment.

As the Awards bring together practitioners, commentators, suppliers, products and the wider architecture and design community, it also reinforces sustainability front and centre, as an integral component of every design – as it should always be.

Committed to championing the design environment on every level, its scope and reach continues to grow, ensuring a field of entries that truly reflects the diversity and innovation of the industry.

So in order to judge this year’s entries we have brought together a group of the higher calibre who, through their commitment, passion, insight and expert knowledge, are ready to pronounce the best sustainably designed projects and products of 2022.

So let’s meet the 2022 Sustainability jury and hear what sone of them have to say about this years’ Awards program.

Lead judge Dick Clarke is principal of Envirotecture, is an Accredited Building Designer, with 45 years’ experience, focusing exclusively on ecologically sustainable and culturally appropriate buildings, as well as sustainable design in vehicles and vessels, and has received many Design Awards.

He is Director of Sustainability, and Past President of the NSW Chapter, of the Building Designers Association of Australia. He is a Past President and Board Member of the Association of Building Sustainability Assessors (ABSA). He is on the Board of Renew (Alternative Technology Association), has sat on the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) and has been design director of many hundreds of projects over 45 years, with sustainability as the major driver over that whole period (with the ever-changing understanding of what sustainability is), and his work has covered a wide variety of project sizes and types.

His one bit of advice to prospective entrants is: “We know you’ve done good work, submit it, and tell the world!"

Mahalath Halperin, FRAIA, is an architect and environmental consultant living and working in regional NSW.

As well as running an architectural practice since the 1990s, addressing everything from domestic renovations through to large commercial buildings, resorts and education facilities, she also conducts energy and environmental audits and assessments, and has always tried to tie the scientific with the aesthetic to achieve highly sustainable but liveable works where possible.

Mahalath has also developed and delivered courses on environmental and architectural issues, and is also a published author, including assorted children’s books, including one about her cat building a house.

Mahalath Halperin Architects won the Single Dwelling, New category for Drumkerin at Sustainability Awards 2018.

Mahalath says that “For me it’s all about the total package – addressing as many issues as possible to the best outcome. Rather than a project that does something to 120% and ignores the rest, I’d rather see architecture that is 90% efficient for 90% of the issues for 90% of the time, and it has to feel good and look good too!”

“We’re way past the PVs on the roof with some good insulation and solar hot water. It’s time to embrace the whole package not just the wrapping paper,” she says.

Kate Nason is a passionate advocate of high-performance, healthy and resilient buildings. With a background as an architect (ARBV) she has worked across multiple low-energy buildings including Certified Passive House projects such as the Monash Gillies Hall and several single residential homes utilising low carbon prefabricated construction systems.

She is a certified Passive House Designer (PHI), Green Star Accredited Professional and Chairperson at the Australian Passive House Association. She holds the role as Sustainability Advisor at Frasers Property Australia, working across the development of the corporate sustainability strategy and project oversight in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia, ensuring buildings and master planned communities integrate leading sustainability objectives and targets.

Says Kate: “It is such a privilege to be on the judging panel for the 2022 Sustainability Awards. With carbon emission reductions and health having been in such a spotlight over the past year, I am particularly keen to see entries that demonstrate rigor and transparency around their sustainability claims. I am also looking forward to getting a glimpse into the extensive collaboration happening behind the scenes – for example how operational and embodied energy analysis has been translated into design decisions around envelope detailing, material selections, service engineering, construction processes, and end user considerations.”

“A bonus for me,” she says, “would be to see entries with evidence around as-built performance either through onsite verification results, such as blower door testing, or monitoring data revealing indoor environmental quality, energy and water consumption as well as onsite renewable energy generation and biodiversity support. Our built environment can be hard-wired to provide ongoing sustainability outcomes for both people and the planet, and I am extremely excited to see how the industry has been responding to this challenge over the past year.”

Dr Arianna Brambilla is a senior lecturer at the School of Architecture, Design and Planning, the University of Sydney, and co-chair of the Building Efficiencies cluster within the smart sustainable building network (Sydney Nano). Her expertise lies at the merging borders of architecture, construction, building physics, and engineering, drawing upon the different disciplines to propose an innovative approach to design and construction. Her research offers a novel philosophical design approach in which buildings, new or renovated, are in balance with nature and become restores or regenerators for the environment instead of being consumers of resources.

