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ED22 DECEMBER 2019



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Issue 22



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Contents Why Intersect? 01. Project Matters

- Elwood Residence

- Yamaha Music Australia

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02. InterVIEW: Peter Serpell

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03. Design Matters

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04. Planning Matters

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Industry Thank05. you to Matters 06. Business Matters our sponsors

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07. Job Matters 39

Intersect is taken from the word Intersection – a point at which two lines or surfaces meet, and represents: + The INTERSECT-ion of disciplines + The INTERSECT-ion of past, present and future + The INTERSECT-ion of form and function + The INTERSECT-ion where industries meet.

of Victoria appreciates the support and assistance of our sponsors.

Sponsors Matter Design Matters appreciates the support and assistance of our sponsors and partners.

Holiday Closure Design Matters office will close over the Christmas break from 12 noon Friday, 20 December 2019 and re-open Monday 6 January 2020.

DISCLAIMER

We take this opportunity to wish all Members and Sponsors, staff and families, all the best for the festive season and a happy, healthy, and prosperous year in 2020.

Publication of an article or inclusion of an advertisement in this edition does not infer that Building Designers Association of Victoria Inc trading as Design Matters agrees with the views expressed, or message conveyed, nor does it imply endorsement of products. In addition, Design Matters does not accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. No content may be reproduced without the written permission of Design Matters. Requests should be lodged to The Editor, at info@designmatters.org.au. ďťż

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01. Project Matters: Elwood Residence



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“Complete with double-storey glazing and modest and understated colours and materials palette, the living and outdoor spaces offers an abundant amount of space to not only entertain but to come home relax and unwind. The end result, an immensely private, inviting and light-filled alluring space.”

01.Project Matters: Elwood Residence

Winner Residential Best Small Lot ++ A timeless outcome which preserves its Victorian era legacy and breathes new life into the home ++ Polished concrete in conjunction with the two-storey double glazed windows utilises passive thermal techniques to warm and cool the home ++ 2-storey glazing separates the living from the courtyard and guides light into the new internal areas Successfully linking past and present, the Elwood Residence’s timeless façade conceals an innovative and contemporary extension that brings the home into the 21st century through a combination of concrete, steel and glass. Designed by Drake Design, Elwood Residence’s narrow site in one of Melbourne’s inner-city suburbs was maximised to create significant internal space for a growing family, including the introduction of an internal courtyard to bring natural light into the new areas. When purchased, the existing building at the Elwood site was a small run-down Victorian style house in a desperate need of attention, revive and transformation. A tired facade was the frontage that led to two bedrooms and just a small living and kitchen area, that simply didn’t satisfy the needs of the client. They envisaged a design that could see their family grow and spread, and not be hampered by the compact size of inner city living, all the while restoring Elwood Residence to its status of classic grandeur at the front and adding a striking contemporary design to the back. The Elwood Residence site is positioned in a north-south direction on a tree-lined street near the bustling Elwood Village. It is located moments away from shopping boutiques, cafés and eateries, prestigious schools and in close proximity to beaches, parks and recreational spaces. From the front the site is situated between single-storey and double-storey residential dwellings and to the back has secondary access via the additional rear lane ROW. Maximising the footprint on the site for a two-storey dwelling not only on a boundary but on a deep allotment while trying to direct desired northern light deep within the home’s footprint was always going to prove a challenge. However, strategic design and analysis was utilised to find an effective and successful solution.

Entering the home gives way to a long hallway where soaring ceiling and hardwood floors lead to reconditioned bedrooms and bathrooms down to a new kitchen/living/dining at the core of the ground floor level From here, towering glass doors extend the living outdoors to a sundrenched courtyard. The courtyard creates an immensely private space for the family that reasons a sense of seclusion from the outside bustling world just steps away from the home’s front door.



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01. Project Matters: Elwood Residence A steel stringer staircase leads to the upper floor, where the third bedroom/multipurpose room, study area and master bedroom with ensuite are located. The Elwood Residence’s footprint has been almost entirely maximised to produce great internal spaces. By recessing the dining and kitchen footprint ever so slightly the provision for a courtyard was allowed. The selection of 2-storey glazing to separate the living from the courtyard, then guided the abundant light far into the space, penetrating the entirety of the new internal areas. The first-floor void allowed for further light to infiltrate the home from the skylight to below. The built form of the home’s frontage has been entirely unchanged and undisturbed by the contemporary addition, while the tired Victorian façade has been completely re-established, continually paying homage to the era. The contemporary extension completely contradicts what came before, while being unimposing and recessive from the street view but striking from all other aspects. In a time of rising energy costs, the selection of polished concrete for the flooring material of the ground floor in conjunction with the two-storey double glazed windows utilises passive thermal techniques to warm and cool the home. Thus, saving future heating and cooling costs for the inhabitants as well as promoting easily maintainable and sustainable design. Using recycled materials and existing walls such as the adjacent brick structure as a feature for the courtyard, also saved on additional material and construction costs and helped to link the existing with the new in a successful way. The addition of the upstairs area provided more than ample space to allow the family to live and grow for many years to come.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Designer:

Drake Design

drakedesign.com.au Builder:

Liefting & Merlo Homes

Energy Rater:

Northern Environmental Design

Structural Engineer: JT Consulting Engineers Building Surveyor:

All Australian Building Permits

Soil Testing:

Hardrock Geotechnical

Photographer:

Impress Photography Pty Ltd

MAJOR SUPPLIERS FOR THE PROJECT

Colorbond Dulux Fielders Boral

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“Elwood residence is designed to completely maximise the sites footprint and quite literally push the design to the site’s boundaries, creating light filled inviting spaces and a sense of seclusion from the bustling world just steps away from the home’s front door.” Drake Design Elwood Residence



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01. Project Matters: Yamaha Music Australia ďťż

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“Yamaha’s new workspace is a stunning multi-functional and acoustic-controlled space which invites staff, clients and visitors to appreciate the beauty of intricately made musical instruments from the moment they enter.”

01. Project Matters: Yamaha Music Australia

Winner Non-Residential Interior Design ++ The main inspiration for the design were the beautiful Yamaha instruments which were incorporated into the design in a gallery-like fashion ++ Every surface had to be evaluated so as it would fulfil the function of the space ++ The solution sound required building rooms within rooms, creating sound buffers in false floors and ceilings Stepping into the office of Yamaha Music Australia is like stepping in to a musical sanctuary. Inspired by the sophisticated shape of Yamaha’s instruments, STUDIOMINT has created an impeccable interior design that not only reflects the brand, but heroes its products as works of art. The inspiration for this project was drawn from Yamaha’s deep music roots combined with Japanese influence. The multi-faceted space allows for a modern office environment, to work amongst auditoriums, sound recording studios, an AV theatre, and to top it all off, a grandiose entry/events space to welcome guests. The main project challenge was to design a multi-faceted space which had competing acoustic demands. This included a large 90 person open-office environment that shared space with an 80 person auditorium playing live acoustic and/or amplified music, an active silent music/sound recording studio, a silent AV theatre room and an events place that would be used within standard working hours. The project challenge was overcome through a clear understanding of each rooms acoustic requirements and extensive research into varied acoustic properties of building materials on the market. Every surface had to be evaluated to ensure it would fulfil the function of the space, but also did not compromise on the design. The magic happened, when we ran workshops between the client, acoustic consultants, materials suppliers and the design team, to effectively provide the final solutions. The building itself was a new standard pre-cast four (4) level commercial building without any acoustic treatment between floors, and presented as a blank canvas that had suggested a modern and slightly industrial aesthetic, which beautifully contrasted the inspired design of a refined musical instrument. The rear common concrete wall of the building, became a conductor of sound and posed the main challenge to meet the acoustic requirements. The main front environmentally friendly windows allowing natural light and air into the space, were not sound-friendly posing another challenge to creating a recording studio that was positioned toward the street.

