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ED30 SEP 2020




Issue 30

Welcome to our September issue of INTERSECT First up in this issue, we feature an airy oasis in Melbourne’s inner west – Coloca House by Tina Lindner Building Design; and follow that up with Waimarie Residence by McLauchlan Building Designers, which made a statement in the People’s Choice Gallery for Excellence in Use of Timber.

Dominique Hunter President

Our People Dominique Hunter (President) Ingrid Hornung (Vice President) Peter Lombo (Treasurer) Lindsay Douglas (Immediate Past President) John Armsby (Committee Member) Greg Blanch (Committee Member) Timothy Ellis (Committee Member) Jeremy Spencer (Committee Member) Peta Anderson (Chief Executive Officer) Emily Schiavello (Sustainability Advocacy & Thermal Performance Assessment) Elaine Centeno (Communications and Events) Kathryn Middis (National Relationship Manager, Members and Partners) Danielle Johnston (Senior Communications Advisor) Alex Hunt (Administrator)

GET THE WHOLE PICTURE Design Matters National SketchBook: pages 24 and 25

Then we interview two Design Matters National Members: 2020 Building Design Awards Judge, committee member, and architect John Armsby; and Building Designer and TPA, Belinda Stewart, on page 14. We see travel sketches of Vietnam, Moscow and Canada by Member Tatiana Volodomanova, a building designer with Ortech Industries, on page 24. On page 26, we meet the judges of the 2020 Design Matters National Building Design Awards: John Armsby, Dianne Bayley, Tim Ellis, Roy Hodgson, Peter Jackson, Narelle Lockwood, Peter Lombo, Fleur Pitman and Brett Seriani. In their regular column, on page 30, Clause 1 Planning gives us three news stories: Important Changes to Bushfire Exemptions; Councils Being a Bit Cheeky; and All Council Schemes to Change.   We share the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources’ new, free house designs to support homebuilders and industry to design a comfortable home, on page 32. In ‘Protection Works – Tips & Traps’ on page 34, Patrick Irwin, forensic Structural Engineer and member of the Victorian Building Appeals Board, shares his tips for designers, builders and inspectors to use, particularly at the design stage, to avoid common traps. In ‘Time to fire up’ on page 38, Principal and Fellow in fire safety engineering, and a research leader for the Warren Centre project on Professionalising Fire Safety Engineering, Peter Johnson, writes on Australia’s fire engineering education. Finally, in our Business Matters section from page 42, we feature three follow-up articles by the presenters from our August webinar series, ‘COVID-19 Business Survival Kit: The Second Wave’: In ‘Keeping jobs, boosting business’, Brent Szalay, from SEIVA, answers FAQs about JobKeeper, Boosting Cash Flow for Employers, and the Business Support Fund. In ‘Becoming OK with COVID-19’, Michelle Graeber, CEO, ARCVic, helps us navigating our way through anxiety and stress during COVID-19. And in ‘Putting the va-va-voom into Zoom’, we learn how to add polish and a competitive edge to our online presence, from Hayden Spencer, The Performologist. Be sure to check out the CPD coming your way this month, and CPD webinars you may have missed, in our centrespread, on pages 22 and 23. Good reading! Dominique Hunter President


Contents 01.

Project Matters

Coloca House Waimarie Residence

02. InterVIEW

4

Sponsors Matter Design Matters National appreciates the support of our sponsors.

14

John Armsby Belinda Stewart

03.

Member Matters

24

04.

Planning Matters

30

05.

Industry Matters

32

06.

Business Matters

42

Here for members during COVID-19

Our team at Design Matters National is set up to work remotely to ensure there is no interruption to services provided to our members. We are here to help, so email us at info@designmatters.org.au or call on 03 9416 0227 DISCLAIMER

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

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

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Issue 30

01. Project Matters

Coloca House Airy oasis of the inner west.


01. Project Matters People's Choice Gallery:

Residential Design New House $600K-$1M + Designers maximise a restricted site and add a simple form, to provide an interesting design with living spaces for a young, growing family. + Tina Lindner Building Design included alll the clients' wish-list items in this peaceful oasis, away from a bustling main street of Williamstown.

They say good things come in small packages and this is certainly what happened when a building designer was faced with the task of creating a new family home on a small site in the CBD of Melbourne’s inner western suburb of Williamstown. Top of the clients’ wish list was side-stepping site constraints to achieve an 'open feel' in their living and outdoor spaces. They also requested sufficient natural light penetration, and the feeling of an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the close-by main street and commercial buildings. The designer responded with a $990,000, 287sqm north-facing home, taking up the front, rear and southern boundaries completely, and including: home/ office area; three children's bedrooms; master bedroom with dressing room and en-suite; a small retreat and study space for the kids; an open-plan kitchen/dining linked to a small, central garden; and in-ground concrete pool. The front entry point is simple and recessed, a secured fence and pedestrian gate access. The upper level is set back from the ground floor footprint. The facade steps forward to accommodate a two-car garage close to the title boundary, overcoming the need for a traditional front setback due to its site context, and minimising wasted space. Once this was located, the design took shape. Highlight windows provide northern light into the raked ceiling of the master bedroom and raised dormer windows in the bedroom areas imbue a feeling of space throughout. Stand anywhere in this home and you’ll appreciate a design element, whether it is the plunge pool with decking and seating; the timber cladding and cantilevered areas; or the large timber windows bringing outside inside.

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01. Project Matters ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

“Top of the clients’ wish list was side-stepping site constraints to achieve an 'open feel' in their living and outdoor spaces.”

Designer Tina Lindner Building Design tinalindner.com.au Builder Winter Constructions Structural Engineer J. Liapis & Associates Photographer Alessandro Cerutti Photographer

P R OJ E C T M AT T E R S

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01. Project Matters

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P R OJ E C T M AT T E R S


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Issue 30

01. Project Matters

Waimarie Residence Making a statement.

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P R OJ E C T M AT T E R S


01. Project Matters People's Choice Gallery:

Excellence in Use of Timber + Open-plan living, separate workspaces, and stonework feature in a statement home on a prominent eastern-suburbs site, with a balcony overlooking a significant urban reserve. + Security, sustainability and two large, energetic dogs were major considerations for the clients which were carried through by McLauchlan Building Designers

This new Waimarie Residence needed to be a lot of things, but definitely not a ‘McMansion’. The designer was asked to incorporate some sustainable features, along with open-plan living, separate work spaces for each partner, a large garage, guest accommodation, master suite to upper level including a balcony overlooking the reserve, and feature stonework and timber. Another vital consideration was comfortable accommodation for a pair of large dogs. With the 1400+sqm site presenting a very wide frontage to the north, the challenges were to get solar access to internal and external living spaces, whilst maintaining the privacy, security and maximisation of views to the southern reserve. Very early in the design process it became obvious to stretch the building across the site width, taking advantage of the northern solar aspect, whilst presenting a wide rear facade to overlook the southern reserve. This presented issues with the location of outdoor entertaining precincts, so two areas were conceived either side of the living areas: one for solar gain, the other for views of the reserve, with the result presenting a central entertaining space. The design presents a very wide northern frontage, with the towering entry colonnade leading right through the home to an extensive rear deck and commanding views into the reserve. Beside the entry there is a screened northern terrace, accessible from living areas, with featured timber screening providing both privacy and security. Extensive existing vegetation was removed, along with an inground pool (with liner) which became the site for a 35,000-litre rainwater tank for garden watering and toilet flushing.

