ED19 SEPTEMBER 2019
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Contents Thank you to our sponsors
01. Project Matters
- Backbeach Project
- Magnolia Soul
of Victoria appreciates the support and assistance of our sponsors.
Why Intersect? 4
02. InterVIEW: Christina Zigouras
03. Planning Matters
04. industry Matters
05. Business Matters 33 Thank you to Job Matters 38 our 06. sponsors
Intersect is taken from the word Intersection â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 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.
DISCLAIMER 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 responsiblity 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. ďťż
01a. Project Matters: Backbeach
“ Backbeach Project sets the standard in low maintenance yet stylish living. It’s simple, refined design respects the environmental sentiment of the site while the second storey provides views of the thick coastal vegetation.”
01a. Project Matters: Backbeach Project
Winner Residential New House $300K - $600K Construction Cost ++ Low maintenance coastal living, minimising environmental impacts and improving energy efficiency ++ Simple and clean finishes create a pleasant space to live in ++ Robust yet simple material palette is bold yet restrained, showcasing simplicity
01a. Project Matters: Backbeach Project
To compliment the environmental sentiment of the site and its coastal location the Backbeach Project captures natural light, air circulation and draws on the use of low maintenance, sustainable materials in the achievement of budget conscious construction methodology. The design brief stipulated a strict construction budget for a young first home owner. With desires of achieving specific aspirational architecturally sophisticated aesthetics, the design needed to combine functional spaces within a small physical footprint all within a limited budget. Long term operational savings where desired which were to be addressed by key passive solar design and integration of systems to reduce environmental impact. Aesthetically the home needed to engage with the surrounding coastal landscape but also and provide a balance between protection from fickle coastal weather variations and prospect of views of the bay.
Sustainability is engrained in the design and is evident throughout the home. The double glazed triple stack sliding doors allow seamless connectivity to outdoor areas and optimal light penetration throughout the living areas. A combination of the large sliding doors and louvers facilitate cross flow ventilation throughout the home. A 900mm eave over hang ensures optimal shading during the summer months and solar absorption during winter. Integration of a 20,000 liter water tank and 3Kw Solar power system further reduce the homes reliance on mains utilities resulting in operational savings.
The 490m2 site is positioned at the rear of a three-lot subdivision, accessible by a long driveway to the north. Hemmed in by adjoining neighbours on all three sides and a public caravan carpark to the south, the need for privacy from all angles was paramount and dictated much to the design outcome.
With an enviable location only 20 meters from beach access, there was potential views from a second storey over adjoining thick coastal vegetation to the south and capture of sea breezes to facilitate cross flow ventilation.
Phillip Island Energy Rating
The form of the house is very deliberate. With small lot restrictions and council height limitations, the Beackbeach Project was designed over two levels and addresses key challenges of site size and orientation and adherence to budgetary constraints. The positioning of dual forms provides northern aspect to living areas whilst maintaining privacy via a private eastern outdoor entertaining area.
Building Surveyor: Gippsland Building Approvals
The well insulated and oriented lightweight timber design naturally respond to temperature variations via thermal mass to facilitate natural temperature control and is well suited to the Southern Victorian climate. By throttling the middle of the building two board volumes were created, which worked well on a small site that essentially has an unconventional orientation. The resulting design allows access to northern aspect and capture of natural temperature control.
MAJOR SUPPLIERS FOR THE PROJECT
Colorbond Silvertop Ash Radial Timber Trimdeck Therman
The design response has resulted in a fairly minimal primary form which sits cleanly within the landscape. The arrangement of 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and 2 living areas achieves functionality for a typical Australian home with a large outdoor protected undercover entertaining deck.
Innate in the design is a sense of space well beyond its physical footprint. An unassuming modular design and sustainable construction methods allow the clients to reap the economic benefits of 7 star living. The footprint of the design is T-shaped with an internal staircase axis creating connectivity to dual levels.
Essa Stone Reece
Tasmanian Oak Floorboards
The understated front faĂ§ade of the home aims to visually meld into the low lying existing tee tree encircling the site. Silvertop Ash shiplap cladding was chosen for its earthy effect when left untreated to naturally age. The combination of the design and use of timber aims to provide intimate, but not disruptive contact with the native site, recognising that nature has provided an enclosed space rather than a landscape vista. ďťż
This contemporary, functional home is a realisation of strategies to utilise every millimeter of space to the extent that deceptively small living spaces are enhanced through the transparency of the design. Beaumont Concepts Backbeach Project
01b. Project Matters: Magnolia Soul ďťż
“The Magnolia Soul documentation demonstrates an in depth understanding of the NCC, Australian Standards and local planning laws. Clear and concise documentation in conjunction with recognisable drawing conventions made the documents logical to all parties involved. The result is a magnificent design exactly as Magnolia Soul was intended to be.” 01b. Project Matters: Magnolia Soul
Winner Excellence in Documentation ++ Client consultation provided an intimate understanding of the clients’ needs and aspirations ++ Clear and accurate documentation ensured the design integrity was achieved by the builder ++ Environmentally friendly material selection and efficient planning creates a highly sustainable, modestly-sized family home Magnolia Soul is a renovation and extension to a two-bedroom single-fronted timber Victorian cottage in inner Melbourne. It employs passive solar design principles, combined with healthy and environmentally friendly material selection and efficient planning to create a highly sustainable, modestly-sized family home. The brief was to create a warm, robust, family and pet friendly extension, while protecting a mature magnolia tree and maximising garden area. With this in mind, a beautiful, energy efficient, home was designed, using the stunning Magnolia x soulangeana as the main focal point. Green Sheep Collective were required to provide a design solution which met the family’s immediate needs and would still provide function and comfort for decades to come, without an excessive building cost. Understanding the client’s preference to work directly with the builder themselves, there was an imperative to design and document the building to ensure the design integrity would be retained during construction without the need for additional architectural oversight. Through client consultation Greensheep Collective was able to gain an intimate understanding of the clients’ needs and aspirations. A comprehensive brief and thorough site analysis including shadow studies informed the building’s siting and mass. The design carefully considered spatial requirements to reduce built form and maximise garden area. Flexible programming and interconnected spaces resulted in a smaller footprint that used fewer construction materials, and reduced heating, cooling and maintenance requirements, thereby minimising the environmental impact of the build.
