New award puts a spotlight on sustainable building designs

Tarkett, a global leader in sustainable flooring, has collaborated with the University of Melbourne to offer for the first time an award to recognise the creativity and social conscience of design students in Victoria.

From left to right: Director of the Bachelor of Environments, Alan March; Mariana Thomas from Tarkett Australia, and award recipient Brigit Skilbeck.

The annual award celebrates Melbourne School of Design students whose project demonstrates the most potential to create positive social and ecological outcomes that have a ripple effect into the future. The annual $1,000 financial assistance allows the winner to focus on their studies and upskilling in sustainable building design.

Brigit Skilbeck, a Bachelor of Environments student, became the first recipient of the Tarkett Positive Legacy Design Award. She received the award at the university’s Dean Honour awards night and was presented it by Mariana Thomas, Head of Marketing & Communications at Tarkett.

Brigit delivered a sustainable concept aimed at combining beauty with practical sustainability, to democratise public space through community participation and decision making. On receiving the honour Ms Skilbeck said, “I am honoured to receive this recognition not only from my educators but also from Tarkett; a company who has a long history in sustainability. I hope to combine the art and beauty of architecture with an ethos of practical sustainability.”

Mariana Thomas, Tarkett Head of Marketing and Communications, said the award strongly aligns with the company’s sustainable values and products: “We have confidence this prestigious award will uncover and motivate the most innovative use of sustainable building design across Victoria, and ultimately push the industry as a whole to new heights.”

“We congratulate Brigit on her achievement and hope the financial assistance helps her in her future studies. Initiatives like this award are a step in the right direction to try increase support for students in an effort to retain skilled talent in the local market.”

The 2016 Towards Building That Thrive Report, authored by the Thrive Research Hub at The University of Melbourne and commissioned by Tarkett, highlighted the vital need for design professionals to build healthier, sustainable environments to keep up with the rapid building boom in Australia.
Dr Dominique Hes, Director of the Thrive Research Hub at the University of Melbourne, explains “We hope to see students showing us how their designs support nature and social healing via this award. We really appreciate Tarkett’s support of the award, our students and tertiary education in Australia.”

This year’s winner was selected from six entries by a judging panel of six. As part of the application, students are required to submit four images depicting their design work, along with a written submission. Their application must demonstrate:

  • A contribution to local ecosystem services (including agriculture and local flora and fauna)
  • Passive design integrating local climate potential
  • A contribution to social benefit for all stakeholders
  • Consideration of materials used.

Read more information about the Tarkett Positive Legacy Design Award.

With thanks to Tarkett