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35 32 FROM THE EDITOR.................................................................................... 12 PROFILE Geoff Holmes.......................................................................... 16 PROFILE Darren McMillan................................................................... 18 PRO FILE Ian Scott..................................................................................... 20 PROFILE Talbot Le Page........................................................................ 22 PROFILE Patrick Hubble........................................................................ 24 PROFILE Tony Tomizzi..............................................................................61

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT TRADES NOT JUST A MAN’S WORLD................................................ 32 There are no reasons why women can’t play a bigger role in the trades, says the National Association of Women in Construction.

COMMERCIAL THE BIG MACA.................................................................................. 35 Builder McLeish & Matthews delivers an exceptional industrial facility for Mining and Civil Australia (MACA).

COVER STORY FRESH INGREDIENTS.............................................................................28 Architects Hames Sharley break away from the usual “cake layer” design for research buildings to produce a stunning new base for the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.


on the cover

Psaros wins international award for its Edge development and Finbar announces a new luxury apartment project on Great Eastern Highway.

Harry Perkins Institute’s Premier New Research Precinct.

KNOW YOUR OPTIONS.............................................................. 98

Read our cover story on page 28.

PSAROS HAS WINNING EDGE.............................................14

Dispute resolution under construction law in Western Australia: what are the quickest ways to get paid?

4 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014


50 40 55

76 BEACH LIFE BEAUTY....................................................................... 50


The Matisse Beach Club at Scarborough ushers in a whole new era of surf side sophistication, thanks to the brilliant work of Oldfield Knott Architects and Buckingham Redevelopment Co.

The Salvation Army’s Beacon facility provides a safe refuge for less fortunate West Australians.

A SHINING BEACON........................................................................ 44

THE BUILDERS’ BUILDING............................................................ 66

IN WITH THE LIGHT........................................................................47

Master Builders Association members chip in to build a great new regional office and training facility in Albany.

Its hard to imagine this city beach house was once a dark and univiting home.

SEAMLESS INTEGRATION.............................................................. 76

DUNE DWELLER............................................................................ 55

New builds are easy; marrying old to new a little more complex, but one Robert Biagioni Constructions achieved seamlessly for WA Limestone.

Inspired by its location and outlook, this stunning Port Bouvard home, designed by Banham Architects, is at one with nature..

A NEIGHBOURHOOD FRIEND....................................................... 80

FANTASTIC IN FLOREAT............................................................... 58

Wyatt Grove Shopping Centre has the community interests at its very core.

MIXED-USE ECCO EXCITES................................................................................... 40 Developer Finbar adds the classy East Perth Ecco Apartments to its growing portfolio.

6 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

Tony Tomizzi Builders creates an exquisite home - complete with an amazing undercroft area - on a large block in Floreat.

BUILDING WITH HONOUR...........................................................62 Edward Brewer Homes’ mantra is “big enough to compete, but small enough to care” - and this beautiful O’Connor home is testament to that philosophy.

Quality, Custom-Built European Kitchens

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86 70


72 92


MASTERFUL MAKEOVER..............................................................70

THE SULTAN OF BROOME.............................................................92

Swell Homes transforms a dated, nondescript 1970s home into a Cottesloe landmark.

Broome Builders brings a very personal touch to a new, sustainable and innovative family home in Broome.

SPLIT-LEVEL SUCCESS............................................................


ARCHITECTURE FIT FOR AN ARCHITECT..................................95

TM CONSTRUCTION successfully completes the build for 12 split-level retirement units in Rossmoyne.

Perforated metal and recycled bricks come together in this innovative Subiaco home, designed by Studio 53.

ORIENTATION FOR THE BETTER.............................................. 86

OLD IDEA, NEW SOLUTION....................................................... 102

Building on a sloping suburban block can still provide a sense of being away from it all, as this home by Vanguard Construction proves.

Hubble Design reaches out and provides a smart granny flat solution.

ALL IN HOUSE................................................................................. 89 Cocoon Design and Construct delivers a super-functional home with a designer’s flair.

KITCHEN RENOVATIONS RECIPE FOR SUCCESS................................................................. 100 Good research and careful planning is essential for a kitchen makeover.

SUBSCRIBE NOW! YES! I would like to subscribe to The Builders Choice Magazine for just $39.95 + GST for a 1 Year Subscription Name:........................................................................................................ Company: ................................................................................................ Address: ................................................................................................... ..................................................................................................................... Suburb: .............................................................. P/C: .............................. Telephone: .............................................................................................. Email:.........................................................................................................

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Business Promotions Australia PO Box 1307, Wangara DC WA 6947 Ph: (08) 9409 5143 Fax: (08) 9409 3372 Email: Publisher Gary Boulos Managing Editor / Production Manager Merelyn Demarte

LANDSCAPING CLEAN AND GREEN..................................................................... 105

Sub-Editor Norman Burns

The 202020 Vision is to increase green spaces in urban areas by 20 percent by the year 2020.

Admin/Artwork Co-ordinator Gina York

WATER EFFICIENCY VIBRANT COMMUNITIES........................................................... 106 A new parks and open space guide is an invaluable tool for water resource use.

SUSTAINABILITY HEALTHY HOMES......................................................................... 104 Going beyond solar panels and water wise gardens, people are now asking “how healthy is my property?”

ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF CONSTRUCTION..........108 A FASTER SMARTER BUILD...................................................... 110

Graphic Designer Pearlin Bracewell Writer Rocky Amatulli Sales Executives Rod Saggers, Mike Thake Accounts Julie Jones Printer Quality Press Distributor Northside Logistics

Anthony Pillinger dicusses why a prefabricated timber structure substantially reduces construction times.

BUILDING PRODUCTS & SERVICES...................................115 DIRECTORY LISTINGS................................................................125

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Builders Choice Magazine would like to acknowledge designer Sandy Brennan as having contributed significantly towards the re-design and successful refurbishment of 812 Geographe Bay Road (which was featured in the March 2014 edition of Builders Choice). The owners of the home said that Sandy worked completely off plans in Perth before and during the refurbishment, and interpreted their needs perfectly. Sandy’s design input and efforts assisted the builder (Tallwood Constructions) and have benefited the project by having helped achieve the outstanding results which the owners now enjoy. Sandy Brennan owns and operates her own interior design business, Sandy Brennan Designs in Shenton Park WA.

10 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

CAB Member Since November 2010 COPYRIGHT: Copyright to all original material in this publication is owned by the publisher, Business Promotions Australia, and cannot be reproduced in any form, whole or part, without prior express written permission of the publisher. DISCLAIMER: While every effort is made by the publisher to ensure the accuracy of the content of this publication, responsibility will not be accepted for any errors or omissions. The publisher believes all information supplied and featured in this magazine to be correct at the time of printing. Placement of orders for advertisements by advertisers or their agents will be deemed as being an indemnification of the publisher against all liability, claims or proceedings arising from the publication of material supplied by them. All advertising shall comply with relevant State and Federal Laws and the advertising codes of the Media Council of Australia. The publishers and staff of The Builders Choice Magazine do not necessarily agree with opinions expressed throughout the publication.

Please note: The Editor reserves the right to alter and/or trim any submitted text (including advertisements and editorials) to ensure conformity with the publication’s style guide and space allocation.

from the editor We’re already halfway through the year which really seems to be flying by. We have another bumper issue for our readers. We get Up Close + Personal with Geoff Holmes, architect and registered builder at Hobbs Smith Holmes Architects. Geoff talks about how he started in the industry, some of the challenges faced and about some of his favourite projects. Our cover story in this issue with McLeish & Matthews features a large-scale state-of-the-art industrial facility which is now the new headquarters to Mining and Civil Australia (MACA). The Welshpool facility comprises a three-storey office administration, dispatch, workshop and workshop offices. It was a big and spectacular build that presented a number of challenges. Take a look at our story to find out more. Another great read in this issue is our feature on the new Hames Sharley-designed Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research. Hames Sharley’s architects and interior designers worked in collaboration with Freeman Ryan Design (FRD) to create three spectacular installations that encourage the public’s interest and reward their curiosity. Read our feature to find out more. Businesses have certainly been feeling the tough times in the past two years, but in recent talks with many architects and builders, and also our advertisers, it was inspiring to hear people speaking of more confidence and optimism returning within their respective businesses and the industry. For sure, complete recovery won’t be overnight or even in the next 18 months, but with everyone adapting within their businesses and their markets, the rewards should be noticeable.

Many of our readers will have visited our new A-Z online directory which is generating quite a bit of work for the trades and business already taking part. To find out how we can help you benefit your business by advertising online, please contact our office and speak to one of our sales consultants. Please visit our website and click onto the A-Z Directory. We would love your feedback. Two issues are left for the year, September and December. Please contact me on 9409 5143 or email editor@bpaust. to find out how we can promote your projects in our upcoming issues. And a reminder that we are currently taking bookings for the 2015 WA Engineering Careers Expo, to be held on Saturday, March 14 2015 at the Claremont Showgrounds. Secure your booth early. Contact Julie or Gary for further information on 9409 5143. Until next time!

Merelyn Demarte Managing Editor Email:

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Inspired by the boulevards and classic piazzas of Europe, Midland Brick introduce Ashlar. This unique paving range captures the essence of style for today’s contemporary home design. To find out more about the Ashlar colour range and textures call Midland Brick on 13 15 40 or visit us online at

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Psaros has winning Edge



Psaros has won an award at the prestigious International Property Awards in the 2014 Asia Pacific regional competition. The company competed against a number of developers in the region to receive this recognition for their Edge by Psaros project located on Newcastle Street, Perth. International Property Awards president Stuart Shield says: “It never ceases to amaze me how competing companies from the Asia Pacific region continue to raise the bar even higher every year. The commitment to excellence they demonstrate in every aspect of their profession represents the very essence of these awards.” This longstanding award is a symbol of excellence throughout the global industry. Attaining one of these coveted awards is quite an achievement and indisputable evidence that Psaros is capable of outperforming some exceedingly strong contenders within the highly competitive Asia Pacific property arena. Psaros CEO Danny Psaros said: “We see this win as a triumph for the whole of Perth, as a big part of our entry was based on Edge’s location and its part in the rejuvenation of this inner urban precinct.” Edge by Psaros is the company’s largest development to be constructed in its history; a significant symbol of the growth the company has experienced in recent years. Award-winning Edge by Psaros includes one and two-bedroom apartments all with large balconies and open living spaces as well as solid bamboo timber floors and higher than average 2.7 metre ceilings. The apartments also feature Psaros’ signature sustainability and intelligent home initiatives, including solar-passive design, solar hot water and power, and lighting, music and television controlled by an iPad Mini. The apartments feature sweeping city and northern views and are within walking distance to the CBD, Northbridge and the river, and residents can enjoy the heated pool, communal lounge and gardens, and a gymnasium. Apartments at Edge by Psaros start from $454,000, and are due to be completed by April 2015. Construction starts next month. The International Property Awards are open to residential and commercial property professionals from around the globe. Celebrating the highest levels of achievement by companies operating in all sectors of the property and real estate industry, an International Property Award is a world-renowned mark of excellence.

Psaros is a Western Australian company with a 30-year track record that includes delivering over 700 apartments 100% on time. However our credibility is built on more than just our track record. It’s also built on more than offering the best locations and value. Unlike other developers, we are also the builder and have an in-house team of specialists spanning the whole process to provide a complete turnkey solution. From sourcing suitable sites and feasibility studies, to design development that creates the best structure possible, and then project management to ensure completion on time and to Psaros quality. Being in control of the whole process means we can go the extra mile when it comes to quality, technology, and Ecologically Sustainable Design. Embedded in the Psaros ethos is an unswerving passion and commitment to the craft of building. Psaros is forward-thinking and reliable. Growth by Psaros In 2013, Psaros has designed and sold over $133 million worth of apartments in Perth’s high growth urban areas. We currently have a significant pipeline of stock in high demand urban areas. All are affordable, contemporary, high specification developments. We call it creating exciting, sustainable lifestyles.

Prime project for Finbar Western Australia’s leading apartment development company, Finbar Group, has announced plans for a luxury apartment development on a 5692 sq m site at 239 Great Eastern Highway, Belmont. Finbar’s wholly owned subsidiary has entered into an unconditional contract to purchase the property for $6.4 million. The company plans to design and develop almost 150 residential apartments, plus two ground floor commercial lots, on the site to create a project with an end value of around $60 million. The site is prime development land just five kilometres from

14 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

the Perth CBD and three kilometres from Perth Airport. Finbar Managing Director Darren Pateman said: “Our company is very enthusiastic about the exciting potential to offer a luxury 10-level lifestyle apartment building in an easily accessible and constantly improving suburb, at a price that will bolster our medium-cost development pipeline that is affordable to the wider market.” With marketing expected to commence in late 2015, the project is anticipated to contribute to company earnings in FY17.

up close + personal with


geoff holmes ARCHITECT AND REGISTERED BUILDER – HOBBS SMITH HOLMES ARCHITECTS // interviewed by rocky amatulli

Tell us about yourself and how you entered the industry I was born in Perth in 1946. I grew up in Daglish in an award winning Workers Home Board House. I was educated at Subiaco State School and Wesley College, then through Leederville Technical College and Perth Technical College, and finally at the Western Australian Institute of Technology. I always wanted to be an architect from age 12, as we had some social contact with architects through my mother (who was a close friend of Stanley Cann who went on to become the senior PWD architect). At Wesley College I excelled at technical drawing, achieving the highest mark ever at the school of 92%. This led to an interview in 1964 with the Lands Department to work as a cadet cartographer, and though I was accepted I declined as it happened that the interview took place opposite the Perth Tech. After the interview I decided that this was not the direction I wanted to go in, so I walked across St Georges Tce and enrolled in Architecture. I graduated 1972 at which time I also registered as a builder. What types of projects does your firm undertake? Our company was established (as a branch office of Hobbs Winning and Leighton Architects & Engineers in 1959) to administer the construction of the Albany Wool Stores. Harold Smith OBE was the manger/associate. The company operated through to 1972 at which time Harold Smith took over the business and created Hobbs & Smith Architects, though Hobbs was never a partner. I joined the practice in January 1978 and joined in partnership in July as Hobbs, Smith & Holmes Architects. In July 1979 the business became a company, Hobbs Smith & Holmes Pty Ltd. We can do any building project our clients require as we have a broad range of experience. Over the last 40 years we have been involved in the following building types: fire stations, crematoriums, historical buildings, roads, weirs, industrial sheds, offices, schools, leisure centres,

16 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

houses, multi-residential, hospitals, medical centres, interpretive centres, landscape/infill developments, banks and interior fitouts. What is your role? Given my age and experience, I oversee production, write specifications and discuss design issues with Roslyn Holmes (who is also a director of the company). In addition, I provide archicentre reports mostly pre-purchase, home warranty, architects advice and dilapidation. To date I have completed 973 of these. Whilst my role in HSHA is all encompassing I don’t do any CAD drafting but the firm is licensed for Auto Cad and Revit. During the design process, where do you draw inspiration from? Inspiration comes from perspiration - I like to work from conceptual ideas with the client providing direction on what they want, and then interpreting them into a three-dimensional reality. Essentially it gets down to problem. I try to convert peoples “worries” into a “defined problem” that then leads to a “solution” and if it continues to be a worry then either I have failed or it’s not worth the worry. What were some of the main challenges on projects? Trying to complete projects under Commonwealth Employment Programmes where there is insufficient money to finish the work or where the labour has to be employed full-time from day one without the resources and materials in place. Another challenge is when there is a labour issue that is “trumped up” and causes the builder’s programme to be derailed, resulting in a poor outcome for the client. The most difficult issue for architects is designing a quality building that can be completed within the client’s budget and on time. In my profession, there is no prototype design like in the car industry - it must be done right the first time.


Inspiration comes from perspiration - I like to work from conceptual ideas with the client ...

What gets you through these challenges? There is an old saying “don’t mind the quality feel the width.” As my father was a qualified Design Cutter (a tailor) that didn’t build the suit but made sure it fitted and was good quality he was actually trained to do with a suit what we were trained to do with buildings. The similarity here is that it is necessary to view issues from different angles to achieve the quality without the width and scope being affected. A suit is a three-dimensional object as is a building, so design fundamentals are the same. Often, a big proportion of the savings are achieved by cutting out all the middle men. This is good for the project and the client (but poor for the middle men). Also, having project managed over many years my combined architectural experience and building experience allows me to provide architectural documentation that is practical and workable. It also helps when talking with clients as it provides that extra sense of certainty in the outcomes. How has your industry changed since you started? When I first started, a building contract for say a fire station in a country town could be effectively be signed sealed and delivered with a handshake between the architect and builder. By the late 60’s the same project would require more than one page of drawings and documentation that had more pages for the preliminaries than the specification for scope, workmanship and materials…and it’s got worse with the advent of computers and the internet! The biggest problem with all this is the time spent driving the ‘‘whiz bang’’ rather than on the architectural detail and design. If the detail isn’t right then the design isn’t. However, we cannot go backwards - we must flex and adapt to change as change is inevitable, in fact it is speeding up. Fortunately, our practice has adapted to the change having operated now for 55 years.

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What do you see as future challenges for your industry? As I see it, the main one is being ahead of the game creating good design – this means being accessible to our clients, and being involved in the community so that we are seen as game-changers with the competence to carry through with viable solutions. How would you like others to remember you? As someone who contributed to the general wellbeing of our community through my endeavours, not just in architecture but through the various involvements in the culture of our city - be it in business, sport or the arts. BC

Unit 7/ 2 O’Malley Street, Osborne Park WA 6017 Ph: 08 9204 0600 Fax: 08 9204 0688 E:

The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 17

up close + personal with


darren mcmillan DIRECTOR/REGISTERED BUILDER – TM CONSTRUCTION PTY LTD // interviewed by merelyn demarte

How did you get into the building industry and when did you start? I am a second-generation builder who is proud to say I learnt how to be the best I can be from my father in New Zealand. For as long as I can remember I was always with my Dad in my spare time, school holidays, after school and weekends. Building is what I was brought up doing and I love it. What encouraged you to start TM Construction or was this a prior family business? I moved to Australia from New Zealand after I met and married my beautiful wife Emma who was born and raised in WA. After working with my dad for over 10 years, it was time to stand on

my own. Family is very important to Emma and I and we wanted to pass on to our children the importance of family and working together and sticking together and standing up for each other as a team. So the name “Team McMillan” became a strong sense of identity for us a family unit. So the abbreviate ‘TM’ was born and so the company was named TM Construction. What type of builds do you enjoy working on the most? I am particularly interested in specialised housing, which is modern and different, and boutique. I love the challenge of using new building products and mediums including Hebel panels, Colourtile roofing, steel and timber framing just to name a few. I really enjoy working in the commercial industry including both

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HAND BOOK schools and retirement projects. The retirement units I have just completed have been a great challenge in building the more traditional style of building, as requested by the clients. TM Construction is involved in building for a great cause what does this entail? For as long as I can remember I have had a passion and a heart for those less fortunate and want to take the opportunities I can to help create a positive change for some of the great injustices in the world today. We went last year with a group of guys from all different walks of life and rode motorbikes through Cambodia and built a home and goat shelter for a local village. We became aware of the huge need and wanted to encourage other contractors and trades to be inspired to join us in making a difference, one opportunity at a time. I am leaving for Cambodia again in June to help work with an organisation called RAW Impact, and then hoping to take a team over again next year to work with them again. What are your interests outside of work? As I mentioned, family is really important to me and so we are always trying to find ways to juggle the pressures of running a business and balancing that with the need to be together and have time as a family. So in our spare time, we enjoy a day off every week on Saturday which is set aside as our time with family and God. We enjoy waterskiing, motorbike riding in the bush, four wheel driving and much of our time in recent years has been spent renovating our own home. BC

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PHONE 1300 730 117 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 19

up close + personal with

ian scott DIRECTOR/REGISTERED BUILDER – VANGUARD CONSTRUCTION // interviewed by merelyn demarte

When and how did you start in the building industry? My father was an architect in Jersey in the Channel Islands so I was always around plans and buildings when I was young. I used to spend time in his office each day after school and saw sketches and drawings turn into shops, zoos and museums; many now iconic architectural buildings of the island. This developed my keen interest in building form and how buildings are constructed. After leaving school at 16, I was very fortunate to get an advanced five-year apprenticeship with probably the most prestigious builder in Jersey; working in both the joinery shop and on high-end homes and large restoration projects like manor houses. When and how did you start Vanguard Construction, and what encouraged you to do so? I started Vanguard Construction with my partner Sharon in 2010 upon obtaining my Diploma of Builder’s Registration, after over a decade of providing a range of quality services to Margaret River and the South West region. I had previously been a director of a building company before emigrating in 2000 so was anxious to again run

my own building business. Working in Europe we had access to all manner of new and innovative energy efficient materials and methods and I wanted to introduce and deliver this knowledge to Australia. Initially many people saw energy efficiency, particularly in regard to insulation, as an unnecessary complication rather than something desirable. However we still maintained sound energy efficient principles was the future of building in this country and now we have more and more clients wanting better quality homes where they will save in the long term on heating, cooling and energy bills. Spend the money on clever solar passive design and insulation instead of air-conditioning! These costs are only going to get bigger; you don’t need to be ‘‘eco’’ to have an energy efficient home, you just need to be smart.

