Baenziger Coles Architects

Architecture and sustainability have always been intertwined, but the trend has shifted as developers put more and more emphasis on profits. The industry, and indeed that planet, needs firms that buck that trend and Baenziger Coles does just that. An architect firm based in South Melbourne they have a focus on sustainable design that has seen them scoop the CitySwitch* Green Office Awards in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2018 – quite the hot streak.

“Architects have a responsibility to embed sustainability into their designs”. This is the view of Baenziger Coles Director, Sue Coles. In doing so they are influencing the work of their building contractors, clients and indeed their own staff of ten; whether they’re encouraging builders to reuse surplus materials from a previous build, designing light fittings that are sealed so the heat doesn’t escape into the roof or having a sustainability suggestion jar in their office where employees can make a case for a new internal practice.

What they’ve found is that there is an appetite for sustainability, it just needs to be offered and if necessary, explained. They don’t just encourage others to operate sustainably, they lead by example. Their office has achieved a 5.5 star NABERS** rating and are chasing the maximum 6 star rating. Employees are encouraged to put an extra layer of clothing on if they’re cold, rather than use the heating. Delivery boxes are flat packed, stored and reused when the moment arises.

Sue is passionate about the education of student architects and the lack of emphasis that is put on designing with sustainability in mind. If you’d like to understand more about design and sustainability Sue has very generously offered to share her perspective.

*Baenziger Coles have been part of CitySwitch since 2010. CitySwitch is a free program helping commercial office tenants around Australia to:

  • Enhance energy efficiency and reduce costs

  • Manage energy price increases and mitigate business risks

  • Work towards a carbon positive future

  • Reduce waste

  • Improve the health and productivity of employees.

Find out how CitySwitch can help your business to save money and operate more sustainably.

**A NABERS rating (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) can be used to measure a building’s energy efficiency, carbon emissions, as well as the water consumed, the waste produced and compare it to similar buildings. A NABERS rating help you to understand your impact and begin the journey to reducing it and contributing to a healthier environment.

If you’re a business in Port Phillip and you want to share your sustainability journey or start one, contact us at