For this years’ Sustainability Awards, set for November 12 and for the first time to be held in Melbourne, the judging panel that has been chosen is a mix of both experience and an overall wide industry knowledge and as such, this year's judges will have a unique and as always, a laser-like focus on delivering the very best winners of what is sure to be a record-breaking pool of entries.
To say that this year, our 14th in a row, has not been without its challenges would be an extreme understatement. From fires to floods and now the global COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 will go down as either ‘The year we didn’t need to have’ or ‘The year we all had our mettle tested’.
Regardless, while all this madness and mayhem is around us, those of us tasked with keeping the 2020 Sustainability Awards on track have a job to do and that also includes establishing a top-notch judging panel, a mission which I believe we have accomplished.
By that I mean that this year’s jurist’s panel has what many we exactly need to get the perfect results, not surprising really as the 2020 panel is a mix of expertise, wisdom, experience and hands-on sustainability experience, all neatly bundled up in a group of people that are diverse in their outlook and experience and also have an acute understanding of what are the crucial elements in the sustainable built environment.
I cannot finish off this brief introduction to our judging without mentioning that for the second year running, we have managed to surpass gender parity, with four out of the total seven judges being women. As I mentioned last year, this is a reflection of not only our determination to ensure a level of true equity in our panel, but also an indication of the talent and sheer skill of many women who are making enormous contributions to sustainability in the built environment.
Dick Clarke is principal of Envirotecture, with over 35 years’ experience focusing exclusively on ecologically sustainable and culturally appropriate buildings, as well as sustainable design in vehicles and vessels.
He is director of Sustainability for Building Designers Australia (BDA) and is a member of the Association of Building Sustainability Assessors (ABSA) and the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC).
This is Clarke’s 14th year on the panel and he is once again the Jury Chair.
Jeremy Spencer is a director and builder and energy rater, at Positive Footprints, a multi award-winning design and construction company that is working to show that energy efficient sustainable design and high-performance construction is a cost-effective option and can be a mainstream reality.
Jeremy is passionate about spreading the message of environmentally sustainable design, and to help bring about change in the way we build homes. To this end, he gives lectures, teaches, builds, and currently sits on the board of the Building Designers Association of Victoria, where he continues to advise and advocate for energy efficiency and broader environmental change in the built environment.
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.
In 2010, she established HELP - Holistic Environmental Lifestyle Planning, which both looks into the bigger picture, beyond just the physical building itself, but can also drill down to the basics, provide audits and assessments, and offers a Green Concierge Service as well. As an architect, for Mahalath it has long been a case of it’s not just about the building, but the people who live and/or work in it as well.
Michael Faine has been a registered architect since 1980 and to date, has worked on a multitude of building types, designs, construction and procurement methods. His diverse career led him to a teaching position at the University of Western Sydney in the Bachelor of Building/Construction Management degree, and saw him acting as the Head of School for a time. After 17 years as an academic, and juror positions on both the Building Designers Association of Australia and the HIA Awards, Michael is attuned to analysing the work of builders and designers, and understanding the price in the work they are carrying out.
Sandra Furtado is a co-founder Furtado Sullivan, an architecture studio based in Sydney. The practice enjoys the challenge of translating a project’s complexity into a design that works with its environment, combining large-scale efficiency and sophistication with a bespoke design approach. In the past, she has been intrinsically involved in notable large-scale projects including 8 Chifley, Barangaroo Masterplan and International Towers, and One Circular Quay hotel in Circular Quay. Sandra has an extraordinary ability to understand urban complexity. Through holistic design thinking, she seeks synergies with multidisciplinary practices, harnessing collective knowledge in order to achieve goals creatively and drive the sustainability agenda
Nermine Zahran is Gensler’s Sustainable Design Leader for the Asia Pacific region. She has worked in Australia and internationally on a number of large and-small-scale projects covering a wide range of architectural typologies. She has been described as having a contagious passion for sustainable design as well as a comprehensive understanding of industry best practices.
Nermine also believes that it is vital to continually learn – and to educate others in the industry and in the general public – about ways to minimise the impact of the built environment on the planet. Beyond her aim to positively influence materials selection, construction methods, and ongoing energy-efficient operations strategies, she also seeks to ensure that the buildings and spaces we create are human-centred and improve human health and well-being.
She is a true champion of Gensler’s belief that every project, no matter how large or small, is an opportunity to make our communities, and ultimately our world, more liveable and resilient.
Suzanne Toumbourou is the executive director of the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, a body of peak organisations committed to a vision of more sustainable, productive and resilient buildings, communities and cities. Suzanne is a renowned trailblazer and sustainability champion with a passion and expertise in communication, collaboration and an inclusive agenda for a sustainable Australia.
Suzanne has broad experience encompassing Federal and State Governments, industry and non-profit organisations including the Australian Conservation Foundation and GetUp. She played a coordinating role with the Australian Business Roundtable on Climate Change and was a foundational member of the steering committee for Al Gore’s Climate Project in Australia.
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