After 14 successful years of Architecture + Design’s national Sustainability Awards, it was time to make this years’ judging of the Awards shortlist a live affair.

Despite the current aversion to physical contact, it was decided by both the editorial team here at Architecture + Design as well as a majority of the judges that a live judging day would be in the best interests of both the entrants and for the purpose of a more 'hands-on' approach to judging.

According to head 2020 Sustainability Awards judge Dick Clarke, having a live judging day was literally a no-brainer.

“Someone asked me the other day why it’s useful - important even - for judges to get together when nutting out the Sustainability Awards. The reason is central to the way humanity works - when it works at its best - which is what sustainability is about, after all.”

“Each of us is unique - we each have our own experience and perspective, and no one can know everything about everything. Some people who seem to know very little about anything get to lead nations, but that’s another story,” says Clarke.

“When judging awards, it’s important to get a balance of perspectives. This can be done by awarding points to criteria, which is very objective, and should in theory minimise subjectivity. But it also deprives us of the opportunity to ask: “Why did you score that aspect that way?”

“The discussion that arises is both enlightening, and incredibly useful in shaking out misunderstandings, wrong assumptions, and shedding light on aspects that may have been outside another judge’s experience,” he says.

“It makes it twice as good,” noted Clarke.

A big shout out also needs to go to Alspec, who, as a market leader in the design and distribution of innovative aluminium systems to the architectural, industrial and home improvement markets have kindly organised their premises at Surry Hills to be the location of this year’s inaugural live judging day.

According to Alspec’s National Specification manager Ross Baynham, sustainability is at the core of what they do as a company and is just one reason why they decided to offer up their premises to host this first-ever Sustainability Awards judging day.

“Sustainability is extremely important to Alspec as we don’t just want to be part of the movement to create more sustainable buildings or create more energy efficient buildings – we want to be leaders."

"We want to get the best outcomes for ourselves, but also for the building and design industries in general,” says Baynham.

“We are very proud that Alspec are the first company to host the Sustainability Awards judging day, in its 14 year history.  It allows us to pay our respects to all of the industry leaders that have done the hard yards, in taking sustainability from being merely compliance-based, to being part of the built environment story,” he says.

"At Alspec, Aluminium is our material of choice," says Phil O'Neill, Alpsec's exceutive director.

“We at Alspec believe in the long term sustainability benefits of Aluminium, not only is it strong and lightweight, it is 100 percent recyclable. Aluminium can be recycled over and over again, with approximately 75 percent of all the Aluminium ever produced still in use today," he adds.

The inaugural live judging day for the Awards will take place on Wednesday, 9 September at Alspec’s premises in Surry Hills in Sydney, whereby the shortlist for this years’ awards will be chosen.

The shortlist will then be subsequently announced over the next few weeks on the Architecture + Design daily newsletter and news site.

For more information about the 2020 Sustainability Awards or the Sustainability Summit, you can go to: