Australian PlantBank – BVN Donovan Hill

The Australian Institute of Architects has released the shortlist for the 2014 National Architecture Awards, with seven projects in the running to take out the top sustainable architecture gong.

The awards, to be announced in Darwin on 6 November, will be chosen by a jury comprising chair Paul Berkemeier, immediate past president, Australian Institute of Architects and principal, Paul Berkemeier Architects; Clare Cousins, director, Clare Cousins Architects; Justin Hill, director, Kerry Hill Architects; Virginia Kerridge, principal, Virginia Kerridge Architect; and Lindy Johnson, director, Lindy Johnson.

“As a jury and as members of the profession, we were inspired by the number of projects that had informed clients working closely with the architects to achieve better outcomes” jury chair Paul Berkemeier said.

“In many instances, this relationship allowed the project to go well and truly above and beyond the original brief.

“All eligible and shortlisted entrants should be very proud of the work they have achieved; their projects are invaluable in promoting the exceptional work of Australian architects both here and overseas.”

The finalists:

Australian PlantBank – BVN Donovan Hill (NSW)

Australian Plantbank. Image: John Gollings

The Australian PlantBank is a science and research facility of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust and is located at the Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan.

Sustainable features include:

  • innovative design to minimise the use of non-renewable energy sources
  • water harvesting to reduce the use of non-renewable water
  • low maintenance materials
  • products made from sustainable components or recycled materials
  • materials with low combustibility to address the risk of bush fire from the adjacent critically endangered Cumberland Plain Woodland

South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute – Woods Bagot (SA)

SAHMRI. Image: John Gollings

SAHMRI is a $200 million federally funded bio-research facility that features nine research modules housing up to 700 researchers looking at ways to foster innovation and improvements in health services.

Sustainability features include:

  • passive building design, using orientation, shading, facade design and thermal mass to minimise the use of energy to condition the building
  • an energy efficient HVAC system, which provide a comfortable indoor environment to each work zone, with high levels of outdoor air supply
  • energy efficient design throughout the building, allowing it to perform 10 per cent better than current code standards
  • water efficient design, including rainwater harvesting, reuse of process water from reverse osmosis plant and connection to GAP water, leading to no potable water use in cooling towers or toilets
  • an intelligent metering system, which will provide real time data on energy and water consumption, allowing facility managers to identify issues and adjust operations to minimise resource consumption
  • detailed commissioning of all building services, which will allow the building to be tuned over its first year of operation to ensure the facility is efficient in its ongoing operation
  • a sustainable procurement policy, to ensure all equipment, furnishings and finishes are selected with due consideration to their environmental credentials
  • minimised carparking, and excellent linkages with public transport and close proximity to city centre amenities
  • minimised urban heat island effect through landscaping and public plaza space
  • a site specific environmental management plan for construction, with a waste recycling target of 80 per cent

The Commons – Breathe Architecture (Vic)

The Commons. Image: Urban Angles

The Commons, by Breathe Architecture, is a residential development that seeks to provide spacious, simple, affordable, sustainable apartments.

Sustainable features include:

  • Solar panels and gas boosted solar hot water service
  • Rainwater tanks for the rooftop vegetable garden and landscaping
  • Abundance of natural light and cross ventilation
  • Selected recycled materials and exposed concrete ceilings
  • Hydronic heating
  • Double glazed windows
  • Recycled timber floors and raw timber feature wall
  • Outdoor terraces and access to a communal rooftop garden with BBQ

The Wayside Chapel – Environa studio (NSW)

Wayside Chapel. Image: Owen Zhu

The Wayside Chapel, by Tone Wheeler’s Environa Studio, approaches sustainability from the concept of minimalism and simplicity.

Sustainable features include:

  • Passive environmental design through natural ventilation, thermal mass, night flushing and simple ceiling fans, reducing requirement for airconditioning and other complex building services
  • Solar hot water collectors
  • Solar PV
  • Rooftop garden
  • Use of colours and materials to influence occupant mood and wellbeing

See our article Tone Wheeler: on Australian innovation and his big sustainability win

UQ Advanced Engineering Building – Richard Kirk Architect HASSELL Joint Venture (Qld)

UQ Advanced Engineering Building. Image: Peter Bennetts.

The University of Queensland’s Advanced Engineering Building is a joint venture between Richard Kirk Architect and HASSELL.

Sustainable features include:

  • A mixed mode feature allowing the building to operate largely using natural ventilation to reduce the need for air conditioning
  • A passive cooling system comprising a labyrinth and phase change materials to cool the air entering the building, coupled with natural ventilation
  • Task Air that delivers cool air directly to the workstations of the occupants of the building
  • Building-wide monitoring systems to track the building’s environmental performance, leading to a 40 per cent energy reduction
  • Recycled materials such as wood, rubber and fibres incorporated into timber facades, flooring and structures of the building
  • regenerative elevators
  • solar PV and solar hot water

UTAS Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies – John Wardle Architects + Terroir, in Association (Tas)

UTAS Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies. Image: Leigh Woolley

The University of Tasmania Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies by John Wardle Architects + Terroir provides teaching and research facilities for around 290 staff and students.

The building is heated and cooled by water drawn from the Derwent River.

White Bay Cruise Terminal – Johnson Pilton Walker (NSW)

White Bay Cruise Terminal. Image: Brett Boardman

The White Bay Cruise Terminal at Barangaroo draws upon the heritage of White Bay’s industrial foreshore, with adaptive re-use of the original steel trussed columns and overhead gantry rails used back in the ’70s.