The residential site, is on an east - west oriented lot of approximately 400m2. The subject property is flanked by a two storey apartment block to the south, a Victorian style cottage with a two storey extension to the north and a church to the east. The lean-to bathroom, kitchen and laundry of the existing house, and free standing shed in the backyard, were demolished as part of the works, while the backyard’s mature garden with significant landscaping was incorporated into the new design. The subject site featured substantial mature vegetation that was to be protected, and had a ground level that was lower than the neighbouring southern site. Not only did the design need to respect several ‘tree protection zones’, it also needed to address significant drainage challenges created by the differing site levels, whilst adhering to the relevant building regulations to protect neighbouring amenity. Careful consideration was given to the structural and waterproofing implications for constructing walls on boundary. Access for construction of the wall on boundary via the neighbouring driveway was also to be negotiated. The new extension was positioned on the south boundary, and set down at ground level on a concrete slab, with a roof raking up to the north to maximise natural light to new living areas, retain the mature magnolia tree, minimize overshadowing to the neighbours, and create thermal mass in the extension.
“ Our highly detailed, accurate drawings and specification resulted in limited queries and changes from the builder during construction. As a result, the builder successfully interpreted our documents to deliver the desired design intent.” Green Sheep Collective Magnolia Soul
01b. Project Matters: Magnolia Soul To prevent water ingress into the lowered living areas Green Sheep Collective worked closely with the structural engineer and builder to ensure suitable waterproofing solutions were put in place. Additionally, drainage challenges were met during construction, negotiating the updating of neighbouring drainage to legally redirect stormwater run-off.
A unique folding roof form cradles the home’s robust living spaces and provides views to the beautiful Magnolia x soulangeana tree in the backyard. The lowered living area, embraced by adjacent decking, provides a clear visual connection to the garden, immersing the inhabitants in garden foliage, which in highly urbanised environments enhances the wellbeing of occupants.
Excelsior Master Builder
A bamboo courtyard, which doubles as a cat run, brings planting close to the centre of the home, provides cross ventilation, evapotranspirative cooling and allows natural light into the adjacent living and bedroom spaces.
Building Surveyor: Tekcon Consulting Land Surveyor:
The generous and versatile window seat creates a lovely place to relax, read a book, admire the flowering magnolia or sit on the window threshold on the edge of the garden.
Emma Cross Photographer
The building materiality and form are designed to address a temperate climate. Northern orientation, new and retrofit insulation and flexible planning contribute significantly to thermal comfort and energy efficiency. Natural winter heating is enhanced by means of north-facing windows, thermal mass, and low-e double glazing.
MAJOR SUPPLIERS FOR THE PROJECT
Unwanted summer heat gain is prevented by appropriately designed eaves, batten screening, cross ventilation, a pergola with deciduous planting, and ‘stack effect’ cooling aided by ceiling fans and openable high level windows.
Green Sheep Collective
Structural Engineer:ZS Consulting
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Christina Zigouras Christina is the director of XtheT a Melburne based building design studio. XtheT creates commercial building designs that ensure compliance with permits with the end user in mind. The portfolio is ever expanding including community centres, affordable housing models, retail fit outs, educational buildings office spaces as well as public assembly halls. As the name XtheT suggests “Crossing the Ts”, Christina Zigouras is all about the detail. She is a professional, customer oriented Building Designer who creates Energy Efficient designs for work, rest and play. Vibrant, functional and enjoyable spaces.
What is/are your favorite project/s that you have worked on, and why? My favourite projects incorporate design by consensus. I think as individual designers we attract a certain kind of client. Like attract like. For me for a few years there, I was working with Churches of Christ, so every project had a building committee. I got a lot of satisfaction from making sure everyone involved, felt part of the process. Finding ways to better utilise the churches meant incorporating a variety of business models depending on the congregation and community’s needs; childcare, retail, community services, affordable housing. If I am not designing by consensus, then I work with entrepreneurial dreamers who share their ideas and look to me to bring them to fruition. In these projects, I am a facilitator, a red tape coach, jumping hurdles and navigating courses to get their businesses up and running and their plans to fruition. Both of these client types have faith, hope and community in common. Faith that their hard work will pay off. Hope that their dreams will come true and that their efforts will make their community a better place.
To date, my biggest business/design challenge has been? I’m sure many members would agree that design is the best part of our job. A design challenge is an opportunity. However, design is such a minor part of the job. The business challenges of ‘building design’ however are numerous. Sometimes I feel like a ‘GP’ where we are expected to be across everything, while the specialist consultants take the cream. With this in mind I went back to study this year, enrolling in Graduate Cert. of Fire Engineering at Victoria University; so that I will be able to provide my clients and others with fire solutions as part of the NCC 2019. (Please keep in mind…) The other bane of my existence is social media. I know I have to, but…..really??
My favorite finish is? Natural finishes. I love bricks. Honest, low maintenance, great texture and a good fire rating.
I joined Design Matters because? As a mature age student I wanted to network, learn and hopefully get work!
My favorite Australian building is? My favorite Australian architect is Robin Boyd, and of his work, the Richardson Bridge house inspires me the most. The design also brings to mind Glen Murcutt’s famous phrase, ‘to touch the earth lightly’. How Mr Boyd would have appreciated the materials of today. Truly a man ahead of his time.
My favorite international building is? I have travelled extensively and seen many churches, temples and mosques of all denominations. Sagrada Familia, however, is THE most inspiring, beautifully rich, poetic and awe-inspiring building I have ever experienced. Its structure celebrates science and nature; and once entered, even those non-believers among us, may wonder about a divine intervention. The fractured light that plays through the strategically placed windows makes for a calming celebration of life and the universe.
My words of wisdom for a student building designer are... You can’t hide bad design with a pretty picture.
When I was a child I wanted to be? A fashion designer, a builder, prime minister.
Outside of work, I am passionate about ... Politics. I have run as a State Candidate in the lower house (2014) and upper house (2018). Currently I am pretty disillusioned however. At a 100 year celebration of the Victorian Women’s Trust, a founder of Women at Work said to me (after a political disappointment in 2016) “Get onto boards. Policy is always lagging behind real change”. As I write this, that could not be more true for the building industry.
The architectural style of the home I grew up in?
At the moment I am reading ...
Mum and dad commissioned an architect to design their family dream home in 1977. It was down in Mt Eliza, with sea views, well orientated, skillion roof, one and a half stories, internal balustrading, exposed brick, angled windows, courtyards, hand glazed ceramic tiles, timber cedar lining, hydronic slab heating, ….the whole shebang. (But no shagpile).
The Whisper Man, by Alex North…..very scary!
My life in 4 words? Varied, appreciative, full, educational.
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03. Planning Matters
Little bits that can make a big difference to your town planning outcomes
04. Planning Matters
Land Use Definitions Planning Scheme Amendment VC 159 was gazetted on 14 July 2019 and applies to all Victorian Planning Schemes.
The Amendment is part of the Victorian Government’s Smart Planning program which aims to simplify and modernise Victoria’s planning policy and rules to make planning more efficient, accessible and transparent. VC159 amends all planning schemes to introduce new land use terms, revise the definition of land use terms and change where land use terms are nested. The changes have been made to: • Increase the use of everyday terms that the wider-community understands. • Remove or modernise obsolete terms and provide for new or emerging land uses. • Distinguish between similar land uses where treated differently in land use tables. • Remove unnecessary narrow terms and broaden definitions, where appropriate. • Provide definitions for undefined terms where appropriate (except for terms that are sufficiently captured by an ordinary dictionary meaning or defined in the Act). Changes to land use terms which may be of particular interest to practitioners include: • The land use term ‘Child care centre’ is now nestled under ‘Education centre’. This change has implications due to the Purpose of the three main residential zones which include, inter alia: To allow educational……. and a limited range of other non-residential uses to serve local community needs in appropriate locations.
Other notable changes include: • Office: The definition of ‘Medical centre’ is amended to include surgical and pathology services. • ‘Place of assembly’ and ‘Restricted place of assembly’ are amended to include spiritual activities. • Retail premises: The definition of ‘Take away food premises’ is amended to include up to 10 seats available for the consumption of food and drink on the premises. • Rename ‘Tavern’ as a ‘Bar’. • Utility Installation: The definition of ‘Minor utility installation’ is amended to include siphons, water storage tanks, disinfection boosters stations and channels. This relates to land used specifically for that purpose, rather than auxiliary utilities for a building of another purpose such as a dwelling or office. • The definition of ‘Utility installation’ is amended to include transmit, distribute or store power, including battery storage. • The definition of ‘Car park’ now includes the charging of electric vehicles. Where new land use terms have been made or existing terms altered, these have been included in the relevant Use Table contained in the zones. We recommend that if you are involved in planning permit matters relating to the use of land, that you check the zone provisions to ensure the status of any of the most recent changes. Updates have also been made to the Bushfire Management Overlay and Airport Environs Overlay to align with the new or altered land use definitions.
It is also noteworthy that, third-party notification and appeal exemptions in certain zones apply when specified buffer distances are met from education centres (which now explicitly includes child care centres).
Garden Area and “The Lot” A recent Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal “RED DOT” decision has provided clarity on the definition of “lot”, where there are multiple titles involved in one planning permit application, for example, building multiple dwellings over two titles. The decision in Clayton Gardens Pty Ltd v Monash CC  VCAT 1138 considered whether the mandatory garden area requirement applies to each single lot or to the whole application area if there are multiple titles in an application. It also considered whether, if it applied to the multiple titles, whether it was reasonable to include a condition on the permit requiring the lots to be consolidated as part of the approval. We note Clause 32.08-4 of the VPPs provides:
On the question of whether it was reasonable to include a condition on the planning permit requiring the lots to be consolidated as part of the approval. The Tribunal provided the following, significant commentary: Compliance with clause 32.08-4 must occur at the time of the application. There are therefore no reasons to impose a condition requiring consolidation either before or after consideration of the application. The answer to this second question has been widely-interpreted as meaning, that if applications do not incorporate the required Garden Area – a permit condition cannot be imposed to require compliance. Practitioners need to be aware that such non-compliance may result in applications being summarily refused or struck-out.
‘An application to construct or extend a dwelling or residential building on a lot must provide a minimum garden area as set out in the following table’. The Tribunal considered that On the question of whether the Garden Area requirement applies to each single lot (in an application that incorporates multiple lots) or to the whole application area (planning unit) the Tribunal found that: …. the minimum garden area requirement to be applied is dependent upon the type of application and the composition of the planning unit. As such the garden area is to be applied to the planning unit, not on a per lot basis, if the application includes more than one lot.
These tidbits are part of the regular contribution made by Clause:1 Planning to Intersect. For more information visit www.clause1.com.au
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04. Industry Matters
04. Industry Matters
Proactive regulatory enforcement will rebuild the construction industry By Emma Green, NATSPEC Communications
Good regulatory enforcement is essential to building quality, and a good construction specification is essential for protecting the owners and users of buildings, as well as building designers. With the continued growth of major cities, many people are opting for apartment living. This brings with it the advantages of metropolitan inner-city life like proximity to public transport, local parks, shops and other amenities.
“I’ve used specifications for a long time because I think that’s the only way you can be thorough and show compliance with regulations to clarify the quality of construction,” says Darren Bowman of Darren Bowman Design.
Anyone buying or renting a new apartment expects the building professionals, certifiers and Government authorities to have carried out their work to a high standard that will ensure the safety of the building. Despite this, there is a very real risk of building defects that relate to water issues and construction quality.
Specifications embed the requirements that must be satisfied should substitution of a product or material be requested. They are also used to embed the requirements of the NCC. This is the information that cannot be shown only through the drawings but that is necessary to ensure a building is safe and fit for purpose. As a legal document, specifications communicate the designer’s intentions, indicate the necessary quality and provide guidelines for substitution.
