4th International Green Interior Awards

WINNERS and COMMENDATIONS announced on 27 July 2017

Category: Education
Project: Rockdale Library and Council Customer Service
Entrant: CK Design International, Australia

Rockdale Library and Council Customer Service Centre is an exemplar of the power of Interior Design as a vehicle for expanding the repertoire of what green interiors can offer, celebrating the local environment, in word and deed.

Sustainability is not only achieved by selection of materials but also for the approach to design, and ensuring flexibility and functionality of spaces, such as the Customer Service Center meeting rooms and waiting areas, which become and extension of the library when the Customer Service Centre closes ensuring the use of resources is always maximised.

In planning, it was important to create zones with their own character, whilst belonging to a greater overall identity.

Many interior elements a play on ‘place, materials, and identity’. Varying in scale and colour, we used images of local trees and parks, streets, landscapes and maps throughout the building. Some were integrated into oversized acoustic panelling, large meeting room walls, and internal faces of many light fittings. On the ground floor, a large “children’s reading forest” with reading nooks was also inspired by the local forest at Ramsgate. The rock and pebble shapes are adopted in some furniture pieces, as well as the oversized children’s central space and Local History rooms.

A palate of grey tiled floors and pebble-like carpets, with red elements, resemble the very urban environment of Rockdale, while softer beiges and greens reflect the local natural of parks and beaches.

Category: Student - Product Innovation
Project: Biophilic Light
Entrant: Laura Van de Wijdeven, William De Kooning Academy, Holland

The lampshade is biodegradable at the end of its life. As soon as you want to throw it away, you can leave it with your vegetable waste. But the material can also stay in a good condition for years. I want to create awareness about the materials people use in their interior. Materials are more than just aesthetics; they really affect the way you feel. The main ingredient is potato based bioplastic - contains glycerine, potato starch, water and vinegar.

Research has shown that the intrinsic bond we have with nature, called biophilia, grants us with positive energy. Stress is one of the many negative aspects of life that can be reduced through the biophilia hypothesis, even with artificial nature. Biophilic Light combines the fascination for this theory with a sustainable view on everyday renewable resources. Its lampshade is a bioplastic combined with green earth, making it 100% biodegradable. The light behind the material emits the true sophisticated traces of nature as it literally spreads its positive feelings through light.

Category: Product Innovation
Project: Graphenstone - Paints for the Green Generation.
Entrant: Graphenstone Australia

Graphenstone is committed to the environment which is why we produce natural materials. Among our values are ecology, nature, sustainability and respect for the environment. Our products meet the principles of the circular economy. Our DNA is to be an innovator and creator of ecological and respectful products for people and the environment. Ultimately, we want the construction sector to serve humans and not the opposite way. Our philosophy: acting as a benchmark for other companies, complying with the requirements of green building through economic activity.

Graphenstone has developed a product range with a whole green life cycle. It complies with the reuse, reduce and recycle philosophy, guaranteeing the most efficient use of materials. For that reason, Graphenstone meets the Cradle To Cradle Certification program requirements, being the only paint in the world with GOLD rate. Graphenstone eliminates any concept of waste and becomes a product with a green life cycle.

Category: Retail
Project: Trailwolf Cycles
Entrant: Earthworld Inside, South Africa

Reuse, reduce, recycle… those are the sustainability buzz-words, but when it comes to practically applying the principles, it is not always executed in exciting new ways. At Trailwolf Cycles, a retail outlet and bicycle workshop at the Wolwespruit Cycling Trail (Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa), these principles are successfully and extraordinarily applied. Using recycled materials in unconventional ways was a means to separate the wolf from the pack…

When visiting the space at any cycling event, the vibrancy and energy of the cyclers is inspiring and the concept was to draw it into the retail space. We created a display element that resembles a track from OSB and cardboard fins which portrays the idea of movement and energy. The use of cardboard was repeated in the partitioning with Craft paper rolls, which contributes to the acoustic properties of the partition. 