What if any has been your most challenging build in recent times? The project we are currently working on would have to be right up there. A sizeable home over five different levels on a very steep sloping sand dune down at the beach. With very limited access for


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Working in Europe we had access to all manner of new and innovative energy efficient materials and methods and I wanted to introduce and deliver this knowledge to Australia.

both trades and materials, scheduling alone is everything on this build. For this project we needed to think outside the box and have developed a new flooring system; this prototype system eliminates the need for traditional stumps and bearers on sloping sites. We are halfway through this at present and so far it’s all falling into place. I have been toying with the concept of this for years and so it is great to have the opportunity to put it into practice and see it work for real.

Is there a particular build that really stands out for you? At present we are building a house for a couple who came to us and said “We like what you do but we don’t think we can afford you”. Their budget was extremely modest and the project is on a block sloping to the south with northern aspect to the street posing additional solar passive challenges. At first I thought: it is simply not possible to build the home they need but after a while I thought ‘this is the whole reason I wanted to become a builder’; to raise the bar and bring good quality affordable energy efficient homes to ordinary people, not just those with generous budgets. We are very proud to have designed and delivered them a 9 Star (HERS) energy efficient home that will not only require very little heating or cooling but is also fitted with LED lights, a water tank and instantaneous water heating, meaning the home will be as economical to run as possible. This is the most inexpensive home we have built; proof that it is not necessary to spend a fortune to achieve energy efficiency. What are your interests outside of work? Currently I am involved with the local soccer club where I am coach to a 9’s junior team including my two children. It is a very rewarding role as you see the kids having fun and becoming better players. Also, in the last few years I have made a personal comeback and currently play goalkeeper for the Margaret River men’s team; we won the league last year for the first time in 20 years, so that was pretty cool. I’ve probably got a season or two left and then it will be time to get the golf clubs out. When not playing soccer, hanging out with the family, a spot of fishing or a having a few sneaky ales is the best was to de-stress and relax. BC

The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 21


up close + personal with

talbot le page

Building Designer/Registered Builder – Talbot Le Page Design // interviewed by rocky amatulli

Can you tell us a little about Talbot Le Page and what inspired you to start your own business? I developed a passion for creating and building at a very early age. I pursued construction studies, and found myself working for the Alcock Brown-Neaves group, as an estimator. Progressing from there, I set up my two main businesses, Talbot Le Page Design and Turquoise Developments in January 2013. With both businesses, our focus is firmly on sustainable and energy efficient construction. By way of example, we currently have some 35 homes underway, but only three are from traditional ‘brick and tile’ construction. The others are all being built in panelling systems, such as the R9 system. I read that you have professional memberships with both the Australian Institute of Building and the Australian

Institute of Project Management. Can you tell us about these, and other affiliations you currently hold? You are correct in that I do hold these organisations for which I am a full member. I am also a registered builder, and have been on the HIA Greensmart Awards judging panel and the Environmental and Development Committee for the HIA. This is one of the ways in which I can contribute to the industry and assist my peers, whilst extending my passion for sustainability. What do you see as some of your most important accomplishments as a designer and registered builder? I will say that I am constantly trying to push the envelope when it comes to sustainable and environmentally conscious design. One way I have been able to do this is to work alongside the R9 Group, furthering the development and use of their walling systems.


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I am constantly trying to push the envelope when it comes to sustainable and environmentally conscious design.

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How do you approach each project you create for, and where do you draw inspiration from? I try to approach projects from the perspective that we have limited resources available for buildings, and so we should consider product and building lifecycles. I also consider what the best outcomes are for the client. For example, we recently tendered on the construction of a 30 apartment project, which had a construction value of around a $6.8 million. We won the project, but could see immediately that the return for the client was poor for the risk and effort they were undertaking. We set about redesigning the project, and were able to provide the client with 36 apartments (with an 8 Star Rating) at a cost of $4.5 million – a much better outcome for the client! Subsequently, we secured another four projects. As far as inspiration, I draw that from the industry and my peers. There are many people I admire, including the late Len Buckeridge, and Dale Alcock and Gary Brown-Neaves. I also work with a number of great architects who are inspirational in their own right. I believe that we can learn something from everyone we know or meet. Couple that with hard work, and you have a simple formula for success and fulfilment in life! What activities are you involved in outside of work? I enjoy travelling, and physical pursuits like surfing, sailing and crossfit. These endeavours provide me with relaxation and variety, but still allow me to extend myself in ways I find challenging and enjoyable – much like my work. BC

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up close + personal with



// interviewed by rocky amatulli

How did you get started in the design and building industry? I have been working as an architect for over 12 years since graduating from the University of Western Australia. I have always been passionate about modular and prefabricated construction, and have endeavoured to push architectural design into this direction. My practice, Hubble Design was established to create a ‘house for design’ where clients feel welcome to come in and try to find innovative design solutions for their projects. We do a wide variety of work, from modular or prefabricated design work, to site built houses and apartments, commercial buildings and even subdivision or urban plans. I’m the practice’s director. Are there any specific types of projects you get involved in? We undertake a variety of projects, and each one we work on is a project we enjoy - from the smallest extension to a house, to an internal fitout, right through to the site planning for an apartment complex. A common thread is that we try to push the boundaries to get the most out of a project. The projects that we get most satisfaction out of are innovative ones where we venture into unknown territory. Modular projects are among these, as they push the limits of expertise

and knowledge while traversing unusual procurement, multiple unknown sites and unique construction methods. If you feel you are challenged, you are sure to be working on an innovative project.

What inspires you when you are working? Our world is full of inspiration, everywhere. It is more a way of seeing than specific object or process. From the humble pens we hold in our hand to the greatest companies, all hold lessons for us. What challenges do your projects bring with them? Our projects vary greatly, and so do the challenges. Common challenges include cost reconciliation, approvals, and service integrations, but these are not insurmountable. The real challenges we face as a whole is the inertia of the building industry, and its survivability, to overcome housing affordability, sustainability and difficulties in funding new technology. The only way to overcome these difficulties is to consider not just the field we are all specifically in, but to see the links between our industries and try to make these better. True innovation comes in reforming the links between industries and combining services and products together to deliver the best outcomes to the owners and developers.

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The projects that we get most satisfaction out of are innovative ones where we venture into unknown territory.


Is there any point of difference in how your firm delivers its projects? We use technology as much as possible – from design and documentation through to working with contractors. Everything we design is in 3-dimensions, and we push for re-use and adaptable design. We also have a very keen interest in energy efficiency, natural ventilation and sustainability. We aim at achieving true sustainability – not just “green washing”. Are there any materials that you enjoy using? Materials that go into a building need to be as long-lifed, require minimum maintenance, and offer maximum utility and reusability for as long as possible. If this is not possible – then they should at least be low-embodied energy materials. They should also contain low VOC’s and try to produce as little waste in their use as long as possible. Are there any innovations that you’ve developed which you’d like to share? The modular and prefabrication methodology is the way of the future, and an area we are heavily invested in. This is the only way to meet the client expectation – with factory produced precision to close the quality gap that exists today. We have made significant headway in this field but there is still a long way to go. The building industry is inherently risk-adverse and slow to change. When projects involve a lot of money, most people choose proven techniques and traditional formulas as much as possible. I would suggest the best of both worlds can apply: use proven products, but in new ways. This also keeps cost down as a by-product. Has your industry changed since you first started? Definitely! In fact the building industry is undergoing a quiet revolution at the moment, and I truly believe we are on the cusp of this revolution – the first of its kind in our history. The ultimate challenge is sustainability. Not just energy efficiency, but of economic survivability, environmental protection and resource waste elimination. This is not so much of a visible necessity now, but it will be such within a decade. I am looking forward to the future. Do you care to share any other exciting projects you are working on? Besides our modular work we are also looking at large scale residential, urban planning and development projects, and how they can be driven sustainably. What would you like to be remembered for? We all want to make the world a better place. What kind of a man would I be if I did not try to make it one? BC



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The new Hames Sharley-designed Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research is a refreshing and functional departure from the usual “cake-layer” design of research buildings.

// words rocky amatulli




28 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

You’d be surprised to find out how many research buildings stick to a design formula that fits the description of a “three-layered cake” as Hames Sharley director, James Edwards, puts it. “Most research buildings in Australia and worldwide are ‘cakes’ – two layers of laboratories and one layer of offices,” says Edwards, who headed the Hames Sharley project team that designed the new Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, opened in March this year. There’s a problem with the “cake” design however – it turns out that cake design and good research are not necessarily the best match. This


The Harry Perkins building is designed to foster new ways for researchers to conduct their work and to collaborate.

is why the Harry Perkins Institute departs so dramatically from the orthodoxy of laboratory design. Long before the Hames Sharley team put pencil to paper, they studied the design of research institutes globally. “In particular, we became interested in whether that type of design really fostered good research,” Edwards says. Turns out the answer is a resounding “no”. Because happy accident plays a vital role in research discoveries, the layered cake design just isn’t keeping up with the way that the best research is carried out. The Harry Perkins building is designed to foster new ways for researchers to conduct their work and to collaborate. “We proposed a radically different approach in which we focused the entire building around a central highly activated core,” says Edwards. “The laboratories run north to south with natural light on two sides, and to move between the offices and the laboratories researchers pass through the centre, which houses the meeting rooms, lunch rooms, lifts, toilets, and a striking chromosome-inspired stairway that spirals up the centre of the building’s 10 storeys.” Hames Sharley has created the kind of highly flexible open-plan

Top to bottom

work spaces that are best suited to accommodate ongoing changes in research. When concentration or privacy is needed, enclosed spaces have been provided in quiet zones throughout the building for shared use. Anxieties about the open-plan design of the laboratories largely melted away once staff moved into the building and experienced the exceptional qualities of natural light and the feeling of being connected with each other. Edwards says: “A common observation from staff is that it is a ‘feel-good building’. We designed the windows using the largest panes of glass the builder could transport. This gives a very special quality, plus exceptional views of the leafy surroundings.” The walls around the central stairwell display super-sized colour projections of the researchers’ work, highlighting, Edwards says, the value and importance of their work to us all. Highlighting this fact is particularly important. Australia is a world leader in medical research, but research is a painstaking process that can take years or decades to come to fruition. Reminding researchers about breakthrough helps keep them inspired. Similarly, for our researchers to keep delivering the medical

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THE BUILDERS CHOICE cover cover story story

“The background of this display is a single backlit membrane printed with oversized MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan images of a male and a female volunteer.” breakthroughs that help people with cancer, diabetes, schizophrenia and other diseases, the building needs to play a role in strengthening public trust and support. In the case of the Harry Perkins Institute, three exhibition spaces play this vital role. Hames Sharley’s architects and interior designers worked in collaboration with Freeman Ryan Design (FRD) to create three spectacular installations that woo the public’s interest and reward their curiosity. Funded by a grant from the official state lottery in Western Australia, Lotterywest, the first installation is a giant electronic artwork covering almost 100 square metres spread across three double-sided digital banners. The banners stand within the double-storey entry foyer and are an eye-catching feature from outside the building. Hundreds of slowly changing research images have been used by multi-media technologists at Lightwell to create an artwork that beautifully displays the splendour of our microscopic world in extraordinary detail. “The images are a little enigmatic,” says exhibition designer,

Susan Freeman, a co-founder of FRD. “But the inquisitive can look up the details for every image on an iPad attached to the display.” Visible at the western end of the foyer outside the Institute’s public auditorium is an even larger installation, 10 metres long and 2.5 metres high. “This has a lot more detail,” says Freeman. “The background of this display is a single backlit membrane printed with oversized MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan images of a male and a female volunteer.” A vertical beam of light travels the length of the installation, simulating the MRI scan. Two digital screens move in front of each image, stopping at points to run videos on Perkins research relating to each part of the body. “When it stops in front of the heart, it tells a story about the Perkins heart researchers, and the breakthroughs in coronary research the institute has made,” Freeman says. A soundscape of whirring, clicking, heartbeats and other sounds recorded in hospitals and laboratories adds an intriguing further dimension to the experience.


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Upstairs, in a more intimate space, an exhibition has been created with schools and university students in mind, with artefacts, printed graphic panels, an interactive touch screen and miniature video screens. All three exhibitions are designed to foster a strong engagement between the community and the institute, and inspire students to pursue research. Freeman says: “The researchers’ work is amazing and we have tried to show that in a way the public can understand and relate to.” Laboratory buildings are complex and technically demanding. “Spaces can be visually chaotic and uncomfortable to work in,” Edwards says. Using pale surfaces throughout to reflect natural light, Hames

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Sharley has created elegant interiors, enriched with the subtle use of colour and natural materials to give the building a warm and comfortable feel. Subtle, natural, warm and comfortable – not your typical description of a cake – but then the Harry Perkins Institute is not a cake! BC Hames Sharley: (08) 9381 0200,

Servicing the Construction & Building Industry (08) 9302 6711 Unit 1/39 Innovation Circuit, Wangara WA 6065 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 31


Trades not just a man’s world

NAWIC WA President Hayley McBride with painting apprentice Emma Bain.

There are no reasons why women can’t play a bigger role in the trades, says a leading industry body. // words nawic

Young women are being encouraged by a leading industry group to pursue apprenticeship opportunities - including painting, plumbing and electrical - in trades previously dominated by men. The Department of Training and Workforce Development figures show the number of female apprentices and trainees in the WA construction industry has increased from 1.8 percent in 2009 to 2.6 percent in 2013 but the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) says more needs to be done to keep these numbers increasing. NAWIC WA President Hayley McBride said that although the figures had increased over the past four years, growth had been slow, partly due to a persistent perception trades were for males. Ms McBride said that while women represented 13 percent of

32 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

THE BUILDERS CHOICE training & development

Trades often offer flexible working arrangements allowing workers to fit work around their family commitments, they also offer great pay.

the construction workforce in WA, technical and trades related construction careers had only a four percent female workplace. She said women should not be put off by an all-male workplace and encouraged them to embrace the opportunity to push boundaries. “Skilled trades such as plumbing and electrical can make great careers for women but unfortunately one of the biggest myths affecting trades programs is that skilled trades are very physically demanding. In many cases this is actually untrue and a lot of these trades are in fact becoming more technical and dependent on intellectual capability rather than physical attributes.” Ms McBride said trades provided great opportunities and excellent compensation and with an ongoing skills shortage in WA, there was ample opportunity for work. “Trades often offer flexible working arrangements allowing workers to fit work around their family commitments, they also offer great pay. With plenty of work available for apprentices in construction in WA, a trade in this industry can really be a perfect career choice for women who enjoy working with their

hands and being creative,” she said. NAWIC is an organisation that aims to raise the profile and support of women working in the construction industry. Each year it hosts the NAWIC (WA) Awards for Excellence to recognise inspirational Western Australian women who play a crucial role in construction with six award categories honouring women for their contributions to the industry across different areas including Design, Environmental Sustainability, Leadership, Construction, Safety and as a Young Achiever. This year’s Crystal Vision award winner was 24-year-old painter Emma Bain who won the award for her significant commitment in advancing and furthering the interests of women in the construction industry. Ms McBride said Ms Bain was a role model for young women considering entering trades and she had worked tirelessly to promote women in the industry her whole career. “Emma is leading the way for women in constructionrelated trades, she is a trailblazer for her generation and a most deserving winner,” she said.

The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 33

THE BUILDERS CHOICE training & development

“To have a trade is an amazing feeling and something no words or negativity can take from you. If you really want to do something don’t let anyone stop you, get in there and do it and do it well.”

EMMA BAIN – PAINTER Ms Bain started an apprenticeship as a painter in 2008 and quickly learned to adapt in a male-dominated industry, becoming an extremely skilled and talented painter. She said she loved every aspect of her job. “I love being able to stand back and look at a finished job and see the difference I’ve made by turning something that might have looked a little rough on the surface into something beautiful,” Ms Bain said. “I also really enjoy being able to exercise my creative side when it comes to things like decorative finishes.” Ms Bain said she would recommend a career in painting to other women and that it was a very rewarding career. “There is so much satisfaction in painting and luckily it isn’t as physical as other trades can be which in turn doesn’t take a toll on your body. Everyday is a rewarding day in painting,” Ms Bain said. “Painting offers flexible hours to allow for other commitments, like picking up children from school, so I think it is a good career choice for women.” Ms Bain said she believed more women had chosen not to

pursue a career in construction-related trades because they didn’t realise it was an option for them. “I think associations like NAWIC are extremely important to get the word out that trades are an option for women, and not only can we get these jobs but we can be great at them,” she said. “A little bit of education can go a long way, just letting women know that it isn’t only men that can become tradies can make a difference.” Ms Bain’s advice to other women is to take the plunge and do it. “To have a trade is an amazing feeling and something no words or negativity can take from you. If you really want to do something don’t let anyone stop you, get in there and do it and do it well.” Ms Bain has won a raft of awards, including the Master Painters Association Apprentice of the Year winner (2012), Polytechnic West Apprentice of the Year winner (2012) and was a finalist in the WA Training Awards Apprentice of the Year (2012). BC NAWIC:

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Mining and Civil Australia new headquarters Builders McLeish & Matthews deliver an exceptional industrial facility. // words rocky amatulli

The project encompassed amalgamating all the clients’ departments into one location - bringing workshop, administration, warehousing and despatch facilities together.