The solution for sound was overcome by building rooms within rooms, creating sound buffers in false floors, ceilings and exceptional wall insulation. STUDIOMINT used a layering system of sound-proof curtains to treat the windows that faced the street. During the build, there was access to only one lift at a time so coordination of materials to site and storage needed to be a well planned and considered process. Delivery of the materials were scheduled and delivered through the stairwell… the new staircase had to be craned in through the windows! The main inspiration for the design was the beautiful Yamaha instruments, the aesthetic of which STUDIOMINT implemented throughout the design including a gallery-like fashion as precious works of art. The display, events/entrance area, music studio and breakout areas celebrated their magic of music. The primary feature was not one area or a material application, but the experience of leaving the elevator doors and stepping into a musical sanctuary. The combination of the grand piano, warm flickering of the fire place, and the historical instruments in the glass displays evoke ones journey through Yamaha’s brand history. The importance of supporting local manufacturers was taken into consideration when looking for products, as this not only benefits our local industry, but also reduces the carbon footprint of the goods being delivered to site. Use of natural timber with natural stains allowed for ease of upkeep, and future instances where they would have the ability to be sand down and refurbished, changing the whole aesthetic of the space if need be. The final result, was one that that fulfilled the functional brief, assisted in brand evolution and allowed tenants to flourish. 

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Designer: STUDIOMINT studiomint.com.au Builder:

DLL Contracting

Project Manager:

Kontract Interiors

Interior Designer:

Harry Nguyen, Ling Gui, Alla DeLion

Building Surveyor:

Alexander Group Building Surveyors

Photographer:

Peter Clarke Photography

MAJOR SUPPLIERS FOR THE PROJECT

Autex Eastern Commercial Furniture Havwoods Laminex Screenwood Keystone Ceasarstone



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“Yamaha Music is a project that evokes positive memories long after its completion. Starting with a sophisticated client, knowledgable enough to challenge details, yet allowing creative design freedom.” STUDIOMINT Yamaha Music Australia



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02. InterVIEW



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02. InterVIEW

Peter Serpell Peter began his career in farming after completing a Diploma of Farm Management and Marcus Oldham College in Geelong. For over 30 years he and his family grew Raspberries (100 tonne/year!). With global warming having major impacts on the farming industry, he ceased raspberry farming in 2007 and retrained to be building designer from 2008 to 2010. Located just out of Myrtleford in northern Victoria, Peter also runs a cattle farm with his wife of 35 years. So he works from his farm office !

What is/are your favourite project/s that you have worked on, and why? Homes where I can encourage clients into passive solar design. I had a home that was being built on a farm, and even before it was finished, the builder commented how nice it was working in there in the middle of winter, with just the effects of the sun coming into the building.

To date, my biggest business/design challenge has been? My biggest design challenge is a project I am currently working on for a client on Norfolk Island. My client who currently lives locally had a dream to move to Norfolk Island, and mid year 2019 purchased 5 hectares in the middle of Norfolk Island. I had recently worked with this lady to solve problems in her current home caused by bad design and poor building practices. Among the many challenges encountered on this current project are no one does soils tests, little access to engineering on the island, only the local Norfolk pine available on the island, with structural certification and the logistics of shipping materials to the island via Auckland.

My favourite finish is? Currently I have friends that have built a straw bale/mudbrick home, and they are currently rendering the outside with a mix of local clay, mixed with lime and sand. The colour, a soft apricot, along with the imprefections give this a unique character.

The architectural style of the home I grew up in? The house I grew up in was post war brick veneer. It was well designed. All of the living areas had winter sun flooding into them, with a decent eave to protect us from the summer sun, and was well insulated.

My favourite international building is? The Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, in the Basque Country in Spain. Its free form digitised design by Frank Gehry captures your imagination by avoiding any straight lines. It is a place that I one day plan to visit.

My words of wisdom for a student building designer are? Be open to the wonderful array of building forms, and how they can work in the landscape.

When I was a child I wanted to be? Like many young boys I wanted to be a fireman. Growing up on a farm I had the opportunity of joining the local volunteer fire brigade and after more than 45 years I am still an active member.

Outside of work, I am passionate about? The environment. Still running a farm today, my wife and I have planted extensive areas of native vegetation, to encourage the local birds, insects and mammals. We share this passion with the guests we have staying with us in our B&B.

At the moment I am reading? Magazines and articles relating to good design.

My life in 4 words? Family, Community, Environment, Agriculture.

Cattlemans Hut

I joined Design Matters because? I joined Design Matters as a means of keeping up to date with regulation, new ideas on design and materials. It is good to exchange current projects that other members are involved in through our local regional meetings.

My favourite Australian building is? A collective of high country cattleman’s huts, they were built fit for purpose, to keep the weather out, and the people warm and dry using as much local materials as possible.

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Cattlemans Hut

View from the farm office window !

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Issue 22

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Taking care of your mental health

Pay nothing for regular dental check-ups, mouth guards, bitewing X-rays, scale and cleans and fluoride treatments at Members First Platinum dentists when you have selected combined Hospital and Extras cover (up to yearly limits).2

To support our members, we pay towards the cost of both psychology and counselling, at recognised providers, under our mental health category on most Extras and packaged covers.

Age-based discount on all Domestic Hospital covers

Corporate cover with great benefits

If you’re aged 18-29, you could be entitled to receive an agebased discount on your Domestic Hospital cover in addition to your current corporate benefits. The discount is calculated at 2% for each year you’re aged under 30, when you first purchase Domestic Hospital cover. 3

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03. Design Matters

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Issue 22

New qualifications and software updates all Energy Raters should be aware of 03. Design Matters

TPA Update New qualification

New report for AAO(s)

As of now, the new qualification, CPP41119 - Certificate IV in Home Energy Efficiency and Sustainability is the only one being offered to new students.

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Improved Advanced Search and Jobs performance

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Rewrite of object relational mapper (backend change)

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The old CPP41212 - Certificate IV in NatHERS Assessment, is considered ‘equivalent’ to the new qualification. All NatHERS Accredited Assessors must hold a Certificate IV in Home Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (Thermal Performance Assessment) (CPP41119) OR the old, but equivalent Certificate IV in NatHERS Assessment (CPP41212). FirstRate5 For those of you who are accredited in FirstRate5, we remind you of recent announcements on 7 & 8 November respectively.

