The Sustainability Awards is Australia’s longest-running and most prestigious awards program dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating excellence in sustainable design and architecture.


Emerging Sustainable Architect / Designer

Open to architects / designers in their first five years of their career and recognises an outstanding achievement or development in the field of sustainable and / or environmental architecture planning or design across any of the building categories.


Commercial Architecture (Large)

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

Commercial Architecture (Small)

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

Education & Research

A child care centre, preschool, primary, secondary or tertiary educational facility or a facility where an educational institution is a partner.

Multi-Residential 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 or Class 3 buildings.

Single Dwelling (New)

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

Single Dwelling (Alteration)

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

Adaptive Reuse (Alteration/Addition)

Recognises the adaptive reuse of a building (heritage and/or new) 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.

Landscape & Urban

Buildings or non-building projects at the intersection of architecture, landscape design and urban planning. Examples include parks, pedestrian bridges and walkways, pools, shelters, picnic facilities, toilet blocks and playgrounds. Can also include green roofs, green walls and other urban garden and similar installations.

Interior Design

A renovation or fit-out of the interior of an existing building where the sustainable design is involved with such factors as determining the efficient and effective use of space, selecting construction materials that offer low environmental impact and lowering pollution, waste, and the lowering of the overall energy consumption.

Public Building

A building or facility or artwork which primarily services or is used by the public except educational facilities. This can include hospitals, medical centres, sports ovals and facilities, transport hubs, parliament houses, zoological gardens, museums, government department buildings and religious structures.

Hospitality & Tourism

Examples of Hospitality & Tourism Design include projects that help create locally owned business and employment opportunities, environmentally friendly operations, education and awareness programs, energy and resource conservation, and waste & carbon dioxide reduction.


Green Building Material

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

Smart Building Ideas

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.

Small Sustainable Practice

This award us open to all architecture and design firms with 10 or less staff and recognises and rewards their achievements including those that demonstrate alignment with the UN 17 SDGs by integrating sustainability principles and practices across business activities and outcomes, such as sustainable energy, climate resilience, environmental and social best practice, environmental and social innovation, and gender and economic inclusion.

Lifetime Achievement

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

Editor’s Choice

(Social & Community Outcomes)

Editor’s Choice is an award given by the Architecture & Design editorial team. All shortlisted projects are assessed for their suitability for this award on the basis of their contribution to and consultation with their local community.

Best of the Best

Selected from among all the category winners on the basis of both sustainable outcomes and aesthetics and/or innovative design principles.

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