Awarding architects for adaptively reusing materials for new projects

  •   21 September 2021

Adaptive reuse is a common theme of many contemporary projects. As opposed to exploiting new resources, architects are opting to utilise existing elements of homes and buildings in an effort to ensure their work does not bring harm to the wider world. By doing so, a building can hold a new purpose or a refurbished touch without contributing to emission statistics.

The Adaptive Reuse (Alteration/Addition) category at the Sustainability Awards 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.

The qualities and characteristics of the projects nominated typically contain materials adaptively reused that have clearly been repurposed with new technologies and the creative thinking of an architect. Winning designs represent an example of functional sustainability in a commercial context, while also being responsive to its physical locality. Projects that utilise adaptive reuse techniques to repurpose a building for a new direction are rightly rewarded for their efforts within the category.

Lilydale House at Marrick & Co, overseen by Mirvac Design and Tonkin Zulaikha Greer was victorious in the Adaptive Reuse category at the 2020 Sustainability Awards. A much-loved community building that was built in 1909 as a residence for nurses at a nearby hospital, the building took on another life as an ancillary hospital services space and a pre-school in the 1990s.

As part of Mirvac’s urban renewal of the former Marrickville Hospital site, Lilydale House was given a much-needed refurbishment. Three metre high pressed metal ceilings in living areas, detailed architraves and skirtings and handsome bay windows were all painstakingly restored by the practice’s as part of their joint collaboration.

Havwoods is the official sponsor of the Adaptive Reuse category at the 2021 Sustainability Awards. The timber company understands sustainability is the responsibility of both individuals and organisations, and that the ecological footprint of any product has become as fundamental to the decision-making process as quality, design and price.

For Havwoods, sustainability is a matter of extreme importance. The company is continuously taking new steps to improve their actions in order to minimise harm to the earth. Timber is one of nature’s best defences against carbon emissions, and Havwoods believe that in the company’s quest to prolong the life of its timber products, that the carbon release from timber can be slowed.

The company is working to ensure their products are ethically and sustainably sourced, and are proud to work with like-minded, reputable timber manufacturers. New and recycled timber plays a role in a number of adaptive reuse projects, and with Havwoods as a sponsor of the Sustainability Awards in general, it underlines the desires the company holds to be a truly sustainable venture.

The Sustainability Awards, presented by Architecture & Design, returns in November 2021. To find out more, please visit


This article is brought to you in association with Havwoods, the Official Sponsors of the Adaptive Reuse category at the 2021 Sustainability Awards.