Our finalists have been announced, and from what was a robust field of nearly 150 initial entries, we now have 53 highly admirable and worthy people, projects and products ready for our gala night in October.
When it comes to sustainability, these finalists are, arguably, the best and brightest and while we have yet to pick the winners, our 53 finalists across the 12 categories had to endure more stringent vetting than ever before, thereby winning the admiration of both their peers and the judges for their innovation and overall sustainable design.
In terms of trends, there were a few quite distinct patterns that came out from this years’ judging.
For example, by far the biggest number of awards – 33 in total, were received across two categories – Single Dwelling (Addition and/or Alteration) and Single Dwelling (New).
This was more than in previous years, and from this, we can extrapolate a couple of general trends.
Firstly, the relatively large number of residential entries underlines the quantifiable push for sustainable design coming from the public.
Secondly, we could also deduce, that to bolster the volume of sustainable designs and builds, architects are looking to the sheer numbers that can be gained from the domestic housing sector.
This has several implications. The one implication being the fact that our domestic building sector, which encompasses some 60 percent of the entire annual $44 billion construction sector, has well and truly experienced a conversion of Damascene proportions on the benefits of built environment sustainability.
Another inference could be that by concentrating so heavily on one highly-visible sector, sustainability could become commoditised, and eventually pigeonholed as being ‘only for houses’.
This has also been noticed by a couple of our judges, and while not a crisis of any magnitude, this will need to be addressed by the industry sooner or later.
Getting back to our Awards, this year, when it came to our esteemed judging panel, we were blessed with not only a bounty of talent, but also healthy numbers.
To say our 2017 judges are an impressive and highly-experienced group, would be both true and overtly-simplistic at the same time.
The judging panel consisting of Kate Harris, CEO of GECA; Rory Martin, sustainability manager, Frasers Property Australia; Elizabeth Watson Brown, design director, Architectus Brisbane; Caroline Pidcock, director of PIDCOCK – Architecture + Sustainability; David Palin, sustainability manager, Mirvac and Steve King from Linarch unselfishly provided their time, effort and considerable talents to ensure our finalists (and ultimately, the winners) are the cream of what has been a very good crop of entrants.
Of course, we can’t go without mentioning our head judge Dick Clarke, who with both aplomb and grace helped guide the group (and me included) in the true and proper direction, and all within the allotted time frame.
To be fair, Dick’s job is not done yet as he needs to assist me in choosing the overall winner on the night in the Best of the Best category, but all-in-all, our judges for the 2017 Sustainability Awards made the complex and arduous task of finding the ultimate winners seem almost straightforward in the end, for which I cannot thank them enough.
Finally, a big thank you also needs to go out to the 2017 Sustainability Awards sponsors – Premium Floors Australia, Gerard Lighting, NSW Architecture Registration Board, Woven Image, Innowood, Zego Building Systems, Stormtech, Weathertex, Premier Hydropavers, Hager, Tarkett , HP and, of course, our overall event sponsor Zip.
And as a last word from the whole team here at Infolink and Architecture & Design, we’d like to wish all the finalists the very best of luck on the night.
If you require further details about the awards, tickets or the day event, click here.
Best of the Best
TBA, 2017 Sustainability Awards Gala Night, 26 October, Doltone House, (Pyrmont) at 7pm.