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01. Project Matters

Solar power generation was to be incorporated, but not to be a prominent feature on the expansive northern facade. Not wanting to upset the clean lines of the roof, extensive research was carried out to source solar panels that would be concealed from view. Passive design considerations have also been incorporated with wide eaves, orientation, and use of natural materials throughout the home, with limestone cladding, rock externally and internally, timber doors, and stone in wet areas. Earthy and a bit retro in character, this versatile home makes a statement in its own context while also blending in with a somewhat eclectic neighbourhood and an adjoining reserve.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Designer McLauchlan Building Designers mclauchlan.com.au Builder Hedger Constructions Photographers Yvonne Qumi yqphotographicservices.com and Paul West Landscape Designer Matt Walsham Landscape Architecture MAJOR SUPPLIERS FOR THE PROJECT Windows Stegbar Flooring Spotted Gum, Bowens Limestone Diamond Cut - Cream, Limestone Australia Stone Cladding Yarrabee & Castlemaine, Peninsula Blend Flat panel solar array and battery system: TCK Solar, with Teslar batteries

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02. InterVIEW

What are you working on now? I have a few projects on the go at the moment which are mainly mixed-use apartment projects however, I’m currently mainly focused on a project in Fishermans Bend which includes a neighbourhood shopping centre with a number of commercial floors and a few hundred apartments

JOHN ARMSBY Architect, Armsby Architects 2020 Building Design Awards Judge

What have been your favourite projects and why? My two favourite projects to date are definitely Richmond Icon, at the former Dimmeys in Richmond, which was for me a formative project in that it was the first major project after establishing Armsby Architects and it was a true test of whether I was going to have what it takes. It is a big task to redesign a project steeped in such history and especially so as it was originally designed by Harry Tompkins, who founded Tompkins Shaw and Evans in East Melbourne where I cut my teeth in Melbourne Architecture shortly after arriving here from Tassie. The second project is Green Edge in Cremorne which sits two doors from Dimmeys, and was my first chance to really push sustainability as far as I could take it for a client who wanted to have sustainability as long as it didn’t cost anything, so the key was to incorporate sustainability which also could serve other purposes such as the splayed buttress wing walls that removed west-facing glass from the building but also ensured privacy and overlooking were controlled whilst also improving energy efficiency.

Alila Ulawatu, Bali - WOHA WOHA.net

To date, what has been your biggest design challenge and how did you overcome it? Once again, Dimmeys has been my biggest design challenge as it had to satisfy not only Council but also Heritage Victoria who were following completely different agendas, as well as the sense of responsibility that goes with taking on such a glorious, although faded gem that was the tired old building known as Dimmeys.

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INTERVIEW 


My two favourite projects to date are definitely Richmond Icon, at the former Dimmeys in Richmond, which was for me a formative project in that it was the first major project after establishing Armsby Architects.

Do you have any words of wisdom for a student wanting to work in your profession? The thing I try to instil into my students is to keep your eyes open to the buildings we see every day, try to look at how something might have been detailed, and to absorb as much information as you can about various ways of tackling design solutions as there are normally several ways you can design something and there aren’t usually any specific rights or wrongs, however IF you know what your options are and you have a number of them then you can make an informed decision on which direction to take. In design there really aren’t any limits beyond your own personal ones so the only way to advance is to keep expanding your limits. There is usually nothing wrong with making an error as long as you learn from it and don’t repeat the error.

Why did you join Design Matters National? I originally joined because I was a Thermal Performance Assessor and this really allowed me to hone my skills in energy efficient design. I was rating a large number of apartment projects right across Australia for a number of high-profile firms and this allowed me an opportunity to explore hundreds of apartments’ designs and learn from what I saw work or not work. I should think I’ve rated a few thousand apartments during that period but, as my own office workload has developed, my time for taking on that type of work has diminished, however I learnt what I needed at the time to be able to produce Green Edge where there are apartments with ratings as high as 9.7 stars and all are 8-stars or more.



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02. InterVIEW

Left: PARKROYAL COLLECTION on Pickering, by WOHA.

In terms of professional development, what do you want to know more about?

What is your favourite international building?

Right: Green Edge in Cremorne. Photographer: Peter Clarke - Latitude Media. Latitude.com.au

I am perpetually distracted by Prefabrication and mainly Cross Laminated and Massive Timber construction. I see it is the future of construction and the rate at which it has been adopted throughout Scandinavia gives a good indication of how quickly that rate of change is coming.

I have a few. I first fell in love with Casa Mila in Barcelona. Gaudi was such a talent. I also visited projects he did at 23 years old and it is hard to fathom being so talented at 23, as he was. More recently, I’ve fallen for PARKROYAL COLLECTION on Pickering in Singapore by WOHA. I saw it being constructed when in Singapore staying at Marina Bay Sands so had to go back and stay immediately after it opened. I am also intrigued by vernacular design and seeing how traditional building ideas can be reinterpreted to enrich a new design.

What is your favourite finish or feature? My favourite finish is definitely natural. I prefer natural timber, natural concrete, natural zinc. I’m known for not really liking to add colour to my building unless it has a specific purpose for being there. What is your favourite architectural style? I love mid-century modern, especially the beautiful long lines found in Palm Springs and the Case Study Houses. I so wish I’d been an architect 50 years earlier however, I also love designing BIG buildings. I’m all in the less is more camp on that and KISS (keep it simple stupid). What is your favourite Australian building? Without a doubt it is Sydney Opera House. It’s the only building that you could show someone a photo in Kurdistan or Timbuktu and they would likely recognise it straight away.

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Which designer currently inspires your work? Here I’d really have to point again to WOHA. The PARKROYAL COLLECTION on Pickering is magic but their Alila Villas at Uluwatu in Bali are simply breathtaking. My father passed away while I was away in Bali and I needed a moment to reflect. Our driver took me to a great temple he knew of but it was strangely closed and as we left I saw the Alila sign telling me exactly where I should go to say goodbye. All I can say is I find their work soulful. Stunning buildings cantilevering over the sheer cliffs with pounding seas 100m below was exactly the soulful place I needed on that day.




02. InterVIEW

Green Edge in Cremorne. Photographer: Peter Clarke - Latitude Media. Latitude.com.au INTERVIEW

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02. InterVIEW

BELINDA STEWART Owner, 3875 design & drafting

Belinda has worked in the building industry for more than 31 years; eight of those with a local Bairnsdale engineering firm, then changing direction slightly, and spending nearly 13 years with a successful local Building Design company, Tantaro Design. Before Belinda established 3875 design & drafting in October 2009, she spent a few years obtaining some knowledge on the other side of the desk, at a building surveying company. To present good design ideas, her company utilises computer-aided building design and drafting, and in-house FR5 thermal performance assessments which complement a client’s brief and vision for their project. Additionally, she outsources such services as engineering, town planning and bushfire management assessments. Residential projects can include new builds, renovations, decks and pergolas, whilst industrial/commercial projects can range from an industrial shed to a complete commercial refurbishment.

What are you working on now, and could you share something unique you're bringing to the project?

Do you have any words of wisdom for a student wanting to work in your profession?

Wow... Currently, I am working on a range of projects from a covered area/deck, a retail/industrial building, alterations/ additions and few interesting, small but modest new homes. With some amazing consultants by my side, my structural design/drafting background, and approximately 23 years in the architectural field, the company can offer a broad range of design advice and options.

Ask questions... be a sponge. There is so much to learn and so many facets to this industry. That’s what I love about it: the diversity. Why did you join Design Matters National?

When I worked for Tantaro Design (a multiple award-winner, back in the BDAV days), I could see there was a real camaraderie between the BDAV Members. What are your favourite projects Everyone appears to want to help their you have worked on and why? fellow building designer. This is evident with these Member profiles, the Facebook A local residential project currently page, and the forum online. No-one comes underway comes to mind. The client went from the vision of a two-storey residence to across as above anyone else. I wanted to still be a part of that family. a single-storey, once budget constraints were explained. She was so In terms of professional development, accommodating of the advice and what do you want to know more about? knowledge offered that, even at this early stage (the roof has only gone on this week), I think more business-specific tools. she is so excited (as am I for her) to be Time management advice and possible seeing her dream become a reality. apps out there that could make life easier. I can get distracted at times! Also, I am To date, what has been your biggest loving the webcasts of our some our business/design challenge and how designers. I just want to learn more about did you overcome it? what our Members are doing, being inspired and being able to proudly say, Making the decision that, in order for the business to move forward (and to keep my ‘Hey, I am building designer, too’. sanity), I need to transition from sole practitioner to an employer. Advertising for the position brought forward many candidates (more than I expected), with one hopefully starting in the near future.

