On the drawing board: Passive House meets multi-residential

On the drawing board: Passive House meets multi-residential

The Fern serviced apartments in Sydney’s Redfern are the first Passive House-certified apartments in the southern hemisphere. Architect Oliver Steele explains why he chose this approach for the project, the challenges they faced and what they learned about the potential of Passive House principles for delivering more sustainable multi-residential buildings.

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Better together: exploring collaborative housing in Australia

Better together: exploring collaborative housing in Australia

From a couple of households to large ecovillages with a raft of shared facilities, collaborative housing projects come in many sizes and types, but they all offer the social, financial and environmental benefits of sharing resources and building community. We look at what’s involved in setting one up, and get advice from people around the country already doing it.

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Ask our experts: Life cycle analysis

Ask our experts: Life cycle analysis

The Architects Declare Australia movement, launched last year in response to the growing climate emergency (see Sanctuary 49), now has nearly 900 signatories. One of the commitments is the inclusion of life cycle analysis to measure and reduce the carbon impact of design and construction projects; we asked Clinton Cole of Sydney’s CplusC Architectural Workshop to explain what his practice is doing to contribute to positive change in this area in alignment with their pledge.

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Design workshop: Down by the river

Design workshop: Down by the river

Having lived in their beloved riverside suburb of Melbourne for ten years, Rowan Doyle and Fiona Cock are planning an updated, more flood-resilient home to accommodate changing family needs. They are interested in prefabrication and Passive House; Sven Maxa of Maxa Design is knowledgeable about both, and gives them some pointers.

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Ask our experts: the Living Building Challenge

Ask our experts: the Living Building Challenge

Fittingly, the Sustainable Buildings Research Centre premises at NSW’s University of Wollongong is the first building in Australia to be certified under the Living Building Challenge (LBC) framework for sustainable, regenerative buildings. We asked the centre’s director, Senior Professor Paul Cooper, what the LBC is all about and how they achieved it.

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Nurturing nature

Nurturing nature

There’s a lot you can do to promote biodiversity when you’re designing a new home or renovation, with clear benefits for you and your family as well as for the natural environment. Ecologist Sarah Bekessy and her colleagues explain what’s possible.

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