Displays number of certificates generated in any given month(s)

Modified database indexes and queries to return results 20 times faster

To increase overall site performance

We will keep BERS Pro and Accurate Users informed whether the new reports that will be available for AAO could potentially see the end of your obligation to upload your files to our website.

Town Planning Consultants

There is a problem with how some folders are named in the AFRC Custom Windows library included in FR5 v5.2.11 (3.13). The problem relates to the fact that some manufacturers’ windows are contained in two folders because folders have been named in slightly different ways. If you are looking for a window from an affected manufacturer you may need to check both folders. SV has advised AFRC and will aim to include an updated custom windows library with our next software release. The FirstRate5 preview certificate has changed to enhance the security. Preview certificates generated on the FirstRate5 website will be converted to images and a greater area of each page will be covered by the preview watermark. These changes will increase the file size of a preview certificate to approximately 1 MB. These changes will not affect the production of the final purchased certificate in anyway. Hstar Portal For those who are accredited to use BERS Pro and Accurate, CSIRO reported on 7 November on the following improvements that schedule in due course: •

New certificate design for NCC2019 compliant software

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NCC2019 Generator has been built from the ground up

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New PDF(s) are significantly smaller in size

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Watermarks have been added as an additional security measure

Where Your Vision is Our Purpose 435 Nepean Highway Frankston Victoria 3199 03 8765 2455 info@townplanningco.com.au townplanningco.com.au 

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Issue 22

03. Design Matters

Member Benefits Program The Design Matters Member Benefits Program provides members access to a range of business and lifestyle benefits designed to help to support members at work and at home by saving time, money and resources. Benefits include discounts and exclusive offers from a range of service partners. New partners are added on an ongoing basis, For the latest partners and special conditions, visit the Members Only Area on the Design Matters website at designmatters.org.au

Industry and Business Tools Green Tag Certification 20% discount on Green Tag certification via EcoSpecifier. For details, please visit the Members Only Area of the Design Matters website. Advanced Tools Complimentary access to the advanced tools contained at www.efficientglazing.net established by the Australian Windows Association. For details, please visit the Members Only Area of the Design Matters website. Specification Template Packages 15% discount on SpecPack specification bases. For further information, visit www.specpack.com.au or call 03 9544 6545 Engagement agreement Template

Building Designers Engagement Agreement

This Agreement is available exclusively to Design Matters Full Members electronically and once purchased can be used multiple times. This Agreement may minimise your litigation risk and formalises your relationship with your clients. Future updates will be at an extra cost. All Full Members will be advised when there is an update. To purchase simply log into the Members Only Area of the Design Matters website, then click the Webshop. Members that are clients of Webber Insurance Services receive the Building Designers Engagement Agreement at no additional cost, directly through Webber Insurance. Office Supplies Design Matter Members can register for an Officeworks 30 Day Business Account and receive FREE delivery on all orders plus wholesale prices. For details, please visit the Members Only Area of the Design Matters website. Software and IT needs SellCAD is pleased to offer a wide range of products and services for Design Matters members at special member rates. Due to the sheer volume of products that are available to you, there are only a few popular products and services featured on the first page. They have everything you may need! If you can’t see what you need, call SellCAD on 03 9886 7322 or email orders@sellcad.com.au for your requirements. To access special pricing on your design and office software and technology needs visit: www.sellcad.com.au/bdav.asp Design Matters members can pay by EFT or Master or VISA card. Merchant fee offset is waived for Design Matters members. Got a VicSmart Planning Application and want a 10 day turn around*? VicSmart is the streamlined assessment process for straight forward planning applications in Victoria. Complete applications can get permits in 10 days*. Prepare your applications online via The Complete VicSmart Guide.

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Business Advice Tailored Insurance Solutions Webber Insurance Services offers Design Matters members access to a unique, tailored insurance solution for your requirements. To receive a quote email bdav@webberinsurance.com.au or call 1300 668 553. Members that are clients of Webber Insurance Services also receive the Design Matters Engagement Agreement at no additional cost, directly through Webber. Visit: www.webberinsurance.com.au/designmatters Accounting Services A complimentary one hour consultation for new clients on accounting, superannuation, taxation, business management, financial services, bookkeeping and anything else related. AS Partners Business Advisors App is now available for FREE This powerful new free Finance & Tax App has been developed by the team at AS Partners Business Advisors to give you key financial and tax information, tools, features and news at your fingertips. Download at the AppStore and Google Play Ph: (03) 8199 3000 Email: info@aspartners.com.au Web: www.aspartners.com.au



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Issue 22

03. Design Matters

Member Benefits Program continued Business Advice Town Planning Services Clause:1 is a specialised town planning consultancy dedicated to assisting property developers, architects, building designers, business applicants and other regular users navigate the increasing complexity of Victoria’s State and Local Planning Controls. Clause:1 offers Design Matters Members brief, complimentary consultations on planning issues. Ph: (03) 9370 9599 Web: www.clause1.com.au Legal Advice Design Matters legal partner Sinclair + May is pleased to offer Design Matters Members complimentary 30 minutes legal advice for new clients. To access this service please call the firm on (03) 9111 5660

Lifestyle Health Insurance Bupa have designed a unique corporate health insurance plan for Design Matters Members, to ensure Members get the most from your health & care partner. As well as great value corporate health insurance, you can look forward to: • 6 weeks FREE on selected combined Hospital and Extras cover. You pay your first month and we’ll take care of the next six weeks.* • Great member discounts to keep your mind and body active including gym memberships, movie vouchers and theme park entry. • Peace of mind, with 60% - 100% back (depending on the level of your extras cover) on extras services at Members First Dental, Physio, Chiropractic, Podiatry and Optical providers. For full details, please visit the Members Only Area of the Design Matters website. Save on your Energy bills Design Matters Members can save up to 38% on energy bills with Make it Cheaper. Energy is one of the biggest costs in most businesses and homes. Visit: www.makeitcheaper.com.au/landing/bdav or Call (02) 8077 0048 to compare Travel Insurance • Market-leading coverage • Real-time claim payments • No $ excess on all claims • Medical assessment isn’t required for preexisting medical conditions^

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For details, please visit the Members Only Area of the Design Matters website.



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04. Planning Matters

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Issue 22

Little bits that can make a big difference to your town planning outcomes

04. Planning Matters

Planning Tid Bits Merry Christmas Clause 1 Planning wishes all Design Matters members a safe and joy-filled Christmas break. We very much look forward to working with you again in 2020. CHMP: Small Lot Exemptions Can a large development site, made up of multiple small lots, utilise the ‘small lot exemptions’ contained in the Aboriginal Heritage regulations? This question was put to VCAT in Hartland Group Pty Ltd v Mornington Peninsula SC [2018] VCAT 1722 VCAT. The following provides a summary of the Tribunal’s findings: Practitioners will be familiar with the fact that a cultural heritage management plan (CHMP) is required prior to the issue of a planning permit for a development, or activity if: (a) all or part of the activity area for the activity is an area of cultural heritage sensitivity; and (b) all or part of the activity is a high impact activity Areas of cultural heritage sensitivity are mapped by the State Government and contained on property planning reports available from VicPlan. What constitutes a ‘high impact’ activity is defined by Regulation 48 of the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations, and includes (1) The construction of 3 or more dwellings on a lot or allotment is a high impact activity. (2) The carrying out of works for 3 or more dwellings on a lot or allotment is a high impact activity. So, the development of 3 or more dwellings on land identified within an area of cultural heritage sensitivity requires a CHMP. However, regulation 10, provides the following exemption: The construction of 3 or more dwellings on a lot or allotment is an exempt activity if the lot or allotment is— (a) not within 200 metres of the coastal waters of Victoria, any sea within the limits of Victoria or the Murray River; and (b) less than 0·11 hectares.