“It concerns me most as a buyer,” says building designer Aydan Doherty of AD Design Develop. “Long term, you don’t know what’s going to happen.” Recently, Sydney saw the evacuation of the Opal Tower and Mascot Towers due to cracking and instability. In Darwin, nine multi-storey buildings were found to have non-compliant transfer slabs. In Victoria, the Neo200 building fire in February was a disturbing echo of 2014’s more serious Lacrosse tower fire. Building regulations set out accepted standards of construction to prevent building failures and protect public safety. Australia’s building regulatory system relies on state legislation. Each state and territory adopts the current edition of the National Construction Code. The NCC standardises building requirements for the country as a whole. But the existence of regulations is not the same as the enforcement of regulations. “It’s reflecting on all the projects we design,” says Neil Fletcher, the director of Neil Fletcher Design in Melbourne’s south east. “Clients have become nervous.” Multiple reports have made recommendations to improve regulations and their enforcement in the building industry but these have not been implemented consistently. The number of apartments constructed each year tripled between 2009 and 2015, and this growth continues. Regulatory action is in many ways reactive rather than proactive when it comes to problems in construction. Focusing on the prevention of key issues, including the reduction of fire risk, is a far safer approach compared to attempting to counter a problem when it arises. Cost cutting during a project may result in a substandard and dangerous building if the appropriate processes are not followed. The costs of rectification, alternative accommodation for residents and potentially legal costs for building industry professionals are far greater than the costs of producing a compliant, safe and reliable structure in the first place. Good construction specifications are essential for building designers. They are critical documents that set out the level of quality and workmanship required for a project.
It is easy to forget that ensuring quality requires enforcing the documentation. NATSPEC specifications, updated twice a year, reflect the applicable deemed-to-satisfy requirements of the NCC. They are editable to permit performance solutions. Designers still need to reflect state and territory requirements. Using NATSPEC to specify quality means using NATSPEC to assist in the enforcement of regulatory obligations, resulting in safe and reliable buildings for clients and the Australian public. “A lot of times the specification clarifies what we have to do and what the builder has to do,” says Reini Strecker of SandS Building Design in Bairnsdale. “It saves us a lot of time in documentation when you’ve got a good specification.” NATSPEC is the only comprehensive national construction specification that is regularly updated for the building industry. NATSPEC tracks over 1000 regulatory, standards and reference documents. The NATSPEC master specification is not designed to replace good regulatory enforcement. As a legal and contractual document, specifications can act as proof of a building designer’s intentions to show that they are not at fault, but this requires a system in which industry workers are properly held to account for substandard work and in which the standards and regulations referred to in specifications are readily enforced. NATSPEC’s role is to provide good quality documentation for the design and construction of good quality buildings. On-site enforcement is the responsibility of all design professions. Regulatory enforcement is the responsibility of Government and industry working together. NATSPEC is a not-for-profit, Government- and industry-owned organisation. It is impartial and not involved in any advocacy or policy development. NATSPEC manages the National Building Specification and has been a valued part of the industry for over 40 years. For more information, visit: www.natspec.com.au
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04. Industry Matters
High Court Decision - Mutual Recognition The Victorian Building Authority is disappointed with the outcome of its appeal to the High Court of Australia and its possible ramifications for Victorian consumers. The High Court dismissed the VBA’s challenge to a Federal Court decision that precluded the VBA from considering the character of applicants for registration under the Commonwealth Mutual Recognition Act 1992 (MRA). Mr Nickolaos Andriotis, a Victorian resident, had falsely stated in his application to the New South Wales registration authority that he had certain work experience as a water proofer, based on which he gained registration in NSW. He then sought registration as a water proofer in Victoria, through the MRA based on his NSW registration. In November 2015, Mr Andriotis’ application was refused by the Building Practitioners Board (BPB) on the basis that he was not of good character. The BPB’s finding concerning Mr Andriotis’ character was affirmed by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). However, the Federal Court overturned the AAT decision in February 2018, finding that a local registration authority has no power to consider an applicant’s character when determining a mutual recognition application. On 7 August 2019, the High Court confirmed the Federal Court’s decision and found that the VBA could not refuse Mr Andriotis’ application on character grounds. The VBA believes the decision may have profound implications for the building industry across Australia, as the mutual recognition legislation could be used to allow less experienced practitioners and persons of poor character to be admitted to the industry. The legislation allows such practitioners to become registered in jurisdictions with less stringent or thorough registration requirements, who then use the mutual recognition regime to gain “back door” registration in States such as Victoria, with more stringent requirements.
“Victorian consumers should be entitled to presume that the building practitioners they invite into their homes have the requisite experience and are of good character,” Ms Eddy said. “In this instance, the applicant lied to the NSW regulator about his previous experience. Due to the manner in which his application for registration in NSW was processed at the relevant time, this was not picked up. In circumstances where the VBA is aware that an applicant has provided false information to gain registration in NSW, it seems incredible that the mutual recognition regime requires the VBA to register him in Victoria, yet this is the effect of the High Court’s decision.” The High Court’s decision confirms the MRA mandates recognition by Victorian regulators of occupational registrations obtained in other Australian States and Territories where the categories of registration are equivalent in both jurisdictions, even if the applicant gained registration in the initial State by providing false information. The matter will now be remitted back to the AAT, for a re-hearing of the appeal against the BPB’s decision. The VBA will ask the NSW regulator to reconsider the applicant’s registration in light of the AAT’s findings as to his character and the circumstances in which he obtained his original registration from the NSW regulator.
The chief executive officer of the VBA, Sue Eddy, said while the High Court’s decision settled the legal uncertainty relating to the MRA, the decision represents a setback for consumer protection in Victoria.
Design Matters shares the sentiments of the Victorian Building Authority, that the mutual recognition legislation could be used to allow less experience practitioners and persons of poor character to be admitted to the industry, especially in light of the looming outcomes from the national building design qualification review.
L S Planning Pty Ltd offers experience and expertise across a broad range of planning issues, such as: Planning permit application preparation and management Planning reports Representation at VCAT Expert witness advice and representation Planning Scheme amendments Strategic planning Residential development concept preparation Town Planning is a complex field which is constantly evolving and requires a level of expertise to achieve a successful outcome. Please call to find out how the team at L S Planning can assist you, with your next project. www.lsplanning.com.au
04. Industry Matters
Adelaide’s first 10 Star home is under construction Construction is well underway on Adelaide’s first Ten Star Home. Not only is it climate ready, it is also speaks of many initiatives within council districts towards climate readiness and better standards within planning and design.
