GISS wins prestigious Sustainability Award

We are proud to announce that our pioneering Passivehouse classrooms have been awarded the 2022 Sustainability Award in the Category Education and Research.

The Sustainability Awards are Australia’s longest running and most prestigious awards program dedicated to acknowledging and celebrating excellence in sustainable design and architecture. betti&knut architecture were presented with the prestigious Award trophy during the 16th Annual Sustainability Award ceremony held at the Shangri La Hotel in Sydney.

The Sustainability Awards Jury commented: “Over 250 projects, people and products were submitted to the 2022 Sustainability Awards, all of which exhibited such a high calibre and level of design that choosing the finalists was an arduous task, even for our highly experienced jury. After careful and deliberate consideration, our jury managed to pick winners they believe push sustainability in the architecture and design industry to new frontiers, and that help propel Australia’s leading architects onto the global stage.”

GISS Principal, Dr Lorenz Metzger, commented: “We are very proud that our new classrooms have won the prestigious Sustainability Award. At our school we encourage forward thinking and sustainability, so to see this project being awarded with the highest honour for sustainable design and innovation in Australia is very rewarding and motivating for us all.”

The GISS classrooms are designed to meet the Passivehouse standard which combines thermal comfort, indoor air quality and very low energy consumption – around 90% less than standard buildings.

Architect Knut Menden explains: “The goal was to build sustainable portable classrooms at a cost and time frame equivalent to traditional portable classrooms and attain the International Passivehouse Standard using timber as the primary construction material. Each mass timber classroom was pre-assembled off site, craned into place in five modules and installed in less than 90 minutes per building.

The use of timber counteracts humidity levels to re-absorb humidity during wet weather and release in dry weather, naturally helping to create a balanced indoor comfort. It also connects the buildings to the surrounding bushland setting.”

s.e.e.d. timelapse from TDA on Vimeo.

Clean and fresh filtered air is supplied within the Passivehouse envelope through heat recovery ventilation units which maintain a constant comfortable room temperature. Not only beneficial in hot and cold months or to students with asthma and allergies, the HRV units are valuable additions throughout the bushfire season and help keep CO2 levels below a critical 800 ppm in all classrooms.

Knut Menden continues: “Considering the continued demand for portable classrooms across Australia in the foreseeable future, we hope to see these s.e.e.d.s (s-ustainable e-nvironmental ed-ucation space) become an integral part of a sustainable growth strategy within the education sector.”