Sarah’s plans morphed into three levels around that central idea. ‘The ground floor houses the kitchen and dining area, it’s where the hustle and bustle is so the design is bright, fun and sunny,’ she says. ‘The mid-level is more of a teenager’s space; it has the kids’ bedrooms and the main family lounge which can be separated for more private, focused activity. This area can be separately let as a unit down the track.
‘The upper floor then forms the parents’ bedroom and bathroom, with an additional flexible space.’
The multi-disciplinary company employs building scientists, as well as architects, who simulate the energy efficiency performance of a home and help to fine tune a concept so that the orientation and other aspects are optimised right from the start.
‘All of that allows us to develop homes that perform extremely well even if they’re using fairly standard construction methods [and materials],’ Sarah says. ‘This home achieved an EER of eight stars so that means it is predicted to use 53 per cent less energy to heat and cool compared to a new standard six-star home of the same size.’
Of the win, Sarah and the team were thrilled. ‘We feel it’s important to recognise the value of design across all forums,’ she says. ‘It’s quite special to be recognised in an [environment] that is really for builders and by builders, and for the broader industry to celebrate every aspect of the industry.’
First available in all HIA regions in 2019, the category is open again to anyone with a well-designed home; no specific qualifications necessary. Fees have also been halved for 2020 entrants to assist members to continue entering their projects despite the COVID-19 downturn. Visit HIA's awards page for more information.