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02. InterVIEW

Stairs at house designed by architect Harry Seidler and his wife Penelope Seidler

Rear view of Penelope and Harry Seidler House, 13 Kalang Avenue, in the Sydney suburb of Killara INTERVIEW

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Issue 30

02. InterVIEW What is your favourite finish or feature?

Which designer currently inspires your work?

Tell us about challenging project you’ve worked on as a TPA.

Simply, I would have to say a great, well-designed alfresco area with an open fireplace. Being a lover of camping and the outdoors, I do love a good local red wine around a nice fire!

To be honest, I am inspired by all designers, especially our Members. The level of detail, design and innovation is second-to-none. The designs showcased in our magazine clearly show building designers can design buildings as well as (if not, in some cases, better than) our architect colleagues.

Just completed a rating for a ‘renovation’ which really was a complete re-build, therefore the RBS required it to meet six-star minimum. Problem was, it had already been quoted by a builder and thus trying to educate the builder, architect and client that the specifications already quoted probably (and didn’t...) work for a six-star home was challenging, to say the least. Upon speaking to the client themselves, I was able to advise as to what would possibly be required to get it to six stars and even though the specifications were higher than previously quoted, they were grateful for the down-to-earth, grass-roots advice and, ultimately, complementing the design with great thermal comfort.

What is your favourite architectural style? Although not practical from an energy efficiency perspective, I just love the clean lines and transparency (but not the lack of privacy) that they had. I believe it epitomised the classic Californian dream, which other countries caught on to, including Australia! What is your favourite Australian building? Nightingale Apartments in Melbourne. I love the concept of affordability, sustainability and good design for inner city apartment living. It just ticks so many boxes. What is your favourite international building? Again, some of the Californian mid-Century buildings are fascinating. But to tell the truth, off track here, the pyramids still intrigue me!

Why did you become a thermal performance assessor (TPA)? I sort of fell into it... Whilst working at a building permit office, the opportunity came up for someone to offer the services of a TPA as there were many applications coming into the office that didn’t have a thermal assessment or they required to be checked over for specification relevance (i.e. correct thickness of batts in walls, etc.). From there, I did my TPA short course at Box Hill in 2010, which led to becoming a registered building practitioner (architectural draftsperson). I didn’t realise how interesting it would be, as you are educating people every day on how to achieve good energy efficiency/design for their home. Some listen, some not so much, but the majority of people are now seeing the benefits beyond just the minimum 6-star requirement.

What is your favourite software tool? FR5 would have to be the easiest of the main three NatHERS rating tools, and it appears to be one of those more commonly used in Victoria for ‘everyday’ homes. How has thermal performance assessing (energy rating) and energy efficiency changed over the years? Software has evolved incredibly from when it was first introduced in 2004, as have the Government requirements for better energy efficiency. One main thing that has changed over the years, and is still changing, is clients’ education around energy efficiency. Some clients now come with a list of ‘energy efficiency’ requirements they have investigated in order to get the best star-rating for their budgets. Sometimes this is a plus and sometimes a negative, as not all projects will tick the box with the specifications presented – especially if the design is not on par for good energy efficiency (i.e. orientation, large amounts of glazing, etc.).

House on the canal - 3875 design & drafting

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DESIGN MATTERS NATIONAL Issue 29

UPCOMING CPD EVENTS

08

Meet an Industry Expert: Cultural Heritage

Tuesday 8 September 2020 | 11AM-12PM AEST

22

Fees & Agreements

SEP

1 CPD POINT

SEP

Tuesday 22 September 2020 | 11AM-12PM AEST

1 CPD POINT

Melinda Ryan – Town Planning & Co.

Geoff Hoare - Graaph Design

Planning & Cultural Heritage - Interested in learning more about Aboriginal Cultural Heritage, or the role of an archaeologist? Unsure of the difference between a PAHT and CHMP? We’ll unpack these questions along with many others.

This webinar will focus on different methods of determining how to calculate an appropriate fee.

REGISTER HERE

Meet an Industry Expert: Land Surveyor

Thursday 10 September 2020 | 11AM-12:PM AEST

10 SEP

1 CPD POINT

REGISTER HERE

23

FREE: Navigating Your Way Through Stress - Part 2 Wednesday 23 September 2020 | 11AM-12PM AEST

SEP

1 CPD POINT

Melinda Ryan – Town Planning & Co.

Michelle Graeber - Anxiety Recovery Centre Victoria

Planning & Subdivision - Learn tips and tricks from a leading land surveying expert – Andrew Lovelock of Speedie Development Consultants when he joins Melinda Ryan of Town Planning & Co talking all things ‘Subdivision and Development’.

Control your breathing: Identify triggers and tackle them successfully. How to control your breathing, identify certain triggers and react to them in a positive manner.

REGISTER HERE

22

EVENTS

REGISTER HERE




CLICK. LISTEN. LEARN Design Matters National Virtual Series

Meeting Expectations

24 SEP

Thursday 24 September 2020 | 11AM-12PM AEST

1 CPD POINT

30

Ethics for Building Designers

SEP

Wednesday 30 September 2020 | 11AM-12PM AEST

1 CPD POINT

Geoff Hoare - Graaph Design

Michael Dolan - Law Institute of Victoria

This webinar will look at how taking the time to discuss project details and setting out clear expectations in writing increases the odds of a project’s success.

Ethics is about doing the right thing and maintaining the highest ethical standards for the benefit of clients and the general public. We'll explore this through real-life thought-provoking examples relevant to Building Designers, during this interactive webinar.

REGISTER HERE

Time Management

25

REGISTER HERE

01

Ethics for TPAs

OCT

SEP

Friday 25 September 2020 | 11AM-12:PM AEST

1 CPD POINT

Thursday 1 October 2020 | 11AM-12PM AEST

1 CPD POINT

Geoff Hoare - Graaph Design

Michael Dolan - Law Institute of Victoria

This webinar looks at the management of time throughout the design and construction process, a core aspect of a BD's service.

Ethics is about doing the right thing and maintaining the highest ethical standards for the benefit of clients and the general public. We'll explore this through real-life thought-provoking examples relevant to TPAs.

REGISTER HERE

REGISTER HERE

To book your next CPD Event visit www.designmatters.org.au/Events E V E N T S

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03. Member Matters

Sketch Book

VIETNAM Trying not to wake my sleeping family, I sneak to the balcony overlooking a small Vietnamese town. The view of the South China Sea is fantastic however, it is not what I feel a need to sketch. Being a building designer attracts me to the waking-up streets of the old part of this coastal Vietnamese town, where a mix of French-influenced and typical narrow concrete houses fill the valley. In this early hour I am not the only one awake - the air is already filled with the constant noise of motorcycles, bangs from construction across the road and the aroma of sweet Vietnamese coffee from cafes. Tatiana Volodomanova

The technology and hustle of the 21st Century offers very little free time to do something I love - sketching the surrounding environment. The luxury of creating sketches is limited to time spent away from home, away from the perpetually busy family-work life here in Melbourne. The urge to depict usually occurs when I find myself in a very different, unfamiliar environment that has to be absorbed through observation, sketching and memorising and where relying on photos only is not good enough.

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GUM DEPARTMENT STORE, MOSCOW Visiting my hometown offers endless possibilities to visit historical places and buildings. It is easy to get overwhelmed in this bustling city where the East meets the West. What to sketch, when there are too many choices and too little time, packed with seeing family and friends? Often nothing. A rare occasion is finding refuge in a cafe in this historical shopping centre, hidden away from the crowds and starting a sketch. Half an hour later realising there is no time left, so this sketch will be finished later. Must take a photo or two. Tatiana Volodomanova

JASPER, CANADA Often a sketch does not have to depict the most famous and exciting architecture. Instead, it can be of just a common building inscribed in a beautiful environment, where the eyes are attracted to the landscape and the building just happens to be there and there is an overall balance in this scene. It is also important that the scenery for sketching is seen right from the window of a place where we are staying during the cold season in the Northern Hemisphere. Tatiana Volodomanova

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03. Member Matters

Meet the judges

Brett Seriani, Seriani Designs. Brett started his career in architectural design in 1994, in Vancouver, BC, Canada. He has worked within the Architecture and Engineering community since that time and holds qualifications in both. With his roots coming from Western Canada, his designs embrace the natural elements of the environment and emphasise the selection of sustainable materials. He is also a certified passive house designer, and he holds strong beliefs that all buildings need to be comfortable, provide healthy environments, be built with sustainable materials, and provide economic benefits to its occupants. His engineering designs support his architectural vision on the use of sustainable materials within the structural systems, and heavily promote the use of timber and engineered wood products, such as CLT, Glullam, LVL, as well as various other engineered wood products available within the building community. He is active within the passive house and engineering associations in Australia, and still maintains strong relationships with his peers in North America. Read an InterVIEW with Brett, on pages 14 and 15 of the July issue of INTERSECT.

