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Every now and then, there are projects we’re especially proud of. Ones we believe deserve recognition as shining examples of sustainable development. GIW is thrilled that Slate House, a collaboration with Austin Maynard Architects and Lucent Group, won the Bayside Built Environment Awards 2023 for Best Sustainable Building.

Slate House, located at 7 Bleazby Avenue, is the epitome of thoughtful medium-density development that not only offers residents inviting, home-sized apartments but surpasses the standards of environmentally sustainable living. Recognised for its exceptional response to the Climate Emergency, it was evaluated for excellence across various sustainable design aspects, from water efficiency to waste reduction, indoor environmental quality to innovation. While displaying innovative detailing, curvature, and tactile design elements, its standout feature is its list of ESD credentials, including being Brighton’s first fossil-fuel-free multi-residential apartment building.

The highlight sustainability features are as follows:

  • Achieving a Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme thermal efficiency rating of >8.0 stars through passive solar design principles
  • High-efficiency thermal envelope including thermally broken double-glazed, Low-E windows
  • Installation of 14kW solar PV on the rooftop, with capacity for future connection to storage batteries
  • A central heat pump hot water service
  • Rainwater harvesting into a 20,000L tank for toilet flushing and landscape irrigation
  • Installation of high-star-rated appliances for further optimisation of running costs
  • Native, low-water demand garden landscaping, including the promotion of a lichen-covered slate roof for a natural rustic aesthetic and to regulate indoor temperatures and moisture.
  • Reuse of materials such as bricks from the preexisting house, reducing carbon emissions from materials manufacture and transportation
  • Bike parking facilities for alternative transportation

Being located in a highly walkable area near public transport stations, shops, parks, and the beach, Slate House is an important project for denser housing solutions. Here, 2 homes were seamlessly transformed into 14 units, with careful consideration of the urban context, acting on public feedback throughout the design process.

The building’s design serves as an exploration of texture and materiality, harmonising avant-garde form with street character. Matching the height of the neighbouring church, the three-level apartment development is organised into three distinct material blocks, offering not only spatial efficiency and ample natural light but also a departure from conventional boxy apartment buildings. The result is a space that enriches the local architectural style and enhances the cultural landscape of Bayside.

We cherish projects where integrity lies at the core of design, leading to buildings that truly stand out. Slate House does more than provide housing– it provides innovative, durable forever homes that respond well to context and, most importantly, enrich our communities and our environment. Such discrete forms ought to be celebrated as models for future Melbourne where we can build quality for community.