Cycling is synonymous with a lifestyle of flexibility and adaptability and was translated into the loos-fit design approach. Versatility in the display was created with designing retail display carts to which can be moved around in the open space. Flexibility is also incorporated through having plastic crates that could be stacked or hooked onto the retail display grid to create a plethora of different ways to display products.

Category: Office - Small
Project: Bently Enterprises Farmer's Bank Adaptive Reuse
Entrant: Revel Architecture & Design, USA

The building had lost its original layout and function long before Chris Bently acquired the building, and the team felt any remaining early 20th-century grandeur was too beautiful to lose. The design of the project became a carefully calibrated selection of which historic elements to preserve and which green products could fit seamlessly into the historic context—while coming together to create a contemporary workplace. The new elements and materials that make up most of the building are faced or treated to look historic and create a perfect illusion of originating in history. Some of the historic building elements were reused to create custom design elements, like a conference table made from the historic bank vault door.

The team custom designed many elements when off-the-shelf products would not blend seamlessly with the building’s character or would not meet sustainability requirements. One example is the treatment of the columns that ring the mezzanine and second floor. New columns were needed to support the building after removing walls to open up the floor plan. A typical approach to “historicizing” column details is to buy new false column wraps, which would have allowed for limited design options and a less environmentally-friendly solution. Instead, the design team clad the new 4x4 structural steel columns with wood molding top to bottom to recall ultra-narrow cast iron posts. An oxidizing paint finish by Modern Masters Metal Effects created the rust color effect.

Category: Office - Medium
Project: WT Partnership
Entrant: Cachet Group, Australia

One of the WT Partnership’s main objectives was to achieve a 5 Star GBCA (Green Building Council of Australia) Interiors rating. Although the building itself was relatively new, the fitout needed to be completed in alignment with the ratings tool, which involved the use of recycled materials, energy-saving lighting, WELS rated tapware, reused furniture and also the incorporation of multi-functional spaces.

There was intent when selecting materials and furniture. Hardwearing, reclaimed fixtures which were designed to wear required little maintenance and minimised the use of virgin materials.

The layout allows the occupant to be flexible in utilising the space without needing to change the build form and service it over time. 
There are currently 80 staff occupying the space with the potential to reach capacity of 111 at a ratio of 1:1. However, when the utilisation of the space is taken into account, with many staff adopting agile working patterns, the space could comfortably accommodate 130 people. 
The fitout remains once they leave the building. This maximises the reuse potential of the space so that the next generation to take on the building will inherit the design. Green interior design space planning and utilisation, fittings and fixtures.

Category: Office - Large AND Overall Winner
Project: Etsy Headquarters
Entrant: Gensler, USA

At 225,000 square feet, Etsy’s new Brooklyn headquarters is currently the largest Living Building Challenge Petal-certified commercial building in the world and the only LBC certified building in New York City. Additionally, Etsy is the only public technology company to attain LBC (Living Building Challenge) certification. 

The design of Etsy’s new headquarters aspires to be a fully independent, regenerative ecosystem that sets a bar for a more dynamic and robust interpretation of sustainability. The Gensler project team sought out LBC compliant construction materials, ultimately vetting more than 1,500 materials for Red List, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) compliance, and ingredient disclosure.

Small-scale Etsy furniture makers collaborated with the project team, Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and International Living Future Institute (ILFI) to rework their product fabrication to achieve Declare Labels on 31 furniture pieces. Additionally, collaborations with large-scale manufacturers enabled first-time LBC compliant documentation, reformulated product lines, and additional Declare Label pursuits. In all, the project incorporated 69 Declare Labels representing 24% of the materials budget. With more than half the pieces crafted by local artisans, Etsy is truly a handmade, community-grown experience.

Category: Residential - New
Project: Emerald Star
Entrant: Dwell Development, USA

In 2015, we took on the ultimate green building challenge: Emerald Star certification. Developed by the Built Green residential building program, Emerald Star certification is the highest level of green certification with a rigorous checklist of requirements including net zero electricity using renewables, 70% reduction in water use, 90% reclaimed materials or FSC certified wood, and exceptional indoor air quality.

