Building a better future through the acknowledgement of design excellence.

Entries have now closed for 2020.

About Sustainability Awards

For over a decade we’ve held the nation’s most respected design awards program devoted to sustainable building. We reward those who share our desire to curtail and reverse the ecological footprint of our built environment. We celebrate those who design, manufacture and construct green buildings of all sizes and purposes.

And those who continually hold the line against compromise to do so.

Because we believe sustainability should be the primary requirement for all building design and the major measure of architectural achievement.



Australia’s most progressive buildings, spaces, people and building products that demonstrate real efforts to reduce the environmental footprint of our built environment.


Lifetime Achievement

A person who has over their career, shown exemplary efforts in advancing the progression of the sustainable built environment in Australia.

Emerging Sustainable Architect / Designer

The most exciting sustainable architect/designer over the past 12 months who has influenced and changed the world of design by their drive for the environment.

Women in Sustainability

The most exciting talent in sustainable architecture & design over the past 2 years. This is open to architects, designers, engineers and even students who have influenced and / or added to the world of design by their ideas, innovations and concepts.


Commercial Architecture (Large)

A Class 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 building used for professional and / or commercial purposes of over 500sqm in floor size.

Commercial Architecture (Small)

A Class 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 building used for professional and / or commercial purposes of under 500sqm in floor size.

Education & Research

A child care preschool, primary, secondary or tertiary educational facility and / or joint research facility in which an educational institution is the major partner.

Urban & Landscape

A building or amenity design which primarily services, or is used, by the public (except educational & healthcare facilities) that adheres and promotes to the concepts of sustainability, renewability and regenerative design.

Multiple Dwelling

The design of a new townhouse, duplex or residential complex that contains multiple residential dwellings. Projects nominated under this category are classifiable as Class 2 buildings.

Single Dwelling (New)

The design and construction of a single-residential building to which a Class 1a Building category.

Single Dwelling (Alteration)

Extensions or alterations to at least 50 percent of a Class 1a building.

Prefab & Modular

Recognises prefabricated modular architecture that can be produced more efficiently in order to create less waste with the outcome being sustainable residential and commercial projects.

Best Adaptive Reuse

Recognises the adaptive reuse of a building that has minimal impact on the historical significance of the building and its setting, while also pursuing a design that is sympathetic to the building in order to give it a new purpose.

Best of the Best

Selected from among all the category winners based on the highest score.


Smart Building

A building that uses smart design or a range of automated processes to automatically control the building’s operations in order to help improve asset reliability, performance, and energy use.

Green Building Material

A building product that is renewable, environmentally responsible and where the impact is considered over the entire lifetime of the product.

Waste Elimination

Covers any process in the environment that is designed to reduce or eliminate waste where possible; minimise waste where feasible; and reuse materials which might otherwise become waste. This Award is open to both commercialised solutions and designs as well as experimental or non-commercialised ones.

2020 Jury

They’re leaders in their respective fields. They’re from universities, industry associations and architecture firms, and they know what sustainable buildings look like. They are world-class industry experts and world-class judges, and will ensure that only the country’s most pioneering green projects have made the final cut.

2020 Ambassadors

About Sustainability Summit

Now in its fourteenth year, Architecture & Design’s annual Sustainability Awards will bring together the highest calibre of innovation and design and you’re invited to be a part of it!

After 13 years, the oldest and biggest sustainable built environment educational event in the country, Sustainability Live, has evolved to become Australia’s pinnacle of sustainable designs, ideas and innovation-now known as the Sustainability Summit.


Tickets on sale – August


Water conservation and its relationship to sustainable design

In designing buildings to be as sustainable as possible, the importance of implementing water-saving ideas and technologies is integral to any new building’s designs. So, what are the latest water conservation ideas and technologies that need to be adopted in the built environment on a continent where water scarcity is an ever-present crisis? Where should we start with water conservation in Australia? Are water storage & water recycling and water desalination the answer? What about water efficient fixtures and appliances, rainwater and greywater reuse? What are the ideas that architects and designers could and should implement into their designs to ensure water is being recycled, reused and ultimately conserved?

Designing and building for the new bushfire paradigm

After the bushfire crisis in Australia, the way we design, and construct buildings is set to change. What else should we be doing to prevent what we saw in the ‘black summer’ of 2019/2020? Does our entire approach to design and building need an overhaul and where do we need to start? Along with designs, what materials should we be looking at to build the fire-proof structures of the future? When it comes to the bushfires, what can we learn from the First Nations of Australia and can this knowledge help us manage future bushfires and help us reduce the impact of fires across our built environment?

Passive designs, Passive houses and multi-residential builds

The Australian climate requires that homes be designed or modified to ensure that the occupants remain thermally comfortable with minimal auxiliary heating or cooling in the climate where they are built. So does passive design fit into the eight climate zones in Australia and how is this design managed by the National Construction Code (NCC)? And while the northern European-derived passive house design is not always the best solution for Australia’s climate, do we need to instead concentrate on vernacular design and focus more on local needs, local materials, and local traditions and how does Australia’s growing love of high-rise apartments fit into all this? Do we need an Australian version of passive house design and what would that look like?

Planning for a carbon zero / carbon positive future

Urban developments around the world are using smart design and new materials to create net-zero energy structures and even carbon positive districts that challenge everything we have learnt about design to date. When it comes to being sustainable, one of the most effective ways to lower a carbon footprint is to reduce or even entirely eliminate a building’s reliance on external fossil-fuel derived energy for power and lighting. How can residential homes and for that matter, precincts reduce their carbon environmental footprint and how have some precinct around the world been designed to be carbon positive and what can we learn and borrow from these designs?

How does building automation lead to better building sustainability?

The future of building design belongs to structures with extensive sensor networks that can control temperature, monitor power and energy, and water consumption, track sustainability performance in real-time, and much more. In fact, automation is key in buildings when we are considering their longevity and the future since sustainable buildings emit less pollution and greenhouse gases, while at the same time have lower operating costs while increasing the value of the assets. They are also able to reduce energy (and water) consumption by optimising the operational efficacy. So how is all this technology changing the way buildings are designed, built and managed and how do we measure its’ impact on sustainability?

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Our sponsorship packages are designed to elevate sponsors as the leading solution provider within their sponsored category, allowing their brand to be associated with award-winning architectural projects and leading professionals across the Architecture and Design building and architecture network. Sponsors also have exclusive access to networking opportunities at the Awards dinner.

For more sponsorship information please download the information pack here.

For all sponsorship enquiries contact Adrian at