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Dianne Bayley, Pasco Design. Graduating with a Bachelor of Interior Design (RMIT) in 1985, Dianne joined SJB Architects as their first interior designer, and established the interior design department and resource library. At Robertson’s Commercial Contracts, Dianne designed and documented various aspects of the Port Douglas Mirage Resort over two-years, including hotel, condominiums and country club. She discovered a passion for residential and hotel design at Stephen Akehurst and Associates, spending 10 years developing both interior and building design skills working on large country homes and Sebel, Metro and Parkroyal hotels, nationally. Seeking further challenges, Dianne took on the role of design manager at HPA Architects/Mirvac where she designed and managed multiple housing, high-rise and hotel projects including Beacon Cove, Kingston Heath, South Yarra/Como Hotel site, and Docklands Yarra’s Edge apartments. In 2000, she became a registered building practitioner/building designer and established her own design business – Pasco Design. Over the past 20 years, Dianne has consulted to national residential developers and designed many residential projects, including renovations, extensions and new homes, throughout Melbourne.

Roy Hodgson, Roy Hodgson Design. Roy graduated from RMIT with a Certificate of Technology in Architectural Drafting, and is involved with TAFEs as a judge and through ongoing student-mentor programs. A registered building practitioner with the Victorian Building Authority, Roy founded Roy Hodgson Design in early 1990, drawing on his reputation within the residential, seniors living and aged-care sectors. Roy leads a team of draftspersons and architects who are client-focused and driven to complete projects to the highest possible standard. Roy has been an active member of Design Matters National, having joined in 1992, serving on the editorial committee, as Secretary, Treasurer, Committee Member, then President from 2004 to 2006. He was honoured with becoming a Fellow in 2007 and has represented the DMN as Chair of the Course Development Steering Committee for the Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural); sat on the Course Advisory Committee for the Bachelor of Sustainability (Built Environments); and presented at WorkSafe Week on OH&S issues and at Building Practitioners Board’s CPD Awards.




03. Member Matters

The judges of the 2020 Design Matters National Building Design Awards

Peter Jackson, Peter Jackson Design. Peter has over 40 years’ experience in the building design industry, starting his career with Robert McLauchlan (BDAV president 1993-1997), and working for Rob for 10 years, broken up by four years of world travel. Living in London in the early ’80s, he worked with Christopher Libby, a prominent London architect, on large-scale urban design projects. Back in Melbourne in 1990, Peter established Peter Jackson Design, specialising in heritage renovations, and country and coastal properties. He also designs new homes and renovations for people with special needs. Being a parent of a 21-year-old daughter with special needs, Peter appreciates and understands how a well-designed home can alleviate challenges faced by people in wheelchairs. A member of the BDAV/DMN for 28 years, he has until this year entered a project into every Design Awards. He has won 80 awards in total, including HIA Awards. Read an InterVIEW with Peter on pages 14-17 of the August issue of INTERSECT.

Fleur Pitman, Eco Select. With 30 years’ experience in the building industry, Fleur has qualifications and expertise in building design, building project management, sustainability and thermal performance assessments. After starting her career as a residential building designer, she worked for 10 years in retail design and construction as building project manager for Target Australia. This experience allowed her to assess sustainable solutions while optimising cost, buildability, and aesthetics. She established Eco Select in 2008, responding to the needs of architects, building designers, and developers for specialist advice on sustainable building. She provides knowledge and expertise to support clients to improve the energy efficiency and sustainability in the residential sector. In 2013, she built her 8.5-Star sustainable home, giving her the lived experience and insights to achieve the optimal comfort and performance for her clients. Her goals are to provide naturally comfortable solutions while bringing sustainable design into the mainstream.

Jeremy Spencer, Positive Footprints. Chairman of the Building Design Awards Judging Panel A registered builder since 2006 and Thermal Performance Assessor since 2004, Jeremy is director at Design & Building company Positive Footprints. Positive Footprints combine sustainable design, thermal assessment, and construction into one company, making high performance sustainable homes and renovations easy to achieve and affordable. Along with his co-director wife, and team of committed craftsmen, they make modern low impact living a reality for clients. Jeremy has given numerous lecturers over the years, taught with Master Builders Greenliving program, and co-hosted a building segment on ABC radio, in an effort to spread what he has learnt, and make sustainable construction a mainsteam proposition. Jeremy is also a Committee Member of Design Matters National.

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Issue 29

03. Member Matters

Meet the judges of the 2020 Design Matters National Emerging Designers - Student Awards

Peter Lombo, Archsign. Peter graduated from RMIT University in 1986 with an Associate Diploma of Architectural Technology and founded Archsign in 1988. He has led his practice through more than 30 years of building and design services in Victoria, personally overseeing the design, documentation and construction of all Archsign projects. Peter’s passion for collaboration and rapport with his team deliver the best possible quality and value for clients. His direction is prominent in the quality assurance of the design, documentation and construction phases, including the ongoing coordination with client representatives, project managers and consultants. Peter has represented Archsign as a Committee of Management member of Design Matters National and the Building Practitioners’ Board. Archsign has gained numerous design awards from industry bodies, both state and national, over the years of service.

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Narelle Lockwood, Narelle Lockwood Design. Narelle has over 30 years’ experience in the building design industry, initially working for city-based building design and architectural firms. Fifteen years ago, Narelle established Narelle Lockwood Design, with offices now in Gippsland, the Mornington Peninsula and Melbourne. Narelle is passionate about the environment we live in and enjoys designing form and function with this in mind. She is also a Certified Passive House designer. Narelle was awarded a Fellow membership of Design Matters National in 2017. She was an industry lecturer in the building design course for Holmesglen and RMIT for over 10 years, teaching mainly Commercial Construction and Complex Architectural Projects. Narelle held a board position of the Building Practitioners’ Board, representing Victorian building designers, and now contracts to the VBA providing assessments in the area on building design registrations.




03. Member Matters

John Armsby, Armsby Architects. John grew up and studied Architecture in Tasmania and worked for several years there, moving to Melbourne in the 90s. When he left university, all he wanted to do was design, but he quickly got absorbed in detailing and the Craft of putting a building together. After that, he didn’t want to design anything until he’d studied his Craft. He worked with a number of profile firms in Melbourne, Queensland and London before founding Armsby Architects around 2008. He found himself in Tasmania and wanting to get back to Melbourne, so he established his firm while treading water waiting to get back. He never really saw himself as continuing the firm once he got back to Melbourne, however, after arriving and thinking about looking for a job he thought, ‘hey, I’ll give it a year and see what happens’, and what a year that was. The whole world economy crashed and while every other firm in Melbourne had work evaporating, he found he had it coming in constantly. Now he finds himself 12 years on and thinking, he might just give it another year to see what happens. See John’s InterVIEW on Page 14 & 15.

Tim Ellis, Glow Design Group. As a graduate of Victoria University, Tim’s first role was with a Swiss-German architect who brought him up to date with cutting-edge architecture and design. Tim studied the thermal importance of buildings and later became accredited in thermal performance, before becoming registered and setting up Timothy Ellis Building Design. Tim’s wish was to form a group to utilise not only the building design and drafting skills he had gained but also include skills in interior design and photography which belonged to those around him. Tim has always aimed to design for one’s environment and keeps a sustainable approach to the forefront when designing. He is proud to say that over his career his drawings have been presented on “Belle Magazine” online, and a project for which he did drawings was featured in “Grand Designs” magazine in the UK. Tim is on the Committee of Management of Design Matters National. He has also taught a night class of Sustainable Building Design and Design Presentation of Architectural Drawings at Victoria University.

