We consider sustainable design principles to be a critical and integral part of the design process.
We utilise basic principles to increase energy efficiency and are at ease in using alternate technologies. Our expertise maximises the environmental performance of our buildings whilst complementing our unique architectural aesthetic.
Most things that make a design sustainable have been part of good architectural design for thousands of years:
- Consideration of and response to the surrounding context
- Efficient use of space
- Responsible use of materials
- Creative Daylighting design
- Effective thermal response including passive thermal design
We also look at locally sourced materials, renewable or recyclable resources and more significantly, re-use of buildings – it is crucial to ensure that the building does not become out-dated and of limited use in 10 or 20 years. Life cycle design requires an analysis of replacement and costs and allows selection of the best materials and construction strategies to be adopted to minimise the long term cost burden.
With newer technology, additional responses have become available:
- Energy generation on site (eg PV solar panels and many others)
- Recycling of heat and “coolth” (heat exchange air-conditioning etc)
- Automatic shading and ventilation
- Phase change materials
Examples where our designs have been recognised with certifications include:
- William McCormack Place stage 1 – when it was completed, this was the highest rated office building in Australia with ABGR 5 stars
- RPS (Conics) Building – this was the first Greenstar Rated refurbishment in Cairns with 4 stars under the Office v2 rating tool
- William McCormack Place Stage 2 – this was the first project to receive 6 stars in the tropics under the Greenstar Office v2 rating tool
We have also completed off-grid (ie no mains electricity or water) projects:
In addition to our environmentally sustainable design approach, CA Architects performs Green Star building assessments for office buildings using the Green Star rating tool – fast becoming an important part of the design process in Australia. More details
Since 2012 CA Architects have been actively working with James Cook University to advance and share the knowledge and best practice tropical expertise in our built environment.
The Case Studies Project completed in 2014 gave CA Architects the opportunity to document the above projects in more detail and showcase them amongst other leading examples.
Since its opening in 2017 the TUDLab offers a platform for further research and collaboration between academia, government and industry organisations in areas related to urbanisation in the Tropics.