In the Hartland Group case, the proposal included the construction of seven dwellings over two lots. The land was not within 200 metres of the sea, coastal waters of Victoria or the Murray River. Each lot was approximately 840sqm, combining to provide a subject site of more than 1600sqm (0.16hectares). The permit applicant argued that because each lot was less than 1100sqm (0.11 hectares) no CHMP was required. Council argued the opposing position and sought to convince the Tribunal that the small lot exemption could not be applied, because the overall parcel (planning unit) was greater than 1100sqm. The Tribunal noted: 40 Mindful of the focus being on the lot or allotment in question, I agree with the Applicant that it should not matter whether a development area is comprised of one lot that meets the two limbs of regulation 10 or of more than one lot that each meet the two limbs of that regulation – the main thing is that each lot that comprises the area proposed for the development of 3 or more dwellings must meet the two limbs of the regulation. … 43 For these reasons, I find that the proposed activity the subject of planning permit application P18/0591 can rely on the exemption contained in regulation 10 and, as such, a CHMP is not required to be prepared in respect of that proposed activity… Cultural heritage management plans can be expensive and timeconsuming. However, the Hartland decision makes it clear that a CHMP may be avoided if your large development site is made up of lots smaller than 1100sqm. The Importance of Trees In July 2019 The Age newspaper published an article concerning the decline of trees in Metropolitan Melbourne, using research findings from a study by RMIT University. The article reported that in the 5 years between 2014 and 2018, a total of approximately 2000 hectares of tree cover was lost from the city. The eastern suburbs had lost approximately two-thirds of this, with the western suburbs gaining slightly in tree cover. The article then went on to



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show the difference in tree cover between 2014 and 2018 by metropolitan municipality. The greatest extent of loss appears to be experienced in outer suburbs such as Yarra Ranges and Mornington Peninsula. However, other outer areas such as Melton, Whittlesea and Wyndham had gains of between 1-2% over this time.

Banyule’s Residential Neighbourhood Character Policy at Clause 22.02 of the Banyule Planning Scheme also includes policy for planting requirements which go further to include:

The study found that the loss of vegetation could be attributed to: •

Urban redevelopment and homeowners’ clearing vegetation;

Possible species loss through intolerance to hot and dry climate conditions;

Regular applicants will know that issues such as; provision of land for landscaping within new development proposals, providing setbacks for landscaping and appropriate species choice, have come into closer scrutiny in recent years While many of the State’s Planning Schemes contain local planning policy to maintain, replace or increase landscaping through the planning permit process, many have no specific standards beyond ResCode Standard B13 at Clause 55.03-8 Landscaping Objectives and Rescode Standard A8 at Clause 54.03-6 Significant Trees Objective which both include:

Development should provide for the retention or planting of trees, where these are part of the character of the neighbourhood.

Development should provide for the replacement of any significant trees that have been removed in the 12 months prior to the application being made.

Pursuant to Clause 52.17 Native Vegetation, the Planning Scheme provides for offset planting to mitigate the ecological impacts of loss of native vegetation, but only on lots of greater than 4000 square metres, which excludes the majority of privately owned land in Melbourne. The offset planting is unlikely to be in metropolitan Melbourne due to limited land size and limited existing ecologically significant areas of vegetation to be protected or enhanced.

One (1) medium to large tree should be provided for every 400 sq.m of site area, with a preference for large trees. This may include existing trees that are worthy of retention. At least one of the large trees should be provided in the front setback.

Local policy at this clause also includes an application information requirement to provide a landscaping plan which considers the Banyule Tree Planting Zone Guidelines which set out standards for the planting of small, medium and large trees in new development sites, relative to lot area. Moreland City Council also have variations to the Schedule for their General Residential and Neighbourhood Residential Zones which specifies the requirement for:

A minimum of 1 tree should be planted in the front setback, in accordance with the Moreland Tree Planting Manual for Residential Zones, 2014 (General Residential Zones).

And

A minimum of 1 tree should be located within both the front setback and the secluded private open space of each dwelling, in accordance with the Moreland Tree Planting Manual for Residential Zones, 2014.

At the time of writing, Moreland City Council have Planning Scheme Amendment C189 under exhibition. This Planning Scheme Amendment proposes to direct specific tree planting outcomes in medium density housing by adding landscaping requirements within the Neighbourhood Residential Zone, General Residential Zone, Residential Growth Zone and Mixed Use Zone Schedules The proposed changes include: -

Update local policy to refer to the Moreland Tree Planting Manual for Residential Zones, 2019 and include policy to include planting in the front setback with at least one canopy tree, and planting of canopy trees in the secluded private open spaces of each dwelling in accordance with the Schedule to the Zone, and maximise opportunities for tree planting in side and rear setbacks.

- the Clause 55 Standard B13 for the General Residential Zone Schedule 1 to include the following requirement:

-

Amend the Schedule 2 to the General Residential Zone to include the following design objective:

Landscape plans will provide at least 1 large tree in the front setback

Ensure the design and siting of new buildings maximises landscaping throughout the site, including the retention of existing canopy trees(where practical) and the planting of new canopy trees and vegetation.

The structure of Victoria’s planning schemes provides the opportunity for specific landscaping standards to be inserted into the Schedules of the Residential zones. The schedules may vary Clause 54 and 55 (ResCode) standards for setbacks, site coverage, permeability, landscaping, walls on boundaries, private open space and front fences. In relation to Landscaping, an example is Banyule City Council which has varied:

-

The Clause 55 Standard B13 for the General Residential Zone Schedule 2 to include the following requirement:

Landscape plans will provide 1 tree for every 400 square metres of site area, including 1 large tree in the front setback.

Ph: 03 9370 9599 www.clause1.com.au 

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Issue 22

04. Planning Matters: Planning Tid Bits continued And to vary standard B13 to include a range of specific landscaping requirements including -

expected mature tree heights and canopy widths,

-

dimensions of a minimum permeable area to set each tree in

-

Shading of accessways to limit the urban heat island effect

-

Landscaping along accessways.

The provision of specific standards for landscaping gives greater certainty for planning permit applicants, where defined planting expectations assist in concept development and building envelope layout. This is the case particularly for canopy trees which generally provide the greatest public/neighbour offsite amenity. Frustration experienced by planning permit

applicants is often cause by uncertainty over the expectations of the Responsible Authority in relation to subjective or nonspecific provisions in Planning Schemes. While the standards described above are not mandatory, they are useful in defining an appropriate minimum standard giving confidence to Council, applicants and other parties that landscaping and tree planting is accommodated in new development proposals.

