Forget the sprawling architecture giants – the future of sustainable design might be found in a team of 10 or less. This is the philosophy behind the Small Sustainable Practice category at the Sustainability Awards, a platform specifically designed to celebrate the impact of smaller architectural firms.

Established in 2023, this category recognizes firms that don't just design sustainably – they embody sustainability in everything they do. Think UN Sustainable Development Goals woven into business practices, meticulous data-driven evidence of environmental impact reduction, and a passion for inspiring positive social change.

Maxa Design, the category's inaugural winner, exemplifies this dedication.  Founded in 2004, this 19-year-old firm has become a leader in sustainable and energy-efficient home design.  Sustainability isn't an afterthought for Maxa – it's the cornerstone of their work.

Passivhaus design is their champion, pushing boundaries in energy efficiency and creating homes with exceptional indoor environmental quality.  Resource efficiency, sustainable materials, and healthy finishes are all part of the Maxa Design ethos.

Their impact extends beyond the drawing board.  Maxa Design actively engages with the community, sharing knowledge about sustainable design and fostering an eco-conscious culture within their own team.  Partnerships like the one with Carbon Positive Australia demonstrate their commitment to mitigating carbon emissions through tree planting initiatives.

Maxa Design isn't just building homes; they're building a movement.  Their portfolio boasts Passivhaus projects, 10-star-rated homes, and innovative designs that minimise environmental footprints.  They're a testament to the power of small firms to make a significant impact.

Knauf, the global building materials company and the inaugural Partner of the Small Sustainable Practice category, shares Maxa Design's vision.  Their commitment to sustainability, from reducing emissions to using recycled materials, aligns perfectly with the category's goals.  Knauf Insulation's ECOSE Technology and green roof solutions further solidify their dedication to building a greener future.

The search continues for the next sustainability champion. Do you know a small architectural firm with a big heart for the environment?  The Sustainability Awards want to hear from you.  Head over to their website and nominate them – their story could be the inspiration for the next generation of sustainable design.