We could not have achieved Emerald Star certification without the innovative use of green materials, products and systems. More so, we would not have been able to build such a beautiful home without the use of reclaimed wood and metal from an old cannery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Countertops, cabinets and tile made locally from high-recycled content contribute to the home’s inventory of eco-friendly materials.

Category: Residential - New
Project: Alexandria Residence
Entrant: CplusC Architectural Workshop, Australia

The Alexandria Residence has reinvented terrace living by locating the vertical circulation in the front façade with a glass and timber batten circular stair doubling as a greenhouse. The house combines cutting edge architectural design with off grid green initiatives.

The terrace is a beautiful, small footprint home on a tight urban site that incorporates a wide range of active and passive sustainability measures inside and out. A central concern throughout the design process was ensuring the design would contribute to the longevity of the building. To this end, the central courtyard ensures all internal spaces are offered superior daylighting and access to green spaces despite the tight site, while internal planting beds are integrated into the home to improve internal air quality and the custom movable island bench provides clients with flexible ways to use the rear space.

Many of the green interior products used in the project were the result of close collaboration with our clients, a couple with a serious commitment to green living that matched our drive for sustainability. In many cases, the green interior products selected either met or exceeded the performance of conventional alternatives. For instance, timber was finished with water based sealers (nontoxic, low environmental footprint, no VOCs) and Rockwool insulation was installed (with additional benefits in acoustic insulation and fire protection). The decision to use green interior products complemented the broader approach of incorporating permaculture principals and exploring urban gardening, rainwater / solar harvesting in the home.

Category: Residential - Renovation
Project: Skygarden House
Entrant: Dubbeldam Architecture + Design, Canada

Skygarden House is a prime example of how green products can be integrated into a home to create design excellence and a space filled with character and light.

The project reworks an older home while maintaining the existing shell, using interior design strategies to “expand” the interior space without increasing the footprint of the house. In order to achieve this, materials and products were chosen to maximize the perception of a larger space and reflect natural light that is drawn into the space. Light-filled living spaces open up to rear garden with sustainable materials also used on the exterior. Materials and products were carefully selected that maintain the highest green standards and have low VOC emission ratings.

All fixtures and equipment were selected for their optimal water and energy saving capacity including plumbing fixtures, appliances and LED lighting. This home demonstrates an innovative and beautiful light-filled space that is enjoyed by its occupants, while also being environmental and ethical.

Category: Student - Projects
Project: Chalmers Hall Renovation
Entrant: Chad Kraus from Dirt Works Studio, USA

At most architecture schools today, sustainability is bred in the bone. However, it is one thing to talk about sustainability or even to design hypothetical projects with a heightened environmental awareness, it is quite another to put theory and principles into practice. Design-build projects have the potential to drive important lessons, such as sustainability, beyond the abstract.

With the very real constraints of time, budgets, physics, chemistry, and a myriad of stakeholders with, sometimes, competing interests, making sustainable choices when they are difficult is all the more valuable.

In the Chalmers Hall renovation, the studio transformed a highly visible/trafficked area of an existing campus building into a beautiful, highly functional space without ever losing sight of our fundamental principles of sustainability.


Category: Student Product Innovation
Project: Jute Wall
Entrant: Laura Van de Wijdeven, William De Kooning Academy, Holland

Category: Product Innovation
Project: D900 S Curve Surface-mounted Downlight
Entrant:  Brightgreen, Australia

Category: Retail
Project: Admonter Stand
Entrant: Carole Whiting Interiors and Design, Australia

Category: Retail
Project: Industry Leading Retail Banking Sustainability
Entrant: Commonwealth Bank of Australia

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Category: Office - Medium
Project: One Carter Lane London
Entrant: Cundall, UK

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Category: Office - Large
Project: Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation Headquarters
Entrant: Group GSA, Australia

Category: Office - Large
Project: AGL Sydney Head Office
Entrant: Built, Australia

Category: Residential - Renovation
Project: Peacock Street
Entrant: Brave New Eco, Australia

Category: Residential - Renovation
Project: Kenzai
Entrant: The Design Commission, Australia

Category: Student Projects
Project: Moss Bar
Entrant: Melanie Hopkins, Billy Blue College of Design, Australia