BDAV 2012 10-Star Challenge

Talented sustainable designers respond to 10-Star Challenge

The BDAV’s 10-Star Challenge is for conceptual projects that combine admirable architecture with efficient planning solutions and materials utilisation. The Challenge offers Victoria’s building design fraternity the opportunity to design 10-Star energy efficient homes, and be recognised for their design abilities and expertise in sustainable design responses, as well as positioning BDAV Members as leaders in environmentally sustainable design. The Challenge aims to raise awareness that good design reduces greenhouse emissions and household bills. The BDAV acknowledges that, although 10 Star houses are probably only appropriate for those in the community who are totally committed to ‘making a difference’, those designers who ‘know what it takes’ will design cost-effective 6, 7 and 8 Star houses with ease.

The 2012 BDAV 10-Star Challenge offered two categories: single dwellings and multi-residential projects.

The winners were:

Single Dwellings – Winner

Melbourne Design Studios

Melbourne Design Studio’s holistic approach to sustainable design, their attention to detail and function, and the house’s clean and contemporary look impressed the judges. Melbourne Design Studio has designed a contemporary house with interesting street appeal. The design employs passive solar principles, orienting living spaces to the north and service spaces to the south. Considered solar shading and natural ventilation, high thermal mass and the clever use of triple-glazed windows allow northern light in to living spaces to ensure comfortable temperatures year-round, while minimising the need for active heating and/or cooling. Social sustainability has also been incorporated thoughtfully into the design, with a mix of communal and private indoor and outdoor living spaces. Water saving measures minimise mains water usage by collecting rainwater from the roof and storing it in a 5,000 litre tank on site. Traditional building materials were specified for the build with detailed specification of sustainable and low-toxic materials. Melbourne Design Studio also intends to explore delivering the 10 Star house with prefabricated building materials. Despite its small footprint of just 145 square metres, the space-efficient design doesn’t compromise on functionality and caters to everyday living.

Multi-Residential Projects – Joint Winners

EME Design

EME Design’s co-housing design – in collaboration with Greensphere Consulting – for 16 homes incorporates consolidated gardens, including a food forest, orchards, and vegetable gardens. This is a community building with commercial kitchen and play area, shared rainwater collection, and water treatment plant, as well as shared shed, workshop, laundry facilities. EME Design’s innovative approach to homes designed for urban residents committed to a more engaged sustainable lifestyle impressed the judges. The functional design of each north-facing apartment is flexible, and incorporates the essentials of passive design, local and low embodied energy materials, and natural and sustainable finishes. The judges agreed that the inclusion of a greenhouse/winter garden to harvest additional solar gain in winter months for passive heating is an original and innovative design element. They also noted the sympathetic way the building’s roof form and façade is designed to integrate well with the streetscape.

F2 Design

F2 Design’s house impressed the judges as a visually appealing, compact and high performance house for low income families. The adaptable house has been designed with modular components based on a four metre grid, and can accommodate single, dual or multi-person occupation. Flexible siting options also mean multiple dwellings can be built on a single site without compromising private open space for each home. The design also incorporates renewable energy technologies, water saving measures, and sustainably sourced construction materials. Despite its modular and low cost design, F2 Design’s well-articulated home with a roof form of various heights results in a visually interesting and affordable home.


The BDAV acknowledges, with thanks, the assistance and support of  Kingspan Insulation, the sponsor of the 2012 10-Star Challenge.