Building a massive, state-of-the-art industrial facility was always going to be a challenging task. But add in factors such as complications involving power supplies, and the site adjoining five working properties, it requires a builder with exceptional project management skills and experience. Thankfully for the new MACA facility at Welshpool, builders McLeish & Matthews were able to bring all of their extensive experience to the table. The MACA industrial complex comprises a three-storey administration office, warehouses and despatch, workshop, and workshop offices to accommodate future growth and brings MACA Mining and MACA Civil workshops together in one location. The project encompassed amalgamating all the clients’ departments into one location - bringing workshop, administration, warehousing and despatch facilities together. The size and scale of the complex was one aspect of this project that benefited from the experience and skill which McLeish & Matthews was able to bring to the project – particularly insofar as the variation in the buildings’ uses and therefore design, compliance and construction. And then there were other ‘‘out of the usual’’ issues to contend with, such as a Western Power high voltage power supply restricting time construction sequence. The state-of-the-art industrial facility employs the use of a variety of materials (concrete, steel, Ultrabond, glass,

The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 35


aluminium fins), and is located on more than 16,000m2 of general industrial prime land in Welshpool. The facility incorporates a 12.5m clear height workshop including multiple overhead and column-mounted cranes, workshop offices and wash bay, two separate 9m clear height warehouses and a heavy duty paved loading area, and caters for MACA’s current and future Australian operations. The structure comprises concrete footings, floors, precast concrete columns and beams and precast suspended floors. The walls are constructed of concrete tilt panels designed and poured onsite and erected into position. The roof frame and wall columns and frame

for the workshop are structural steel. The workshop structural steel is designed to take a number of overhead and wall mounted cranes up to 30 tonne, with provision for more cranes to be added in future. More than 10,000m2 of hardstand paving and 180 lineal metres of 2.5 metre high limestone boundary retaining walls were laid to bring the property up to fill level. Heavy duty interlocking concrete pavers were laid to the heavy lift storage area. Both the workshop and warehouse structure are industrial in nature and clad with Colorbond cladding and painted concrete tilt panel walls. The main administration office is clad with aluminium, and has elliptical fins for energy shading purposes, with rendered

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concrete panel walls and glazed facades. MACA corporate-themed painted bollards finish off the exterior of the buildings and exposed aggregate paving to the courtyard and front entries give the area a neat industrial finish. The workshop building has a 30-tonne overhead gantry crane, five-tonne overhead gantry crane and four 500kg column-mounted jib cranes. A wash bay has been designed and constructed into the purpose-built facility for machinery washing and there are also a number of service bays for machinery repair. EWIS and smoke detection is provided throughout to meet client OHS requirements. The commercial office finishes throughout include purpose-made full height cedar doors to the boardroom, stone tops to reception and coffee cabinets, full height tiling to all bathrooms, frameless glazed balustrades and stainless steel tactiles. The workshop is finished to a similarly high standard, with epoxy painted floors, client themed painted columns and an accompanying workshop office to suit. The sequence of lifting the structural elements into place on the main office building meant the use of many site cranes. Lifting columns and then grouting, then installing beams and precast planks, followed by pouring the topping to enable the next floor beams to be installed all required strict and diligent coordination. This was completed in sequence over eight stages. The original 122,000 volt power feed to the property also serviced the neighbouring industrial facility next door, and had to be agreed and arranged with Western Power for a new transformer to serve the needs of both clients. The duration of the design of these works was over nine months, which meant that the building was


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constructed around the high voltage transformer and power lines restricting part of the main office building from being constructed. This required special lifting days and liaison with Western Power to isolate power on weekends and heavily impacted on site progress. Negotiations and liaising with Western power from the demolition stage through to the new power connections to the lot took many meetings in order to finalise and agree on the scope and what was allowed to be done at the various stages. Structural rigging and pouring and propping of panels also involved many meetings with the structural engineer and rigging engineers to determine the works to be conducted in a safe and timely manner. The raising of the existing ground level on previously government-owned land at the rear of the property required

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discussions and liaising with the local authority to locate and raise existing council stormwater infrastructure. The council was not exactly sure where all council assets were and the workshop building was modified to suit the discovered locations of existing infrastructure. Being a large industrial complex, there was reasonable room upon which to work on site - however during the process McLeish & Matthews had to deal with five adjoining properties owners, and the rear lot was owned by the City of Canning. The project required constant communication with all adjoining neighbours. The contract was agreed for 52 weeks from issue of building permit, with the building being handed over successfully on time whilst still incorporating a number of client-driven changes, including


fitting out of the partitioning to the administration block. The project was delivered successfully, inclusive of furniture, and associated data, voice and power services. McLeish & Matthews’ relationship with its client is excellent. The contract was finalised to the harmonious satisfaction of all parties. McLeish & Matthews commenced trading in 1960 when the business was established by Robert Murray McLeish and Ivan Matthews. Specialising in commercial and industrial construction, McLeish & Matthews has been continuously family owned and operated since that date. For more than 50 years McLeish & Matthews has undertaken literally thousands of building projects of varying size and complexity and for a wide range of clients. The company prides

itself on achieving a high quality end product, having satisfied clients (many of whom have returned time and again to utilise its services). For over the 50 years McLeish & Matthews has built up a team of reliable suppliers and subcontractors, all of whom add value and quality to the building process to produce a finished product within client guidelines and cost constraints. Offering design-and-construct packages, project management, tilt-up construction and all general building works in industrial and commercial construction, the company has ‘‘built’’ itself a solid and reliable reputation. BC McLeish & Matthews Pty Ltd: (08) 9356 1200,

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Ecco excites E TH



Developer Finbar adds Ecco Apartments to its growing portfolio // words rocky amatulli // images finbar

Centrally located near the corner of Lord and Bulwer Streets opposite nib Stadium in East Perth, Ecco Apartments was marketed as “the ultimate destination for those who love to live it up” by its developer Finbar. And it would seem there are many who would agree. With construction now complete, all of the residential apartments have sold out and only a limited commercial units remain. The project represented a joint venture between the land owner (Swanline Group) and Finbar Group Limited for the assessment and development of the land. What Finbar Group provided the development was its vast expertise in these types of development – many of which have featured in previous editions of Builders Choice magazine. And in keeping with a successful formula, SS Chang (who Finbar have used many times on their developments) was again engaged as the architect for Ecco Apartments, as was builder Hanssen. Ecco’s exterior is built from a combination of painted pre-fabricated and in-situ cast concrete walls, and insulated steel-clad walls and cladding. Balustrades vary between brickwork and aluminium framed glass. The two complexes which make up Ecco include a range of one, two and three-bedroom apartments which make up its 90 residential units, along with a selection of commercial spaces (allocated for shops, cafes and offices) on the lower floor. The complex also boasts the other lifestyle trappings commonly found in Finbar developments – a fully equipped gymnasium, sauna, 17m lap pool, pool lounge and games room. And of course, there is no shortage of manicured gardens, paving and decking to complement the resident-only common areas between the two buildings making up the development. 40 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

CONCRETE 13 26 62 AGGREGATES 13 36 66


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The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 41


Residents also have the added features of a secure lobby with keyless entry and lift access, and remote controlled security gates with on-site parking. All in all, residents and their visitors will feel more like they are in a hotel than an apartment. The apartments have stainless steel appliances, coloured glass splashbacks, granite or stone bench tops, and multi split-unit air-conditioners to all living areas and bedrooms. The name Ecco comes from the Italian word meaning “here it

is”, and the complex is exactly where it needs to be – close to the Perth CBD, and enticing areas such as Mt Lawley, East Perth and Northbridge, complete with their abundant share of shops, cafes, restaurants, and other buzzing boutique businesses. And given that Ecco is located in some of Perth’s most eclectic areas allowed Finbar and the development team to take some artistic licence – literally. The development includes a large piece of public art ‘‘panels’’ on the exterior façade of the building, in the form

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42 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

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of LED lighting. The panels are in fact two large wall-mounted sculpted light boxes which create a daytime and night-time presence. Each 10m x 2.4m piece of artwork has the sky and horizon as its themes, and the light boxes reference the sky through the use of colour, and the way in which the 3D surface of the skin of each box creates shadows and is lit by the sun. Acrylic diffusers sit behind the skin of the panels, and programmable LEDs sit behind that to illuminate the diffuser through the skin. These LEDs are low voltage and provide a bright, vibrant and long lasting experience for a relatively low wattage use. It is great to see Western Australian developers doing more than just delivering quality accommodation to satisfy the market demand. In this case (as it has done many times before) Finbar is also delivering memorable and meaningful experiences for the community to share in, and not just the lucky few residents who own a Finbar property. Finbar continues its growth by being one of the leaders in the medium and higher density residential development market. The company is developing numerous other projects which include Norwood Perth, Spring View Towers, Arbor North, Subi Strand and Toccata. BC Finbar: (08) 6211 3300, Hannsen Pty Ltd: (08) 6218 3800,


FLOORING GALVINS PLUMBING SUPPLIES OSBORNE PARK 3-5 Sundercombe Street (Cnr Howe) Ph: 9441 8544 Fax: 9441 8599 BASSENDEAN – 121 Broadway Ph: 9377 1844 Fax: 9279 9182 BROOME – 5 Ord Way Ph: 9192 1509 Fax: 9192 1802 BUNBURY – 10 Rose Street Ph: 9792 4441 Fax: 9792 4446 BUSSELTON – 44 Cook Street Ph: 9754 4088 Fax: 9754 4177

KUNUNURRA – 17 Konkerberry Drive Ph: 9166 7000 Fax: 9619 1407 MANDURAH – 10 Panton Road Ph: 9581 7711 Fax: 9581 9133 NEDLANDS – 33 Carrington Street Ph: 9389 6100 Fax: 9389 6106 NEWMAN – 14 Pardoo Street Ph: 9130 9800 Fax: 9130 9813 PERTH – 6 Aberdeen Street Ph: 9221 0500 Fax: 9221 0600

CLARKSON – 51 Boranup Avenue Ph: 9408 6300 Fax: 9408 6700

PORT HEDLAND 24 Manganese Street, Wedgefield Ph: 9140 2540 Fax: 9140 2532

GERALDTON – 22 Beaver Street Ph: 9938 4300 Fax: 9938 4305

SPEARWOOD – 17 Quarimor Road Ph: 9434-2004 Fax: 9434 2501

KARRATHA – Lot 33 Mooligunn Road Ph: 91855877 Fax: 9185 5977

WANGARA – 55 Buckingham Drive Ph: 9409-9089 Fax: 9309-1181

KELMSCOTT – 2 Brant Road Ph: 9390 1400 Fax: 9390 1444

WELSHPOOL – 84–86 Kurnall Road Ph: 9356 8890 Fax: 9356 8920

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E: The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 43


A shining Beacon TH




The Beacon provides a safe refuge for less fortunate West Australians. // words rocky amatulli // images mark lehn

The Salvation Army has been a part of the Western Australian community since 1891, and is at the forefront of providing social and community support. Today, The Salvation Army faces unique challenges and the organisation is deeply concerned with the health and wellbeing of Western Australian families. In all of its 63 social programmes administered in Western Australia today, The Salvation Army endeavours to deliver its core values of Hope, Human Dignity, Compassion, Community and Justice. The organisation’s social programs have translated to over $23m worth of investment into the community via this 102-bed facility - with funding provided from The Salvation Army, State and Federal Government, Lotterywest, and the public of Western Australia through their generous giving to the Red Shield Appeal, and the Doorways of Hope Appeal (set up specifically to raise funds for this project). The Beacon, a purpose-built facility, is the operational base for The Salvation Army’s Homelessness Services network which includes programs, service delivery and accommodation provision functions. It was constructed to replace the old Lentara hostel which was built in the 1970s. Lentara was an under-utilised inner city site, had small outdated rooms, lacked non-residential

44 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014


The Beacon, a purpose-built facility, is the operational base for The Salvation Army’s Homelessness Services network which includes programs, service delivery and accommodation provision functions. facilities such as offices, and had many shortcomings in respect to communal and social activities. The Beacon only contains single accommodation rooms with personal ensuites, a move away from older designs that included communal sleeping and bathroom facilities. Having a single room and bathroom facilities for each resident allows for greater dignity for the residents as well as closely mimicking the type of accommodation that they could expect to occupy once they had become more established and move from this facility out into the community. The project also represents another successful development between a ‘‘private’’ community housing developer (such as The Salvation Army), and the Department of Housing. In fact, this one of many large scale developments in which the department has recently collaborated with external developers and organisations, resulting in the construction a substantial increase in accommodation units in Perth and regional areas. As the project was part of the Federal Stimulus package of funding, The Salvation Army had to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the project. The Department’s role included assessing this project (along with hundreds of other EOIs it received for projects) against the approval criteria. This funding was one of the Federal Government’s responses to the global financial crisis and the need for additional crisis and social housing accommodation in our communities. The project was given the go-ahead in 2009, as it clearly met one of the main criteria of the funding which was to provide accommodation for major risk groups which included the homeless, seniors, those escaping domestic violence, indigenous persons, persons with disability, and those that are high priority on the public housing waiting list. However, well before construction commenced, the Department had to deal with the relocation of the 52 existing Lentara residents so that the existing buildings could be demolished to make way for The Beacon. This relocation included the identification, leasing and refurbishment of other premises. The Department facilitated the project with The Salvation Army, which included development of funding agreements,

administration of funding, and high level oversight of the project. The Salvation Army managed the project, entering into agreements for services with consultants such as the project architects and the project managers, and entering into the main building contracts. Thinc was approached by the Salvation Army in April 2011 to assist them in moving the Beacon project forward to meet the timeframe requirements. At the time of Thinc’s engagement, the project was at the point of completing schematic design under the guidance of architects, Oldfield Knott Architects. Thinc was engaged to undertake the role of project manager/ superintendent for the project, overseeing the design team as well as the engagement of the contractors for the Stage 1 substructure and Stage 2 superstructure construction and close-out of the project. The project had to meet some tight timeframes in order to receive its funding under the Government’s Stimulus Package. To assist in meeting these timeline requirements, the project was split into two stages to allow construction of the basement substructure to begin prior to the completion of the upper floor design. The pitfalls that can occur with a two-stage, two-contractor project were a potential risk that had to be managed. This type of procurement (while saving time), creates a multitude of challenges, especially during the handover and engagement of the Stage 2 contractor. Through the use of additional contractual and documentation controls within both the Stage 1 and Stage 2 contracts, these challenges and associated risks were able to be minimised. The two stages were successfully delivered by two experienced contractors, Credentia Construction (for Stage 1) and BGC (for Stage 2). The tight timelines influenced the design of the project, and resulted in time saving solutions such as adopting the use

The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 45


The Beacon is the largest project that the organisation has ever undertaken in Western Australia, and one of the largest in the Southern Territory of The Salvation Army.

of precast panels, instead of brick, for the building’s exterior. A concrete slab roof was also identified as a time saver and incorporated into the design. There were a number of other innovative features incorporated into the design to enable the structure to be completed quickly. One is the installation of hydrostatic valves within the basement’s design to remove the need to tank/waterproof the entire basement as the facility is located just above the estimated peak ground water level. Eliminating the need to tank/waterproof the basement saved considerable cost as well as time. Another feature focused around a requirement to maintain access to the main sewer that runs through the south of the property and to adjoining properties. The original design had this sewer being covered by a large portion of the building. Through innovative design of the driveway ramps and basement slab above the sewer line, this access was able to be maintained at all times. This design included additional bored piles along the line of the sewer as well as a thinner sectioned slab that allows for ease of removal if required in the future without affecting the surrounding structures. The new facility not only needed to provide for The Salvation Army’s contracted requirements with the State Government, but also to provide additional scope to increase with the growing need of service provision based on the rising level of homelessness. The facility also had to offer a significant improvement in the quality of accommodation available, (such as all rooms having ensuites) together with capacity to provide additional programs that support the overall transition objectives. The training kitchen is one such enhancement, allowing residents to train in food preparation, whilst the addition of various recreational facilities provide a greater level of pride and dignity to residents whilst they are dealing with deep and complex issues in their lives. The entire ground floor is non-residential, made up of offices, training areas, counselling suites, kitchens, and employment assistance centres (as the facility aims to transition residents from

46 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

their short-term crisis accommodation to longer term independent tenant status within the community). The facilities within the complex are all designed and built to universal standards, as the age and health of residents can vary enormously. For example, all doors are wide and floors are flat to assist residents with varied degrees of impairment. This project is one of the most complex undertaken to date in partnership with the community housing sector, according to the Department of Housing’s Laurie McGill. The project had many facets to consider and resolve, including the initial relocation of residents to a temporary facility, followed by a challenging design and approval process, and complex demolition and construction phases on a difficult city centre site. All in all, The Beacon represents the modernisation of accommodation for the homeless in WA. It directly targets and assists the homeless, provides all of the necessary supporting services, offers social exchange, and breaks the cycle of homelessness through its intervention programs. For The Salvation Army, The Beacon is the largest project that the organisation has ever undertaken in Western Australia, and one of the largest in the Southern Territory of The Salvation Army. It has been a highly ambitious project, and constitutes a significant investment in terms of time, finances and capital raising activities. Given the end result however, The Salvation Army is very pleased and privileged to provide this state of the art facility for the use of its residents. Says Laurie McGill: “This was not the easiest of projects given the project scale, complexity and many years of hard work that everyone involved contributed to the project… but it is an extremely satisfying one.” BC The Department of Housing: (08) 9222 4666, The Salvation Army: (08) 9260 9500, BGC Construction: (08) 9261 1700, Thinc: (02) 9256 4700 ,



It’s hard to imagine this City Beach house was once a dark and uninviting home. // words rocky amatulli // images matt song – property digital





Talbot Le Page was paid the ultimate in compliments when his design and building company was referred to the owner of this City Beach home. The compliment was even more meaningful to Talbot, because it came from his good friend who also happened to be his previous employer and mentor, Mike Stephenson from Abacus Projects. So as with all projects Talbot undertakes, he and his team of architects and contractors embarked on creating great outcomes for their clients. The existing home was typical of others of its era – dark, cluttered and made up of small, badly connected rooms and spaces. Whilst the bedrooms were essentially left unaltered (apart from some renovating), the key family and entertaining areas of the home – kitchen/living/ dining/bathrooms/outdoors, were all either extended or underwent major renovations. The home now includes a scullery, guest bedroom, and powder room. Works included adding structural beams to prop up the ceiling before removing walls and opening up and extending spaces. However, while the extensions used brick/tile/tin/timber construction to marry in with the existing home, innovation and sustainability underpin the design and construction.

The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 47


In with the


One of the most obvious elements which stands out is the cantilevered kitchen bench. This piece of art is made from in-situ cast, burnished concrete and is 2.45m-long, 900mm wide, and 150mm thick, and has a rebated line of LED lights cast into its underside. The footing and supporting structure (designed by Talbot and verified by engineers) comprises some 1.5 tonnes of concrete and steel, and the overall structure (footing and bench) weighs around 2.5 tonnes – about the same as a large 4WD. The final finish on the benchtop was achieved ‘‘in-house’’ by the team of carpenters Talbot Le Page Design employs directly. The home is now bursting with light and brightness, with white being the dominant colour on ceilings, walls and cabinetwork. This has completely transformed the home. That said, white does need some relief, and this comes in the form of soft and natural tones introduced by the flooring and tiles to the kitchen and wet areas. But even the splashback tiles (which after all were

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initially only introduced into home design for practicality reasons) now become a feature and sparkle with the LED lighting to the overhead cupboards washing vertically over them. Cabinetwork lines are simple and uncluttered – a far cry from the old home. Shadow lines double as pull handles and the lack of drawer and cupboard hardware adds to the overall clean effect Talbot and the client wanted to achieve. Externally, exposed aggregate concrete and an operable overhead shade immediately set the scene for the alfresco that the client always wished for. Connected via a large bifold glass door opening, the remarkable cantilevered kitchen bench takes on an even more majestic presence when viewed from this alfresco area. Another ‘‘connector’’ that the alfresco area has with the home is that the fence/screen slats in the garden were originally jarrah floorboards that made up the home’s dark floor. These could have been destined for the local rubbish tip, but Talbot ensured that

The home is now bursting with light and brightness, with white being the dominant colour on ceilings, walls and cabinetwork.