The 2020 Design Matters National 25th Annual Building Design Awards will be held at 7PM on Thursday 15 October, 2020.

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Issue 30

04. Planning Matters

Important Changes to Bushfire Exemptions These tidbits are part of the regular contribution made by Clause 1 Planning to INTERSECT. For more information, visit www.clause1.com.au

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

Practitioners will be aware of exemptions contained in Clause 52.12 (Bushfire Protection Exemptions) of the Victorian Planning Provisions. Those exemptions supersede any need for a planning permit to remove, destroy or lop vegetation, in specific circumstances. Previously these exemptions applied to all Victorian land except the 21 metropolitan and outer-ring municipalities listed in Clause 52.12. Planning Scheme Amendment VC176, gazetted on 5 August 2020, is a statewide amendment affecting all planning schemes. The Amendment altered Cause 52.12 to: • Add a purpose to the provision – To facilitate the removal of vegetation in specified circumstances to support the protection of human life and property from bushfire.  To facilitate the construction and protection of community fire refuges and private bushfire shelters.  • Align the application of the existing 10/30 and fence line vegetation exemptions with bushfire prone areas designated under the Building Act 1993 across all Victorian Councils; • Remove the schedules to the clause; • Update the wording under the fence line exemption, specifically the four-metre rule, to match that in Clause 52.17 Native Vegetation;  • Clarify that no permit is required to remove vegetation for the construction of a dwelling, and alteration and extension to a dwelling, or the creation of its defendable space when approved under the Bushfire Management Overlay. Previously this clause (52.12-5) referred only to the construction of a dwelling and not alterations or extensions.   These recent changes mean that the exemptions now apply to all Victorian land that is identified as a designated bushfire prone area under the Building Act 1993.   The changes also provide clarity to issues which arose in the implementation of the previous exemptions, namely defendable space and the clearance of vegetation around fences.   Previously the exemptions included vegetation for a combined maximum width of four metres either side of an existing fence on a boundary between properties in different ownership, where that fence had been constructed before 10 September 2009. This exemption has been clarified to:  • The fence must be located in an area that is designated as a bushfire prone area under the Building Act 1993.  • The fence must have been constructed before 10 September 2009.  • The clearing alongside both sides of the fence when combined must not exceed four metres in width, except where land has already been cleared four metres or more along one side of the fence, then up to one metre can be cleared along the other side of the fence.[our emphasis]

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

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04. Planning Matters

This last exemption provides a little more flexibility whereby the maximum clearance width along fence lines was previously a maximum of four metres.  These changes do not allow widespread clearing of vegetation across the state under the guise of bushfire protection, but they do provide consistency in vegetation removal provisions for all areas which have been deemed as prone to bushfire. This allows landowners to reduce fuel loads in areas of bushfire risk, regardless of which municipality the land is in without the burden of the planning approval process. 

Councils being a bit cheeky It has come to our attention that some Councils are including unreasonable requests in their ‘pro-forma’ correspondence.    The specific issue pertains to several Councils making demands and inferences, as part of their requests for further information, that purport to require applicants to lodge formal amendments with their RFI response. Regular permit applicants will be aware that: Section 50 of the Planning & Environment Act states:  An applicant may ask the responsible authority to amend an application before notice of the application is first given…  Section 50A provides that:  With the agreement of the applicant and after giving notice to the owner, the responsible authority may make any amendments to an application that it thinks necessary before notice of the application is first given under section 52  Section 57A provides: An applicant may ask the responsible authority to amend an application after notice of the application is given under section 52.  In all three instances, above, the formal amendment of the permit application restarts the 60-day statutory clock, in which Council is required to make a decision, to day zero. So, the implications for permit applicants are significant.   Notably, VCAT has previously held that anything short of a ‘substantial rethinking’ of the permit application/ proposal would not normally constitute an amendment to the application. This generally means that; changes to plans that result from concerns raised in the RFI, the tweaking of setbacks, the rewording of the application form and other similar changes, that do not constitute a ‘substantial rethinking’ of the proposal, would not normally require a formal amendment pursuant to s.50, s.50A or s.57A.  

Another south eastern municipality writes:   Any changes to the plans/proposal will need to be submitted with a request to amend the application in accordance with Section 50 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (the Act)  Whilst, a municipality in the north-west goes even further, stating:  If changes are made or additional information is provided as part of this request then Council may consider this as the applicant’s consent to amend the application in accordance with Section 50A of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.  Any inference that “any changes” to your proposal triggers the need for a formal Sec.50 or Sec.50A amendment or that Council can make such an amendment without the permit applicant’s expressed permission, is simply not true.    Clause 1 recommends that permit applicants include the following (or similar), at the bottom of their RFI responses to Councils that infer a formal amendment is automatically required:   Any changes to the application have been made to address the issues raised in Council’s request for further information letter. The applicant considers that these changes do not constitute a formal s.50 or s.50A amendment to the application and no request is made, or permission granted for such an amendment.  We are hopeful the above and attached information, along with that previously supplied, is sufficient for Council to now determine the application. Should, for whatever reason, Council conclude that the provided information is not sufficient we request a 30 day extension to the application’s existing lapse date, for any such matters to be resolved.  Feel free to copy and paste it. We hope that helps.  

All council schemes to change As part of the Victorian Government’s push to simplify and modernise our planning regime all Victorian municipal planning schemes are required to be updated to Victoria’s new format Planning Policy Framework (PPF), by June 2021.   Moonee Valley, Golden Plains and Glenelg are some of the first to already have made the change.  

However, some Councils appear to be inferring otherwise.  Below are some examples of correspondence from Councils that have raised an eyebrow or two:  

Permit applicants should expect a period of adjustment.  Under the new format PPF you will no longer find the bulk of Local Policy under Clauses 20-22. Rather it will be listed under the relevant state-wide Policy in the teen-clauses. 

One south eastern-metropolitan Council includes the following sentence in their RFIs:  

Take a peek at Moonee Valley City Council’s recently updated scheme for a preview of what’s to come.  

Should you wish to make any changes to your proposal, you will need to apply to Council to amend the application pursuant to Section 50 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987.  P L A N N I N G M AT T E R S 

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05. Industry Matters

Design for place Free, energy-efficient 7-Star+ house plans from the federal government. The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources has released new, free, house designs to support homebuilders and industry to design a comfortable home, accessible via https://www.yourhome.gov.au/house-designs.

Design For Place home designs are based on smart, energy-efficient design principles and use shading, ventilation and thermal mass to make you more comfortable throughout the year.

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Design For Place home designs are based on smart, energyefficient design principles and use shading, ventilation and thermal mass to make you more comfortable throughout the year. They have been designed by an architect in collaboration with an energy assessor and have variations to suit a range of Australian climates and a predicted Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS) rating of 7 Stars or more. The plans available include a single-storey two-bedroom townhouse (the Acacia), a single-storey three-bedroom home (the Banksia), and a double-storey four-bedroom home (the Telopea). Each Design For Place plan comes with a design pack demonstrating what a well-designed, energy-efficient house can look like. The pack contains information to support discussions with architects, designers or builders.

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PROTECTION WORKS - TIPS & TRAPS By Patrick Irwin, forensic Structural Engineer, member of the Victorian Building Appeals Board.

