Jeremy McLeod’s “triple bottom-line” solution for Australia’s broken housing model

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The Commons by Breathe Architecture.

The Commons by Breathe Architecture. Image: Andrew Wuttke

In his presentation for TEDxStKilda, Jeremy McLeod, director of Breathe Architecture, tells the story of how he and his fellow architects embarked on a personal quest to “change the goal posts” of Australia’s housing.

McLeod created The Commons in Brunswick, Melbourne, which was the result of him and his colleagues pooling funds to build a housing project that was not about maximum returns for investors, and wasn’t a quarter acre block on an urban fringe that’s increasingly far from the CBD.

The Commons won a host of awards for its design, including the Frederick Romberg Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing and the David Oppenheim Award for Sustainable Architecture in the 2014 National Architecture Awards.

“But The Commons was a financial failure,” McLeod confessed, explaining how he was forced to search for an ethical developer to complete the project.

McLeod then applied the lessons he learned in the next phase of his quest. Hence, the Nightingale was born.

In the following video, McLeod explains how “architecture by reduction” can create a “triple bottom-line” housing model – one that is financially and environmentally sustainable, affordable and meets the needs of residents.

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