These tidbits are part of the regular contribution made by Clause:1 Planning to Intersect. For more information visit www.clause1.com.au

DESIGN MATTERS GOLF DAY 2020 6 March 2020 at Woodlands, Mordialloc

We welcome you to join us for our very popular Design Matters Golf Day on Friday 6 March, 2020 at the impressive Woodlands Golf Club. The cost for the day is $220 (inc GST) per player which includes: + 18 holes of golf + Green fees + State of the art facilities + Light breakfast + Complimentary drinks available on course (non-alcoholic) + Post game gourmet BBQ

Register Now www.golfdays.com.au/designmatters2020

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05. Industry Matters

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Issue 22

Does the energy efficiency of a new dwelling vary with the socio-economic status of the area in which it is built? 05. Industry Matters

CSIRO Research By Melissa James, Senior Experimental Scientist, CSIRO New residential buildings in Australia are subject to the energy efficiency provisions of the National Construction Code (NCC). When designed and built they must meet a prescribed minimum standard. Whilst this confers some protection to future occupants against poorly performing homes, in the interests of energy equity it is worth exploring whether the energy efficiency of dwellings being built in areas of lower socio-economic advantage differ at all from those being built in more socio-economically advantaged areas. It is more difficult and costly to maintain a comfortable and healthy temperature in a dwelling which is less energy efficient.

for areas (SEIFA) data, this study found that in Australia, new houses (class 1) planned to be built in more advantaged areas tend to have lower energy efficiencies than new houses planned to be built in less advantaged areas. On average, there was nearly one star difference between houses in least advantaged areas compared to houses in the most advantaged areas. This may be due to larger window/floor ratios in houses in the more advantaged areas.

Using Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) certificate data and Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) socio-economic indexes

The differences in star ratings varied for each State and Territory, see table below.

State/Territory

NCC Class

Min SEIFA (least advantaged)

Max SEIFA (most advantaged)

Star difference

p-value

Certificate count

Australia

Class 1

636

1181

-0.9

<0.0001

313,785

ACT

Class 1

1047

1171

0.3

<0.0001

3,963

NSW

Class 1

671

1181

-0.9

<0.0001

88,160

NT

Class 1

690

1110

-0.5

<0.0001

1,655

Qld

Class 1

636

1148

-1.3

<0.0001

50,644

SA

Class 1

743

1127

-0.1

0.0014

10,644

Tas

Class 1

811

1089

-0.3

<0.0001

7,174

Vic

Class 1

635

1160

-0.1

<0.0001

143,404

WA

Class 1

717

1168

-1.1

<0.0001

8,141 Source: CSIRO ďťż

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Issue 22

Energy Efficiency Ratings Through Good Building Design

Give your Building Design a competitive edge by using a Design Matters accredited Thermal Performance Assessor (TPA). With a Design Matters TPA you can be assured that they:

Design Matters currently represents over 60% of accredited assessors Australia-wide.

• are committed to quality work • are professionally trained and accountable to a code of conduct • maintain Professional Indemnity Insurance • have current industry knowledge through frequent communications and ongoing professional development • will limit your risk exposure. Choose a Design Matters Accredited Energy Rater for your next project. Visit designmatters.org.au or call us on 03 9417 0227 to find an Accredited Thermal Assessor from our listings.

Building Designers Association of Victoria Inc. trading as Design Matters 

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05. Industry Matters

Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings Source: COAG Energy Council On 1 February 2019 Energy Ministers agreed the Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings, a national plan that sets a trajectory towards zero energy (and carbon) ready buildings for Australia. The Trajectory identifies opportunities for the building sector in the context of a broader trajectory for the sector, and in summary proposes: •

Setting a trajectory towards zero energy (and carbon) ready buildings

Implementing cost effective increases to the energy efficiency provisions in the National Construction Code (NCC) for residential and commercial buildings from 2022

Update On 22 November 2019 Energy Ministers agreed to the Addendum to the Trajectory for Low Energy Buildings – Existing Buildings. The Trajectory Addendum is the second stage of the national plan for a trajectory towards zero energy (and carbon) ready buildings for Australia. It provides a suite of initiatives to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings in Australia, and in summary proposes:

the bringing together of data on existing buildings into a national dataset.

definitions of existing building subsets through the adoption of a segmentation approach with areas of key focus. Unlike new buildings, which are not yet built and do not have occupants, improving existing buildings requires consideration of a greater variation in building types along with the demographics of the occupants. An example of how this could be strengthened, is to use case studies to define the different building types and demographic segments.

Considering options for improving existing buildings in late 2019.

The Trajectory, and its underlying reports, seek to inform the future activities of the Building Ministers’ Forum and the Australian Building Codes Board when developing and implementing updates to the NCC, and to inform further Energy Council activities around building policy measures.

The Trajectory is the start of a longer process and improving existing buildings will take time. In commencing this process and conducting analysis for the report, it became apparent that a key challenge for assessing different policies is the data available for, and our understanding of, existing buildings. Going forward, there is therefore a need to strengthen:

Developing information, training and energy rating tools for households and businesses to enable greater understanding of energy efficiency options and applications. Developing and expanding targeted building policies, including disclosure of energy performance, minimum energy efficiency standards for rental properties, renovations and refurbishments, improving heating, ventilation and cooling, and energy productivity in government operations. Identifying and developing supporting measures, including specific measures for strata titled buildings, financial initiatives, appliance standards and labelling, specific measures for vulnerable households, a national dataset and collection process for existing homes, and other targeted initiatives.

Despite the challenges, the scale of opportunity is significant. There are more than nine million existing homes in Australia. The majority of these rate below 3 stars* under the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS). This large number of homes with poor energy efficiency provides a significant opportunity for improvement. Increasing the energy efficiency of existing homes will lower energy bills for households, contribute to energy security and affordability and reduce carbon emissions. It will also improve the comfort and health of households, save energy, reduce wastage for the wider economy, and assist in mitigating the risk of blackouts by lowering peak demand. The Trajectory and the Trajectory Addendum were developed closely with stakeholders to outline policies that deliver cost effective energy efficiency improvements to homes and businesses that lower energy * Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), 2019, Energy Rating—National Overview www.ahd.csiro.au/dashboards/energy-rating/energy-rating-nationaloverview/

The COAG Energy Council publication regarding this work (including the Trajectory, Addendum, and its underlying reports) can be accessed at: www.coagenergycouncil.gov.au/publications/ trajectory-low-energy-buildings



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Issue 22

05. Industry Matters

Australian Housing NCC Seminar Data dashboards Series The CSIRO have developed a suite of dashboards to help those involved in the residential building industry to get greater understanding of how we are going at moving our new dwellings and suburbs towards higher energy efficiency and lower emissions. The dashboards mainly utilise data gathered from the Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme’s Universal Certificates. A Universal Certificate is the assessment pathway that the majority of new dwellings in Australia use to comply with the energy efficiency requirements in Australia’s National Construction Code. Around 130,000 certificates are added to our database each year, and these dashboards are updated monthly. There are four dashboards available:

Registrations are now open for ABCB 2020 NCC Seminars. The Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) will be delivering presentations in all capital cities during March and April 2020. The 2020 National Construction Code (NCC) Seminars will focus on answering common technical enquiries concerning the application of NCC Volumes One and Two, and information relating to the changes contained in NCC 2019 Amendment 1. These sessions traditionally sell out so we encourage you to register now. Seminar fees are $160 (inc. GST) per online registration (merchant fees may apply). DATE/CITY

TIME/VENUE

6 March CANBERRA

13.30 - 16.30 National Convention Centre

11 March ADELAIDE

9.30 - 12.30 Adelaide Convention Centre

12 March BRISBANE

13.30 - 16.30 Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre

3. Construction These dashboards explore the type of floor, wall and roof construction systems employed around Australia as well as window types, insulation used and shading devices.

