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Sustainability Awards 2020 finalist – Sky House

Nominated as a finalist for the Sustainability Awards 2020 Sky House provides a new vision of inner-city sustainability: one that integrates and balances environmental performance, climatic adaptability and regenerative design.

Sky house deliberately eschews technological solutions for an emphasis on designed-in strategies that enhance liveability and comfort, based on our understanding of and tuning into daily and seasonal variations in climate.

The design takes a broad view of sustainability, creating connections to nature that are underpinned by adaptability and flexibility; through its dynamic response to predicted changes in climate; and by considering future changes to the family’s composition. Interior spaces can easily be reconfigured to accommodate the family’s evolving needs, while the external skin of the building adjusts to mitigate variations in climate.

Our clients’ request for a beautiful and functional house – one that is serene, robust, sustainable and flexible – is addressed through planning and material selection. The plan creates a central area connected to, but separated from, private areas, allowing individuals to retreat or engage as desired.

For example: the children enjoyed sharing a bedroom, so they now occupy three spaces connected via large sliding panels, with individual window cubbies for sleeping. This design encourages them to negotiate their desired levels of privacy or community, and be responsible for creating their own specific environments.

Materials were selected with the dual considerations of usability and their sustainability credentials. This includes:retention of existing building fabric which could be remediated; salvaging existing materials for reuse; maximising the use of timber in both structure and finishes; using concrete sparingly but for maximum effect as thermal mass; and using steel only where required for structure and no-maintenance areas such as roofing.

Congratulations to our clients and collaborators on being a finalist for the Sustainability Awards 2020.