The project is being used as an educational tool to allow the community to understand how they can integrate clever construction methods, strategic placement of air movement, thermal mass, colour, light penetration, technology, low/nil VOC materials into good building design. Once complete, the home will be monitored for a minimum of one year and give back data on what a 10 star house can achieve for energy consumption and moving towards zero emissions.
Clever construction methods, strategic placement of air movement, thermal mass, colour, light penetration, technology, low/nil VOC materials demonstrate good building design.
A dedicated Ten Star website, with a virtual walk through, will soon be launched so the building design community and general public can access information on the construction and specific detailing that allows the house to perform at the highest of levels thermally. An announcement will be made in Design Matters weekly eNews. Ruth Nordstrom, lead designer on the project will be presenting the smart thinking behind the project at the Physics Forum in Melbourne on Thursday 24 October. Ruth will discuss how reductions in the carbon footprint are sought through a built envelope optimised utilising building sciences to obtain better operational heating and cooling loads.
04. Industry Matters
Maintaining education and training standards for future building designers Artibus Innovation is commissioned by the Australian Government to support the Industry Reference Committees (IRCs) for Construction, Plumbing and Services and Property Services in their work reviewing, renewing and developing vocational education and training (VET) within their sectors. They identify skills and knowledge needs, and in consultation with industry, update and maintain training package qualifications for current and future job roles. Four new national qualifications relating to building design have been proposed by Artibus: • Certificate IV in Residential Drafting • Diploma of Building Design • Advanced Diploma of Building Design • Graduate Diploma of Building Design
• Designing safe buildings - The unit CPPBDN8102 Advise on compliance requirements for large and complex building design projects does cover areas of compliance but these are not directly aligned to the actual design of safe buildings. Given the well-publicised cases of the Opal Tower and Mascot Tower in Sydney and the Lacrosse apartment building fire in Melbourne, and the recommendations in the Shergold and Weir Report, this is a crucial skill for building designers
As part of the Artibus’ development process, Design Matters has provided feedback on the proposed qualification and used this opportunity to raise a number of concerns around the proposed introduction of a National Advanced Diploma of Building Design.
• environmental principles and considerations
• designing safe buildings
Design Matters does not believe the proposed core units capture the underpinning skills and knowledge needed for a graduate. In particular, the subject areas not adequately covered include:
• material and legislation are only researched, evaluated and reported on, there is no application of this information in the design process.
• the safety in a building lifecycle, including risk assessment and risk controls
There are only two core units which address the design of buildings and these are limited to Class 2-9 Type A construction.
• specification writing and schedule preparation • engaging and coordinating sub-consultants
• performance solutions (only briefly covered in two units) • critical analysis of recognised works
• history of design, architectural styles/theories
Many of the building design specific units in the Certificate IV and Diploma are elective units which leaves potential entrants into the Advanced Diploma with varying levels of skills and knowledge, providing no guarantees that they have the background to easily advance into this higher qualification, including areas such as sustainability and energy efficiency.
• relationship between art, architecture and nature • symbolism • presenting design to client and obtaining feedback (only covered briefly in one of the units) • digital security, copyright, trade practices • managing architectural project administration (even though this was addressed in more than one recommendation in the Shergold and Weir Report.)
The Artibus Environmental Scan highlights how consumer demand is ’helping drive the increase in smart and green buildings’ yet this knowledge is not a mandatory part of this qualification.
• conducting a bushfire attack level assessment. (only briefly mentioned as knowledge in one of the units, without any real application during the design process.
Our position, as confirmed by industry and educators alike in Victoria, is that the proposed structure will reduce the skills and abilities of our industry practitioners even further than the media and governments are currently promoting. It is disappointing and a concern that we are going backwards by offering lesser qualified graduates than lifting them in a time when it is so clearly needed by our industry
Victorian students or interstate students who wish to become a registered building practitioner in Victoria are already being misled (even though written disclaimers are provided) in undertaking the national Diploma of Building Design, with the understanding that they can transition to the Victorian Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural) to then obtain registration in Victoria. Design Matters commissioned a paper titled “A review of qualifications available to Building Designers in Australia” that was published in March 2015, which concluded that: • The two qualifications do not map; meaning very little, if any credits can be given if a student/graduate transfers from the Diploma of Building Design to the Victorian Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural); • By being more prescriptive regarding the specific skills and knowledge required, the Victorian Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural) results in predictable, uniform learning outcomes across the graduate cohort;
Similar to the issues we find with Mutual Recognition Act across states, the current proposed standards for a national training and education pathway for Building Designers does not reflect the high standards of skills and training we have worked hard to establish in the Victorian programs and subsequent licensing requirements once graduated. The above feedback was provided to Artibus as part of a July public consultation. A revised set of qualifications was released in late August for final contribution. Our September submission will be shared in next month’s Intersect. Design Matters will continue to lobby the Victorian Government to support the Victorian Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural) to ensure that registration and scope of services currently available to Victorian building designers continue into the future at the high level and calibre it is today.
• In contrast, the national Diploma of Building Design allows greater flexibility in the units chosen, which can result in significant variation in the skill sets of graduates at completion of the course. If this national Advanced Diploma of Building Design is introduced, this confusion will be even more prevalent given the courses have almost identical qualification names with completely different outcomes.
04. Industry Matters
Comprehensive Energy Efficiency Upgrades to Existing Victorian Houses Sustainability Victoria conducts trials to test the effectiveness of measures that can be taken by householders to modify – or retrofit – existing appliances or circumstances to improve the energy efficiencies in their homes. A recent study was undertaken to analyse building shell (draught sealing and insulation) and heating system upgrades with the aim of improving thermal comfort during the winter months and significantly reducing heating energy consumption. As well as reducing energy bills, improved thermal comfort during winter months is believed to provide health benefits for occupants, especially for vulnerable and low income households. In the retrofit trial, 14 older homes (pre-2005) across Melbourne were retrofitted with a comprehensive package of energy upgrades valued between $12,000 - $13,000. The fourteen houses that participated were quite inefficient, and had a gas consumption that was well above the Victorian average. Where funds permitted, water heating, refrigeration and/or lighting upgrades were also undertaken at the houses, targeting other key areas of energy consumption. Metering equipment and householder surveys were used to assess the quantitative and qualitative impact of the upgrades, and to estimate the energy, energy bill and greenhouse gas emission savings achieved.
