Winner of three Sustainability Awards
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Sustainability Award winner

Libby and I fired up the computer and logged into the Sustainability Awards presentation ceremony.  We weren’t prepared for what happened next.  In one award announcement after another, our home was a winner.

We took three wins from three shortlisted items in a record breaking field of over 250 projects, people and products.

Apparently, three wins for one project broke another awards’ record.

Emerging Architect/Designer winner

Even with a virtual event, we still felt the tension when the presenter announced the shortlist for the emerging architect/designer award.

And the winner is … David Coates.

There was David on the screen, dressed in a good shirt and jacket, looking completely different to his normal workwear.  His pre-recorded speech gave viewers an insight into his sustainable design philosophy and reinforced why he was a worthy winner.

What an achievement, winning an award in such a quality field.  We settled down for the rest of the show thinking that one win was a fantastic result.

At the time, I wondered how David winning the designer’s award affected the judges’ decision on the project itself.  Could we dare to hope an award winning designer could also have an award winning design?

Smart building ideas winner

Here we go again.  These are the worthy contenders and the winner is … Green Home Build!

Cue an even louder cheer from our audience of two.

Winner of the 2021 Sustainability Award for Smart Building Ideas

Seriously, winning two awards?  Clearly that answered my question about how the judges viewed David’s work.  His designs aren’t “technology smart”, but smart in the way he works with nature to produce a light filled, comfortable, low energy home.

Before the awards night, Libby and I agreed that if we could win one, the smart building ideas award would be the one we most wanted.  That’s industry recognition that a simple, well-designed home could be smart in a sustainable way.

One award presentation to go.  Seriously, could this night get any better?

Single dwelling (new) winner

Is it jinxing the outcome if we think there’s a chance there’s another win on the cards?

And the winner is … Green Home Build.

Winner of the 2021 Sustainability Award for Single Dwelling (new)

Wild celebrations break out in the study.  Alright, I might have waved my arms around while cheering.

For the third time that night, it’s David giving an acceptance speech.  Even the presenter mentioned David was having a good night.

Post-celebration thoughts

We never planned on creating an award winning home but, as the project unfolded, everyone involved felt they were working on something special.  David says that attitude imbued the homes with positive energy.  They look good, feel good and work exactly as intended.  The two award certificates in the entrance airlock prove it.

We caught up with David and Amelia a few days after the presentation.  They were still buzzing about the achievement.  For David, recognition from some of Australia’s leading architects was the best outcome.  He’s not a qualified architect, but architects judged him as best-on-field for sustainability in 2021. Not only that, they rated his finished home as exemplary.

During a chat with an event organiser, David had the impression that Green Home Build scored highly in every assessment category.  That’s consistent with the build philosophy.  Go for the best by starting with a passive solar design, use sustainable materials (eg Timbercrete), build in a sustainable way (eg solar powered worksite) and, finally, audit the finished home to ensure it works (eg comfort and cost reports).

Hopefully, that holistic approach inspires other designers and builders to set stretch goals for their next project.  What can they learn from Green Home Build that raises their bar on sustainability?

As I said in the post about the shortlisting – “Just getting to this point is a memorable highlight.  Being shortlisted for such a well-known and respected award is an honour.  Going one better and winning an award would be the icing on our Green Home Build Adventure cake.”

Well folks, we’re knee-deep in cake icing now.

What’s next?

Our thoughts turned to striking while the iron is hot.  How can we leverage these awards to promote sustainable home designs

We started by notifying key suppliers (eg Miglas Windows) so they could share the good news, and their contribution, with a broader audience.

I’m exploring how to work with our local Council to promote their Sustainability strategies and the role those guidelines played in producing an award winning, high performance home.  Other possibilities include saying yes to any organisations investigating the benefits of a NatHERS 8.4 Star home.  The CSIRO is putting a study together at the moment.

Of course, the best part is that we are the lucky couple who live here.  Our long term plan is to help as many other homeowners as possible get to live in a house like ours.


  • Jean Robinson

    November 21, 11 2021 09:04:23

    I don’t think there was any doubt you would do well. Many congratulations!!!

    Fantastic achievement for David too. Everyone will be beating a path to his door.

    Well done guys!

    • Libby & Howard

      November 22, 11 2021 09:02:52

      Thanks Jean – appreciate the good wishes. Yes, David is pleased with the response to his work. This is the direction he wanted to take his business – working with clients who are keen to do a sustainable build/renovation.

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