Now in its second year, the Australian Living Green Interior Awards has put out a call for entries, but is shifting its focus from green products to green projects.
Launched in 2012, the awards are an initiative by Australian Living, a sustainable building consultancy. They aim to recognise industry professionals who apply products to interior spaces that contribute to a greater green outcome.
While green interior products are evolving and readily available, the Green Interior Awards are looking at the cumulative effects of the products in a space and their impact on the environment. A call for entries has been put out inviting architects, designers, stylists and decorators to showcase green design efforts in homes, offices, shops, educational facilities, hotels, restaurants and bars across the nation.
One overall winner will be selected for the best interior design project, with additional winners in the Corporate Culture Office, Hospitality, Retail, Taubmans Residential and Education categories.
"We believe that it is important for industry professionals and home owners to choose interior products that are healthy for the users, manufacturers, suppliers and the environment,” said Anthony Liberman, marketing and communications manager at Australian Living. “These awards are all about product use and not structural interior design.”
According to, an award judge and sustainable interiors consultant at Australian Living, there is currently not enough recognition given to green interiors in Australia.
“There needs to be more awareness and positive media to make people aware of the benefits of green interiors – better indoor air quality for building occupants, better for the landfill environment, more ethical (and) longer lasting therefore reduction in landfill,” she said.
David Baggs, CEO of Global GreenTag, said making interiors green provides perhaps the greatest challenge for interior designers. Green interiors can also have a greater environmental and health impact compared to construction, in which builders generally use products that exercise longevity.
He said the challenge is in “ensuring it is both a healthy, low imapct design and looks amazing at the same time.”
Last year, a commercial office project delivered by Azuba for Mortgage Ezy secured the top prize and also won in the office category.
According to Azuba, the design brief was to explore a safe, non-toxic environment in which people could feel nourished and flourish while at work.
With a focus on extensive recycling, the project included a recycled caged wall system, while tiles in the original office were upcycled to create a new water feature and the glass panels from the Mortgage Ezy’s previous desks were used in non structural walls with any leftover materials used for art.
“We sorted and stored all the previous lighting, gpo power points, even the carpet from the boardroom floor was re-stiched to make new floor mats,” explained Azuba in their submission.
In that project, an estimated 65 per cent of demolition waste was recycled while 60 per cent of the materials used in the fit out were recycled in some way. These numbers reflect the type of project that will captivate the judges, who are looking for the greenest of green.
According to Tal, the judges are specifically looking for interior projects that exercise ethical production, environmental consideration and the health of consumers and manufacturers with an objective “to make a space as healthy and as eco-friendly as possible.”
Shaynna Blaze, an award-winning interior designer, co-presenter on the Lifestyle Channel’s Selling Houses Australia and judge on Channel 9’s The Block will join Tal on the judging panel along with interior designer and editor-in-chief of Home Design Magazine Kate St James, FDIA, Corporate Culture & Cult founder Richard Munao and Mark Lynch from Taubmans.
In addition to highlighting the benefits of green interiors, the awards also hope to increase demand for green products, targeting both industry professionals and the everyday consumer.
“By creating a demand for these type of product, manufacturers will be compelled to deliver products that have higher eco credentials to the market,” said Tal. “These awards are starting conversations about what’s possible, creating more knowledge and encouraging people to think about using green interior products.”
To generate greater awareness for the 2013/14 awards, Australian Living is partnering with other publications, including Home Design Magazine.
Entries close May 23 of next year with the winners to be announced at an event in Sydney in June 2014.