The project has confirmed that significant improvements to the thermal comfort of existing houses can be achieved in practice, as well as significant energy bill savings. It has also provided insights into how Victorians heat their houses, including the frequency of use, time of use during the day, and the inside temperatures achieved when the heating is operated.
Comprehen Efficiency sive Energy Victorian Retrofits to Existin Houses g
While it was not possible to directly assess the health benefits arising from the retrofits, good quality data from overseas studies was used to estimate the potential medical cost savings. This suggests that if both the energy bill and health cost savings are taken into account, building shell and heating system upgrades are much more cost effective if viewed from a society-wide perspective.
04. Industry Matters
Building Defects in Residential Multi-owned Properties In the August edition of Intersect we summarised the findings of a research project lead by Deakin University and funded by the PICA Group on the impact of building defects - An examination of Building Defects in Residential Multi-Owned Properties. Design decisions are important drivers of building quality. While it is impossible to eliminate all defects in a building, it is possible to reduce the number of defects through good building design. Types of defects In order to reduce defects, it is important to understand the types of defects occurring in buildings so design strategies can be put in place to help prevent them occurring in future designs. The type of defects commonly observed from the Deakin University research study required invasive and often costly remedial works to rectify (particularly waterproofing and fire separation failures). The types of building defects included:
++For building - fabric and cladding, lightweight cladding
(collectively) and masonry elements were the most impacted by defects. The most common defects noted in the reports were: for lightweight cladding - cracking to plasterboard, flashings not installed / or not installed to standard, water damage and mould to plasterboard, corrosion of soffit fittings, soffit incomplete, efflorescence and rust to soffit.
++For masonry - delamination or incorrect installation of render system, weep holes covered, efflorescence to brickwork and roofing slab, lack of or cracking at control joints were the most impacted by defects.
++For fire protection - most defects related to the passive
fire system. Examples of defects included: missing fire collars, missing or incomplete fire separation at penetration, incorrect size of fire collars, damaged fire rated walls, compromised fire barrier, lack of appropriate fire separation between units, incorrect materials used for fire barrier.
++For roof and rainwater construction system - the most
recurring defects related to roof cladding, gutters and concrete roof. Examples included: inadequate grade to drains on roof slab, membrane failure / defective installation, water ingress around service penetrations, missing membrane to roof parapet,
box gutter overflow provisions lacking, inadequate fall to box gutter, leaking roof gutter, defective installation of roof sheeting, and incorrect installation of flashings.
++The slab and foundations were the most effected elements in the structural construction system. Examples of defects included: cracking of structural slab, inadequate grading of floors, concrete spalling, excessive movement of slab, inadequate hob to balconies, lack of isolation joints, exposed reinforcement to slab, subsidence, retaining wall failures.
++Membrane failures (specifically balcony and internal wet
areas) were the main defects for the waterproofing system. Examples of these defects included: lack of applied membrane, lack of membrane upturn / termination, defective installation of membrane. Paint related defects were also common including blistering paintwork, incomplete paintwork and delamination.
++Misuse of building products (due to lack of knowledge),
poor workmanship, time pressures (cutting corners), poor supervision, lack of training, lack of licensing and trade accountability were common factors identified as contributing to defective building work.
For Building Designers there are many considerations in the design process including building standards and codes, environment conditions (including weather and soil conditions), who will be undertaking the build and what involvement you will have in briefing the builder on the documentation and liaising with contractors to interpret the drawings as well as understanding the end user of the building and how they will use the building on a day-to-day basis and meeting client needs. In the coming issues of Intersect we will examine practical ways good building design can help reduce defects across these key areas. Content for this article has been sourced from an Examination of Building Defects in Residential Multi-owned Properties by Nicole Johnston (Deakin) with Sacha Reid (Griffith).
04. Industry Matters
Apartment Design Advisory Service (ADAS) Apartment Design Advisory Service (ADAS) Factsheet
The Apartment Design Advisory Service (ADAS) is an advice service offered by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to assist inner city, suburban and regional councils, developers and building designers comply with the Better Apartments Design Standards. The service, delivered via collaborative Workshops, aims to help make planning approvals easier and apartment buildings more liveable for Victorians. It is an opportunity to have a conversation about the design direction with experienced architects and/or designers. The design advisory team will advise on how to improve a design so it complies with the Better Apartments Design Standards. The ADAS design advisory team has experience in designing apartment developments in Victoria, knowledge of the use of local planning schemes and the Standards, and experience coaching others to achieve good design outcomes.
Responding to the urban context The Better Apartments Design Standards require that developments respond to their urban context. The Workshop environment focus’ on 10 key elements of the Standards that affect the early design direction of any project (drawn from CL.58). 1. Create a place that fits in with the existing neighbourhood or future vision 58.02-1 Urban context 2. Provide a range of dwellings of different sizes and types 58.02-2 Dwelling diversity
How is a Workshop run?
3. Connect existing streets, walkways and open spaces 58.02-5 Integration with the street
The council planner will brief the ADAS team on the relevant planning scheme controls and any issues prior to the workshop.
4. Orient windows and outdoor areas to the north, protect windows to the west 58.03-1 Energy efficiency
On the day the planner will summarise these planning controls and the project designer should present a basic drawing of the urban context analysis and design response, aerial and site photos, and the sketch design drawings comprising a site plan, plans, elevations and sections (including floor and ceiling heights and a landscape concept).