PH: 1300 366 511



they were reused in an effective and meaningful way. They add instant character to the alfresco area, but also create an ‘‘instant history’’ to this new area. Talbot says while renovation work can be “a difficult beast”, he found this project very satisfying. He and his team had a tight schedule to achieve, and the project was made more complex due to the owners and their family living in the home during the work, but Talbot and his team took all this in their stride. Asked if he was happy with end result, Talbot responds:

“Yes; because the client was completely satisfied.” And the initial recommendation paid off handsomely, because the company ended up securing another four projects from having successfully completed this one. Between his two businesses (Talbot Le Page Design and Turquoise Developments), Talbot’s team have 35 homes and 15 apartment complexes underway. They include projects in South Perth, City Beach and Salter Point, amongst many others. BC Talbot Le Page Design: (08) 9243 3328,


DANIEL DEBONO - 0404 773 900 Email:


KEVIN SMITH – 0421 484 967 Email:

COMMERCIAL AND DOMESTIC PAINTING The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 49


BEACH LIFE BEAUTY Oldfield Knott Architects and Buckingham Redevelopment Co. deliver a fantastic, fresh new beachside venue to Perth.




50 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

// words rocky amatulli // images joel barbitta – d-max photography

Oldfield Knott Architects Pty Ltd has been in practice since 1972. The principal of the firm Ian Oldfield has owned hospitality venues (bars and taverns) and took a keen interest in the hospitality market and all things related to liquor licensing. Subsequently, the firm has built a solid reputation delivering some of Western Australia’s most successful and high-profile hospitality venues. As an employee of the firm for 28 years, architect Frank Iemma has worked on a large number of those hospitality projects and has over time evolved as the specialised hospitality designer for OKA. The Breakwater as it is known, had achieved somewhat “iconic” status in the northern suburbs having won both National Hotel Association and Liquor Industry awards. Having had a previous working relationship with the client (Reid Group), Oldfield Knott Architects undertook all the work necessary in the complete redesign/transfer of the Breakwater Tavern at Hillarys Boat Harbour from where it was, to its current location. The company provided full architectural services (encompassing concept, feasibility assistance, design, co-ordination of consultants, working drawing documentation, tendering, and contract administration) as well as full interior design services (concept development, theme design, liaison with architectural and consultant group, materials/finishes sourcing, scheduling, furniture and lighting sourcing/selections) for the project. For Reid Group’s latest venture, Matisse Beach Club, “We wanted


“We wanted to evoke the feeling of a Las Vegas/ Miami resort-style beach club...”

to evoke the feeling of a Las Vegas/Miami resort-style beach club or poolside bar with this project,” says Frank, “so we just had to incorporate a pool as a centrepiece feature. Patrons are encouraged to lay around the pool on sun lounges and daybeds.” And to that end, Oldfield Knott has tried…and succeeded. The Matisse Beach Club has a Barisol stretch ceiling in its Bar 3 lounge area, blue glass, ‘‘beachy’’ colours, wave forms, palm trees and cabanas (which are a contemporary take on the beachfront bathing boxes commonplace in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s at Brighton Beach in Victoria). The cabanas can be used for private group bookings.

Reid Group has also selected white prismatic-style furniture not seen in Perth before. Some of the nostalgia associated with Scarborough is also captured throughout the venue, such as in the large format images digitally applied to mosaics, wallpaper, toilet partitioning and backlit bar centre pieces set in Marblo. The design screens visitors from the strong Perth summer sea-breezes, but lets still the cooling breeze in as needed (through the use of electrically operated aneeta windows in the façade and tilt-up glazed walls). The design also incorporates the feel of being on an ocean liner and looking out through the “captain’s bridge” windows.

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The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 51


There has been extensive use of colour changing LED lighting in the façade and throughout the cabanas, coffered ceilings, and other areas. This gives the venue a completely different personality at night, but still ensures that safety and comfort of patrons is maintained. Other interesting (but still practical) materials specified on the project include non-slip ceramic tiles, painted compressed fibre cement weatherboarding and powdercoated special designed perforated aluminium. This palette all works together on this coastal venue to ensure that the finishes perform in what can be a harsh environment for incorrectly specified materials. Designing the venue is only half the story. Building it is the other. Buckingham Redevelopment Co. was awarded the project after successfully winning the tender for the construction. As a registered builder, Buckingham provided full construction services and management. The company’s experience with having built similar venues, and its prior knowledge in the redevelopment of significant


retail and hospitality venues, put it in a good stead for the project; Buckingham was also involved in the construction of the Sorrento Quay Boardwalk Stage 2 project in 2006, which incorporated the construction and fitout of The Breakwater, owned by the Reid Group. The Matisse Beach Club was a complex and detailed project, but this was not the main challenge. It was completed within a tight timeframe to enable the venue to coincide its opening with a major sporting event in the Scarborough area, so time was of the essence – without forsaking quality. As is the case with construction, a builder’s ability to meet a programme and deliver a quality product is highly dependant on its contractors and trades. To this end, Buckingham Redevelopment Co. gives credit to its key contractors. The joinery to the bars and construction of cabanas and upholstery was undertaken by Woodworking Australia and Australian Countertops. The extensive ceilings (particularly the construction of the “wave” over the main bar), were erected by Future Carpentry and Ceilings. Signage to the front of the building was manufactured by Wilson Signs. The

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52 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

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INNOVATIVE DOOR & WINDOW SYSTEMS Smartech Door Systems - renowned for their design difference having to install the Glide-Away folding doors to suit the requirements of the architectural finish, were sourced Australia wide for the particular look the architects had in mind. The products being designed to seal and offer full warranty powder coating allowed the end users to appreciate the right product choice was made at the planning stage. Matisse Beach club in Scarborough is a very unique place for vibrant colours and open spaces, the three folding doors allowed the transition to be created with a touch of a button, Smartech’s specialty designs allowed the compact German motors to be completely hidden to maintain the beach clubs unique look. Managing Director Anthony Cassar states, “Design has allowed us to stand out; to

look different and show that difference. I try to give customers, designers and architects a distinctive way of looking at their surroundings. That’s art to me.” Smartech Door Systems have positioned themselves to the higher end market. They have products which suit both residential, commercial and industrial projects and cater to developments of all sizes. Smartech Door Systems is widely recognised for their point of difference in producing Glazed Folding Doors and Smart Tilt Window Systems, Folding Facade Screens. They can custom manufacture products to suit all designs and are known for their design quality. For more information contact Smartech Door Systems, 9 Production Road, Melton, VIC 3337. Phone 03 9747 9233, email



The team at Smartech Door Systems also provided their renowned service on the Green Square Apartments project in Victoria. The Company was responsible for the design and manufacture of all the swimming pool doors for the development along with providing their expertise and technical assistance throughout the duration of the project. Smartech Door Systems became involved in the project due to their innovative products being made from aluminium and stainless steel. The glass used is double-glazed and offers a complete seal solution for the heated pool environment.

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aforementioned LED lighting throughout the venue was installed and constructed by TIEC Electrical, with fittings designed and supplied by Lighting Options Australia. According to Buckingham Redevelopment Co., acknowledgement should also be given to the venue’s owner Sean Reid. The company feels Sean’s influence and involvement in the project, along with his personal input towards the creation and delivery of the vision for the venue, greatly contributed to the strength of the “architect-builder-client” team. Buckingham Redevelopment Co. has been firmly established and successfully operating in the commercial construction sector in Western Australia for more than 30 years. Founder Noel Buckingham has developed the firm to be a recognised and reliable construction company servicing the renovation and building industry. Noel is tremendously passionate towards the company’s clients and projects and the building industry.

Buckingham Redevelopment Co. provides turn-key premium building services and solutions to the commercial construction sector for all types of building projects. The company is currently working on the redevelopment of a five-storey office building at 50 William Street utilising impressive architecturally designed finishes to the exterior and canopies of the buildings. Oldfield Knott Architects is currently engaged on the Ashby Bar & Bistro, The Globe Bar & Eatery, The Duke, Squires Landing, Gramercy, First Choice, Dan Murphys, and a hotel project at 1309 Hay Street West Perth. This can only mean more great hospitality venues for the people of Perth. BC Oldfield Knott Architects Pty Ltd: (08) 9381 6788, Buckingham Redevelopment Co.: (08) 9248 4880,

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54 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

Inspired by its location and outlook, this home is at one with nature.

// words rocky amatulli // images annetta ashman – ashman photography





High on a north facing promontory overlooking Avalon Bay near Port Bouvard, this site offered a rare opportunity for architect Gary Banham from Banham Architects. Being less than 100 metres to the beach, the sights and sounds of surf breaks, the smell of salt, and the movement of the patchwork quilt of dune flora altogether called out for a contemporary design that would work with the environment. Whilst the ever changing scenery is sublime the power of the horizon line, stretching 270 degrees as far as the eye can see, become a key design ingredient. To create a three-dimensional composition which explores a sophisticated relationship between line and volume where the horizon is an integral part of this site’s vista, where converging lines to a vanishing point on the horizon enhance the sculptural awareness of the interiors. Gary felt that this design philosophy was best expressed in the words of Piet Mondrian (a Dutch modernist painter 1872-1911); “Through horizontal and vertical lines constructed with awareness led by high intuition, and brought to harmony and rhythm, these basic forms of beauty can become a work of art, as strong as it is true.” The house was to be simple and uncluttered with undefined

The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 55


Dune dweller



The house was to be simple and uncluttered with undefined indoor and outdoor spaces. It had to relate to the environment…but not dominate it.

indoor and outdoor spaces. It had to relate to the environment… but not dominate it. It had to be environmentally sustainable with low maintenance. It had to be as invigorating as a work of art. The exterior of the house is characterised by a series of interlocking horizontal planes. These planes extend through from inside to outside. Three freestanding bluestone walls provide support to these horizontal planes. A solitary fireplace wall in the centre of the house together with exposed stainless steel flues penetrate the roof planes with contrasting verticality. A problem was encountered with the approach to the house. A neighbouring house, set at an obtuse angle, created an issue with symmetry. This was solved by introducing a 90-degree wall to a north-south axis. This wall framed a viewing corridor from the entry porch right through to Avalon Bay. It did more than conceal the outbuilding and restore symmetry; it provided human scale and proportion to the approach. Entering the house along the east-west axis into a two-storey space through a large pivoted door, the relationship between line and volume is apparent. Floor, wall and ceiling lines all converge towards the horizon. Ceiling bulkheads extend through frameless

Phone: +61 8 9221 5544 56 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

glass walls to become slimline fascias. Cantilevered cabinetwork, wall and floor stone tiling, and furniture design all direct the eye towards the horizon. A continuous stone floor extends to the outside. Frameless glass doors open living areas to protected patios. An ornamental salt water pond with infinity edge parallels the horizon and resolves the geometry to the truncated corner. The home’s low-slung profile blends comfortably into the landscape. Cantilevered roof planes shelter balconies and terraces. Beach sand coloured stone flooring flow uninterrupted from inside out onto wrap-around these terraces. Frameless glass doors and multi-track sliders open the house for outside living and entertaining. Built-in and loose furnishings all complement the design with subtle selection of soft textures and hues reflected in the beachfront environment. Handle-less satin-lacquered white cabinetwork dissolve integrated appliances and extend the geometry to the benefit of selected artwork. Adjustable sun louvres to the cantilevered roofs provide passive climate control. Shading in summer months is reversed in winter with deep penetration of sunlight into living

Ph: 13 15 40


areas. Concrete floor and roof slabs provide thermal mass as well as protection against environmental extremes. The open plan and extensive use of glazing provides views from all corners of the house and allows the dwelling to be filled with natural light. Low -E glass aids the thermal efficiency requirements. Excellent natural ventilation is achieved with large sliding and bi-folding doors that allow the whole house to be opened, again blurring the line between inside and out. Breezeway louvres have also been employed to control cross-ventilation and reduce the need for air-conditioning. The roof projections and strategic blade walls also shelter the terraces from prevailing winds to ensure the outdoor areas can be enjoyed as much as possible during the year. A waterwise selection of plants to a limited area of garden further add to the energy efficiency of the home by reducing water consumption, and, internally, energy efficient LED lighting has been used throughout the home. This all adds up to a home which not only is at one with nature with respect to its architectural form, but also does so from an energy efficiency perspective. The home now rests peacefully perched overlooking the wonderment of nature, and in its own way enhances that wonderment by quietly and unobtrusively contemplating the rolling waves and shifting sands below. BC Gary Banham: (08) 9321 5588,



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The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 57



FANTASTIC in F loreat

This home combines a large block with innovative design and building techniques. // words rocky amatulli // images andrew pritchard photography





58 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

Tony Tomizzi Builders prides itself on generating 90% of its business from client referrals. The owners of this magnificent Floreat home had heard about Tony Tomizzi Builders from clients that had previously built with the company and had been impressed with the builder’s quality of workmanship and delivery of service. With close supervision and collaboration Tony’s team of tradesman, of whom many have been working with Tony for the past two decades, presented the clients with a home that they were pleased to call their own. The resulting five-bedroom, four-bathroom (plus study) home, over three levels, is visually well balanced and beautifully imposing. The home has an undercroft level which houses a four-car garage, three separate store areas and a wine cellar. On these more complex builds, Tony finds that getting the job ‘‘out of the ground’’ is one of the greatest challenges he faces. “With homes that generally involve undercrofts, you have to be thinking and planning way ahead, factoring in plumbing and electrical, whilst maintaining the aesthetic of the build by


ensuring that drainage from the roof is hidden and is adequate. You also have to ensure the engineering is sufficient as this it is a crucial part of the build,” he says. The ground level has the entertaining areas – entry, laundry, ensuite, kitchen, dining, lounge, play room and study/guest room. The ensuite sits very cleverly between the laundry and the study/ guest room, and is accessible from both. The kitchen boasts a large walk-in pantry and is separated from the dining area by a bar/ counter. Light timber flooring and cabinetwork (with stone tops)

make the kitchen appear even larger – although this area is in fact large anyway, measuring approximately 8m x 5m. The combined dining and lounge areas also spacious. This section of the ground floor measures around 9m x 4m, and when combined with the open kitchen, they occupy approximately half of the ground floor plate in total. The dining and kitchen (and adjoining playroom) all open out onto the rear yard – the dining directly to an undercover terrace. The dining/lounge also overlook a large pool through large expanses of louvre windows, where



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those windows are also sheltered from the sun and rain by a deep canopy perched overhead just under the roof line of the level above. The upper level has a bridge (near the stairs) that separates the master bedroom/dressing room/ensuite from the other four bedrooms, each with its own robe and built-in desk. While only bedroom two has its own ensuite, the other three remaining rooms access the large bathroom situated on this level. There is also another large playroom on this floor, and a large void over the entry below visually connects the two floors. The home was architecturally designed and highly specified utilising many high-end structural and functional materials to

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ensure performance and uniqueness. It features well-considered materials and detailing, including shadow lining throughout the entire ceiling, stair treads and door frames. It has Italian stone throughout the wet areas, a cantilevered stainless steel BBQ, and a fully mosaic 25m lap pool, fully timber-clad walls with secret panelled doors built into the cladding, and Italian granite benchtops in kitchen. The home’s construction predominantly incorporates and combines concrete, bricks and plaster (for the main structure), however extensive stone and timber cladding were used, as was stainless steel (for the cantilever structures in the outdoor spaces), and stunning mosaic tiling (in the pool). The main stairwell in particular required close collaboration between many trades, including fixing carpenters, timber floor specialists, plasterers and cabinet makers, in order to achieve the desired effect of the shadow line feature. Tony says that there was no margin for error when building this home. The tradesman used on this project had to be highly experienced and deliver quality workmanship, for the desired effect to be achieved for the owners. “There was probably some incongruence with what the architect wanted within the construction reality of what could be built, but in the end all parties were happy with the result – especially (and most importantly) the client. “Once again it has reinforced that communication between design and construction is paramount to facilitate the delivery of a high quality product within an acceptable time frame. It


up close + personal with

The home was architecturally designed and highly specified utilising many high-end structural and functional materials to ensure performance and uniqueness.

also reiterated that tradesman and craftsman (in the true sense of those words) are essential in building, and that close enough is not good enough or acceptable. Communication and knowledge are so imperative. You need to maintain a tight program and continuously work with your trades, and appreciate the demands that they are under. However, you must also be very clear on the level of finish you expect from them at all times.” The degree of difficulty that Tony and his team faced on this project did not faze him. “I enjoy a working on a blend of different projects at any one time. I always enjoy a challenging project involving large undercrofts that require a lot building knowledge, whilst simultaneously embarking on smaller less complex projects. However it doesn’t really matter how complex a project is or isn’t. The key for me is to always deliver a quality project regardless and to make sure that the client feels that they are of upmost importance. “I believe in supervision, supervision, supervision on my projects. At any given moment I know exactly what is going on at each project we are working on. I have an excellent team of craftsman that I work with closely, many of whom have been with me for over 15 years, so I know that I can rely on them. I think that a builder needs to trust his team and not deviate from the delivery of a quality product. There is evidence in the industry that when a builder will chase the cheapest trade, then in the end they get an inferior product which requires more funds to resolve the problem - and in turn ends up costing them more. “I also understand that I am the pivotal person in the building process; I act as advocate for the client, constantly addressing any of their concerns. I do understand however why many people who build have concerns nowadays. Unfortunately I believe that the essence of building as a craft is being diluted. There are a lot of business people who use the phrase ‘builder’ when their background is everything but. I also believe we need more innovation, so the support of apprentice tradesman, training and education are the keys.” Tony Tomizzi has just commenced working on a project designed by Hofman Brown Architects. Tony describes it as “an architectural masterpiece which I believe will be a standout in the south City Beach area. It is a challenging project, however I have never shied away from a building challenge.” BC Tony Tomizzi Builders Pty Ltd: 0417 849 180,

tony tomizzi DIRECTOR, TONY TOMIZZI BUILDERS // interviewed by rocky amatulli

What made you become a builder? My father (Tony Tomizzi Snr) was an Italian immigrant who worked as a stone mason/bricklayer in rural WA, so I always had an inkling I would follow my dad into bricklaying. I commenced my apprenticeship when I was 15. I worked with my father and his team – and in those days there was no going home in 40 degree heat. The only thing that stopped work was the rain or death! In the mid-1990s I studied part-time for my diploma, whilst working as brickie. By the late 90s I was off the tools and building for clients. What is your role at Tony Tomizzi Builders? Tony Tomizzi Builders builds individually designed homes with a focus on quality. Over the past couple of years we have branched out into the design-and-build market. We are a small operation which still takes on complex builds. I am the face of the company; I liaise with clients from concept stage onwards, and work closely with our architect, draftsman and engineer to DA stage. From there I end up supervising all of my jobs. My wife Nadine also plays an integral part within the business, dealing with administration, accounting, and marketing. What are some of the challenges you face? On the more complex builds is getting the job ‘‘out of the ground’’. You have to be thinking and planning way ahead, factoring in plumbing and electrical, whilst maintaining the aesthetic of the build by ensuring drainage from the roof is hidden and is adequate. Once closer to completion things become challenging again. This is when all the trades and works come together, and it is the point in a project that ‘‘sorts out the men from the boys’’. It’s the stage where the quality will shine through, if the job has been done and managed right. How do you ensure that this happens? Firstly, by scrutinising plans, and meeting with the architects and engineers. Next, by a simple formula - SUPERVISION, SUPERVISION, SUPERVISION! And finally, by also having a reliable trade base to work with. I am proud to say that I have been working with the same workers (G & C Concrete) for around 20 years, as one example, and I trust them implicitly. Are there any lessons over your time that you reflect upon? I believe that the client does not want to feel like a number in a queue. They want direct lines of communication with me, their builder. They do not want to go through a long succession of secretarial and administration people or processes. I pride myself in making myself available to my client seven days a week. BC

