Given how many materials and resources we remove from the earth on an hourly basis to fuel our habits, the time is now upon us to repurpose and reuse materials and give them a new lease on life.

Sustainability’s very essence is to ensure our abundant natural resources are not diminished in order to maintain ecological balance. Through adaptively reusing dwellings, materials and even the long-held character of said dwelling, we’re able to reduce our carbon footprint, as the need to dig into the earth is, once again, mitigated.

The Best Adaptive Reuse category at the Sustainability Awards seeks to acknowledge the ingenuity of an architect who has been able to revitalise a building while keeping its existing elements. To be eligible, one must nominate a project that has minimal impact on the historical significance of the building and its setting, while also pursuing a design that is sympathetic to the building as well as providing it with a new purpose.

smart design studio

Smart Design Studio’s (SDS) new HQ was a winner of many accolades last year, also receiving the Best Adaptive Reuse award. SDS was able to repurpose a post-war single storey industrial warehouse which is situated within the Alexandria Industrial Heritage Conservation Area for its daily operations. 

The practice endeavoured to retain over 80 percent of the existing footprint to minimise material supply and wastage. Most of the original building fabric was retained and restored, including brick fa├žades, sawtooth roofs and steel roof trusses. SDS was able to transform the warehouse into a carbon neutral building and attained a six-star NABERS energy rating for the project.

WoodSolutions makes its debut as a Sustainability Awards category sponsor in 2022. Offering a multitude of timber products made to suit any project, the company is intent on educating the wider public on the sustainable qualities of the natural product. WoodSolutions is excited by the opportunity to sponsor the Best Adaptive Reuse category, as the implementation of timber to an adaptive reuse project ensures the carbon footprint of the project remains at a minimum.

Architecture & Design will announce the winner of the Best Adaptive Reuse category in a ceremony to be held in Sydney later this year. To have the chance to be up on that stage and receive the award, submit your project here.