Sarah Lebner is an architect connecting regional people with low-carbon homes.
Learn more about low-carbon homes, and sustainable and regional design here.
This is Part 1 of my conversation with Sarah Lebner from Cooee Architecture (formally Principal Architect at Light House Architecture and Science).
Hello! This is Episode 260, and in it, I’m speaking with a dear friend of Undercover Architect, Sarah Lebner.
If you’re a long time listener of the podcast, you may remember Sarah Lebner from my conversation with her, and Jenny Edwards, from Light House Architecture and Science. It was one of our most downloaded episodes that year, and I’ll pop a link in the resources if you haven’t listened to it yet.
Sarah has recently moved home with her family, and moved on from Light House Architecture and Science, and has new adventures to share with us. And, in true Sarah-style, she’s also got loads of clever wisdom and experience to share that will benefit your project.
This is a great conversation over this episode and the next, and especially for those of you who are interested in low-carbon homes, or wanting to create a sustainable home, or are building or renovating in a regional location, or simply want some actionable and practical advice for your project.
Now, let’s dive in!
Now, as I mentioned upfront, Sarah has been a guest on the “Get it RIght” podcast before. Sarah is an architectural colleague I’ve never had the chance to meet in person, but as can be the case these days, we are in connection with each other virtually on a regular basis.
She’s a fantastic advocate in and for the architectural profession, particularly focussing on sustainable design. She also does a huge amount of work to support graduating architects through her book “101 Things I Didn’t Learn In Architecture School: And Wish I Had Known Before My First Job” and her side business, My First Architecture Job.
In fact, in 2020, Sarah was awarded the Australian Institute of Architects’ National Emerging Architect Prize. The prize recognises an individual emerging architect’s contribution to “architectural practice, education, design excellence and community involvement, which advances the profession’s role within the public arena.”
Until 2022, Sarah worked in Canberra as the Principal Architect at an interdisciplinary firm, Light House Architecture and Science. Here she worked under nationally recognised building scientist, Jenny Edwards, and they focused on achieving high levels of energy efficiency while studying affordability and buildability.
Sarah has returned to her family farm in Tooma, NSW, to focus on providing leading sustainable design services to regional people and communities.
In returning to the family farm in Tooma, Sarah established Cooee Architecture in 2022.
Cooee is a uniquely regional Australian word. It originated from Aboriginal language(s), was adopted by European settlers, and is used widely today to call out to someone in a remote setting. Sarah is calling out to regional Australians to join her in working towards zero-carbon regional homes and building great lives within them.
Tune into this conversation and also Part 2 in the next episode, as we dive into hearing about the way Sarah is shaping this business to work with her regional clients, the principles you can adopt for sustainability in your future home, and specific ways to think about renovating vs building new.
We also talk about low carbon homes, house size, designing for farms and the special considerations that can involve, and so much more.
This video was produced as part of Sarah winning the National Emerging Architect Award in 2020 – she’s heavily pregnant with her second bub!
In this episode, I ask Sarah questions such as:
- A bit about her background, and how her new practice, Cooee Architecture, came to be
- The main differences between those doing projects regionally, vs urban and suburban locations
- The 18 intentions set out by Cooee Architecture, how and why they were chosen, and how they shape a client’s experience and project
- Working with clients to create low-carbon homes, and carbon-zero homes (over their lifetime) through certified lifecycle analysis
LISTEN TO THE EPISODE NOW.
Cooee Architecture >>> https://www.cooeearchitecture.com.au/
18 Intentions (on the Cooee Architecture website) >>> https://www.cooeearchitecture.com.au/18-intentions
Sarah shares great tips on Cooee Architecture’s Instagram account too >>> https://www.instagram.com/cooee_architecture/
Check out Season 10 Interview with Jenny Edwards and Sarah Lebner >>> Season 10 Episode 4
(We rebooted it with some extra information in our 2021 / 2022 Christmas season) >>> Episode 223
Access the support and guidance you need to be confident and empowered when renovating and building your family home inside my flagship online program >>> HOME METHOD
Learn more about how to get started with your home design with the Happy Home Design mini-course >>> HAPPY HOME DESIGN
Access my free online workshop “Your Project Plan” >>> YOUR PROJECT PLAN FREE WORKSHOP