13 March BRISBANE

9.30 - 12.30 Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre

17 March MELBOURNE

9.30 - 12.30 Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

4. Fixtures and appliances These dashboards explore lighting, hot water systems, heating/cooling loaded and the update of PV systems,

17 March MELBOURNE

13.30 - 16.30 Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

18 March MELBOURNE

9.30 - 12.30 Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

19 March HOBART

13.30 - 16.30 Hotel Grand Chancellor

24 March SYDNEY

9.30 - 12.30 Australian National Maritime Museum

24 March SYDNEY

13.30 - 16.30 Australian National Maritime Museum

25 March SYDNEY

9.30 - 12.30 Australian National Maritime Museum

31 March DARWIN

9.30 - 12.30 Darwin Convention Centre

1 April PERTH

13.30 - 16.30 Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre

2 April PERTH

9.30 - 12.30 Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre

1. Energy Rating These dashboards show how the star ratings are distributed based on geographical boundaries including climate zones, states/territories, local government areas and postcodes, 2. Design These dashboards look at what design approaches have been used. Including building area, orientation and zoning.

The dashboards are interactive and contain filters and controls that allow you to customise the view.

Access the dashboards at: ahd.csiro.au/dashboards

Register now at: www.ivvy.com.au/event/NCC2020/home.html  32 For more information email: seminars@thisiscreative.com.au


06. Business Matters

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Issue 22

06. Business Matters

How is technology disrupting the construction industry ? Changing and advancing technology has affected many industries from taxis to hotels….. Uber,Ola, and other car-sharing apps are giving traditional taxi and livery companies a run for their money while Airbnb and online booking sites such as Expedia are doing the same for the hotel and motel industry. While the Architecture / Engineering / Construction industry is running well behind, it is ripe for the picking. Instead of relying solely on skills, blueprints, and a few tools to turn raw material into masterpieces, workers have new technologies available that will streamlines processes, making many construction projects quicker, easier, and more accurate. Here is a look at some of the more dramatic changes to technology and how each plays a role in the ever-changing landscape of the construction industry. BIM Building Information Modelling or BIM is perhaps one of the most notable of all technologies now used in construction. For virtual building models with extreme precision, this collaborative and drafting software is ideal. BIM serves yet another purpose. Engineers can store information on the design, construction, and maintenance of different structures, including roads, buildings, tunnels, and bridges. Overall, the BIM technology helps engineering specialists build complete projects digitally. Similar to a prototype part or component, the model gives builders and architects the opportunity to make changes before actually starting a project. There are multiple benefits to BIM. For instance, instead of using traditional design sketches and blueprints, builders, contractors, architects, and other people involved with a construction project can use the 3D rendering to see virtually every detail, including walls, doors, windows, appliances, plumbing fixtures, and interior and exterior surfaces. With everything combined, BIM gives people in the construction industry the opportunity to view a project before it’s physically completed. Using the rendering as a guide, this allows changes for changes to ensure a flawless outcome. Drones

concrete over ordinary material that tends to crack, pit, and flake over time. There’s even permeable concrete, which allows water to drain through it as opposed to pooling. Although not yet an option, one firm is trying to create engineering living materials. When this concept comes to fruition, it will allow for greener manufacturing processes and biologically sustainable buildings and other structures. 3D Printing Along with creating prosthetics, artwork, musical instruments, and more, 3D printing has become a valuable tool for the construction industry. Some companies claim they can print an entire house in just 24-hours at a cost far below conventional construction. As 3D printing becomes even more viable, it could have a direct impact on laborers. In their place, companies that adopt this revolutionary technology need skilled designers and software operators. Without using standard construction materials, 3D printing could cause a significant ripple for companies supplying timber, brick, rock, gravel, and other building materials. Accelerated speed, reduced cost, and precision design make 3D printing in the construction industry increasingly attractive, not only to builders but also consumers. Innovators around the globe are trying to change the method of designing and building homes and businesses. Digital Collaboration Tools There’s a significant volume of paper associated with the construction industry for things like drawings, invoices, meeting notes, contracts, and more. Thanks to technology in the form of digital collaboration tools, the amount of paperwork is decreasing. Not only do these tools eliminate unnecessary paper, but they also create an easy-to-follow communication and action trail. Using these tools, any authorized individual can view documents and determine who else has seen or changed them.

For surveying construction sites, especially those of significant size, drones prove extremely valuable. These unmanned aerial vehicles give builders, designers, and architects a bird’s eye view of projects without hiring a helicopter or airplane pilot.

There’s also a safety factor to consider. In case of a fire, the digitally stored information has full protection.

The price of a pilot’s service exceeds using a drone. With an initial investment of $500 to $1,000 per drone, most construction companies can afford to add at least one aerial vehicle to its arsenal of tools. Even start-up and smaller operations have no problem taking advantage of drones.

AR, the acronym for Augmented Reality, is beginning to play a more significant role in the construction industry. This technology places images over what is actually in front of the viewer.

Materials Technology has even changed materials science. As an example, construction workers can now choose self-leveling and self-healing

Augmented Reality (AR)

Wearing what looks like safety goggles, construction workers in the field can view “blueprints” while on the job, making it easier for them to create perfect structures.



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Robotics When it comes to labor-intensive jobs, nothing surpasses the construction industry. Working with heavy materials, tools, and equipment, people in this industry rely a lot on muscle. With robotics technology, laborers could receive assistance in handling certain objects and performing various tasks.

$

Experts agree it will be quite a while before humans and robots actually work as a team. However, when that time comes, robots can take over some of the more laborious work. Large capital projects typically take

...and are up to

20% longer to finish...

80% over budget,

and R&D spending in construction runs well behind other industries.

$ 4.5%

3.5%

<1% Construction

Auto

Aerospace

Note: Figure represents average percent of revenues

Large capital projects typically take

...and are up to

20%Higher longer todefinition finish... surveying and

80% over budget,

geolocation and R&D spending in construction runs well behind other industries.

