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BDAV 2014 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.

Winner: Ande Bunbury Architects for Double Century House

The ‘Double Century House’ is the complete package, combining an innovative material palette, an interesting design and a sustainable approach into a seamless whole. 

The design for this 130sqm home on a suburban site for the Melbourne climate zone is admirable and well proportioned. Spaces are interesting, liveable and functional, and the design lends itself to adaptability over the building's lifetime.

Environmental design considerations are evident in the use of rammed earth walls, recycled timber and a small footprint that leaves enough open space for a productive garden. Particular emphasis was placed on the building's longevity. With many residential buildings expected to last 40 years, designing for adaptability and specifying a 200-year life removes embodied energy from the equation. This design paid attention to many other aspects of sustainable design, including good solar passive design, the incorporation of renewable energy, cross-flow ventilation and an indoor garden courtyard, transport and waste reuse measures. 

The Double Century delivers in detail an affordable way to build a highly sustainable home. It requires less construction materials, less appliances; less furniture, less energy for heating and cooling, and less cleaning and maintenance of the building fabric. The Double Century combines all the ordinary elements in an inspirational way.

Finalist: F2 Design in collaboration with Ben Adams and Leonie Dixon for ‘The Nissan Hut’

Modular vault structures have always been recognised for their structural efficiency. Nissen Huts were prefabricated shelters designed in 1916 for use in World War 1. The ‘Nissan Hut’ is so named because it would suit a family with environmental consciousness who drive a Nissan Leaf full electric vehicle. The design takes this form of building to the ultimate level of thermal performance. Minimised wall surface area has such a beneficial effect that some architectural extravagance not often associated with zero energy houses has been possible in the form of double height voids and a conservatory. Proof positive that high performance need not dictate austere spaces. This one also works in multiple climate zones.

Finalist: Maxa Design for ‘Geraldton’

This real-world project, designed for climate zone 12, and currently under construction at Geraldton, WA, demonstrates that a 10-Star home can be built at a reasonable budget, and achieve other sustainable outcomes. The single-storey residence with no overshadowing is sympathetic to the neighbourhood. It is being constructed from locally sourced materials, using traditional construction methods re-imagined in organic forms to blend with the ocean beach front. Its innovative use of passive solar design principles and adaptability and versatility will make this a comfortable home for the occupants.

Finalist: Maxa Design for ‘Star Fire’

Conceptualised as a comfortable and adaptable two-storey home for a variety of climate zones, this contemporary design achieves a 10-Star thermal performance in seven of Australia’s capital cities (and 9.1 in Darwin). With the increasing prevalence of extreme weather events in Australia, this durable and cost-effective home has also been specified to BAL-F2 and cyclone construction compliance. The standard geometry and adaptability of this design enables it to cater to a vast array of accommodation requirements.

Finalist: Elemental Building Design for ‘Block House’


The innovative re-use of shipping containers to form a response to the design brief provides additional complexity such that it has been completed with pre-determined modules. The use of the containers are two-fold, with the skeletal frame also providing a suitable sub-structure that complements the proposed construction methodology. The project is designed for Climate Zone 21 – the Melbourne climate zone.