The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 61


Building with honour Edward Brewer Homes delivers another home, to the delight of its owner. // words rocky amatulli

This home at 28A Jarvis Street in O’Connor, was a finalist in the $350,000 - $400,000 Contract/Custom Home Category of the MBA Awards in February 2014. The custom-built, three-bedroom, two-bathroom home is on an odd-shaped strata block - but that does not mean the home or its amenities are in any way lacking. The home is spacious internally, and even has a double-car garage with adjoining storeroom. The house was built by Edward Brewer Homes, a Rockingham-based building company started by David Brewer in 2006. David describes his company as “big enough to compete, but small enough to care”. His philosophy is based on providing clients with a “personal and friendly service and a can do” attitude – exactly what the owners of this home were looking for. “The owner of the home was very particular about what he wanted,” says David. “He paid great attention to detail and didn’t





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want run-of-the-mill products used in his home, so we had to source more upmarket and specific products for him. One example is the Argent Bette spa bath, which we sourced from the eastern states.” The home is finished internally in light, neutral tones which extend to the rendered walls (complete with banding to windows, piers and planters), clad gables and finials to the front elevation, brick arches to the garage and porch, and Colorbond roof. Complementing these finishes is an exposed and honed concrete driveway. This palette defines the tone of the interior of the home as well. The only departure from this soft exterior palette is the cedar timber lining to the underside of the covered rear alfresco area – but this is done to mirror the timber decking and complement the jarrah columns below. Similarly, the feature entry has exposed timber beams, adding warmth and texture. It is refreshing to see traditional elements which have either been lost or left behind in the design and construction of many homes nowadays, such as the coffered ceilings (to the master bedroom, entry, family and theatre rooms), bulkheads (to family and theatre rooms), bevelled glass mirrors and tiled niches (to all bathrooms), and cornices to all walls throughout the home. Then there are also many contemporary finishes and elements. These include Caesarstone tops to kitchen, bathrooms and laundry, soft close cabinetry drawers and doors throughout, glass splashbacks, full-height bathroom tiling, client-designed shelving to all robes, a Bosch appliance package (including a dishwasher, washing machine and dryer), high specification plumbing, and an alarm and smart wiring pack. This combination of traditional elements and modern finishes makes this home complete in every way. David has worked


in the building industry since the age of 15 with certifications and achievements as a carpenter, supervisor and builder. He recognised there was a need for clients who preferred individual attention and detail to their building needs. In fact, all Edward Brewer Homes’ clients are assured that David literally stands ‘‘in’’ every home he builds – something that not many builders can lay claim to. Edward Brewer Homes also offers clients a full drafting and design service (if any of its many off-the-plan home does not suit a client or their block), a free no-obligation quotation or tender on full working plans supplied by the client or their architect, and custom designed and built single-level or two-storey homes. The company’s ‘‘off the plan’’ designed new homes include The Lifestyle Series and The Inspiration (for those who want more from their home). The company also undertakes many multi-unit site development projects.

Ultimately, the owner of Jarvis Street was extremely happy with the work that David and the EBH team performed, as evidenced by his testimonial: “I feel very comfortable with David Brewer. He honoured everything he said he’d do and I’m very fussy! The quality of tradespeople was excellent. I would definitely build with David again.” David has just launched a new range of designs especially for the first home owner and investor. These plans start from $112,990, and can be viewed at BC Edward Brewer Homes: (08) 6364 0248,

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0419 858 642 Email: MAKIN WA PTY LTD Ph: 9351 3400 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 63


To trigger conversations and challenge assumptions about design in the region, LandCorp has launched the Pilbara Vernacular Handbook. Artist impression of Pilbara Vernacular Home

Innovation through demonstration Chief Operating Officer Nicholas Wolff said the Vernacular Handbook, prepared in conjunction with CODA, brings together a collection of considerations and strategies to guide developers to improve built form design outcomes in the region.

“A panel of independent professionals, including members of LandCorp, the Office of the Government Architect and the Australian Institute of Architects awarded the first place to Gresley Abas for its holistic approach in responding to the competition brief.”

“It’s about improving the lives and lifestyles of the people of the Pilbara,” Mr Wolff said.

Expected to be completed as part of the display village by mid-2014, Mr Wolff said the Vernacular Home will have an energy rating of 8.1 stars and will be 100 per cent carbon neutral.

“This will be achieved by responding to climate, incorporating the natural landscape, building on the Pilbara character and identity and mobilising for change and innovation.” “To demonstrate these principles in action LandCorp has commissioned a five home display village in Madigan Estate in Karratha.” “Four of the homes will demonstrate the minimal implementation of the Pilbara Vernacular principles by ensuring orientation; shading, ventilation and contribution to the streetscape were included in the design solutions.” The fifth display village home - ‘The Vernacular Home’ incorporates a full implementation of the principles, where solutions beyond climate responsive features are explored and character and cultural considerations relevant to the Pilbara region are considered. Mr Wolff said through a closed competition, LandCorp appointed architects Gresley Abas to design the Pilbara Vernacular Demonstration Home.

“Striking a balance between affordability, lifestyle considerations, climatic conditions and local identity, the home will feature an internal pool and deck, outdoor kitchen and shaded front verandah,” he said. “Gresley Abas describes the design of the house as, “...wrapping around the lifestyle of Karratha by creating a series of highly desirable spaces to enjoy at different times as one migrates around the climatic conditions. These places are hidden from sun and the burning winds to ensure the highest level of comfort and enjoyment...” which really reflects the principles of the Vernacular. The building envelope will be protected from solar radiation even during winter through orientation and room arrangement. The upper level, sheltered outdoor living area will provide a secondary shade device to the house via a parasol roof to further reduce the heat load on living areas and reduce energy costs associated with air conditioning.

Artist impression of Pilbara Vernacular Home

“Designed with a 65 year lifespan, 397,690 kilograms of carbon will be offset by the design, resulting in a 100 per cent carbon neutral outcome. That is equivalent to removing 123 cars from the road for a year, or planting nearly 2,000 trees.” Composite timber screening to the master bedroom will block harsh morning light and the summer heat load, providing a comfortable, semi-private and sheltered deck area to the street. Two ventilation modes will make the most of breezes with wind scoops bringing cooling north easterly breezes into the outdoor living space from the north side of the house and wind blades to the bedrooms on the northern façade directing the breezes into the bedrooms in the cooler months. Local builder Eaton is using locally produced steel along with a panelised Masterwall system to create a tough, insulated and long lasting external shell with an incredibly soft, flexible internal division system made from insulated acoustic plasterboard walling.

Water captured from the air conditioning units will be re-used for landscaping irrigation and 6,980 units of free electricity will be generated per year by the 5Kw PV system. Mr Wolff said as technologies change, new products emerge and construction processes evolve, the industry will further interpret the Pilbara Vernacular principles and take them to the next level. “We want to create a distinct identity that years from now will be known as the Pilbara design,” he said. The Madigan Estate Display Village and the Pilbara Vernacular Demonstration Home are expected to be open mid-2014. With a $4,000 landscaping rebate available on all lots, Display Home builders are offering House and Land packages from $598,000.

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The builders’ building Master Builders Association members chip in to build a new regional office and training facility. // words rocky amatulli





66 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

The client, Master Builders Association of Western Australia Great Southern Branch, wanted to create a place that would not only service the needs of the membership, but also of the public whereby they could visit to receive advice about building, see new and innovative products, and find out everything else which relates to building a home. It seems fitting then, that the building which the new Master Builders Association Albany Branch (MBA celebrates its 50th anniversary in Albany next year) occupies was originally a large shed where trusses and transportable houses were built. The Master Builders Association is a membership organisation representing individuals and companies who work in the building and construction industry. The association was founded in 1898 to represent builders, and as the years have gone by the membership has expanded to encompass everyone who works within the industry. The association now provides information and services to these members. The original building has been stripped back to a bare shell and re-built from within. The facility now consists of a multipurpose building having offices (both on the ground level and upstairs), three building products display areas, and three training rooms (that have operable walls enabling it to become one large function


The original building has been stripped back to a bare shell and re-built from within. room with a large catering kitchen). The rear larger factory bays have been converted into separate lettable tenancies (which incidentally introduced the need for fire isolation for the rear bays from the front offices and training rooms), and the upper floor has been extended to create a boardroom and lettable offices, with the lower floor toilet facilities greatly expanded to suit the relevant planning and building codes. Between the front and rear of the building are located all of the services and access to the offices, including the Centre Manager’s office where she can keep an eye on everything that is going on. Hobbs Smith Holmes Architects’ engagement on the project was through its long term involvement with the Master Builders Association in Albany. The firm is a versatile organisation headed up by father and daughter team of Geoff and Roslyn Holmes who are both Registered Architects, with Geoff also being a Registered Builder and a member of the Master Builders Association in Albany since its inception as a regional branch. The company has been very supportive of the local building profession as a whole and was very excited about the opportunity to see the Master Builders Association in Albany grow and provide a greater range of services.

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“We had to think outside the square in regards to the large rear display area as we had a tight budget, with the majority of the funds needing to be spent on the training rooms and other areas,” says Roslyn Holmes. “Being such a large space, we installed a suspended track system to run lighting which can be added to in the future, and installed express jointed timber panels to the walls to create a blank canvas ready for suppliers to install their displays.” When the building was purchased by the Master Builders Association, the architects worked with a building committee that consisted of Luke Leeder (Chairman of the Master Builders Great Southern Committee), Andrew Holmes (Vice Chair), Nigel Ryde, Roslyn Holmes and Linda Gibbs (Regional Branch Manager). Almost immediately, the architects commenced producing ‘‘as constructed’’ drawings of the existing building. The existing building was a factory for the production of pine framing and trusses for housing, and consisted of “a rabbit warren of rooms and ablutions”, according to Roslyn. “We tried to work with the existing facilities as much as we could to keep costs down while rationalising the plan to make it a lot more functional. The project involved liaising with the City of Albany to comply with planning restrictions and attain planning consent, as the building is located in a light industrial area. We worked closely with the Albany Master Builders Association committee to achieve a well-designed solution which would meet their needs”. Planning the building to suit the variety of uses and users, including easy access and egress from the different parts of

p: 9841 2204 68 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

the building was not the easiest of tasks. Achieving planning approval for training rooms, display and ancillary office space within a light industrial area presented its challenges. Working with an existing building to achieve the current energy efficiency requirements was also a challenge. Much of the existing internal linings had to be removed and insulation installed and relined. Once under construction, the architects assisted in the contract administration of the project which was ultimately delivered on a very tight budget. This could not have been achieved without the help of many local trades’ people and suppliers. To meet the project’s budget, the local builders and many contractors worked on site building frames for the rooms as one example. Suppliers also assisted greatly by providing products at no cost (such as the security system) or at discounted prices, to ensure the project was successful. This was in addition to other cost-saving solutions – such as the mechanical ventilation and air conditioning system being reviewed to allow split systems to be installed but still achieve the desired air quality. Roslyn and the team designed express jointed CSR products on the exterior of the building to give the elevation a new modern look. The existing building had a very traditional verandah which was removed and now has a new covered entry and link wrapping around the east side of the building to join the covered BBQ area which was created. The entry was a rendered finish, with the walls surrounding the BBQ area built from Austral Elements Zinc Bricks. Albany Insulation supplied the Air Cell insulation to improve the energy efficiency of the large


rear display area, and new insulation was installed throughout the offices and training areas to bring these areas up to current standards. Haymes paints were used throughout the interior and exterior of the buildings, with the Master Builders Association signature orange colour used on the exterior columns to add some interest and identity. Lotus operable walls were used between the training rooms to achieve good acoustic insulation and allow the spaces to be expanded as required. Roslyn says that “a great team of motivated people pulled together to make this project a reality, including the Master Builders Association head office, local Branch Manager Linda Gibbs, the builder and all of the trades people and suppliers. Without the support of many individuals this project would not have been possible.” The Albany project is now one of three regional offices for the

association (along with Geraldton, and Bunbury). The building has been designed and built to meet a variety of uses and needs. The Master Builders Association and the contributing members have produced a state of the art training venue so that the Master Builders Association can use this facility for its own purposes, but it can also be hired out to others. It has become a great resource for the Master Builders Association Great Southern Branch and its members as well as the local construction industry and community as a whole. The centre has already been used for many community events, such as quiz nights and business functions. It is the only facility of its type in Albany, and is also unique in that it was designed and built by members. BC Hobbs Smith Holmes Architects: (08) 9847 4469 Master Builders Association of Western Australia - Great Southern Branch: (08) 9841 6232 / 0412 376 661,

The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 69




Swell Homes applies its skills in converting a 70’s house to a Cottesloe landmark. // words rocky amatulli // images joel barbitta - d-max photography

Swell Homes was contacted by interior and landscape designer Liz Prater to transform her 1970’s duplex house into a modern home that would fit in better within her Cottesloe neighbourhood. Liz’s own flair for design, coupled with Swell’s ability to tackle complex extension and renovation work, has resulted in what can only be described as “a modern masterpiece from a nondescript 1970s building”. Swell Homes recently completed the extension/renovation on this home to ‘‘lock-up’’ stage for Liz and completed a number of finishing items. The job was completed reasonably close to the Liz’s anticipated timeframe, but more importantly, to an excellent standard. Given the age, condition and layout of the existing duplex, it is no wonder that the fabric of the original building was substantially altered to achieve the transformation. No room was left untouched. In the project’s early stages, Swell provided Liz with a budget which it supplemented with supporting quotations from suppliers and trades. This budget was used as the basis for a cost-plus contract between Swell Homes and Liz. With the contract in place, Swell began to carry out the extensions and new work as per approved design which was prepared by Karl Spago.





70 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

Essentially, this project consisted of relatively standard concrete slab/double brick/timber framed metal roof sheeting construction. The fact that the home to be renovated was attached to two other buildings was not so standard. This had a considerable influence on the design and how this extension was carried out. One resulting limitation that Swell faced was that it could not change the upper storey roof as it was directly connected to the other strata units. Furthermore, given the extensive remodelling work that was planned, underpinning the existing upper storey slab brickwork and tiled roof while pulling out lower walls took considerable planning (not to mention lots of effort) to achieve successfully. Andrew Annandale (Swell’s site supervisor) is credited by Swell Homes’ director Anthony Pillinger for carrying out these tricky structural changes with great skill and understanding of structures. Upon reflection, Anthony thinks the alfresco area is one of the great spaces that has been created, and is also a notable achievement (on top of the aforementioned construction planning and challenges). “It has a tiered roof, and beautiful styling and landscaping. I think that Karl Spago (the designer), Liz Prater (the interior designer/ landscape designer/owner), and the engineer were all very innovative in creating the two-tiered alfresco roof. It was interesting to build, and has provided an outdoor area that stands up very well to many top end examples. The dominant use of travertine throughout the house (which also flows outside to the alfresco area) then combines with the architecture to set this place apart from most others for me.” Naturally, extending older homes can present builders with their fair share of other problems and this extension was certainly no exception. This is when experience married with the right attitude can prevail. So did Anthony find it difficult or near impossible to overcome some of these challenges?


“No, we just used tried and true old-school extension builder tricks to tie everything in, and humoured the errors in the old structure. It’s all part of renovating old homes,” he says. “What we did learn from this project is how rewarding it is to push the boundaries, resulting in a beautiful home that now stands as a testament to our team’s skill.” Being a designer, owner Liz was very closely involved with the project on site and gives credit to Swell Homes and all of its staff and trades for being professional, helpful, polite, clean and prompt. Liz mentions Andrew Annadale in particular as being very communicative, amenable and happy to tackle any changes and problems that arose. She also says that it was also beneficial to the project’s delivery given the fact that Andrew was very organised. Anthony (a trained quantity surveyor, project manager and registered builder) entered the building industry when he was 16 years old. From that point, he started his own building maintenance business and worked with his grandfather, a Bondi tram driver who was also an old-school handyman. Anthony’s first company, Mt Hawthorn Period Extensions, eventually morphed into Swell Homes into 2008 when he and his family moved to Fremantle. Anthony now has more than 30 years’ experience in renovations and extensions. He has also been a practicing Greensmart Professional since 2006, and has embraced the emerging technologies that have become available in recent years. Swell Homes’ work is largely composite construction, utilising conventional methods of construction for mass, and then using alternate methods to achieve insulation and airflow. Water saving and energy efficiency are high on the agenda for all of the homes Swell works on – whether new homes or extensions to existing ones. “At Swell Homes, we believe in building for the present as well as the future,” says Anthony. “We specialise in reduced footprint and energy efficient property development using natural and renewable resources. Our approach to sustainable living is to

minimise negative environmental impact through skilful use of modern technology. Our main aim is to create highly liveable spaces with embedded energy efficiency. “Our particular expertise includes incorporating modern living spaces into heritage homes and building new urban infill projects on small blocks. We build for the unique outdoor lifestyle of metropolitan Perth and Fremantle, with a focus on pairing modern innovations with traditional construction techniques to create climate-efficient homes that suit the way our clients and their families live.” (This home can be viewed on where more than 27,000 people from around the world have taken the images and saved them for future projects. Swell Homes is currently working on many new projects. The company has six supervisors each working on one job at a time, with a second job soon to start or just commenced for each supervisor). BC Commercial and Domestic Constructions P/L T/A Swell Homes: 0438 388 892,

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Unit 1/14 Renewable Chase, Bibra Lake WA 6163 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 71


Split-level success TM CONSTRUCTION successfully completes the build for these split-level units. // words rocky amatulli // images aperture 22 photography

This recent project located in Rossmoyne is comprised of 12, two-bedroom retirement units, constructed over a 20-month period for $4.3 million. They were built by TM CONSTRUCTION, who submitted a tender for this project and was selected as the preferred builder. The company, owned by Darren McMillan, had previously completed some work for another client - constructing a pre-primary building. That client was very satisfied with the TM’s work and had recommended the company to the residential aged care organisation who is the client in the case of this particular project. TM undertook the role of primary building contractor for the entire project. The units include a significant amount of exterior face brickwork which is not the most common finish nowadays (as compared to rendered brickwork or painted fibre-cement board) but they still have a modern, contemporary feel in keeping with the requested scope of works by the clients. This workmanship is a testament to TM and the ‘‘good, old-fashioned’’ building trades, construction techniques, and supervision. The project was designed to work around the split level in the village, which is why the owners of the upper units access their units via bridges, and why the development has pedestrian ramps running





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through the complex. However, even though the units are two storeys, the units are not connected. The upper units have the bridges which run out to their garages above the units. “The split-level aspect of the design made the construction interesting. It’s a great design that works very well by creating the two levels of the village. Other than this distinction, the units were relatively conventional build. The materials in them are quite standard, with the use of brick and Colorbond, black pearl feature columns, and exposed aggregate to driveways as just some examples of the materials and finishes used on the project,” says Darren. One of the main challenges faced by Darren and his team on site was the fact that there were existing units that had been demolished before TM commenced its works. This meant that the site was quite old and held a lot of surprises hidden underground. TM raked the entire site to remove any rubbish and old services that were not visible, and were no longer required. That said, existing services that were required to be reused and connected to the new units were nowhere to be found – again as it was an old site. There were no records of their location so TM had to bring in scanners and send cameras down pipes and ducts to locate the services to be reinstated. The company also had to redirect all of the sewer lines running through the site of the entire residential village above (where TM was working) without any disruption to those services. This meant that TM had to pick its timing to do any work to the services very carefully to avoid any unwanted problems or surprises. Darren is a second-generation builder who is proud to say he learnt how to be the best he could be from his father in New Zealand. For as long as Darren can remember he was always with his dad in his spare time, school holidays, after school and weekends. Building is what Darren was brought up doing and he




