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Sustainable design wins at NSW Chapter Awards

Barker College celebrated a significant win at the recent NSW Chapter Awards. The Maths and Student Hub received the prestigious Milo Dunphy Award for Sustainable Architecture along with a Commendation in the Educational Architecture category. Blacktown Exercise and Sports Technology Hub (BEST) also received a Commendation in the Educational Architecture category. Hosted by the Australian Institute of Architects, the state awards recognise design excellence each year before eligible projects progress to the national awards. 

Sustainable Design Philosophy Takes Centre Stage  

The Milo Dunphy award holds special meaning for our practice. Architectus Principal and Sydney Studio Leader, Laura Cockburn was deeply involved in changing the eligibility rules for this category during her tenue as NSW Chapter President of the Australian Institute of Architects. By introducing mandatory sustainability criteria across award categories, her leadership pushed eligible projects to strive for better outcomes. The NSW awards program were early adopters of the changes, leading the way before being implemented across the nation. For Laura, “what we all hope for in the near future, is that the award will become a thing of the past because all projects, without exception will be sustainable and carbon neutral / positive.” 

Barker College is a standout example of sustainable school design, even without specific Green Star or NABERS requirements. The project strategically prioritised environmental responsibility by extensively incorporating timber as a carbon sink, actively sequestering an estimated 780 tCO2e, as projected by the project engineers, TTW. This underscores the project’s robust commitment to carbon reduction. Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) was a pivotal to our strategy for achieving sustainability goals. The use of prefabricated timber components for efficient on-site assembly not only reduced overall energy consumption during construction but also minimised construction waste, aligning with sustainable practices and contributing to a circular economy.   

BEST Hub’s Innovative Design Earns Recognition  

BEST Hub also received a commendation in the Educational Architecture Category. Architectus’ landscape design for the project creates a cutting-edge “physical literacy” space promoting lifelong health and activity. Designed for inclusivity and catering to all ages, this space is for diverse users – from beginners to elite athletes. Our landscape design team collaborated with the building’s architects, ARM Architecture and CO.OP Studio to deliver the state-of-the-art facility.  

The National Awards will be held in November. Architectus congratulates this year’s entrants and thanks the Institute and its jury members for recognising the design excellence of these two projects.   

BEST Hub with ARM Architecture and CO.OP Studio