Problems and disagreements regarding protection works are common causes of building damage and disputes. Most can be avoided with due consideration, particularly at the design stage. There are traps to avoid for the designer, builder and inspector. What are protection works? Regulatory definitions may vary from state to state but for this discussion and for practical purposes, protection works are permanent or temporary works intended to protect an adjacent property from damage. Examples include hoarding, shoring, underpinning, methods of excavation and control of site drainage. Protection works are not merely what is specified but include construction methods, materials handling, temporary, and in some cases, permanent support systems. Protection of the property, not merely the building, is required. Why is this an issue? Inappropriately specified or executed protection works are common and can lead to major damage and expensive and time-consuming disputes. Many of these disputes occur up-front and delay projects. Building designers thus need to be careful when specifying or reviewing protection works and, if they have builder clients, can be at risk of being drawn into disputes or of being a party to litigation. In what circumstances are protection works required? There are no hard rules for this. Proximity to a boundary, significant differences in levels between sites and height of the proposed construction are all guides. In some cases, projection works may be required for properties not immediately adjacent if the project is of large scale or there are far-reaching influences such as vibration. If major excavation is proposed immediately adjacent to a boundary it is likely that protection works are required. Specifying protection works Many major protection works are structural and should be referred to the project structural engineer. Examples include retaining structures adjacent to boundaries, shoring and propping systems and ground anchors. For designers, it will typically be appropriate to refer this scope off to the project engineer and to avoid any incidental or implied endorsement of the engineering. Unfortunately, engineering of projection works is not entirely reliable, as it is not well covered by standards or regulations, so problems can occur. Examples include deflection of retaining walls and foundations being adversely affected by basement de-watering. It is useful to consider protection works from the adjoining owner’s perspective. Visualise the works from the adjoining site and ask yourself what needs to be done? Common examples include hoardings, debris screens and small-scale retention. Consideration also needs to be given to how the works are to be constructed. For instance, if there is rock breaking, some form of vibration control may be required. This is another good one to refer to the project engineer. Site drainage is an issue that can easily be missed. Most projects are designed to contain stormwater discharge to adjacent sites in their completed condition but may require protection works to ensure this during construction.

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Regulatory definitions may vary from state to state but for this discussion and for practical purposes, protection works are permanent or temporary works intended to protect an adjacent property from damage.

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05. Industry Matters What about houses? If there is no significant below-ground construction or retention, the issues will generally be minor and should be easy to resolve. Most residential-scale footing excavation should not require formalised protection works, even on the boundary, but there will be exceptions to this. Factors that may trigger protection works for housing include cross fall between sites, cuts or retention near the boundary and construction of two or more levels adjacent the boundary. Home-owners are notoriously sensitive so neighbours may be more challenging to deal with than in a commercial context. The need for a programme of works Whether or not this is a regulatory requirement is prudent to document when projection works are to be conducted in the context of the construction works. For instance, a debris screen may only need to go up once works reach a certain height and may come down again once the building is locked up. It is insufficient just to specify the debris screen without this context. Dilapidation reporting & monitoring Whether a regulatory requirement or not, a dilapidation inspection and report of the properly to be protected is a sensible precaution. Such a report may serve as an essential reference if damage is perceived to have been caused by the works in question. This won’t prove causation but should establish if the damage has occurred since the inspection. It will disprove causation if it shows the damage was preexisting. A sensible criterion and a regulated one in some jurisdictions is for the content of the dilapidation report to be agreed between the property owners or their representatives. Most dilapidation reports are largely photographic, perhaps annotated with sketches of damage features. In cases of major in-ground works, a level survey, or at least some level measurements, should be included. Thus, if foundation movement is suspected, it can be quantified. Displacement and vibration monitoring are commonly employed for large-scale projects. Monitoring points are established on adjacent buildings. Strictly, this is neither protection works nor dilapidation reporting but can be an important precaution. There are survey firms who specialise in the provision of these services. Keeping track of documents In negotiated matters, particularly complex cases, there is often extensive documentation exchanged. All documents of practical relevance should be scheduled or listed so they can be referred to later if necessary. This can be of legal importance in cases where the consequences of the protection works need to be distinguished from those of construction works. Keeping track of the works In Victoria, there is a requirement for documentation of protection works actually carried out (as opposed to intended). This is poorly enforced and commonly ignored. If you are involved with such works, it is important to check if such an obligation exists or is required. This is particularly important in cases where the scope of protection works has been varied during works.

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Dispute avoidance Ideally, disputes between adjacent property owners are to be avoided. An initial meeting between the parties can help diplomatically but is unlikely to finalise a complex matter. If you have a role in designing, documenting or assessing protection works you may find yourself attempting to broker peace, sometimes between owners who fell out during the town planning phase of the project. This is a good role to take on, on your own terms rather than getting drawn into it. Provided the builder or developer takes his protection obligations seriously and the adjoining owner is not unreasonable, there is no reason for conflict. Dispute resolution In Victoria, most dispute resolution fits a regulated process under the Building Act; other jurisdictions vary and it is outside the scope of this article to cover this. The key point is to check if the regulated system can assist before embarking on other legal process. Legal advice should be sought but if a dispute fits neatly into a regulated process it may not be necessary to engage legal representation. Related issues Issues that often arise during projection works are many and varied from OH&S, noise, dust, compensations for loss and damage, etc.. If you are working within a regulatory or dispute resolution framework limited to projection works, it is good practice to isolate these distractions which may be resolved by other avenues. Regulation & enforcement Where there is specific protection works regulation, this will generally be under the state or territory building control regime. It is outside the scope of this article to cover this. The key point is to do your homework on your local regulatory requirements and resources. Designer’s contracts & services As protection works can be more complex than it appears and the input from other parties unpredictable, it may be prudent to provide services on a time-charged basis, rather than part of any fixed or percentage fee. Further reading Look for practice notes or information sheets from your state or territory’s building regulatory authority. If in doubt, seek professional advice. Patrick Irwin is a forensic Structural Engineer and a member of the Victorian Building Appeals Board. He has extensive experience in reviewing and resolving protection works issues and recently provided a presentation to Design Matters National Members on the subject that can be accessed via this link: HERE



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Inadequate protection can lead to regrettable results

Major excavations close to other buildings can be a challenge

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TIME TO FIRE UP By Peter Johnson, Arup

Shergold/Weir, in their Building Confidence Report (BCR), argued there is a need in Australia for a lift in “standards, competency and integrity”, including in fire safety engineering. The BCR authors added that, “It is essential that each jurisdiction have a public strategy for proactively auditing the design, certification and construction of commercial buildings with a view to improving regulatory oversight, education and enforcement”. In response to the BCR, the Warren Centre at the University of Sydney has now almost completed its evidence-based project on “Professionalising Fire Safety Engineering”. This research has recommended new roles and updated competencies for fire safety engineers along with proposals for regulatory reform, including professional engineering registration by states and territories.

However, if community trust and real benefits for property owners in terms of building quality and safety are to be realised from these reforms, then improved opportunities for quality education of fire safety engineers is one of the keys to increased competency. Fire safety engineering education The Competencies Report, released by the Warren Centre, highlights the fact that the necessary competencies come from a combination of appropriate academic education and supervised professional experience. However, in Australia fire safety engineering has received insufficient attention from the university sector, and the lack of quality graduates is being keenly felt by major consulting firms, fire authorities and other fire protection firms. At the present time, as discussed in the Warren Centre “Education Report” there is only one fire safety engineering course in

Australia needs fire engineering education which is up to scratch

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05. Industry Matters Australia that that has gone through the process of accreditation with Engineers Australia. This is at the University of Queensland. We have, or have had, fire safety engineering courses at Victoria University and Western Sydney University but they have not been accredited. Some other fire safety engineers have undertaken their professional education at the University of Canterbury in NZ or other overseas institutions. But the current demand for degree exit level graduates in Fire Safety Engineering is not being met. In Victoria, building surveyors who are certifying performance-based fire safety design have been undertaking the Graduate Certificate in Fire Safety engineering at Victoria University. However, in some other states and territories, little training in fire safety engineering is provided to certifiers and is another education imperative.

The situation is even more problematic with architects as almost all courses of architecture in Australia and internationally teach very little if any fire safety design or fire safety engineering principles. One further issue highlighted has been the lack of education and training of many architects, engineers and other building practitioners on the basic structure, principles and technical details of the National Construction Code (NCC). This need for NCC training was Recommendation #3 in the BCR. NCC training is of particular concern for fire safety since some 60% of the clauses in the NCC relate to fire safety provisions. It is good to see that the ABCB has responded with new NCC course offerings soon to be launched. Shergold/Weir suggest that NCC training should be a compulsory CPD requirement for all registered practitioners in building design and construction.

