The very fact that this old, poorly-designed, energy-guzzling house was renovated, instead of being demolished and replaced is a win for sustainable building.

It would have been an easy choice for many owners and builders to give up on the old house and just demolish it, but with thoughtful design, scientific modelling, and good construction we were able to provide the clients with a home that feels new, and has vastly superior energy efficiency, at a fraction of the economic and environmental cost of knock-down-rebuild.

The house has gone from an EER of 2.8 to an EER of 7.7 which equates to a 75 percent reduction in its predicted energy requirements for heating and cooling in Canberra's challenging climate.

Additionally, the construction process itself made extensive use of existing and recycled materials. For example the 'new' floor is made out of salvaged gymnasium flooring, and the kitchen bench is made from compressed recycled paper.

The challenge on this project was to achieve the greatest transformation with the least extension and as little obvious alteration as possible.

The existing home was a four-bedroom double-brick house with lovely western views, in the Canberra suburb of Campbell. The master bedroom, ensuite, and study were all part of an 1980s extension. The original house was built in the 1960s.

With fundamentally ‘good bones’ from both a design and thermal perspective, and enough floor area, we made very selective internal alterations in order to improve the energy efficiency, spatial relationships, circulation and connection to the outdoors, while only adding 1m² to the building’s footprint.

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About the Awards

The Sustainability Awards is Australia’s longest running and most prestigious awards program dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating excellence in sustainable design and architecture. Nominations received are shortlisted and then winners for each category are announced at a five-star Gala evening hosted this year at the Star, Sydney on 11 October 2018. The daytime event Sustainability Live is a CPD-endorsed education event where industry experts present a range of topics to educate, inform and ignite learning. Buy tickets.