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Specialists in grid and plasterboard ceiling systems and steel stud plasterboard wall systems. With a focus on Commercial/Industrial projects and also servicing the mining sector throughout WA, On Board Ceiling Services’ experienced team are dedicated to quality and perform all aspects of the plasterboard trade. Services include but are not limited to: Grid and flush plasterboard ceiling systems, Steel stud frame wall systems, Fibre cement façade systems, Acoustic-thermal and underslab soffit insulation installations, Bulkhead construction, Aluminium suite installations (glazed wall partitions and doors) and quality flushing and cornicing. Contact us to see how we can help you with your next project! 0424 417 496 • 0418 492 420


Solid foundations For leading cement product supplier MCM, there is one thing set in concrete - the customer always comes first. It’s a philosophy that has seen MCM, which traded in Western Australia for more than 40 years as Midland Cement Group, establish itself as an industry leader in the state. In 2010, the Midland Cement Materials board of directors decided to combine all business under one brand - MCM, Midland Cement Materials. MCM, which includes Midland Cement Products, Techconcrete, SteelTex and Techplumbing, was a pioneer in the manufacturing of cement products in Western Australia and its growing success continues to this day, based on three key business objectives: • Helping its customers grow and prosper • Providing excellent quality products at the best possible pricing • Providing the best possible information and service to its customers

loves it. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the building industry. Darren’s firm is a small, high quality building company that believes that by remaining smaller, it is able to offer a boutique service and deliver its clients specialised and unique projects. Each home or renovation is tailored to the particular needs and desires of the clients, and whilst the company is involved in home building, renovations it is also well versed in commercial projects. “I have a passion for quality and design and like to pay attention to detail - and in doing so, I can hold my team accountable to a high standard of performance and craftsmanship. We only hire expert tradesmen in order to ensure that each client receives a consistent level of high-quality work and reliable construction,” he says. The company has subsequently just completed an alteration to a

Proudly WA-owned and operated, MCM’s aim is to help Western Australian businesses and infrastructure prosper through providing state-of-the-art construction materials and technology and second-to-none customer service. The company prides itself on a personal level of customer care that bigger corporations cannot match, with a continual level of investment in technology and staff to deliver results that exceed the customer’s expectations. P: (08) 9449 0200, ADVERTORIAL SUPPLIED BY CLIENT




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farmhouse, along with a major renovation on a kindergarten classroom at the local school. The company is also currently finishing off the external works to its own display home in the hills. TM CONSTRUCTION stands for “Team McMillan” which reflects the importance that Darren sees as a family to stick together and work together as a family team. ‘Those who play together, stay together’ is a philosophy that is important to Darren and his family along, with honesty and integrity which he sees as an important foundation to any company. “What I love about the building industry and that is you never stop learning. There are so many innovative things going on all the time,” says Darren. “One of the biggest lessons I have learnt from this project is how important it is to keep the family first. I absolutely love what I do, so it is very easy for me to work long hours. So I have to make a decision daily to put my wife and three kids first as they are most important in my life. This helps to keep things in perspective. It’s not worth building a big business at the cost of your family as at the end of the day it’s all smoke and we can’t take it with us.” As an extension of Darren’s personal philosophy, his company has previously supported ‘Go Build Cambodia’ which is a foundation under International Children’s Care Australia. In June this year Darren was returning to Cambodia to work alongside the organisation RAW Impact. TM Construction wants to encourage and inspire other trades, employees, contractors and clients to join the team for next year. Darren’s aim is to help construct a basic village house for a family in extreme poverty in that country - providing ongoing support and contributing to making a difference, one opportunity at a time. BC TM Construction: 0405 344 842,

Premium design and drafting services Perth-based TRANSFORM BUILDING DESIGN + DRAFTING offers premium design and drafting services, nation-wide. We have 30 years experience in multi-residential and commercial drafting, and our service is one-stop from conception to completion. Our professional team are committed to making your project as easy as possible through the entire building documentation process to the finish whilst satisfying local council regulations, state planning policies (R Codes), the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and the Australian Standards. Our drawings are generated using state-of-the-art 3-D software, enabling you to walk through and visualise the design, at all stages of your project. A perfect solution. Call us now on (08) 9433 1921, email us at check us and our videos out at ADVERTORIAL SUPPLIED BY CLIENT

Ph: 13 15 40 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 75


Seamless integration

New builds can be easy. Marrying old to new is usually a little more complex…. // words rocky amatulli

Builder Robert Biagioni Constructions became involved with this project as a result of previous dealings on other projects that the company had with the client, WA Limestone. While well known as a residential builder who undertakes new builds and renovations/ additions, Robert Biagioni Constructions also has a reputation as a competent commercial builder – evidenced by this project. The project itself entailed building a new 523 sqm two-storey office adjacent to an existing office workshop at the client’s Bibra Lake facility. The new building is of Type C, Class 8 construction, and now provides WA Limestone with a state-of-the-art administrative





76 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

complex. Robert Biagioni Constructions also renovated 300 sqm to the existing office building. As the existing structures were to be retained, integrating new to old required attention (just as it would had this been a residential extension…albeit on a much larger and more complicated scale). This entailed securing and maintaining services to the existing building during construction of the new building, interfacing the new construction seamlessly to the existing, and finally commissioning the new building. One saving grace on the site was the availability of space for deliveries, equipment and manoeuvring due to ample car parking. Construction of the new buildings used concrete tilt-up panels and structural steelwork, with composite cladding, glass, and extensive use of natural timber creating the remainder of the shell and facades to create a high level of finish. The buildings also feature facade louvres externally. Internally, large floor tiles provide a serviceable finish to what is still a commercial/industrial office where pedestrians might enter from the outdoors with wet or dirty shoes (as opposed to a CBD office where there is often less wear on floors as a result of being located internally). But Robert Biagioni Constructions’ work did not end there. The company also went on to complete the fitout of the offices. And while the scale of interior fitout may be smaller than construction, in some respects the level of detail is greater. The new layout sees the retention of many of the original offices in


As the existing structures were to be retained, integrating new to old required attention

the existing building, though some have been modified. The new and old building ‘‘join’’ along a corridor on the ground floor, and the corresponding void on the floor above – providing a relatively simple interface line throughout most of the interior. The new addition is offset from the old building by 2.5 degrees which adds some interest to the interior space that has been created, and avoids making the corridor and void where the buildings join seem long, narrow, and standard. Both floors essentially have a number of offices, with a boardroom on the upper floor. The extension has also provided the opportunity to add new toilets upstairs, and a lift and second staircase to connect the floors. Even the old stairs were given an upgrade, but increased to 1500mm-wide. To deliver a project of this type and complexity is only possible when a client uses an experienced builder, which

means a builder with an experienced team. At the forefront of Robert Biagioni Constructions is director Robert Biagioni. Robert is a registered builder who holds a Diploma of Building Registration and has more than 20 years’ experience in the building and construction industry. Unlike some builders, he stays in direct and regular contact with the company’s clients throughout the entire process. Amongst other virtues and values, craftsmanship is one of the main things Robert stands for. Contract administration is handled by Dean Howlett, who has 20 years’ experience in the building industry. He holds a Bachelor of Building degree and is a corporate member of the Australian Institute of Building. Dean’s vast experience in project management, contract administration and estimating is a great asset to the company, ensuring organisation and efficiency

For all your custom-built: Cabinets Laundries Theatre Rooms Alfresco Bars Studies Wine Cellars Boardroom Tables Furniture Design Studio 1-33 Hector Street West Osborne Park P: (08) 9242 7774 F: (08) 9242 7775 E:

The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 77


1300 360 344

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during the administration of all projects the firm undertakes. This proves to be an asset to clients such as WA Limestone. Another key operative in the company is Anthony Chun who heads up finances. Anthony is a CPA with more than 15 years’ experience in banking, finance and property development. Anthony’s extensive experience and skills have seen him become a specialist in project feasibility, funding and management of various developments of all sizes and scales.

Phone: (08) 9331 1004 Email:

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For a fresh approach to your next project, give us a call. We will happily tailor a package to suit YOUR needs and YOUR budget. Call in and discover why CITY LIFTS are “The Builders Choice” in Perth.



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COMMERCIAL • INDUSTRIAL • RESIDENTIAL Ph. (08) 9300 5453 Fax: (08) 9300 5451 Email: PO Box 145, Joondalup BC. W.A 6919 78 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

276 Bagot Road, Subiaco WA 6008 Mobile: 0419 941 423 • Office: 9361 6530 Fax: 9361 6537 • Email:


Robert’s company was born from a vision of providing a new level of service, quality and value in the residential and commercial construction industry. “Too often, clients find themselves at the mercy of their builder,” says Robert. “We wanted to change this, to offer a trusted partnership and transparency to our valued customers. We believe in communication and we understand that these projects are a significant decision for our clients, so from the initial brief to the moment we hand over the keys, our clients are kept informed. We’re approachable and available to answer client queries and allay any concerns along the way. “Our experienced team consists of quality and trusted tradespeople, who offer meticulous skills and standards. Our projects are well-administered from day one so there are no unexpected bills and nasty surprises at the end. Much of our business comes from the recommendation of satisfied customers and consultants, which we believe speaks volumes. Our aim is to make the process of building as stress-free and straightforward as possible, whilst delivering a superior standard of workmanship.” It’s an approach that is clearly paying dividends, with Robert Biagioni Constructions engaged on many new projects, including the construction of three large apartment complexes (of 40+ units each), 16 residential dwellings for separate clients, and three commercial projects. BC Robert Biagioni Constructions: (08) 9317 6499,

The new layout sees the retention of many of the original offices in the existing building, though some have been modified.

A glass, glazing and window manufacturing company providing architect-designed, Commercial and Carinya domestic grade products.

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Unit 1/14 Renewable Chase, Bibra Lake WA 6163

STONE FLOOR CARE Amazing results on all types of stone leaving your floors looking fantastic

AllFloors Cleaning and Restoration specialises in the maintenance and restoration of all types of stone, tile and grout. Professional tile/grout cleaning • Marble honing/polishing Application of sealers and protective coatings Non-slip treatments • Grout haze removal Efflorescence removal • Consulting Stripping/removal of coatings Whatever your stone or tile problem is, AllFloors Cleaning and Restoration has a track record of being able to fix it!

1300 85 95 90 ALL AREAS The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 79


A neighbourhood friend Wyatt Grove Shopping Centre has the community interests at its very core. // words rocky amatulli // images annetta ashman – ashman photography




80 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

With the establishment of its new Perth offices in 2013, UNIR Australia Pty Ltd owns, manages, develops and invests in property for long-term future growth in WA. Being a family owned business that retains its assets for the long-term, producing quality sustainable projects is extremely important to the UNIR. The company does not believe in the ‘‘develop and flip’’ approach, and retains its properties for the long term. It likes to consider itself to be a contributor to the local community - both in infrastructure and philanthropy. This philosophy extends throughout the entire process on all projects that UNIR undertakes. “Speaking personally and having been an expatriate who has worked on projects globally,” says UNIR CEO Greg Kimpton. “This project is instilled with an integrated and team approach to development - pushing stakeholders, authorities, consultants and contractors to work in unison to achieve the best result for our property portfolio and community. We now have a neighbourhood shopping centre which is ready to open a year on from kick-starting the project. This is a good result in a market that can sometimes be hierarchal, bureaucratic and traditional in procedures, we’ve had nothing but praise and great success with local councils, service authorities, approvals and our consultants and contractors.” “We wanted to create a truly neighbourhood shopping centre - a place where the local residents can do their weekly shopping, meet friends for a coffee, grab a great meal, or just duck down to for some milk or the paper,” he says. “We imagined a place that’s welcoming and friendly - where you get to know the shopkeeper and they greet you by your first name. This was what it used to be like at the local corner store, and it’s what we want the Wyatt Grove Shopping Centre to become.” In a place once known for its fruit trees, UNIR thought it would be nice to bring a ‘‘few’’ trees back. The company is planting a


WA Stone


WA Stone Cladding Pty Ltd. has been in operation since 2012. The company is owned and operated by David Naudi who started his career in bricklaying, but discovered his passion for Stone Masonary and has created incredible structures and features as well as buiding himself a reputation based on excellence. Our work is second to none and nothing short of ‘art’.

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Building Residential & Commercial Value. When you partner with OneSteel Reinforcing, we’ll work closely with you to optimise your steel requirements and usage that delivers real value towards your commerical or residential projects, and importantly your bottom line. OneSteel Reinforcing prides itself in providing not only superior steel products, but with our experienced team of schedulers, technical staff and project managers, we’ll deliver invaluable expertise and support that’s trusted - the way it should be.

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combination of 74 jacarandas, weeping paperbarks, spotted gums, white gums and claret ash across the car park and surrounding areas to reintroduce a bit of the past and, more importantly, make the place look great. To bring Wyatt Grove to life and give the local community the standard of centre that customers deserve, UNIR knew it was essential to collaborate with like-minded delivery partners. UNIR worked closely with Taylor Robinson architects, Perkins Builders & Donald Cant Watts Corke on Wyatt Grove to deliver an appealing community shopping centre that will stand the test of time. Perkins Builders was invited to tender for the construction of this project in November 2012, and awarded the project in December 2012. Possession of site was March 2013. Initially only fulfilling the role of head contractor (engaged on a construct basis), Perkins was

awarded Stage 2 in December 2013. This included an additional two-storey tenancy and the fit out to the future medical/dental facility. A fast-tracked approach and collaboration with the design team enabled a start on site prior to the full issue of “for construction” documentation. Perkins worked with the design team to prioritise the issue of documentation - civil drawings coming first, then structural documentation to start steel shop drawings, and finally in-ground services drawings. The building was mainly constructed of precast concrete tilt up panels cast onsite. These formed the perimeter of the Woolworths box, with structural steel framing and roof support added on. Key external finishes included Alucabond and Donnybrook sandstone cladding, with local limestone cladding being reminiscent of


COMPLETE UNDERGROUND POWER INSTALLATIONS Tel: (08) 9574 6444 Mob: 0418 927 446

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82 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

With over 25 years experience in the industry, Lawsons Commercial Flooring specialise in all types of commercial flooring products, including Carpets, Welded Sheet Vinyl, Vinyl Tiles, and Vinyl Wood Planks. At Lawsons Commercial Flooring we provide a high standard, “no fuss” finish and employ quality installers who pride themselves on eye for detail.

For all enquiries please contact: Jai Menegola | 0433 886 071 | Steve Lawson | 0418 942 891 |


limestone outcrops in the area. A natural olive green colour was used for the roofing, and a more hidden, landscaped parking area was built to blend in better with the residential surrounds. The exposed aggregate concrete pathways and soft landscaping around the building again aided in helping the building to integrate with its surroundings. Given the level of public access and use of the centre, complying with the fire engineer’s requirements for the building was another aspect of the project that required particular attention from Perkins. As Perkins discovered during construction, requesting the fire engineer’s report earlier in the project than normal and ensuring that this was coordinated as part of the design, allowed for the successful completion of another UNIR project. Perkins Builders has built itself a reputation for being efficient and proactive when working with clients, architects and other consultants on large projects. The company is working on a number of significant projects in WA, including: the National Broadband Network Remote Satellite Earth Stations ($56.5m); Pinjarra Shopping Centre Stage 2 ($20.2m); Butler College Stage 2 ($30.7m); Balmoral Aged Care Como ($20.9m); Wellard Square Shopping Centre ($17.5m); and the South West Health Campus Sub Acute & Day Therapy Unit ($5.3m). UNIR is also creating a reputation by clearly establishing itself as a producer of quality developments in Western Australia. Greg’s closing thoughts are somewhat reflective, when asked about the success of the Wyatt Grove Shopping Centre, and UNIR’s future. “The resultant neighbourhood shopping centre is of high quality, great design and is the new meeting place for the residents of Hocking. Yes, there are things we would do differently again - both in design and procurement - so you’ll need to watch this space for our next projects where we strive with our teams to improve our projects to market.” Future stages of the Wyatt Grove centre are also in the pipeline, and UNIR expects the Wyatt Grove Shopping Centre (a member of the UNIR Group of Global Companies) to grow alongside the local community. BC

“We wanted to create a truly neighbourhood shopping centre... a place that’s welcoming and friendly...”

UNIR Management Pty Ltd: (08) 9321 7001 Taylor Robinson: (08) 9388 6111, Perkins Builders: (08) 9240 7701,



Pullella Earthmoving completes earthworks and associated works for small to large scale commercial and residential projects throughout the Perth metropolitan area and outer suburbs of Western Australia. Small, large or complex, our operators and labourers are well equipped to handle the job with each team member supported by regular training and current certification.

Our services include: • • • •

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Earthmoving Excavating Bitumen Car Parks Kerbing

Our main contact at Pullella Earthmoving is Leo Pullella on 0419 446 659 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 83


Federation home reborn David Barr Architect and Interstruct combine their talents to produce a home for all needs. // words rocky amatulli

There were three key aspects to the client’s brief - sustainability, light and connection to the outside.






