Alexandra Buchanan Architecture

Our clients are at the centre of our projects & we encourage participation and involvement in all stages of the design process.


With studios in Brisbane & Melbourne, we promote a highly collaborative studio environment. Our team has a diverse skill set that bring their unique experience to each of our projects. Each project is individually crafted to compliment the site and to meet the needs of our clients & users. Our portfolio includes a highly diverse range of typologies & landscapes ranging from individual residential dwellings, heritage buildings, off-grid houses & eco cabins, bespoke commercial fit-outs, multi residential, public buildings and urban spaces.

Our Process

We start each project by learning about your unique story and your lifestyle – your favourite season, time of day, in the belief that residential architecture should speak to you, and how you as an individual and as a family want to live and be in your space.

We explore, test & challenge the brief with you – as well as the peculiarities of your site and its context – to ensure every project is unique, highly considered and intricately tailored to you and its context.

The building process is like an iterative funnel that requires various skills to lean into the team at various stages to inform the design as it develops. Our role in this aside from designing for you is to share our wealth of contacts and experience to ensure we have the right people lean in to join you on your journey.

If you want to learn more about our process, view our studio’s introductory brochure here.


Understanding you, your brief, budget & the context of your site.



Exploring all of the possibilities and opportunities with you...


Design Development

Getting Specific, how do you want each space to work for you.



Connecting you with our preferred collaborators to manage your budget & ensure quality.


Construction Documentation

Finalising & describing the detail.


Contract Administration

Taking care of you while on site.


Our Team is Passive House Accredited

What does this mean

Certified Passive House is a growing trend in Australia but what exactly does that mean and why are people embracing this voluntary building standard?

A passive house is one that delivers a healthy indoor environment that is comfortable in temperature and humidity, while using very little energy. Originating in Germany in 1990 where it is known as Passivhaus, it is already widely used across Europe and, while a relatively new idea here in Australia, very much a growing trend due to its many cost and health benefits.

Benefits for you

While some people think of a Passive House as one where all the windows and doors are never opened, it is not an enforced sealing up of a building, in fact quite the opposite. You can open the doors and windows when the weather is nice and close it up when it is too hot or cold – essentially live like you usually would. The difference is when it is uncomfortable outside and the house is closed, it is sealed, and you are getting the optimum indoor environment when it comes to health and comfort.

How it works

Our Passive House Accredited Team will lead you through the full spectrum of sustainable solutions to embed in our design vision, whether that be for a full accredited Passive House or a lighter touch sustainable approach that responds to your site & budget constraints.

We are working to offset our carbon footprint, and we can offset yours too.

Sustainability Strategy

We have prepared this sustainability strategy as part of our ongoing commitment to take our responsibility seriously & to make a positive impact on the Built Environment.

We acknowledge as Architects that we have an ethical responsibility to reduce our impact and educate our clients in the process as we acknowledge the Climate Emergency we face globally.

The Australian Government has an objective to achieve a 50% reduction in emissions on 2005 levels by 2030. In the Construction industry water heating, electricity & power, site waste & materials have a significant impact on any decisions we make to reduce the impact of our buildings.

​Carbon Neutral Business

To reduce the impact of our business we will Self Certify through the company No Co2

​Design Considerations

Our Process Considers the fundamentals of Passive Design alongside Sustainable technologies:

Site Analysis

  • Understand the underlying Site conditions to reduce cut and fill
  • Understand and Map Solar orientation, breezes, existing bio-diversity and natural water courses.
  • Retain existing vegetation where possible.

Concept Design

  • Layout to consider reuse of existing structures
  • Layout to maximise Passive Solar Design – North Orientation
  • Layout to maximise Natural Ventilation
  • Layout to enable Structure that minimises cut and fill
  • Layout to consider Biophilia impacts

Design Development

  • Consider structure and materials to minimise embodied energy ( without compromising thermal mass for energy efficiency )
  • Consider recycled materials
  • Consider recyclability / re-use of materials / end of life
  • Consider durability / trade off for higher embodied energy
  • Consider the de-materialisation of materials – expose / express structure. Consider how the design can regenerate the land
  • Consider Life Cycle Analysis by measuring  Embodied Carbon and consider Low Carbon alternatives vs Cost and Durability, Chain of Custody and Transport Costs
  • Complete NATHERS / GreenStar / BASIX to achieve the highest rating possible
  • Ensure that any active heating and cooling is all Electric and Carbon positive through the inclusion of Rooftop Solar and Battery storage
  • Use Heat Pumps with Solar Hot Water
  • Allow for EV charging


  • Ensure the building is constructed to be air tight with designs for condensation management
  • Ensure the builder is recycling materials
  • Ensure the builder is not swapping out materials for less sustainable alternatives.
  • Ensure Post Occupancy evaluation is measured at the one year post occupation mark


  • Continue to collaborate with Industry Leaders to solve the problems together with a Systems based approach.
  • Continue to listen, learn and share knowledge openly.