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.
Alexander Symes Architect
Alexander Symes is a registered architect who combines a scientific approach to sustainability with a practical and poetic understanding of crafting a building.
Alexander Symes Architects was founded in 2014 with a mission to advance sustainable architecture. The world’s climate is changing and we believe that architecture must lead the way in changing how we utilise resources to contribute to a sustainable future. This vision for sustainable architecture is layered through all aspects of our practice and through all the stages of a project. This starts with the examination of a project brief to ensure the grounding principles of a project support a sustainable way of life. As the project takes shape, Alex deploys his depth of technical expertise to realise the project to its full potential.
Alex’s technical expertise in building physics and facade system design is built on the experience he gained working in Arup’s Building Physics and Facade Engineer teams from 2010-2014. He has hands-on experience with construction and design for manufacture assembly (DFMA) and a passion for how buildings are put together. Alex has specialist training in the design and delivery of passive houses which we believe offer a pathway towards exceptionally comfortable and healthy homes. Alex loves to collaborate with like-minded individuals and to test the boundaries of how we can challenge the status quo to advance sustainable architecture.
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.
Carter Williamson Architects
Ben came to architecture after a 10-year career as a business analyst, streamlining processes for major companies across the Asia-Pacific region. His interest in the built environment and passionate belief in the power of design to shape our cities and our interactions drove the switch and led him to excel.
Ben was awarded the First Degree Graduate of the Year Prize for achieving the highest overall mark in his year at UTS, where today he is a casual academic in the School of Architecture.
Ben was one of the recipients of the 2019 Australian Institute of Architects Dulux Study Tour Prize, visiting Copenhagen, London, and Lisbon to experience some of the world’s best architecture and meet leading designers. In 2014, he also spent time in New York as a recipient of the Byera Hadley Travelling Scholarship, where his research focused on the role of architects and citizens in city-making. Significant recent Carter Williamson projects by Ben include the award-winning Woodcroft Neighbourhood Centre for Blacktown City Council and the seductive Concrete Blonde in Sydney’s Inner West.
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.
After working in London in his early 20s for a number of years turning historical inner-city dwellings into state of the art establishments, David later returned to Australia and started his company Sustainable Building and Design.
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.’
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 is passionate about spreading environmentally sustainable design, and the knowhow needed to make the residential construction industry the first carbon neutral industry in Australia.
Kate 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.
Architect & Director, Mahalath Halperin Architects
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.
Kaunitz Yeung Architecture
Marni Reti is a proud Palawa and Ngātiwai woman, born and raised on Gadigal land. She graduated from UTS, where she was one of the first recipients of the inaugural Droga Indigenous Architecture Scholarship. Marni was the recipient of the NSW Architect’s Medallion in 2021 and was awarded Emerging Sustainable Architect/Designer at the Sustainability Awards in 2022. Marni is a graduate of architecture at the award-winning firm Kaunitz Yeung Architecture. She has dedicated her professional and academic career to engaging Indigenous knowledge in architectural practice and design.
Asia Pacific Director
Simon joined Make in 2005, and has worked for the practice in the UK, UAE, China and currently resides in Australia. In 2014 Simon left London to establish Make’s Sydney studio and to lead the design and delivery of Brookfield Place Sydney, a major new development in the city’s CBD. Simon’s professional experience spans numerous sectors – from transport and urban design to commercial, residential, arts and culture, and hospitality.
Simone 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.
Simone loves making the world a better place by improving the way houses are built. And helping others to live a more sustainable life.