The brief was to develop 2 existing house sites with 4 townhouses while minimising the impact on the environment. Our client Mick is a local who had lived in one of the existing houses, and wanted to make a contribution to the suburb he loves. Rather than use complex ‘active systems’ to meet the ESD brief, we took the approach that the DNA of the building needed to be based on a sustainable ideology. This was a two prong approach: the first was to engage a design and construction team who were based locally, cared about the area (a ‘think global, act local’ approach), and the second was to ensure that the building itself worked well ‘passively’ to minimise the need for air conditioning and artificial lighting – all without compromising the architecture. The outer residences have ‘traditional’ townhouse plans with living at the lower level and bedrooms upstairs.