“I hope to see innovative design approaches beyond energy efficiency that tackle whole-of-a-life performances and keep users at their cores.

I expect the winners to be exploratory examples of buildings as restores of our ecosystem and society,” she notes.

Jeremy Spencer is a long-time builder, thermal performance assessor, and Director at Design & Building company Positive Footprints. Positive Footprints is a multi-award winning construction company, dedicated to making high performance sustainable homes and renovations easy to achieve and affordable. His company has worked for the last 19 years to show that energy efficient design and high-performance construction is a cost effective option and can be a mainstream reality. Jeremy currently sits on the Design Matters National board, the NatHERS Stakeholder Committee, and the board of directors for Builders Declare. An educator, and previous Master Builders GreenLiving instructor, he says that he is “…passionate about spreading environmentally sustainable design, and the knowhow needed to make the residential construction industry the first carbon neutral industry in Australia.”

Oliver Steele has a stellar 25-year track record of sustainable design & construction, winning numerous awards.

His mission is to show the world that sustainable development works for people, industry, and the planet. To prove that people want healthy, comfortable homes that cost less to live in; and that it makes dollars and sense for developers to provide them – now and into the future. His team delivered FERN, the first Passivhaus certified apartments in the southern hemisphere, as well as Australia’s first green-roofed terrace houses at 88 Angel St, Newtown.

“I’m hoping to see projects founded on solid building physics with demonstrable sustainability outcomes, as well as a nod to the fickle spirit that makes us human,” he says.

Simone Schenkel is a certified Passive House designer and the founder at Gruen Eco Design, whose mission is to make energy efficient homes a staple in the Australian landscape. Everyone should have the right to live in a comfortable house that does not cost the earth! She has used the passion, experience and knowledge she gained from her upbringing and architectural studies in Germany to create Gruen Eco Design. A business where she works with her clients to create not only beautifully designed homes that won’t cost the earth. But also homes that are healthy, thermally comfortable, energy efficient and resilient for future generations. “I am very excited to be a part of this year’s jury for the Sustainability Awards. Entries are now open for all categories. Sustainability is such an integral part of design and architecture; it cannot be an afterthought; it has to be the driver in all that we do,” says Simone.

“I am looking forward to celebrating and promote the trailblazers and leaders in sustainable design. I’m excited to see designs that not only incorporate and showcase a real passion for a considerate environmental design. But to showcase that those highly energy efficient and sustainable dwellings can also be absolutely stunning, beautiful and innovative,” she says.

Suzanne Toumbourou is the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR).

Suzanne is an organisation leader with deep experience in public affairs, executive management, stakeholder relations, governance strategy of not-for-profits, with a strong reputation as a sustainability and circular economy subject matter expert. Prior to ACOR, Suzanne was the longstanding Executive Director of the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, where she delivered impactful policy outcomes for building sustainability, including advancing the energy performance provisions in Australia’s Building Code and informing the priorities of the COAG Energy Council’s Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings. ​

Suzanne says that she is “passionate about leading positive change for people, industry and the environment.”

David Coates lives and breathes sustainability and has been delivering beautiful buildings that perform to an exemplar level in both sustainability and practicality. David specialises mainly in urban designs, with over 25 years of experience working within the building industry.

David’s vision is all about efficiency of performance and reusing and up cycling. His projects achieve high end energy efficiency ratings in the NatHERs score system, and as well as energy efficiency, his projects regularly contain old building materials upcycled form their former dwellings. David and his team even built an entire sustainable development using no mains power from an off-grid onsite power station, described by Renew Magazine as an ‘industry first.’

“I want to see something different, ideas that are within reach of the average homeowner and something that take us into the future,” notes David.

For those that want to enter, there is still time.

Go to

Discover products that suit your style and create a list of the items you like or want most.

Search through our latest projects and articles to find your inspiration for your next project

Join the community and give your insight into projects and news

Subscribe to get all the news, views, resources, comment and opinion on all things Architecture & Design delivered straight to your inbox.