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2018 National Architecture Awards: The David Oppenheim Award for Sustainable Architecture

Nightingale 1 by Breathe Architecture Sustainable Architecture: The David Oppenheim Award Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

This project is the beginning of an ambitious experiment that aims to shift the status quo of apartment design in Australia. The development achieves a NatHERS rating of 8.2 stars; is carbon-neutral in operation, using a fossil fuel-free embedded network; and uses rainwater harvesting for irrigation and common-area bathrooms. Sustainability extends beyond the building into social and economic elements: generous communal amenities, useable public space, alternative finance structure and clever and efficient construction techniques.

The building encourages its inhabitants to lead a more sustainable lifestyle through sharing laundry facilities, growing vegetables, learning to work together as a community rather than as isolated households and taking the train or riding a bike to work.

The jury was impressed by the architect’s determination, rigour and perseverance in delivering a workable, living example of passive sustainability in action. Effective cross-flow ventilation, solar orientation, thermal mass and double glazing combine to deliver that most prized result – comfort.


Breathe Architecture
Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Project Team
Jeremy McLeod (design architect), Fairley Batch (project architect), Tamara Veltre, Bonnie Herring, Daniel McKenna, Madeline Sewall, Mark Ng, Adilah Ikram Shah, Emily McBain, Zac Evangelisti, Daniel Moore, Lola Digby-Diercks, Shannon Furness, Bettina Robinson,
Access consultant Morris Access Consulting
Acoustic consultant Arup
Builder Project Group
Building surveyor Metro Building Surveying
Development manager Breathe Architecture with advisory services by Hip V. Hype
ESD consultant Nick Bishop ESD with Hip V. Hype Sustainability
Environmental audit consultants Peter J. Ramsay and Associates, Compass Environmental
Fire engineer Thomas Nicolas;
Land surveyor Webster and Peter Rickard
Landscape consultant Openwork, Oculus
Planning consultant Hansen Partnership
Services engineer Lucid Consulting
Specification writer Dekkerspec
Structural and civil engineer Form Structures
Waste management consultant Leigh Design
Site details
Location Melbourne,  Vic,  Australia
Site type Urban
Category Residential buildings
Type Apartments, Multi-residential, Residential
Project Details
Status Built
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