5-D Building Information Modeling

<1%

Construction

4.5%

3.5% Auto

Aerospace

Note: Figure represents average percent of revenues Digital collaboration and mobility

The internet of things and advanced analytics

Transparency and risk sharing

in contracts Source: Mckinsey & Company – Imagining constructions digital future Digital collaboration and mobility

For the industry to do better it needs to internet embrace The of things and 4 principlesadvanced analytics

A recent report sponsored by Procore, a US based construction project management software company, examines the top challenges facing the construction industry today and how firms are leveraging technology to combat them. The 738 study participants—mostly contractors—hailed from the U.S. (42%), U.K. (22%), Australia & New Zealand (21%), and Canada (15%). Constructor’s Top Concerns The construction industry is changing, with projects becoming ever more complex whilst delivery times speed up. At the same time, there is an inherent skills shortage in the sector—in 2017, 89% of firms stated they are facing talent shortages, up from 53% in 2013. The construction population is also aging and contracting, with young people increasingly choosing other career paths and the majority of baby boomers exiting the industry over the next 10 years. Study respondents ranked their main concerns by the level of importance, and it emerged that the greatest worry is maintaining a safe job site, followed by attracting and retaining skilled labor and maximizing field productivity. According to the report, whilst “job site safety is being proactively managed, firms are making little headway in addressing field productivity or talent acquisition and retention.” This is definitely food for thought for the tech companies building solutions for the construction industry. According to the study, the majority of firms surveyed have formal software programs in place for project financials, project management, and safety or risk management, but less than half have the tech for equipment management and field labor management. The latter is especially salient, in an industry plagued by rising labor costs, stagnating productivity and a dwindling workforce. What do construction companies want?

Higher definition surveying and geolocation Future-proof design and construction 5-D Building Information Modeling

Challenges for the construction Industry

Return-on-investment orientation Simplicity and intuitiveness in the design of new solutions

The report makes a distinction between what construction companies look for when they invest in tech as opposed to when they are buying a solution. In the former case, they value solutions that will enhance speed and efficiency the most, whilst in the latter, they look for a good fit to their functional requirements. In both instances, they want something that is easy to use and cost-effective. We will be following developments in ConTech (Construction Technology) in upcoming issues of Intersect. For a copy of the full report email info@designmatters.org.au

Change management 

35


Issue 22

YO U K N OW B U I L D I N G

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Sketch Building Design Pty Ltd Photographer: Dana Beligan

BUILDING DESIGNERS • CONSTRUCTION • ARCHITECTS • ENERGY RATERS • ENGINEERS

W E B B E R I N S U R A N C E . C O M . A U / D E S I G N M AT T E R S designmatters@webberinsurance.com.au

• 1300 668 553

WEBBER INSURANCE SERVICES PTY LTD | ABN 88 648 036 929 | CAR: 413233 As Authorised Representative of Webber Insurance Group | ABN: 70 612 339 894 | AFSL: 488465



36


06. Business Matters

2020 Advertising bookings now open in Intersect Looking to expand your networks, engage with decision makers and showcase your products to the building design and construction industry? Advertise in Intersect to broaden your reach and engagement. Content is created and curated across key topics that matter to our readers from design innovations, planning matters, sustainability, best practice building design and construction, technology developments, industry updates as well as business management issues including HR matters.

Engagement 11 editions per annum • 3 editions printed • 11 electronic 22,000 copies circulated For more information on advertising opportunities please call us on 03 9416 0227 or email info@designmatters.org.au

Special rates fo r Design Matter s Membe rs

Podcasts & Videos Living Big in a Tiny House If you are entering the Small Home Big Life Competition, be sure to watch Living Big in a Tiny House series for great space saving ideas. This modern tiny house on wheels is sure to impress. In this video tour we explore the home’s clever design and some extremely unique features such as a raising bed and an amazing hidden shower! Watch on Youtube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0b9UHSr8ck&t=41s Visit smallhomebiglife.com.au for full details of the Small Home Big Life Competition. Registrations close 6 March 2020. 

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Issue 22



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07. Job Matters ++Architectural Draftsperson Full-Time/Part-Time

++Graduate Building Designer Seeks Entry-Level Draftsperson Position

Award winning building design company, Beaumont Building Design, is seeking an experienced architectural draftsperson to join their Wonthaggi office. Candidates will possess relevant qualifications and have experience in documentation of residential and commercial building projects. The ability to prepare production drawings from beginning to end using Revit drafting program is advantageous.

I will graduate in November 2019 from Swinburne University of Technology with an Advanced Diploma in Building Design. Whilst working part-time, I have continued to average over 85% in all subjects across both years. As a mature student, navigating a career switch from IT into Building Design has been both challenging and rewarding. Now proficient in Revit and AutoCAD - and with an excellent grounding in Residential and Commercial design, construction and drafting - I am currently seeking an entry-level Draftsperson position.

Please send your applications to ashley@beaumontbuildingdesign.com.au or call (03) 5672 5196 by COB Friday 13th December 2019.

++Experienced Drafter Revit Super Star We’re seeking an experienced Revit draftsperson who is as passionate about sustainable design as we are to join our Gruen Eco Design family. Minimum 5 years experience as a draftsperson/documenter required with a proven experience in preparing working drawings with Revit. Please email your resume to simone@gruenecodesign.com.au

Please call Elaine on 0417 943 174 or email elainesilver@optusnet.com.au

++Office based Energy Rater Required Consulting firm, located in Brunswick East, seeks a qualified and experienced Thermal Performance Assessor. Applicants must be accredited and committed to work in our office location. The job role is minimum 4 days per week. Great opportunity to expand skills and job fulfillment! Please forward your CV to admin@fraterconsultingservices.com.au

++Recent Graduate Seeks Employment Member who recently completed Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architecture) at Swinburne University. I have resonable proficiency with Revit and AutoCAD. Have completed working drawings, design details and town planning drawings, both residential and commercial. Would love the opportunity to work alongside experienced architects and designers so I can grow and expand my skills and knowledge. Please contact me via fab.hig@gmail.com or via 0402 907 188 for CV and portfolio.

++Draftsperson/Building Designer Seeking Employment Student member in my final year of studying the Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural) at Swinburne University. I have a reasonable proficiency with Revit and AutoCAD; have completed working drawings, design details and town planning drawings, both residential and commercial. Would love the opportunity to work alongside experienced architects and designers, and to grow and expand my skills and knowledge. Please contact me via ryanmn01@gmail.com or via 0422 190 365 for CV and portfolio.

07. Job Matters

New industrial manslaughter bill Australia’s highest work safety fine and the offence of workplace manslaughter were introduced to the Victorian Parliament on 29 October 2019 as part of the Workplace Safety Legislation Amendment (Workplace Manslaughter and Other Matters) Bill 2019. The Bill amends the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004. The Bill introduces the offence of workplace manslaughter under section 39G. Under section 39G, a person must not engage in negligent conduct that breaches an applicable duty owed to another person and causes the death of that person.

applies where there is a great falling short of the care that would have been taken by a reasonable person in the circumstances in which the conduct was engaged in, and involves a high risk of death or serious injury or serious illness.