Importance of education It is self-evident that if fire safety engineers do not have access to quality education in fire safety engineering and regular CPD, then designs of buildings and infrastructure may not have sufficient levels of safety and the lives of the public and fire fighters may be at risk. Equally important is that architects, certifiers and other designers at least need to have an understanding of the critical concepts of fire safety engineering in order to work effectively with fire safety engineers and assist in implementation of fire safety features through design documentation, construction and handover. For too long in Australia, fire safety design solutions for buildings have in many cases been created by architects, certifiers and others without this critical fire safety knowledge. Performance Solutions have been developed and handed to fire safety

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engineers to undertake analysis to justify their acceptance for building approval, often without all parties having a full understanding of the complete building design and the implications of particular fire safety solutions. This is set to change. Responding again to the BCR recommendations, the Warren Centre Roles Report makes it clear that fire safety engineers, who have specialist knowledge and skills in this field, should take the lead role in creative fire safety design and be involved from concept design through construction and commissioning to facility handover to the owners. Much more cost-effective and safer building designs will result. This far more holistic and creative design role will necessitate major changes in fire safety engineering education, as detailed in the Warren Centre’s Professional Development Report, expected to be released by the end of August or the first week in September. Accredited University courses will have to address not only new knowledge but also new skills and professional attributes with a pedagogy or method of teaching which emphasizes the design process, problem solving and innovation, and not just fire protection technology, fire modelling and fire safety engineering analysis. New education initiatives The Professional Development Report from the Warren Centre suggests a range of short-term and longer-term activities to lift the quality of fire safety engineering education at universities and build the capacity needed around Australia. The drivers for more graduates and demand for capacity building in fire safety engineering are coming from: • A push by governments in the post COVID-19 period for more building and infrastructure projects, all of which involve fire safety;

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• New professional engineering registration requirements and enforcement action in NSW and Victoria for fire safety engineers to match Queensland regulations which will cut out the unqualified and poorly performing practitioners who will not now be able to achieve registration; and • New extended roles for fire safety engineers to be involved from concept design through to project handover, especially through construction inspections and commissioning. This is going to require existing universities and other universities to develop new education offerings and short courses based on the new competencies to meet

these resource demands. It is envisaged that a quality university program in fire safety engineering will be required in Brisbane (which already has the accredited UQ course), Sydney, Melbourne and possibly Perth as a minimum. But in the current environment, funding support for the universities from the profession, industry and governments will be the key. To assist in this process, the Warren Centre has proposed the formation of an Australian Education Committee involving interested universities, Engineers Australia and its Society of Fire Safety, governments and other industry bodies and professional organisations. This will help universities quantify the resource demand, set the education principles, and suggest sources




05. Industry Matters

of funding support. A key initiative proposed is a co-operative education model in the shorter term where universities can share the teaching based on their respective academic strengths rather than having to develop complete courses. We are on the verge of an exciting new era in education of fire safety engineers in Australia. There are major career opportunities and a demand which needs to be matched by new university courses and graduate programs. Education is one of the keys to engineering competency and the fire safety of the Australians in buildings and infrastructure in the future. All parties need to step up to make this happen.

Note: All Warren Centre reports on regulatory controls, education and accreditation, technical methods, roles and competencies can be downloaded for free from the Warren Centre website.

Bushfire near Katoomba in the Blue Mountains National Park .

Peter Johnson is a Principal and Fellow in fire safety engineering at the global consulting firm of Arup and a research leader for the  Warren Centre project on Professionalising Fire Safety Engineering. Dr David Lange – Senior Lecturer in Structural Engineering, University of Queensland. Ashley Brinson – Chief Executive Officer, Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering, University of Sydney. This article was first released in Sourceable, edited by Andrew Heaton.

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Becoming OK with COVID-19 By Michelle Graeber, CEO, ARCVic Navigating your way through anxiety and stress during COVID-19.

Anxiety is the most common mental health issue in Australia. On average, one in four people will experience an anxiety disorder at some time in their life, but this is not often talked about. Anxiety is far more than just a fleeting feeling or thought. For some, it can be extremely debilitating and impact on their ability to work, study, develop meaningful relationships, and it can start to impact on their capacity to function daily. We are all dealing with unprecedented uncertainty and major changes to the way we live our lives as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Our experiences show these changes are already having a considerable impact on our mental health. We are having to adapt in ways that are completely new and this unfamiliarity, living with mounting uncertainty, can bring unwanted anxiety, stress and worry. Anxiety is our mind and body essentially responding to a perceived threat which often takes the form of fear. Stress is an expected human response to challenging or dangerous situations. A small amount of anxiety and stress is normal and can be helpful; such as meeting a challenge or deadline can increase our alertness, energy and even productivity. This can work well for the short-term but if this escalates and we start to experience more worry days than not, it can have damaging effects on the mind and body. If our anxiety or stress doesn’t go away and starts to happen without any particular reason, or make it hard to cope with, then it may be the sign of an anxiety condition and time to reach out and ask for help. It can be common to try to hide or mask our anxiety and stress but in doing so, often the condition can be exacerbated. Acknowledging, paying attention to what is underneath, behind the thoughts, feelings, emotions and behaviours can be the first step to helping ourselves. Learning as much as possible about your individual experience can help you to discover and learn some evidence-based techniques and management strategies that can be useful in trying to reduce it. Self-management is a key to recovery.

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Tips for looking after ourselves during COVID-19 Talking. Talk about how we are feeling allows us to gain perspective and or challenge us. Talking out loud can help us process what’s happening and help us acknowledge how our anxiety or stress is impacting on our body, thoughts, feelings and emotions.

Try the following Breathing Waltz: Breath in for the count of three. Hold your breath for the count of three. Breath out for the count of three. Repeat steps one to three for a period of one minute.

Challenge. Challenge our perspectives gently. Anxiety has a habit of encouraging us to jump to the the worst-case scenario. Acknowledge and develop awareness of negative thoughts and don’t give them too much power. Thoughts are thoughts, not necessarily facts.

A little reminder that, despite our circumstances, we are all experiencing things differently but, for the first time ever in some small way, we are also all vulnerable together, anxious together, sad together, and scared together. Despite the pain right now, we could see this as an opportunity to reset our compass, become more attuned to what’s important to us and hopeful for what lies before us.

Make a routine. Find our new normal. Looking at what you would like to do differently from the previous lockdown. This includes clearly scheduling: boundaries for work, study, family, and leisure; exercise of choice, outside if possible; breaks/eating healthy/ hydrating yourself/good sleep routine; self-care ‘me-time’… see this as an investment in ourselves; and limit screen time, and take time out from technology. Stay connected. Connect with nature, friends, family, colleagues, etc..

The Anxiety Recovery Centre has over 30 years’ experience supporting people who live with anxiety disorders, their family and carers, and their local communities. We are a Victoria-wide specialist service which understands anxiety and is here to help, only a phone call away. 1300 269 438 www.arcvic.org.au

Take your control back. Understand we may not be able to change what’s happening on a global scale right now, but we always have a choice of how we respond to this. We do have the power to influence change and the current situation by following suggested guidelines from credible sources. (i.e., wearing a mask, holding off on making decisions, etc.).

Other, national helplines and websites:

Be mindful. Be careful of self-sabotaging behaviours or thoughts that are fuelling your anxiety and try a different approach.

Mind Spot Clinic www.mindspot.org.au Free treatment service

Limit exposure. Avoid unhelpful media and misinformation. Use credible sources only. Reach out. Communicate with friends, family or a colleague. Ring them to hear their voice rather than text. Be creative. Have virtual dinner parties, brunch with friends, family or pets. We don’t need to do this alone. We are all in this thing together in some way. Try a new hobby.

Lifeline 131114 Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636 Mensline 1300 789 978 (free counselling) National Debt Helpline 1800 007 007

Mental Health Online www.mentalhealthonline.org.au Free treatment service Personalised self-help tool for your mental health www.mycompass.org.au Mind Unwind App Free self-help tool (iTunes app)

Reconnect with Nature. Step outside and spend some time in the sun or garden. Stretch the legs.

Financial support for coronavirus www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/financial-support-coronavirus-covid-1

Feed your soul. Nurture yourself so you can look after yourself and the people you love. Stay hydrated.

