Jenny wins Clem Cummings Medal

You’re used to mostly hearing Jenny’s voice on this blog, but today this is Lead Architect Sarah speaking, on behalf of the Light House team.

We’re so very proud to announce that Jenny picked up a significant award at the ACT Australian Institute of Architects Awards on the weekend. The Architecture Awards are tightly contended with limited categories and prizes up for grabs, so receiving recognition is incredibly humbling.

This year, Jenny was awarded the Clem Cummings award for “outstanding contribution to architecture and the built environment.” This is the only award of the year that generally goes to a non-architect for contributions to architecture and the public interest. Jenny had no idea that she was the recipient so we thoroughly enjoyed her emotional surprise! She claimed that “I had dreamed of winning this award but not for another ten years!” (She adorably carried the award around with her most of the night.)


This recognition from our local community of architects is a humbling acknowledgement of what we, as a team, get to experience every day. Jenny’s unique building science background, combined with science communication and business skills, enables us to produce evidence-based design solutions for not only our direct clients, but also to the general public and industry, in the form of advice and events. We simply couldn’t do this without her and we’re excited everyday to turn up to a job that allows us to do this meaningful (and measurable) work. Congratulations, Jenny.

Below is the citation that was delivered with the award:

Jenny Edwards is the trail-blazing, lead scientist, non-architect, sole director of award-winning collaborative firm Light House Architecture & Science (formerly known as Jigsaw Housing).

Her contribution to the development of architectural knowledge in the field of affordable sustainable residential design is outstanding and she regularly undertakes public education campaigns championing sustainable architectural design.

Jenny has a Masters degree in science and is an ACT licensed Building Energy Efficiency Assessor. She introduced the ACT region to building envelope testing techniques of thermal imaging and air leakage testing. Since 2009 she has been conducting theoretical building-envelope testing using thermal performance simulation software, and doing physical building-envelope testing, for air leakage and insulation integrity, using the fan depressurisation method (blower door) and thermal imaging. She has used her professional expertise and research to optimise, test and retrofit several hundreds of Canberra homes and provides regular input to policy development with respect to sustainable design.

Jenny’s former energy efficiency consulting business – Scinergy – won the ACT Sustainable Cities Energy Innovation Award in 2010 and Light House won this award again in 2016. In 2015 she won the 'Outstanding in Industry' award from the ACT branch of the National Association of Women in Construction.

Jenny is often a guest lecturer to University of Canberra architecture students. She maintains an informative online blog, is regularly interviewed on radio and published in magazines, and co-administrates the popular online resource My Efficient Electric Home. Her own home is a case study project designed by the Light House team of architects and scientists and includes several data loggers collecting performance information.

Jenny always stresses that the first step to energy efficiency is good design and encourages people to engage architects to assist them. She’s an energetic supporter of Solar House Day, Sustainable House Day and Design Canberra and is a passionate energy efficiency and sustainable housing advocate.