TThe new laws will attract the highest penalty in the OHS Act, introducing maximum fines of approx. $16.5m for employers and jail terms of up to 20 years and fines of up to $1.65m for officers whose actions or omissions:

Under the new laws, senior officers of a company, sole traders and partnerships could be separately liable (in addition to the employer) where they are negligent by failing to take reasonable steps on workplace safety to prevent fatalities, including managing mental injury that leads to suicide.

cause the death of a worker or member of the public

involve a breach of an OHS duty

were negligent

The negligence standard is the criminal negligence standard and

The new laws will commence on a day to be proclaimed or 1 July 2020 at the latest, negligent conduct before the legislation commences may still be relevant for the purposes of prosecution if an organisation’s omission to amend unsafe work policies causes a workplace fatality post-commencement.  39


Issue 22

07. Job Matters

Sham contracting – The facts you need to know With more and more Australian businesses relying on a flexible workforce, protecting genuine employees from sham contracting arrangements has never been more important. But despite a recent crackdown from the Fair Work Ombudsman and Australian Tax Office, many employers continue to feign ignorance as to their responsibilities. Here’s what you need to know about sham contracting – whether you’re an employer or an employee. What is sham contracting?

Independent contractors Are engaged for a specific task, and decide how many hours are required to complete it

Sham contracting occurs when an employer treats an employee as an independent contractor when they’re not. They may require the employee to have an ABN and submit invoices for work done, and often rely on a contractor agreement to formalise the working relationship.

Have a high level of control over how the work is done, and may hire others to assist

Although some employers institute sham contracting agreements to avoid paying employee entitlements, it’s not always deliberate. But regardless of how the arrangement comes to be, it is illegal.

Are engaged to complete a specific task or for a specific period of time Bear the risk of profit or loss on each job. They also usually assume responsibility and liability for poor work or injuries sustained while completing the task, and therefore have their own insurance

Under the Fair Work Act 2009, an employer must not: •

Claim an employee is an independent contractor when they’re not

Make false statements to convince an employee to become an independent contractor

Pay their own superannuation (as a general rule)

Dismiss, or threaten to dismiss an employee for failing to agree to become an independent contractor

Pay their own tax and GST (as a general rule)

Dismiss an employee and then re-hire them as an independent contractor to do the same work

But how do you know who’s an employee and who’s an independent contractor?

Provide their own tools and equipment Have an ABN and submit invoices for work done or are paid at the end of the project Are not entitled to paid leave

There are a number of factors that set employees apart from independent contractors. These include:

It’s important to note there’s no single factor that determines someone as an employee or independent contractor. An employee can have an ABN and invoice for work done and still be an employee, while an independent contractor may carry out the same work as an employee. To make the right distinction, you should look at all the above factors in combination.

Employees

Why do people enter sham contracts?

Independent contractors vs employees

Work standard or set hours each week (casual employees’ hours may vary from week to week)

Some employers prefer engaging people as independent contractors in the belief that they can:

Perform work under the direction and control of their employer

reduce the overall amount of tax they have to pay;

avoid having to accrue for leave;

avoid paying superannuation; and

ignore the protections given to employees by law, such as for unfair dismissal, thereby creating a more ‘flexible’ workplace.

Have an ongoing expectation of work Bear no financial risk and are covered by their employer’s insurance Are entitled to superannuation contributions paid by their employer into a nominated fund Are provided with tools and equipment, or a tools allowance by their employer Have income tax deducted from their pay by their employer

Some employers also believe that it can reduce their payroll tax obligations and workers compensation premiums.

Are paid a regular income (weekly, fortnightly or monthly) Are entitled to paid leave – annual leave, sick leave, long service leave etc, or if a casual employee, receive loading in lieu of leave entitlements



40


If given the choice, some employees will prefer to be treated as independent contractors. This is mainly for two reasons: •

they may wish to structure their affairs in a way that reduces the amount of tax they have to pay; and

they may be able to command a higher rate of take-home pay than they could obtain as employee.

However, even where an employee wishes to be treated as an independent contractor, there are still risks for the employer. Minimum entitlements and general protections Because of their independent nature, independent contractors aren’t entitled to the same benefits as employees. However, they can negotiate things like leave and notice of termination in their contracting agreement. This doesn’t mean they’re without protection though. Under the Fair Work Act 2009 independent contractors and their principals are afforded limited workplace rights and are protected from adverse action, coercion and abuse of freedom of association – i.e. their right to engage, or not engage, in industrial activities. They can also ask a court to set aside a contract if it’s found to be harsh or unfair under the Independent Contractors Act 2006. Both employees and independent contractors may approach the Fair Work Ombudsman for assistance if they feel their rights have been contravened. Protecting workers’ rights Whether you’re an employer, employee or independent contractor, and are confused about workers’ rights and entitlements, you can contact the Fair Work Ombudsman for assistance. You can also visit their website to access fact sheets and further information. www.fairwork.gov.au What are the risks for employers?

Regardless of whether the issue ever comes to the attention of the authorities, if you ever intend to sell your business, this is an issue that any prospective purchaser (properly advised) will look at. If there is any risk that you have not paid the correct amounts or made the appropriate accruals, you should expect that they will take this into account when negotiating the purchase price. Conversely, if you ever buy a business, this should be a key area of focus to ensure that you do not inherit any unwanted risks or liabilities. In sum, employers should be extremely cautious before engaging anyone as an independent contractor. If the person falls on the wrong side of the employee/independent contractor divide, the arrangement could do far more harm than good in the long run. As an employer, it’s important you remember that ignorance of the law is no defence. Even if you’ve mistakenly distinguished someone as an independent contractor when they’re not, you may still be subject to penalties under the law. If you’re unsure of how to distinguish between employees and independent contractors, you should seek legal advice. Penalties Because sham contracting can result in employees being denied their workplace rights and entitlements, non-compliance is taken very seriously. Penalties include, but are not limited to a maximum penalty of $51,000 per contravention (as at the time of writing) and compensation payments to employees suffering any loss. Fair Work Inspectors may also apply to the courts for injunctions or interim injunctions if an employer attempts (or threatens) to dismiss an employee with the intention of re-hiring them as an independent contractor. An injunction in these circumstances would prevent the dismissal from occurring, or remedy the effects of the original action (the attempted or threatened firing). The courts may also make other orders to have the employee reinstated or compensated.

If you have ‘employees’, you must treat them as employees - for example, by paying the right amount of tax, by paying superannuation and providing leave, and by observing the unfair dismissal laws and other legislation giving protection to employees.

Ian Macleod is the CEO of the legal publisher RP Emery and Associates. They provide cost effective legal contract kits for Individuals, SME’s and the legal fraternity.

If you don’t, you can be required to remedy the situation and you can be fined.

www.findlaw.com.au/articles/5706/shamcontracting--the-facts-you-need-to-know.aspx

Sham contracting is prohibited by the Fair Work Act. Employers can be fined for breaches, independently of the other consequences they can face for breaching legislative requirements (for example, in relation to tax or superannuation).

www.turtons.com/blog/sham-contracting

A person whose engagement is terminated may have recourse to unfair dismissal remedies even if their contract says they are an employee. In addition, they may have claims for unpaid leave and superannuation if they have not been paid.

Greg Henry | Principal Greg is a principal at Turtons and a senior commercial lawyer who acts for a range of clients mainly in the construction and technology sectors. Greg advises on both transactional and contentious matters.



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