Our Commitment

At Trias, sustainability is fundamental to the way that we work. It is not an afterthought, nor a catchphrase, but a motivation to be more clever, more thoughtful, and more intentional with what we build.


We acknowledge that the construction industry makes significant contributions to worldwide carbon emissions. We choose to approach this reality consciously, and with energy and hope, to ensure our projects respond imaginatively to climate change.


Our goal is to make buildings that are architecturally ambitious, and yet remain socially and environmentally responsible. To us, these two ideals are mutually reinforcing and make for better buildings. After all, good design is good for people, and better for our planet – and, as architects, we readily work at the frontier of innovation.


We are relentlessly curious about the potential of emerging materials, technologies, and metrics. We instinctively seek efficiencies and enjoy understanding technical and operational performance.


At the same time, we recognise that certain sustainable ideals are timeless: that a local climate, community, or vernacular condition is often informed by generations’ worth of learned experience. We therefore seek to understand, and modernise, certain design traditions. We seek to be good neighbours, and we treat the sites we work on with respect, sensitivity and care.


With every project, we aspire to realise this commitment and expand upon our ever-evolving knowledge, ambitions, and ideals.


Our Approach

Our approach to sustainability is focused around four core principles. While their realisation differs with every project, we prioritise the following themes.

  • ABuild Less

    One of most impactful things we can do, as architects and clients, is simply build less. This may translate to a smaller home, a smaller built footprint, or a project with less demolition and waste.


    Every building material has latent, embodied carbon. We therefore begin projects by questioning how much we should actively build, and what we can seek to preserve. Building less results in less waste, less disruption, less transportation, and less cost. Then, once it’s built, a smaller home also encourages less cleaning, less maintenence, less consumption and less stuff. We therefore renovate when we can, and limit demolition to what is required.


    We recycle materials we find on site by reusing or appropriating them in new ways. This has often led to creative outcomes; it also keeps a layer of the site’s story alive which, in and of itself, is priceless.


    When purchasing new materials, we preference recycled materials, such as brick and timber, where we can. This also reduces embodied carbon, as we are reusing the resources we already have.


    Last of all, we work concertedly with our clients to find what it means to live with “enough.” We look for opportunities for flexibility, so our buildings can be more efficient and deliver better value for money. Together, we focus on seeking sufficiency  – on creating a project that is no more than it needs to be, and that doesn’t result in excess.

  • BBuild Better

    We embed sensible design thinking within our buildings, creating “good bones” that are climate-appropriate and well-constructed.


    Our projects always embrace passive design principles. We study our project sites, harnessing the warmth of the winter sun and the delight of a cool summer breeze, and we design each façade to be seasonally responsive.


    To create year-round comfort, we layer thermal mass, insulation, double glazing, and cross and stack ventilation. We collect rainwater and introduce plentiful natural light to minimise artificial lighting. These fundamental gestures reduce—and in some cases, eliminate—the need for energy-intensive heating and cooling systems.


    We advocate for quality materials that are responsibly sourced. We consider the energy it takes to produce materials, deliver them to site, and maintain them. Carbon-intensive materials are employed very intentionally and are used where they help stabilise internal temperatures and foster thermal comfort.


    Building better is a conscious choice that ultimately results in longer-lasting buildings. Better buildings are also a joy to inhabit.

  • CBuild Smart

    Building smart involves embracing emerging technologies and systems to optimise performance. This includes using active systems to provide power, heating and cooling.


    At Trias, we always advocate for all-electric buildings and proactively discourage the use of gas, a non-renewable fossil fuel. We are proud that most of our projects are operationally carbon-neutral, relying on a combination of solar panels, battery storage and heat pumps to create a closed loop, renewable system. We have also designed several projects that are fully off-grid. Our clients enjoy healthy and high-performing buildings by making these choices.


    We use smart, active heating and cooling systems that maintain stable temperatures throughout the year. We have employed and investigated progressive systems, including underfloor hydronics, chilled wall and ceiling panels, heat exchangers, and pellet heaters. We complete thermal analyses of many of our projects to ensure we optimise their systems.


    While building smart takes upfront investment, these commitments inevitably pay dividends within the short to medium term. Plus, it’s good for our planet.

  • DLiving with nature

    As a team, we value the natural world wholeheartedly. As a consequence, we do our best to respect the places and landscapes we inevitably impact.


    This begins with where, and how, we site our buildings. We do our best to retain significant trees and minimise land disturbances. We often keep buildings where they are and do what we can to promote good site drainage.


    Our designs almost always connect to landscapes, courtyards, and gardens. These draw light and air into our buildings and give them peaceful, green outlook. This approach enriches our clients, who can connect with the natural world as they live, work and rest.


    We consider air quality and indoor health by encouraging natural ventilation and preferencing low VOC products. Our buildings are breathable and can open and shut with the seasons. This also ensures our clients remain cognisant of their immediate climate.


    Our respect for nature also leads us to preference natural and renewable materials, such as cross-laminated timber (CLT). We are always seeking opportunities to use materials that connect to their place, so that our buildings feel part of their sites and landscapes.