5. Provide a significant central open space, possibly green and north facing (for 40 or more dwellings) 58.03-2/3 Communal open space 6. Accommodate mature trees, if trees are in the area plant more, and consider ways to reduce heat load 58.03-5 Landscaping
7. Minimise the width of vehicle crossovers 58.03-6 Access The project designer should give a brief (10 minute) presentation on how the proposal responds to the 10 key elements of the 8. Shape the building to protect daylight to the surrounding area TheApartments Victorian Apartment Design Advisoryand Service offers expert Better Design Standards. to provide (ADAS) daylight, privacy and outlook to new and existing dwellings 58.04-1 Building setback 9. Design the building to advice to assist developers and designers to comply with the Better The ADAS design advisory team will then collaborate with the protect residents from external and internal noise (such as, from project designer on how to improveStandards. the development while Apartments Design The service help lifts,will vehicles and make transport) planning 58.04-3 Noise impacts maintaining its feasibility. Although the advice is non-statutory approvals processes easier and apartment buildings and completely voluntary, you can include the ADAS advice in your 10. Make apartmentsmore liveable liveable and functional for a diversity of planning permit application. households 58.05-1 Accessibility 58.05-2 Building entry and for Victorians in suburban and regional communities. circulation 58.07 Internal amenity
Start of project
Develop basic urban design analysis & plans
Prepare planning application
Lodge planning application
Best time to have a conversation with ADAS
Final opportunity to have your conversation with ADAS
• Improve design • Enhance liveability • Meet standards
• Help make approvals easier
05. Business Matters
05. Business Matters
How to retain your employees and keep them engaged and productive in your small building design business Research clearly shows that money alone doesn’t make employees happy. Wisely chosen non-monetary rewards, on the other hand, will help you keep your employees engaged over the long term. “There is unfortunately a fairly widespread belief in business that employees are paid for their work, and that’s enough,” says Diane Bazire, a BDC Senior Business Advisor specializing in human resources. To boost employee engagement, she encourages businesses to set up a structured program of non-monetary rewards. “Establish the behaviours and results you want to reward and determine your budget.” A non-monetary rewards program produces many benefits. Employees are happier and more productive; absenteeism goes down; the work atmosphere is more positive—and all without having to spend a fortune and your employees are with you for the long term. Some examples of inexpensive and non-monetary rewards you can offer your employees to boost engagement. 1. Recognise and appreciate Recognising the efforts of employees—especially publicly—is one of the main motivational tools you can use, and it doesn’t cost you anything! “A thank you is worth its weight in gold,” Bazire says. “Recognition can take the form of a thank-you card, or simply being congratulated in front of colleagues. Strive to be transparent, objective and fair to avoid the perception you are favouring some employees over others. 2. Offer the opportunity to make a difference Employees become more engaged when they feel they work in a team where their voices are heard. Strengthen your employees’ sense of belonging by communicating with them on a regular basis. Listen to their opinions; they have great ideas. Have employees participate in activities that matter to them. A building design firm as an example gives their employees time off to donate blood to the Red Cross another they all work in a soup kitchen to feed the homeless as a team.
3. Target continuing education (CPD) Providing employees with the opportunity for development through continuing education is highly motivating and engaging. Courses, seminars and coaching are essential for the development of your employees. Send them off to a Design Matters CPD or Seminar or better still pay for them to do a webinar. Remember the more you invest in your people the better they are going to be at their jobs and the more satisfied your clients are going to be. Think long term not short term. Your employees are an asset to your organisation. If they are viewed as “ Memberships to professional peak bodies such as Design Matters will help your employees remain current in their field. Salary sacrifice their annual membership to Design Matters or other membership organisations. 4. Offer flexibility Working from home, personal days and reduced work weeks allow your employees to balance work and personal obligations. It is proven that a flexible work force gives a business efficiencies a high quality of work and a deeper engagement with employees. It increased employee retention. Be flexible and create an IT infrastructure that allows full flexibility not only for your employees but for yourself. Lead in flexibility by example. 5. Small gestures go a long way Gift certificates, top up a Myki card, shout lunch via Deliveroo or Ubereats once a quarter, give flowers and gifts to highlight work anniversaries, birthday cake for birthdays. Take time out and celebrate special successes as this recognises an employee’s contribution. Please check with your accountant re FBT implications.
Identify issues that your employees care about and can help to resolve.
6. Organise team activities Get-togethers, celebrations and group outings or group learnings where you invite your suppliers to talk about a new product will help improve team cohesion, work climate, engagement and beef up your CPD points. Do something together as a team once a quarter at least and do it in work time so that it is not onerous for your employees. 7. Create a succession plan for your business If you have a building designer who has been working for you for a number of years, support them through the journey of registration. Engage them in your business so that your business can be passed onto your employee via a planned succession plan. Do not view your employees as a threat to your business. Embrace and nurture and support their growth so that your business thrives and it’s a business that can be taken over by the next guard. Succession planning through employee engagement has many positive benefits for a small business owner. It is income to fund your retirement as well as passing on a legacy of good building design to the next generation. It makes good business sense. An example of this is Building Designer worked out a succession plan with his employee whereby he would work a 4 day week then, 3 day week then eventually a 1 day week, to now a mentoring role. Today the retired Building Designer works on “special projects” only and his business is thriving under his employee’s ownership. There are many ways to craft a succession plan. Talk to your financial planner and be transparent with your employee as to how long and what the succession plan could look like. 8. Renumerate your employee a little more than the award rate or find clever ways to salary package We all know that the award rates are pretty ordinary for graduates and Building Designers with little experience. Pay a little more for those employees who are high performers. This way you will get loyalty, greater quality of work and someone else will have no reason to poach your super star building designer. If you are unable to afford a higher pay rate, try roster days off, time in lieu, work a day from home a week, an extra few days holidays. There are many ways to build a remuneration package for your star employees and it doesn’t always have to be dollars.