84 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

The owners were so attached to the home and its location, that selling and moving was simply not an option. Instead, they opted to extend the home. Interstruct, the builder, recommended David Barr Architect to the clients. After an initial meeting with the clients, David Barr established a comfortable rapport – for David this is a very important aspect, given that the design and build process requires successful long tern relationships. David Barr Architect was subsequently commissioned by the client to undertake full architectural services. There were three key aspects to the client’s brief - sustainability, light and connection to the outside. The conditions of the existing Federation home were dark and introverted, which led to a strong desire to create an outwardly focused addition providing natural light, ventilation and connectivity to a previously unused outdoors. The addition which is offset from the main house, provided interstitial spaces to the east and west, providing a series of outdoor environments for various times of the day and weather conditions. David employed a number of sustainable principles and strategies, many of which are features of most projects in David’s office and not a series of ‘‘sustainable’’ add-ons) on the project. These included Low E glazing, minimal openings to the east and west elevations, creating concrete thermal mass on the floor, using white haven low-heat absorbing roofing material, creating a water-wise garden and microclimate, no air-conditioning, the use of recycled materials for the decking, Instant Waste waste management and recycling systems during construction, and LED lighting throughout. David cleverly combined SIPS (structural insulated panels) for the walls and ceiling which were left exposed to minimise on costs of lining as well as providing a unique finish that creates instant character and warmth to the space. A white burnished concrete was used in the addition, and this provides a light and bright finish in stark contrasted to the dark jarrah timber floor boards in the existing house. A grey tinted plywood grooved shadowclad was used to clad the


exterior of the building providing a unique and contrasting skin to the existing. “The fundamental strategy to the design was to offset the addition from the existing part of the house to provide smaller external spaces, introduce some northern light, and create a strong distinction between the old and the new,” says David. “The contemporary addition to the original Federation home also separates the active areas of the home (kitchen/meals/entertaining) areas from the passive areas (bedrooms).” The project is unique as it relates specifically to its context namely the existing structure, the orientation of the block and the requirements of the clients brief. One key feature of the house is the connection between the old and the new, experienced through a black portal whereby one transitions from dark to light and from existing to new. The black operable wall panels provide a space in which the scale is elusive and ambiguous, providing a unique experience for the occupant, and a reference or reflection of the dark and introverted existing house. When asked what other aspects of the project tested him the most, David says: “Burnishing white concrete proved to be a challenge; however after numerous samples we achieved a fantastic outcome.” David’s love of architecture and design stems from a Year 10 work experience stint, spending three weeks under the wing of Fremantle architect Brian Klopper. After finishing high school, he studied for

One key feature of the house is the connection between the old and the new...

five years at Curtin University School of Architecture, then worked in the industry with design-focused practices for several years before establishing David Barr Architect in 2011. His architectural practice seeks to provide considered architectural design solutions that exceed his clients’ expectations. From the initial briefing development, all projects that David works on are rigorously developed through every stage of the design through to the final construction. The firm was recently successful in winning Landcorp’s ‘‘Generation Y Affordable Housing’’ competition. The brief for the project was to deliver a design proposition to house 3-6 adults. The core focus of this project was affordability, a strong thread in all residential projects within David’s office. Interstruct also has a sizeable portfolio of current projects, which includes projects in Cottesloe, Mt Lawley, Beaconsfield, Attadale and East Fremantle. The team at Interstruct enjoy working with talented architects on challenging projects, helping to bring their clients vision to reality. Interstruct owners, James and Richard Dalton and their dedicated team work closely with architects to ensure the build process is a smooth and enjoyable experience for all concerned. And that dedication certainly shows in this home! BC David Barr Architect: 0438 895 119, Interstruct: 0433 359 426,

1300 360 344

Unit1/40 Inspiration Drive,Wangara, WA 6065 Ph: (08) 9302 6622 Fax: (08) 9302 6007 Mobile: 0488 998 248

Ph: (08) 9302 6622

The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 85


for the better

Building on a sloping suburban block can still provide a sense of being away from it all. // words rocky amatulli // images peter hughes photography





86 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

The owners of this home have been involved with Vanguard Construction for some time. Werner Gouws of W.G. Carpentry is one of Vanguard’s high-standard trade partners providing carpentry services for the homes Vanguard builds. Knowing that Vanguard provides an individually tailored design service, the Gouws approached the company to help them realise their dream to design, build and own their own home. Vanguard prepared the home’s design concept and subsequently provided the full architectural drafting services for the completion of the plans. Vanguard also took care of all preliminary and legal requirements before commencing construction. Vanguard’s construction services then covered project management and all building co-ordination requirements as well as assisting with interior design of areas such as the kitchen and bathroom layout, and final fixtures and fittings essentially supporting the owners throughout the project. Although this home was to be built on a suburban block in Margaret River, it borders a beautiful nature reserve, so the design was very much


influenced by making the most of the natural surrounds. Cleverly positioned feature windows were designed in to provide tree top and sky views from different areas in the home, helping to achieve a feeling of ‘‘being away from it all’’. The northern aspect for the entertaining and living areas was designed to provide privacy and sound solar passive energy properties. The block slopes, so the house design had to incorporate split-level living to complement the natural contours of the land, adding an interesting element to the home but also assisting to minimise the cost of earthworks. This helped the owners reduce the cost of the project. The two-level site that was prepared sat on relatively reactive clays and had some underground water filtering through the layers. As a result, clever house positioning and orientation on the block was necessary to reduce ground works. Trying to design a private home with views (whilst being surrounded by other dwellings in a suburban area) was a design challenge. The challenge was overcome by keeping the windows predominantly at higher than standard positions and via careful placement of these windows. Architectural angles and lines also enhanced the natural surrounds from inside the home. In fact, the sense of space, light and air inside can only be imagined from the exterior of the home. From almost every point within this home there is a view; be it of the forest or an angle or glimpse through two rooms out to the forest. Vanguard’s focus on material use is driven by a desire to provide good quality products engineered to sustain the Australian

environment, while offering low maintenance requirements for its clients. This is why the company uses Colorbond steel for its roof coverings, James Hardie external cladding products and Jason Windows ‘Premium Windows’. And whilst the home uses lightweight timber frame construction for the walls and roof, it does have a few full height walls which are over 6m in height. These walls were constructed on ground and craned into place to create the large double-height void areas that make the home feel very spacious. It also has a large (oversize) bespoke jarrah entry door leading through an entrance which has a double-height ceiling. This combination of features creates a contemporary and sophisticated first impression and together with the solid jarrah flooring throughout sets the tone and character for the rest of the home. Other features, such as the custom concrete benchtops in the kitchen, have become a standout feature and they seem to be a magnet for anyone who enters the room. Vanguard was required to build a necessary retaining wall at the rear of the house but rather than seeing this as just a functional retainer, Vanguard decided to make a feature of it. The company built the wall with a curve and incorporated a built-in fireplace directly opposite the main alfresco area. This has proved to be a huge success with the owners and their family and guests, and is a main focal point for the outdoor entertaining area. When asked what he might have learnt form this particular project, Vanguard’s director Ian Scott replies: “Always think outside the box and truly study what you have available around you. Draw

CABINET MAKERS K I T C H E N S I B AT H R O O M S R E N O VAT I O N S Lot 11,Wrigglesworth Drive LIA Cowaramup, WA 6284 Australia P: (08) 9755 5757 M: 0427 555 757 E: The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 87


This combination of features creates a contemporary and sophisticated first impression.

from the best features of your surroundings and tackle the most challenging elements and incorporate all of this into the home design. Our homes are often very unassuming from the street but hold many elegant surprises to those who spend time in them.” Ian is a qualified carpenter and joiner with more than 28 years’ industry experience. Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, he found his passion for building as a young boy as he watched his father (a local architect) transform sketches into real buildings. Ian started his apprenticeship at the age of 16 and has been in the industry ever since, having expanded his knowledge and gained experience over a number of years before owning his first building company in Jersey (where the business was governed by highly developed environmental building codes). For more than a decade, Ian, together with his business partner Sharon, has provided a range of quality services to Margaret River and the South West region. Vanguard Construction is part of their vision to provide cost effective energy efficient homes to clients on all budgets. Vanguard Construction creates these cost-effective, energy efficient homes using modern lightweight construction methods and solar passive design. The company also delivers cutting edge architectural

design. Vanguard tailors its service so that it benefits clients during every stage of their building project - from the initial consultation and plan design, to all preliminary and statutory requirements, commencement of construction through to completion and handover. The company provides a free concept plan service where the client is presented with a design sketch created with the client’s lifestyle ‘‘wish list’’ in mind whilst optimising their location and considering the all-important orientation of their building block which is crucial for solar passive energy orientation - an embedded element of all of Vanguard’s designs. All concept plans are created understanding and acknowledging the client’s building budget so the proposal is an accurate reflection of what is achievable for them. Vanguard has five projects under construction. These range from a modest holiday home nestled in classic Margaret River bushland and a funky 7.5 Star (HERS) angled home to maximise the northern sun trajectory, to a beautiful beachside home on a challenging slope where the company needed to create a new innovation in sub-floor systems. Another 9 Star (HERS) home for a very modest budget is nearing completion. BC Vanguard Construction: (08) 9758 8317,

Ph: 9351 3400

MARGARET RIVER HOME TIMBER & HARDWARE 22 Station Road Margaret River WA 6285 P 08 9757 2455 F 08 9757 3034 E

88 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014


Cocoon Design & Construct delivers a super-functional home with a designer’s flair. // words rocky amatulli





Cocoon Design & Construct started as a design-based business, with designers, drafters and graphics professionals. After years of designing and documenting homes and working alongside different builders on each project the company felt the need to bring it ‘‘all in house’’. Building a construction team who understood and appreciated the importance of the design and detailing as much as the structure, gave the company the opportunity to control the quality and execution of each job by developing relationships with a network of trades and suppliers which it utilises on each project. The company now successfully designs and constructs new homes, undertakes renovations and extensions and developments. Cocoon Design & Construct believes in unlocking the unique potential of every project through personalised service and custom design. Consideration is given to the client’s brief and the particulars of each site; outlook, solar orientation, privacy, contours, block shape and size. The owners of this home were looking for a bespoke design and a local builder who would have the time and resources to ensure a beautiful design and a high level of finish. Cocoon Design & Construct had been commissioned to design and build the residence next door. The clients soon engaged the

The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 89


All in house

THE BUILDERS CHOICE residential commercial

The clients wanted a modern contemporary space with a ‘‘designer’’ feel to the aesthetic, but did not want to forsake having a functional and practical home.

Leading Perth manufacturer of custom garage doors


Contain exclusive aluminium frames to ensure a great looking door Choose from a wide range of Colorbond colours, or we can powdercoat or paint to suit any home Add value and character with Designer Garage Doors’ timberlook range and effects treatment Sealed and stained prior to assembly

CONTACT US NOW FOR A FREE QUOTE Unit 7, 15A Success Way, Wangara WA Ph: 9303 4599 or visit 90 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

firm to establish the brief, provide sketch designs followed by full design and documentation, selection of all interior finishes and fittings, pricing, then schedule and supervise the construction. The clients wanted a modern contemporary space with a ‘‘designer’’ feel to the aesthetic, but did not want to forsake having a functional and practical home. They wanted a striking home that would be a talking point when they entertained (which they do frequently), hence the inclusion of a large open plan kitchen living dining which connects to the games space and outdoor living room. Cocoon Design & Construct used a combination of Scyon axon cladding, polished concrete, exposed aggregate, Colorbond roofing, Dulux texture coat, Laminex nuance finishes to cabinetwork, custom screens, wool carpet, and custom drapery to achieve the desired look and feel the owners wanted. Add to that a tiled feature wall with recessed TV and fireplace, and ‘‘the look’’ was achieved! “The materials palette is very contemporary, but it isn’t stark or cold as many modern designs are,” says Cocoon director Paul Noonan. “It has a lot of textural interest to counterbalance the cool elements - and a spicy orange splash of colour in the overhead cupboard and the screen room divider.” The team also created some innovative and contemporary design to enhance the look of common elements of the home. For example, doors to beds 2 and 3 and the pantry have been concealed into custom-designed cabinetry panelling, and the room divider has a custom designed pattern and installation technique – all developed by Cocoon.


Externally, the home required some innovative thinking as well. As the house is built on the side of the pool it needed some extra care and attention from Paul and his team, so they worked collaboratively with the pool designer and engineer to ensure a positive outcome for all. Paul reflects on the project by saying: “Working closely with clients to develop a thorough brief and understanding of their lifestyle creates a brilliant result. This reminds me that the sketch

design phase is so crucial to ensure the maximum potential of a site and a budget is realised.” Cocoon Design is currently engaged on numerous other interesting projects. These include renovations in Daphne St, North Perth and Milson St, South Perth; a development on Conto Avenue, Dianella; and a new residence on Burke Drive, Attadale. BC Broome Builders: (08) 9192 3498,

APPROVALS MADE EASY We can help you with... Certificates of Design Compliance Certificates of Building Compliance Certificates of Construction Compliance BCA Assessments Contact Chad on 08 9301 2770 or visit

CURTAINS • BLINDS • SHUTTERS When it comes to decorating we truly are hooked on planning, designing and finishing off your windows. It’s our Passion! The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 91



of Broome

A sustainable, innovative family home in Broome showcases the builder’s vision. // words rocky amatulli

Broome Builders is a residential builder that builds anything from group housing developments and three-storey dwellings to homes for the first home buyer. The company can custom design and build, but also has a range of standard designs for buyers to choose from. Company owner Bob Sweet is proud of the fact that Broome Builders uses only locally sourced materials, subcontractors and long-term resident employees. “This distinction is something that is very important in our remote communities,” he says. “This particular home is actually my own family home,” says Bob. “Having said that, we are very fortunate to be in an industry that allows us into people’s dreams and affords us the creativity to design and construct some amazing homes. This has spurred us on to create for ourselves a home that has combined many of these ideas and resulted in something very special. We call it the Home for the Future. It can be zoned off for the adolescent kids to be independent and come and go freely in the future, but also (and most importantly) to be as self-sustainable as possible.” The design of the home was all about efficiency – both from an





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energy and liveability viewpoint. Therefore, Bob wanted the home to be as self-sufficient and as future-proof as possible. The inclusion of a bore and water harvesting system that services the homes toilets, washing machine, gardens, pool and ponds reduces the home’s water consumption. The design incorporated extensive louvres and the inclusion of an internal breeze garden, along with a well-thought out design, has greatly reduced the family’s need for air conditioning. The inclusion of the most proven thermally efficient products reinforces the fact that an owner can run any home relatively cheaply if they are prepared to work with the home, and not against it. The only regret that Bob has is that Horizon Power is no longer making PV cells (which are something that will complete this home) available on residential buildings. Being a builder’s own home didn’t necessarily mean that it was completed any quicker than a client’s home would be. In fact, quite the opposite. This home was three years in the planning, always being put on the ‘‘planning back-burner’’ to meet other clients’ needs. Once Bob actually had a building licence though, he did his best to catch up on time lost, taking only 10 months to build the home. Located in the Kimberley cyclonic region, the homes that are built are predominantly steel-framed structures with timber trusses roof. This home is no different, although Bob has combined a number of other external claddings including custom orb sheeting, Hardies linea board, acrylic rendering and stone cladding. As all homes that the company builds include the highest amount of insulation possible; earth wool, Anticon blankets to the roof, R3 earth wool batts to the ceilings, Insulbreak thermal break and R 1.5 batts in external walls are incorporated into this home. The walls are then constructed using Hardies Linea Board and Hardies Thermal Break to achieve the best overall results possible. The imposing home, on a 1680 square metre block, has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and an external powder room. The master bedroom and

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guest room have their own sitting rooms. There is a theatre room and a below-ground games room that doubles with the additional use as a cyclone shelter. The home also has an expansive back deck and gazebo that adjoins the pool. The shed and access driveway have been finished off smoothly for children to ride their bikes and skateboards around on. Other sustainably-related feature include a solar bore and a water tank producing water that is drinkable (but not necessarily advisable, according to Bob), a chicken yard, a fish pond with the capability of running an aquaponic system, vegetable gardens, and fruit producing trees throughout the property. Bob feels the use of timber throughout the home really works well. “The Merbau timber staircase was fun for me to design and create along with the entry and boardwalk that lead to the alfresco area but I admit that I am particularly proud of the front boab feature doors (that I hand crafted myself) as they were about setting the theme for the home. That’s not to take anything away from the great detail of the structural timber beams and posts that were designed to create something different.” From as early as he can remember, Bob wanted to work with

wood. He remembers talking with his aunties and uncles about the idea and they would then correct him and say “you want to be a carpenter”. As Bob was very young at the time, it confused him just how working with wood would somehow require him to work with carpet! These aren’t just childhood memories for Bob; they are the formative years which eventually led him to pursue his passion. It was something Bob always wanted to do and he just waited at school until the right apprenticeship came along. He was lucky enough to get one with a company that had an apprenticeship officer who encouraged and motivated him to do his best. In that regard, Bob feels that he owes a lot to Allen Murten and hopes that he can pass on a little of what Allen instilled in Bob to his apprentices. Broome Builders was set up following the success of KJs Construction. Both companies received numerous awards and commendations for various homes they built over the years, as well as excellence in Customer Service. For more photos find Broome Builders on Facebook BroomeBuilders. BC Broome Builders: (08) 9192 3498,

P: 9302 2022 E: 94 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

Phone: 0418 921 581 Proud to be associated with Broome Builders.




Perforated metal and recycled bricks come together in this Subiaco home. // words rocky amatulli // images christian sprogoe photography

Studio 53 is a registered architectural practice which works across three main disciplines; urban design, architecture and interior design. The company applies its skills and experience across a number of business sectors - residential apartments, hotels, public buildings and hospitality. This project is a home renovation and extension which Studio 53 director Chris Maher together with his fellow director, Interior designer and wife Charlotte Kennedy designed for their own family – in this case, they had the dual role of being the architect/ interior designer, and the client. They wished to maintain as much of the original Subiaco home as was possible, while removing what Chris refers to as “the ugly additions”. The brief also included extending the property and updating it to satisfy the needs of his family of five for many years to come. Says Chris: “We wanted to respect the craftsmanship of the original home while providing a very contemporary addition

The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 95


Architecture fit for an architect


which maintains the craftsmanship and quality of the original building. We recycled much of the building material from the earlier additions which had been made to the home. These included bricks, light fittings, timber and even the old laundry trough. We used a combination of materials which included brick, concrete, timber and aluminium for the overall palette for the extension. Internally we wanted to use materials which were honest and robust. Handmade tiles, together with timber, stone and painted brick now combine to create a warm, practical home.” But it was not only through the use of old or recycled materials that the new and existing part of the home have been ‘‘stitched’’ together. Charlotte cleverly selected some rectangular green wall tiles for the bathrooms. While these tiles are not the traditional, dark, Brunswick green which define many older Perth buildings and shopfronts, these lighter and more contemporary green tiles do hark back to a bygone era. The design provides good separation for the family on two fronts. First, the office/studio is located off the side street adjacent to the home for ease of access and to keep it away from family areas on the ground floor. Secondly, the master suite is also located on the ground floor, whereas the children’s bedrooms are all located on the upper floor. This all makes for a sensible and practical layout where everyone has their own space when required, but also provides lots of

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communal family areas. A bonus from all this forethought and planning, along with the meticulous delivery of construction, is that the home also acts as a showcase of Studio 53’s work to any client that visits the home office. One notable feature is the perforated metal screen which wraps around the first floor of the rear addition. This material, and the way in which it has been used, is striking. The screen pattern was developed following research into screen types it then evolved from the floral motifs’ found within elements of the existing home such as the flannel-flowered glass. The wall behind this perforated screen is painted a bright yellow, and so glimpses of the colour are visible through the perforations. The perforated sheet provides shade to the underlying structure, and works as a balustrade to the ‘‘Juliet’’ balconies. It also serves to provide additional privacy, and is illuminated at night to provide interest and moment – something Chris believes brings some element of joy to the neighbourhood. What makes a very contemporary extension work on a very traditional home, is the use of simple strong forms and the softening effect of the perforated screen which defines the new addition to the home. The materials and architecture used for the additions respect the original home but do not try to mimic it in any way. Trying to accommodate space for a home-based business (and a family of five) on a small lot presented its share of challenges, but


One notable feature is the perforated metal screen which wraps around the first floor of the rear addition.

