The Architect who designed a Passive House | Interview with Talina Edwards, Talina Edwards Architecture - Episode 11 (Season 8 - A SIMPLE GUIDE TO A SUSTAINABLE HOME)


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Talina Edwards, of Talina Edwards Architecture, is the architect on the Owl Woods Passive House project.

This project didn’t start out as a Passive House, and Talina didn’t start the project as a Passive House Certified Designer … but that’s what she is now, and that’s what the house is now.

I think you’ll learn a lot from hearing how Talina talks about the process of working with a client, understanding their wants, needs and aspirations for their home and her responsibility in bringing that to life … and how she’s worked collaboratively with the client and other team members to deliver this family their forever home.


Let me introduce Talina Edwards to you, and Talina Edwards Architecture.

Talina Edwards Architecture: elemental design studio is passionate about creating healthy, beautiful, functional, comfortable and sustainable architecture. The practice has a passion for design that improves people’s lives – for residential, community and commercial clients. Talina strongly believes that high quality design of our built environment has many positive impacts for people and the planet.
Talina established her Architectural Studio in 2013 after more than a decade of working as a registered architect with Melbourne practices who excelled in sustainable architecture. Talina recently became qualified as a ‘Certified Passive House Designer’, which is an international standard to deliver the healthiest, highest-performing and lowest-energy buildings in the world. The standard is heavily based in building-physics for proven performance. Talina embraces this scientific, rational and practical side of architecture, as well as the more creative and intuitive approach to design. She employs a holistic and collaborative approach that is responsive to the whole picture, whilst including careful consideration of all the small, important details. She is very interested in how the principles of biophilic design can be applied to architectural projects to improve our wellbeing by connecting to nature. Talina recently attended the ‘Living Future Institute’ 2018 symposium and is committed to this ideology, which aims to redirect our future towards a society that is socially just, culturally rich and ecologically restorative.
Talina is hugely engaged in her local community, in the architectural community and the sustainable design community as well. She is an active member of several industry organisations, and a huge advocate for her local professional community.

Talina loves sharing her love of all things elemental design (green buildings, sustainable architecture, healthy homes and natural living) by writing articles, exhibiting at Smart Living and Building expos, and giving presentations to her community.
On the weekends, she loves spending time amongst nature with her partner, children and playful puppy – as Talina knows this is the best way to slow down and re-connect and maintain a sense of wellbeing.

In this episode, I ask Talina ...

  • How do you describe Passive House to people who ask?
  • Tell me about what happened when the clients, David and Yvonne, first approached you for this new home ... discussing sustainability measures, design etc ... how did that go?
  • One of the things that’s been interesting about Owl Woods Passive House is that it didn’t start its journey as a Passive House did it? Can you explain more about that?
  • When did Passive House start becoming part of the conversation? Who drove that?
  • What was your aim for the design initially, as the clients briefed you on what they wanted, etc ... and then as it became a Passive House? Talking through the ideas, the pavilion style, designing a home for people who will have older children who'll leave and come back, etc.
  • Since starting this project, you’ve achieved your Passive House design certification - why?
  • David spoke about how they went about the process of finding you, and then have really sought to trust you, and seek your support as they move through the project. It appears you've created a really trusting relationship, and a collaborative one. How do you think that has happened?
  • As an architect, who has come from a sustainable design point of view, to now move into this area, what have been your key learnings about what’s needed to get this right?
  • Do you think you need to be a specific type of architect to tackle this area of design? It seems very technical to an outsider.
  • Have you found any of this limiting for your creativity?
  • I had a client joke with me that seeing homes we’ve designed get finished must be like seeing our children grow up and leave home ... what are you most looking forward to in seeing this home finished?

If you’re wondering what it’s like to design a Passive House, or work collaboratively with an architect for your new build or renovation, this episode provides great insight, tips and strategies to get it right.

Listen to the episode now.

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