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Slide At mcmahon and nerlich we take seriously our obligation to "give back" to our local and global community and are committed to making modest yet positive change in the world through our social impacts.

As signatories to the Climate Action group of The Australian Institute of Architects, we are working towards zero-carbon footprint in 2021 including fully offset power providers. As an office we aim to reduce  waste and paper use and are working towards reusing or recycling 90% of our waste. With no food collection in City of Port Phillip, we are members of South Melbourne Sustainability Group and we collect our food waste in bokashi bins for burying in the community garden – where we also enjoy gardening and watering – and hanging out with the residents’ canine friends – at lunchtimes.

As a studio we have committed to donating to local and international charities that we feel passionate about. We currently have commitments of between 1%-5% of our profit since 2015 to;

  • UNHCR (The United Nations Refugee Agency)
  • Amnesty International
  • Medicens Sans Frontiere
  • Police Citizens Youth Club
  • Scope

Following the inspiring call to action at 2018’s National Architecture Conference in Melbourne, we have committed as a practice to increasing cultural competency and engaging with Indigenous Reconciliation, which is something every design practice can do on projects large or small.

Since 2020 we have commenced seeking traditional owner knowledge sharing to embed in design responses with Wurundjeri Elders on our university studio projects, teaching the next generation about the need for truth-telling and Indigenous engagement in our built environment . We are aiming to commence offering traditional owner engagement  across all our new studio projects going forward

To help our clients work towards minimising their carbon footprint and achieve over 6-star energy ratings in their homes or equivalent in commercial buildings, we have developed processes for embedding sustainable design in all our work. These include checklists and costing processes to assist with incorporation of;

  • Passive sustainable design principles – getting the orientation, natural ventilation and daylight right is one of the best ways you can ensure your building performs at its optimum with little additional cost. Getting this wrong from the start really penalises a buildings performance for its entire life!
  • Solar panels – with battery storage increasingly popular – and / or solar hot water
  • Active sustainable energy systems can be considered, including heat pumps, co-gen and domestic wind turbines
  • Rainwater recycling and grey-water recycling, both for garden use and for flushing toilets
  • High levels of thermal insulation to walls and ceilings, minimising cold bridging, and insulation of sub-floor and slab edges
  • Selection of either ‘zero-clearance’ downlights or surface-mounted lights to eliminate insulation gaps
  • Cross-ventilation, high-level ventilation, night-time purge and ceiling fans work together to naturally cool
  • Smart building systems to optimise energy saving performance at different tines of the day and night
  • Selection of materials for low embodied energy and low-VOCs (volatile organic compounds)
  • Option to design to Passivehaus Standards
  • A commitment to our design ethos that sustainable design is not tied to any single design aesthetic, and must be embedded in all our designs.

We believe in giving back to the profession; in an ethical care for the generation of young architects to follow,  and setting examples to help a diversity of young people  become our future architectural leaders. We commit to teaching at university in Melbourne and are regularly teaching at;

  • Melbourne School of Design, Melbourne University

We also regularly assist with design critiques at;

  • Melbourne School of Design, Melbourne University
  • RMIT Architecture
  • Monash University Architecture