Modern adversities birth new design approaches. Say it again.

Our choice of products and materials can now contribute to a home's efficiency and sustainability. With the shift towards 'green tech', brands are developing smarter, more environmentally-friendly products to control the output of buildings. 

In recognition of this, the Sustainability Awards has introduced the Smart Building Ideas category in 2022. This category rewards practices that implement smart design and automated processes to regulate a building's operations, including heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting, security, and other systems. Such systems can help improve asset reliability, performance, reduce energy use, and minimise environmental impact.

BluKube Architecture's Gabrielle's Home project in Ballina, located in Northern New South Wales, won the Smart Building Ideas category in 2022. As a certified 'classic' passive house, the sub-tropical location and client's brief contributed to the home's final design. 

The irregular heptagon-shaped site was challenging, as it included a stormwater bioretention cell in a flood zone that could not be altered. However, the building's timber construction and external finishing make it an attractive addition to the area. Meanwhile, the interior is low-key, with a relaxed atmosphere that caters to the client's desire for entertainment and guest accommodation.

The bulk insulated timber-framed dwelling is unique in Australia, with structural OSB-3 covered in an adhesive water-resistant airtight barrier and continuous wood fibre insulation. A ventilated cavity around the whole building cladding (walls and roofing) allows convection to keep the cavity dry.

This year, Australian company Billi is the Smart Building Ideas category partner. For over three decades, Billi has been a leading provider of instant filtered boiling and chilled water systems. Their products are celebrated for their combination of functionality, performance, and contemporary aesthetics, and they are proud to be Australian-made and designed. 

Billi systems incorporate cutting-edge eco-technology features and modern designs, delivering solutions that keep pace with the ever-changing needs of users.

The winner of the 2023 Smart Building Ideas category for the Sustainability Awards will be announced later this year at an in-person ceremony in Sydney. To ensure you are ready, click here.