26 April 2023
Summer in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region can be hot, very hot and now with extreme weather patterns emerging this won’t be changing anytime soon. There are challenges for architecture and design, now and for the future, as we take stock of the way we live and the products we use and specify.
Thankfully the next generation of architects is fully cognisant of the realities facing our environment and are making their voices heard in order to make real change. It’s a matter of priorities, and the young have sustainability at the top of their list.
In The Graduate category at the INDE.Awards, the breadth of ideas and abundance of talent is displayed in the diverse and inspiring projects we receive. These are original projects, submitted by graduates in their final year of their architecture degree and they speak of every imaginable topic. However, they all relate to people, place, sustainability and culture – in one form or another.
As the sponsor of The Graduate at the 2023 INDE.Awards, COLORBOND® steel supports and celebrates the next generation of architects from our Indo-Pacific region. The students who enter The Graduate category become the arbiters of change and we are all taking note.
BlueScope, as the manufacturer of COLORBOND® steel recognises that collaboration is necessary to address shared challenges and build a more sustainable tomorrow.
To this end, BlueScope is committed to sustainability initiatives that extend beyond its operations to include the way materials are sourced, the businesses that it engages with and the support it provides to local communities. Circular economy principles are embraced in product development including designing products for durability and resilience.
Steel’s inherent properties allow it to be recycled and, in some cases, it can be reused without reprocessing.
BlueScope’s Port Kembla Steelworks site in NSW, where the steel for COLORBOND® is manufactured, has achieved ResponsibleSteel™ site certification. As the steel industry’s first global multi-stakeholder standard and certification program, ResponsibleSteel™ can provide businesses and consumers in the steel value chain confidence that the steel they use has been sourced and produced responsibly.
BlueScope also strives to reduce embodied carbon in products and this is supported by a climate strategy and plans with the goal of net zero emissions across operations in 2050. BlueScope is also committed to an ongoing program of collaboration, research and development to bring leading innovation to COLORBOND® steel products, including cool roofing solutions.
A ‘cool roof’ is made from materials designed to have high solar reflectance and thermal emittance, to help keep the roof surface temperature cooler in the sun. A roof surface which reflects sunlight and emits thermal infrared radiation stays cooler than a roof surface that absorbs sunlight and limits thermal infrared radiation. There are a wide range of factors that affect a cool roof and these include building type, design, location, insulation, how a building is used and the type and efficiency of heating and cooling systems.
Extrapolating the idea of ‘the cool roof’ is the concept of Urban Heat Islands (UHIs) where vegetation has been replaced by non-reflective, high mass, water resistant and impervious surfaces – in other words our built environment. Cool roofs can potentially provide a range of benefits that improve occupants thermal comfort and reduce costs associated with air conditioning equipment and running costs, and extend the life of a roof system.
COLORBOND® steel cool roofing colours bring together a number of proprietary coatings and manufacturing technologies which can offer a higher level of thermal performance. The palette has been inspired by nature and from white to sand, light grey to muted green, there is a colour to suit every concept and design. A cool roof doesn’t just look good, it can be an instrument to demonstrably cool a home or building.
While BlueScope looks to the future to conceive and create products that will help sustain us and the environment, the architecture graduates of today are devising and aspiring to design projects that will require innovative and sensitive products, with people, place and climate at their heart. Helping the next generation to achieve is imperative if we are to find the solutions to the challenges we all face today.
As sustainability is integral on every level of design, those students who enter The Graduate are showcasing their desire to help influence change. Just as BlueScope also looks to the future with new and innovative COLORBOND® steel products, it supports these talented students in their quest.
Those who submit to The Graduate category have been nominated by their school as the top architecture students of their year, an accolade in itself, and we, along with COLORBOND® steel, applaud their nomination in this category that is looking to the future.
Images – Courtesy of BlueScope