Business support www.business.vic.gov.au/.../business-financial-support

Breathe deeply. Take some time for yourself. Breathing techniques that can slow down the breath encourage us to breathe deeper into the belly and help reduce the symptoms. Incorporate breathing exercises into your daily routine. Practicing breathing techniques at times of low stress, means that you are better prepared to make use of them at times of high stress.  Various techniques can be found in books, online or can be taught in stress management or other courses.

Student support https://students.unimelb.edu.au/student-support/ coronavirus/financial-support Michelle’s presentation was part of Design Matters National’s August webinar series: ‘COVID-19 Business Survival Kit: The Second Wave’. The webinar is available to watch for FREE in the Resources/CPD section of our website.

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Issue 30

05. Business Matters

Putting the va-va-voom into Zoom By Hayden Spencer, The Performologist

Adding professional polish and a competitive edge to your online presence.

The demand for online communication has never been so strong. Here are some of my hottest tips and excellent exercises to make you an absolute gun in the zoom room.

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05. Business Matters

Keep up your energy My clients often ask me how I maintain my energy level throughout a 45-minute presentation. My answer is: it comes with ‘flying’ hours. If presenting is unfamiliar or uncomfortable territory for you, then rehearsal and preparation will definitely help you build your performance muscles for the event.

To illustrate by example, think about how slowly a political leader, or an ABC radio host speaks. They use the sounds and space of their words for maximum impact. You can incorporate this into your presenting. It can save you a lot of nervous energy and audiences will thank you for it. To them, it comes across as confidence and command.

S-l-o-w down your speech I would recommend speaking 20-30% slower than you do in normal life. You will naturally speak faster during a presentation because of the influx of adrenaline, so it’s best to purposely slow down to calm nerves and achieve clarity of message.

See & connect Presenting on Zoom can feel like you are presenting in a vacuum. It can be quite an experience. In one-on-one video conferences, you can see and connect with the other person. It’s much like when you’re in the same room, so you know if your messages are landing and resonating.

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Issue 30

05. Business Matters

It’s important as a presenter to be both a speaker and a listener.

Listen actively It’s important as a presenter to be both a speaker and a listener; actively listening to your audience and reading their body language, like a poker player. This allows you to address any perceived objections. For this reason, I would always suggest encouraging audiences online to keep their videos 'on’, whenever or wherever you can. It can feel weird When presenting to larger groups of 20 or more people, Zoom lagging often requires you to have audience videos ‘off’, making it hard to ‘read your audience’. There are no normal cues from people, like nods of approval, interested looks, or laughter at your jokes… You can feel like you’re in your own world, listening to the sound of your own voice, rattling around in your own head. It’s strange and can make you feel a bit paranoid sometimes, which is not what you need when presenting. Control what you can It’s important to know that in actual fact, most audiences will really appreciate the lengths you have gone to in presenting for them, in a LIVE setting. Just accept the lack of audience connection, as something that is out of your control. And as they say, control the things that you can control. Don’t worry about things you can’t control. My advice is roll up your sleeves, trust your preparation and your content and have fun.

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Master your craft To improve your online presence, consider a training program that includes ‘content creation’, so you learn how to tell stories authentic to you as an individual, but also in line with your brand. Developing the know-how and confidence to maximise your presence in the ever-increasing online world isn’t rocket science but it requires a collaborative, rather than a one-size-fitsall approach. Hayden Spencer is The Performologist, a master teacher in the study of performance, bringing together method acting training and perspectives of mime and movement through the eyes of a contemporary clown. He has been a performance coach with Cirque Du Soleil touring shows, the National Institute of Circus Arts, The Starlight Foundation, among others, and in elite circles Hayden is known as a ‘secret weapon’ for CEOs across Australia and abroad, calling upon his expertise for major keynote presentations. He can be reached on 0433 324 929, via haydenspenceractor@gmail.com or via his Facebook page: @Theperformologist. Hayden’s presentation was part of Design Matters National’s August webinar series: ‘COVID-19 Business Survival Kit: The Second Wave’. The webinar is available to watch for FREE in the Resources/CPD section of our website.




05. Business Matters

Keeping jobs, boosting business By Brent Szalay FCPA, Managing Director, SEIVA.

Snapshot of government resources for small businesses, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 continues to have a significant impact on businesses throughout Victoria during the second wave and Stage 4 restrictions. The good news is that there is a lot of financial support available to businesses throughout this time, including: JobKeeper, Boosting Cash Flow for Employers, and the Business Support Fund. To give you some guidance on these initiatives, here are our responses to the top FAQs arising from our recent webinar: What’s JobKeeper, in a nutshell? It’s a wage subsidy to assist businesses retain the relationship with their employees during this pandemic. For your business to be eligible, you must experience a 30% downturn in turnover in a particular timeframe (e.g., April 2020), compared to a relevant comparison timeframe (using the same example: April 2019).

Worked < = 20 hours per week Dec Quarter $750 per fortnight March Quarter $650 per fortnight

Worked > 20 hours per week $1,200 per fortnight $1,000 per fortnight

Do my employees keep accruing leave while stood down, or on JobKeeper? In short, yes. In most cases where you stand staff down or reduce their hours (even if they’re receiving JobKeeper), your employees will continue to accrue leave as though the stand down or reduction in hours had not occurred. This will usually be at their normal accrual rates. Also, public holidays should continue to be paid when an employee is on a stand down order.

What’s the ‘Business Support Fund’? The Business Support Fund (BSF) is a Victorian government grant created for Victorian businesses which have been impacted by the Stage 4 restrictions (metropolitan Melbourne) and Stage 3 Where this condition is met, your business can receive $1,500 per restrictions (regional Victoria). Melbourne based businesses can fortnight, per eligible employee payment. Your business must pay access $10,000 grants. Victorian regional businesses can access eligible employees the $1,500 upfront, after which you will be $5,000 grants. To apply for the BSF, the basic requirements are: reimbursed just after month end. • you need to have payroll less Please Note: the payment amount will change from $1,500 than $3 million for the December and March quarters (explained below). • be registered for GST • be receiving JobKeeper, and What are the recent changes to JobKeeper 1.0? • have WorkCover. In the original rules, businesses had to assess employee eligibility at 1 March 2020. Employees who met the eligibility criteria at this What’s the Cash Flow Boost, and do point in time, were able to receive JobKeeper. However, this I have to do anything to receive it? meant some employees missed out on being eligible for The ‘Boosting Cash Flow for Employers’ (BCFE) is a payment from JobKeeper. the federal government to businesses which employ staff and turnover less than $50 million annually. These businesses are For JobKeeper fortnight 10 onwards (i.e., 3 August 2020, able to access a minimum of $20,000, up to $100,000. This onwards), you must retest your employees for eligibility as of initiative is paid across the March through September Business 1 July 2020. So, if you have new employees eligible at this date, Activity Statements (BASs). If you meet the eligibility criteria, you you must include them in JobKeeper moving forward. just need to make sure you lodge your BAS on time. It’s important that you provided these employees with a nomination form by 21 August 2020. Do I have to pay tax on these stimulus measures? JobKeeper payments are assessable income to businesses, What’s different in JobKeeper 2.0? which means tax is payable on them. This is also the case for BSF JobKeeper has been extended to March 2021, with some rule payments. However, no GST is payable on either. Lastly, the BCFE alterations for the December and March business quarters. payment is tax-free income, and no GST is payable. To be eligible for December quarter: you must have a revenue downturn of 30% in your September quarter. To be eligible for March quarter: you must have a revenue downturn of 30% in your December quarter. Another update to JobKeeper 2.0 is a reduction in payment amounts, which are tied to hours worked per week during a test period. This table provides a visual explanation:

We understand that the details and rules behind these stimulus measures can be challenging to navigate. There are also even more measures available to businesses beyond the three we have mentioned in this article. If you would like some assistance, we are here to help. Please reach out to us at admin@seiva.com.au Brent’s presentation was part of Design Matters National’s webinar series: ‘COVID-19 Business Survival Kit: The Second Wave’. The webinar is available to watch for FREE in the Resources/CPD section of our website.

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Profile for Design Matters National

Intersect, September 2020, by Design Matters National  

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