“It sort of should go without saying -- and it’s surprising that it still doesn’t go without saying at some companies -- if the person who works at your company is 100% proud of the job they’re doing, if you give them the tools to do a good job, they’re proud of the brand, if they were looked after, if they’re treated well, then they’re gonna be smiling, they’re gonna be happy and therefore the customer will have a nice experience. If the person who’s working for your company is not given the right tools, is not looked after, is not appreciated, they’re not gonna do things with a smile and therefore the customer will be treated in a way where often they won’t want to come back for more. So, my philosophy has always been, if you can put staff first, your customer second and shareholders third, effectively, in the end, the shareholders do well, the customers do better, and yourself are happy.” Richard Branson
Lastly, be attentive and remain flexible. The most important thing is to find a balance between the needs and expectations of your employees and the rewards you are offering -the health of your business depends on it. This article was written from the following sources: www.inc.com, Smart Company, bdc
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: • are committed to quality work
Design Matters currently represents over 60% of accredited assessors Australia-wide.
• 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
05. Business Matters
Todd’s Apps BY TODD PEARCE
Todds Top Apps – a monthly review of must have, worthy of looking or just plain interesting apps that are relevant to the design industry. Mark up
Plug for Podcasts & Videos Four Corners Report: Investigating Australia’s apartment building crisis
Just a quick shout out to a handy little tool built into iOS operating systems. This is “Markup” accessible when opening any image format or composing a text etc. Yes, there are more sophisticated markup tools for PDF’s, sketches and photos – but this is simple, quick to deploy and use and already on your phone. If you’re not using it now – might be time to find it and give it a try; you may be surprised how convenient it is when on the move and need to do a quick mark up of an image file.
Reolink Wireless camera A few years ago, I put out a call to members to see if anyone could offer a solution for onsite camera feed. Possible Wi-Fi enabled and able to record time-lapse video of projects. I spent a reasonable amount of time speaking with professional outfits and looking at IP camera offerings from the likes of Kogan, eBay and other reputable purveyors of cheap tech – I fiddled a fair bit and couldn’t really hobble anything workable together with the skills I had to achieve what I wanted to. Roll forward a few years and a client of mine asks if I could sort out a camera for his site so he could see it live etc. – I told him that I’d looked a while ago and didn’t have a go to system I could recommend. Two weeks later he drops off a Reo-link camera and asks if it could be installed on site. Which I was happy to do. So, what we now have is a fully self-contained camera complete with SIM card - which can be accessed anywhere in the world, motion sensing, cloud enabled, microphone and speaker all powered by a solar panel! Are you kidding me – and all for a tenth of the price of the option available only a few short years ago! Even comes with a camouflage sleeve to blend in with whatever tree you might have mounted it in. Well worth a look if site cameras would be handy on any projects you might be involved with.
Widespread shortcomings in the building sector – including building defects, cost cutting, substandard work and a lack of oversight and public protection – have been laid bare in Four Corners’ report Cracking Up. The report comes in the aftermath of evacuations at Mascot Towers and Opal Tower in Sydney after the buildings were found to be structurally unsound. For 20 years the nation’s city skylines have been changing with the building of more than 650,000 apartments across the country. The focus of traditional Aussie dream of a house in the burbs has evolved into sophisticated apartment living and high-end finishes. But the shine has come off the apartment property boom with the recent emergency evacuation of two residential apartment blocks earlier this year. Experts speak to Four Corners about the problem stretches across the country and many apartments built in the last 20 years are likely to contain some kind of defect. The report can be viewed on iview or at www.abc.net. au/4corners/cracking-up/11431474
Ski Tracks Ok this might be a little late in the season; however, if you are a skier and or intend to take it up in the next month or so…and you love data… then maybe take a look at Ski tracks. Much like other sports trackers for cycling or running – ski tracks is made for skiing. It tracks your activity; how many runs you’ve done (don’t use this to work out the cost of each lift up based on the ticket price – well not whilst you’re near a steep cliff anyway), max speed, how many days you’ve skied, vertical distances and altitude etc. So a bit of fun if snow sports is your thing to track and log your activity to later regale whomever will listen at the après ski location of your choice. If any other members use or know any new or interesting websites, tech or apps, please feel free to drop me a line and I’ll share it with the other members.
06. Job Matters
06 Job Matters
++Seeking Experienced Documentation Expert
++Seeking Casual Building Designer
Our Sunbury based design office is seeking a draftsperson/building designer for a part-time position with the high probability of a potential full-time position in the near future. The applicant should have a suitable qualification and have approximately 1-3 years of drafting and design experience and be available to work in our Sunbury office 2-3 days a week. Foundational RESCODE and NCC knowledge is essential as well as proficiency with AutoCAD. Any additional software knowledge is a bonus. A level of experience with town planning applications and working drawings for building permit applications is highly preferred as well as excellent written and verbal communication skills. Tell us why you are the person we are looking for and forward your CV to email@example.com
Our bespoke Building Design studio in Camberwell is growing and needs support with drafting. This is the role for you if you have minimum 6 months drafting experience, base knowledge of NCC/ ResCode, eye for detail, positive can-do attitude, ability to follow through to completion and on time, articulate and can communicate well. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with “BUILDING DESIGNER POSITION” in subject line and include your resume and portfolio.
++Building Design Graduate Seeking Internship or Work Experience
Town Planning Consultants
Being mature age, I bring an abundance of practical experience having project managed and being very hands on for my own projects. You can see these at g33.com.au. I am easy to get along with and happy to take on any job. I am currently working on a project in Red Hill and excited to add 10kw of solar energy with an attempt to be self sufficient. I would love to have the opportunity to share my story. I can be contacted by email email@example.com.
++Seeking Part or Full-Time Experienced Architectural Draftsperson Small Building Design business in the southern suburbs seeks an experienced Architectural draftsperson to join a young team of passionate designers for a part or full time position. The position will involve all areas of the design, planning applications, working drawings and client correspondence. The applicant should have proficient knowledge of the residential sector, knowledge of commercial sector is preferred although not required. The applicant must be proficient in AutoCAD, have a sound knowledge of BCA/NCC, and planning scheme. Rate will be subject to experience. Please submit your application Lucas N Eto WS . B D A V at . O Rlucas@design21.com.au G.AU
Where Your Vision is Our Purpose 435 Nepean Highway Frankston Victoria 3199 03 8765 2455 firstname.lastname@example.org townplanningco.com.au
Good Building Design
For all your building design matters speak to a Design Matters Member. Visit www.designmatters.org.au or call 03 9416 0227 to find a building designer. ďťż