Chris believes that he and his team achieved a great outcome by getting council and neighbour support to build on two boundaries - the east boundary, and the rear southern boundary. Chris also acknowledges the construction team on his project. “Working with a good builder who understands just what you are trying to achieve is absolutely priceless on small lot residential extensions.” As a young boy, Chris had always been interested in design and construction, as his older brothers had been involved in the building industry. Chris spent more than 25 years working in the fields of architecture and design in Hong Kong, the UK, and around Australia which included four years as a director in Sydney and establishing and heading up Mirvac’s design department in WA and then Nationally. He formed Studio 53 with Charlotte Kennedy in 2009, and their company has been busy with projects (a number of which have won awards from the Royal Australian Institute of Architects). (Only last month Studio of 53 was presented a 2014 Heritage, Conservation and Urban Design Award from Subiaco Council for the Design of 209 Hamersley Rd). Studio 53 is working with Hassell Architects, Doric Constructions and LandCorp on the design development of apartments, a Commercial office building and master planning for the Karratha City Core. Studio 53’s clients also include respected and experienced developers such as QUBE, PEET and Lend Lease. Studio 53 are also the Estate Architects for the NEP in Claremont and as such advise LandCorp and the Town of Claremont. They also undertake individual homes for private clients. BC Studio 53 Design Pty Ltd: (08) 9388 6026, Kelly Building:

M: 0448 197 922

Ph: 13 15 40 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 97


Know your options Dispute resolution under construction law in Western Australia: what are the quickest ways to get paid? // words craig hollett and darryl koh, bowen buchbinder vilensky

As construction activity in Perth continues to grow, it’s an unfortunate reality that so too will disputes between contractors and principals. Changes in legislation, as well as the legal decisions handed down by the courts, means that the legal landscape for handling disputes is constantly, subtly shifting. Where does this leave parties in dispute as of June 2014? Legal options available to parties in a construction contract Right now we would see four broad means of dispute resolution by which parties to a construction contract may pursue in the event of a payment dispute. They are: • • • •

Adjudication under the Construction Contracts Act 2005 (WA) Arbitration Commencing legal proceedings in a court, also known as litigation Issuing of a Creditors Statutory Demand

Of these, litigation is often the slowest, most cumbersome and most expensive process. Arbitration is only available if the contract in question provides for such an option. In any event, arbitration may sometimes be a long drawn-out affair and prove equally costly, if not more costly than, litigation. For these reasons alone, most contractors choose to pursue adjudication as a means of dispute resolution. However, adjudication is not the only quick way to get paid – another option available to a party wanting to get paid is by issuing a Creditors Statutory Demand. Adjudication under the Construction Contracts Act (CCA) In the last edition of Builders Choice, colleague Les Buchbinder





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outlined the adjudication process in some detail. But at what point can the adjudication process be triggered? Before an aggrieved party can lodge an application for adjudication, several requirements must first be satisfied, the most important one being the arising of a “payment dispute”. Under section 6(1) of the CCA, a payment dispute arises if, by the time the amount claimed in a payment claim is due to paid under the contract: • The amount has not been paid in full or • The claim has been rejected, either wholly or partially. The payment dispute in question arises upon the earlier of the two events above. Under section 26(1) of the CCA, the aggrieved party must lodge the adjudication application within 28 days after the payment dispute arises. This is a very strict timeframe and there is no room for extension. In fact, there have been several cases where a party lodged an adjudication application only to have it dismissed because it was outside the 28-day limit, albeit by one or two days. This confusion arises predominantly because most construction contracts fail to specify one or more of the following: • How to respond to a payment claim • When to respond to a payment claim • The time for payment pursuant to a payment claim If a construction contract fails to specify these matters, then the implied provisions of the CCA are activated and the aggrieved party must act swiftly to work within the timetable to file the adjudication application. However, it is not uncommon for parties to a construction contract to think that the payment dispute arises only when one party files a Notice of Dispute to the other party, disputing a payment claim, whether in part or in whole. To be precise, the payment dispute arises at the earlier of either, the time due for payment of the amount specified in the payment claim, or, the time when a Notice of Dispute is issued. In other words, it is imperative that a party, who wishes to bring a matter to adjudication, be aware of the time limitations to do so. If the adjudication application is not filed within 28 days after the payment dispute arises, then the adjudicator can dismiss the application without a consideration of its merits. In such a scenario, the parties will have to restart the process again, albeit after incurring significant legal costs for no benefit.

THE BUILDERS CHOICE industry news & views

Craig Hollett (left) and Darryl Koh (right)

“Under section 26(1) of the CCA, the aggrieved party must lodge the adjudication application within 28 days after the payment dispute arises.”

Creditors Statutory Demand An alternative, relatively quick way of getting paid, if the debtor party is an incorporated company, is for the creditor party to issue a Creditors Statutory Demand under Section 459E (1) of the Corporations Act to the debtor party seeking payment as a debt. This requires payment of the debt to be made within 21 days, failing which the debtor party commits an act of insolvency. The creditor party is then entitled to apply to wind up the debtor party relying upon the non-compliance with the Creditors Statutory Demand to satisfy the insolvency requirements. Note that the debtor party may apply to set the Creditors Statutory Demand aside on the basis that a “genuine dispute” exists about the existence or amount of the debt. In such an application, the debtor party must establish there is a bona fide dispute which is not spurious, hypothetical, illusory or misconceived. Other grounds to apply to set it aside are a defect in the Creditors Statutory Demand and for “some other reason”. The Western Australian Court of Appeal recently considered a situation where a Creditors Statutory Demand had been issued based upon a judgment that had been registered in the District Court following two separate determinations by an Adjudicator under the Construction Contracts Act 2004 (WA). The Court of Appeal drew an analogy to the way in which tax debts are treated – i.e. you may dispute the amount you owe the Australian Taxation Office, but you must pay first then argue later. The Court of Appeal said that even though the debtor party had commenced District Court proceedings disputing the liability to pay the debts which were the subject of the adjudication, this could not give rise to a genuine dispute which would be capable of setting aside the Creditors Statutory Demand. This case provides a clear direction to potential creditor parties in a construction contract, even while there may be a dispute continuing with the other side. This is a very different situation from the one they’ve faced in the past when they had to wait until the conclusion of any court proceedings (or

litigation) before they can hope to see any payment, often with crippling financial consequences. Arbitration and litigation Commencing legal proceedings is probably the first thing that comes to most peoples’ minds in the face of a dispute. However, litigation is often the least desirable option and there are rarely any true winners in a long-drawn litigation process. Arbitration was originally introduced as a form of alternative dispute resolution process instead of litigation. However, the amount of work that is put into an arbitration process can sometimes equal or exceed the amount of work necessary for litigation. More importantly, arbitration is only available if the contract in question provides for it. It is useful to note that the standard form construction contracts, the AS 2124 and the AS 2545, both provide for arbitration as a means of dispute resolution. Conclusion To put things into context, adjudication is often the most desirable option to resolve a dispute under a construction contract. The issuing of a Creditors Statutory Demand is an alternative for a creditor party to get paid, assuming that the debtor party is an incorporated company. It is important to note that it is not all doom and gloom if you are ordered by an adjudicator to pay a creditor party, or, if you decide to pay up pursuant to a Creditors Statutory Demand. Many parties often opt for arbitration as well because neither adjudication nor a Creditors Statutory Demand will prevent an arbitrator from finding in favour of the party who had already paid up previously. If all else fails, litigation will often be the last resort. Nevertheless, as with all legal matters, it is always prudent to seek professional legal advice when in doubt or simply as a matter of risk management. BC Bowen Buchbinder Vilensky: (08) 9325 9644,

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Recipe for success They say that home is where the heart is…and for many it’s in the kitchen. But good research and careful planning is essential for a kitchen makeover. // words rocky amatulli

It is always a good idea to ask yourself why you think you want, or need, a new kitchen. Sometimes kitchens don’t work where they are located or in their present set up or configuration. Other times, they simply become tired due to the amount of use, or just look outdated. As with any situation that involves design and construction (irrespective of the budget or nature of the project), the more you plan, consider and understand the processes, the better the result. If planning is the first step, than this not only means focusing on the new kitchen, it also means looking at the existing kitchen and considering its benefits and shortcomings. There’s no point in spending time and money to upgrade when you don’t get the most out of that expenditure and effort. The best lessons come from the past, so your existing kitchen will no doubt provide many clues as to what needs to be retained (not literally, but in

terms of ideas and functionality) and what needs to be improved in your new kitchen. Consider immediate aspects such as location, setout, storage, appliances, materials and finishes, and look. Consider also any future changes which may affect your decision making, such as alternative uses (for example incorporating meals areas), resale value, rental attractiveness, or changes to family size (both up and down). And finally, consider cost, disruption and downtime. Even when taking these aspects into consideration there are often many facets to them which need further attention (such as choice of materials), which in turn can affect other aspects such as cost and timeframe. It is easy to see then how a ‘‘simple’’ kitchen renovation can become complex. Most kitchen refits also require co-ordination of multiple suppliers and contractors who need to potentially handle demolition, plumbing, electrical, cabinetwork, flooring, equipment supply and painting. Suddenly, the home kitchen renovator needs to understand elements of design and know how to project manage. It is no different to building your own home – but on a smaller scale. You can choose to design it yourself, or enlist and pay an expert. Ultimately, you will probably still need someone to draw up and specify what needs to be priced and built, even if you come up with the design. Likewise, you can undertake the building yourself (in some cases not just the co-ordination of other trades, but even some of the actual work). Again though, you will probably still need the help of fabricators and licensed trades (such as electricians and plumbers), so whichever way you decide to go, you will need to work with others on your kitchen renovation. Fortunately, there are many companies and individuals who can help with either the design, the implementation, or both, when it comes to kitchen renovations.

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100 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

The experienced kitchen designer can help establish a brief and budget, accurately measure up the space, draw up functional layouts, produce three-dimensional visuals, suggest practical and interesting materials, and advise on what they know works for other clients. You can draw on their expertise and knowledge, rather than go through the learning curve and make mistakes yourself. Naturally, you pay for their time and knowledge, but it may be substantially less than what a serious mistake or poorly

THE BUILDERS CHOICE kitchen renovations

specified material could cost you over the long term. An experienced designer is also someone that you can collaborate with and bounce ideas off. Sometimes this can be more satisfying than going it alone. If the implementation is an issue, then there are also many contractors, builders and project managers who have the experience and contacts to ensure that the job is coordinated in the most efficient manner. This phase also raises issue of liability arising out of damage to existing home, and injury which might arise out of someone you organise working at your home. This can mean that

someone else handles all of the payments, co-ordination and other surprises that can arise from renovations in general. The extent to which you get involved depends on your time, experience, tenacity and confidence. There are proven steps and procedures which have been tested over time, and whilst the way in which kitchen renovations are carried out may alter slightly, the principles remain the same. Learn. Ask. Research. Get involved. It may not improve your cooking, but it might just get you a better kitchen. BC

Quality, Custom-Built European Kitchens TM Kitchens provides a comprehensive design and installation service and offers an exquisite range of stylish European kitchens and cabinetry that adds a touch of elegance to every project. Unit 2, 15 Vanden Way, Joondalup WA I Tel: (08) 9300 0699 I Email:

The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 101


Old idea. New solution Hubble Design reaches out and provides answers to utilising (backyard) space // words rocky amatulli





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In its time, Hubble Design worked on a few projects with home builder, The Summit Group. In particular, Hubble Design developed some ‘out-of-the-box’ solutions for innovative building. The granny flat project (now know endearingly as the Lola) was one of these projects which was in development for a while. The concept focused on a simple, well-designed easy to use and construct – a granny flat that can be placed quickly into an owner’s lot with minimal disturbance. Hubble Design’s role incorporated providing design and documentation for the project. The company also manned the Lola when it was on display in the Fremantle Festival, where it was a big hit. Many people came through it to see how modular work can be aesthetically pleasing, open planned and with a very light feeling inside. Being modular, the dimensions were constrained to reduce costs and make the Lola more accessible. as a result, this enable it to be transported easily by road and craned into position. The installation methodology also meant weight was a consideration. The Lola uses a steel subfloor frame, with timber framed walls clad in Masterwall,


The clean and modernist design of the granny flat makes it suitable for any backyard, and being prefabricated and craned into place means the construction process is reduced to days, instead of months.

and Aluminium full-height windows. Internally, the granny flat is finished with bamboo flooring. The clean and modernist design of the granny flat makes it suitable for any backyard, and being prefabricated and craned into place means the construction process is reduced to days, instead of months. As an innovative structure, many people had to work very hard to get the first prototype to a point where it was accessible to the public. The effort was mainly due to the reverse procurement challenges that prefabricated construction requires. With the building industry geared up for the more traditional way of constructing residences, this project was always set to challenge both its designers and its builders. However, the project came together in magnificent (and efficient) style. With the ‘granny flat’ market now growing, it was important not to follow what others are doing to Patrick Hubble and his team, but moreso to set the standard and break new ground – which the company feels it has done! The Lola that was on display down at the Fremantle Festival was a collective effort by all involved. However it has all come together at the end and the amount of interest it generated is a testament to the effort. Afterwards, Hubble Design and others involved all hosted a sausage sizzle with proceeds going to the St. Patrick’s Homeless organisation in Fremantle, and the RSPCA. The collaborative effort in

hosting the display at the City of Fremantle was well received, and in Patrick Hubble’s opinion, also well rewarded. Hubble Design is now working on a new Lola and continuing the evolution of the product – which is a great bonus to prefabrication and modular technology. Hubble Design is also working on a wide range of projects, from residential extensions through to apartments, and commercial projects. The company also does interior fitout work for both offices and retail. ‘Doing both interior and exterior work is vital in the world today where design often bridges the inside with the outside’, says Hubble Design architect and founder, Patrick Hubble. Patrick has been working in his profession for over 12 years since having graduated from the University of Western Australia. Patrick has always been passionate about modular and prefabricated construction, and has endeavoured to push architectural design into this direction. His practice, Hubble Design was established to create a ‘house for design’ where clients feel welcome to come in and try to find innovative design solutions for their projects. Hubble Design does a wide variety of work, from modular or prefabricated design work, to site built houses and apartments, commercial buildings and even subdivision or urban plans. BC Hubble Design: (08) 9242 3167, Granny Flat Innovations by Summit Home Improvements: (08) 6365 2901, www.

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Healthy homes As the language of sustainability enters mainstream conversation, people are starting to notice how they, and in turn, their property interacts with the environment. Going beyond solar panels and water wise gardens, they are asking “how healthy is my property?” // words marc drexel, director arcactive

Living in a “healthy house” appeals to the ideal of living a healthy life, and with an increase in food allergies, asthma and eczema in children there is growing concern about the environment we live in. For corporations the quality of the indoor environment is already a major concern and we can see these trends starting to flow onto residential properties. Healthy working environments are now standard procedure in the commercial sector, and both landlords and tenants demand them. This is a legacy of the ‘‘sick building syndrome’’ and is often linked to air-conditioning systems and in particular the outbreak of legionnaire’s disease. This caused a flow-on effect of litigation which changed attitudes and has seen companies proactively check the healthiness of their work spaces. Healthy buildings support employees to be healthier, more engaged and often happier and more productive. These properties lease and sell for higher values in the market. It goes without saying that the very same issues that exist in the commercial area are just as relevant to other property markets, inclusive of the residential and rural sectors. To understand what a healthy house is, you need to understand that no one item stands on its own, everything is connected. The health of a house can be influenced and impacted by traffic and industrial pollution, mould spores, dust and volatile organic compound’s resulting in poor and unhealthy air quality. The design of the house and garden and the paint and furnishings can all play a role in creating or addressing these issues. A healthy house is more than the quality of the indoor air: it is also one that is connected to its neighbourhood, being within walking distance to local facilities and parkland and close access to public transport. The quality and frequency of public transport and local amenities have a direct effect on a healthy lifestyle. A traditional building inspection will deliver outcomes based

around the structural integrity of a building but mostly will not attempt to talk to the health of a building which is just as, if not more important. A healthy house investigation should address the water usage and energy consumption, the materials used in construction, the liveability including universal access, the natural surroundings and transport systems and local community benefits and attributes. The healthy house approach can be applied to all properties new and old. It is ideal to get involved at the development stage of new buildings and lay the right foundations for healthy design outcomes inclusive of overall design of the home and garden, energy and water usage and building material choices. For existing homes there are many recommendations that can be made to improve the quality of life immediately. The principals remain the same for any property whether residential or commercial. There will be in increase in demand of healthy house checks in the property management and sales markets, as owners, agents and asset managers are required to identify sick buildings and in turn mitigate and disclose the flow-on potential health risks to tenants and purchasers. Tenants and purchasers need to be very aware of their rights and should expect full disclosure as to any potential health issues to a property. To put it simply, there is no need to put up with an unhealthy property and place you and your family at risk. Increasingly international and national markets are acknowledging and rewarding best practice outcomes. What we see from researching these markets is healthy homes that address these fundamentals will sell and rent for significantly higher than unhealthy homes. Whilst this hasn’t permeate through to the Perth market it is logical to assume that as the market becomes more aware and demands healthy house outcomes this international trend will filter down to the West Australian market. BC ARCACTIVE:

M: Alex 0418 948 800 Marcoux 0418 948 800

Michelle Marcoux 0409 094 400

104 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

// words esther ngang

Many park authorities, local governments and urban planners have signed up as advocates or partners for the 202020 Vision project (, which aims to increase green spaces in urban areas by 20 percent by 2020. The nursery, garden and landscaping industry works to design and install gardens for homes, landscaping for public open spaces (POS) and common gardens of apartments that incorporate elements that are aesthetically pleasing, offer biodiversity, and have the function of mitigating the “heat island” effect. There is more evidence of placemaking in town, too. Wikipedia defines placemaking as “a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces; capitalising on a local community’s assets, inspiration, and potential, with the intention of creating public spaces that promote people’s health, happiness, and well-being.” In WA, the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority (MRA) believes that “placemaking turns a neighbourhood, city or town from a place you can’t wait to get through to a place you never want to leave.” One central project is the Perth Cultural Centre (PCC), a collaboration between the MRA and Josh Byrne and Associates. The rejuvenation, productive gardens, billabong and sculptures, and the big screen for outdoor theatre are added drawcards and the space has been actively used for hosting of outdoor events throughout the year. This project scooped multiple awards at the Landscape Industries Association of WA Inc (LIAWA) Awards of Excellence in 2011. PCC was also the worthy inaugural winner of a newly created category at the recent 2014 NGIA National Awards for Greenlife Infrastructure. Biodiversity in green spaces have been created in the urban areas despite recent water restrictions, and pressure to minimise maintenance costs in the long run. At the LIAWA Awards of Excellence 2014 in May, there were nearly a hundred entries judged for residential and commercial landscape projects in WA. The distance spanned from Yanchep to Yallingup, to Mundaring Weir. One high-profile project was the Fiona Stanley Hospital, and judges were shown numerous courtyard gardens, landscape gardens around a lake and rooftop gardens for rehabilitation. It took judges three hours to visit two-thirds of the green spaces. The Department of Sport and Recreation launched a document, “Planning Parkland and Design Guide WA”, on April 3 at the Perth Garden Festival 2014 in Perry Lakes, Floreat. Endorsed by the Department of Water and the Water Corporation, we will likely see projects with better management for future maintenance as a result of better communication and agreed objectives. There were amazing residential backyards entered for the LIAWA

Awards. However, this article will focus on listing POS of parks in new suburbs and town centres, and shopping centres. These are accessible to all and with no entry fees, so do take time to visit, or take your kids for some active time with great options for playgrounds or amazing water play: • Perry Lakes Reserve Development in Floreat - a great playground and deck constructed from salvaged wood, interesting sculptures from salvaged steel, good history preserved in plaques and artworks, and various specimens of frangipanis. • Pitstop Playgroup at Discovery Park in Banksia Grove – modelled after a grand prix racetrack, it is an area for the active child to take his/her bicycle/tricycle to for a spin. • Amberton Estate of Eglinton – for those seeking free flying fox equipment, this is a place to visit for a picnic, it caters for those 9-99 years. • There is water play at Cockburn Town Square and Port Coogee Marina and these spots include nearby cafes • City of Stirling has fantastic nature play areas around Dianella with playgrounds designed with nature play and using recycled materials for interactive and imaginative play. Call the council for exact locations. • Gecko Park in Wandi (Litchfield Circle) is designed in the shape of a gecko – truly creative and well-constructed. • City of Gosnells maintains character and history with their garden surrounds at the shire’s office – great spot for your picnics in beautiful gardens of rock walls, lakes and beautiful lawns. • Mundaring Weir - find a weekend to take a drive, bring your favourite picnic basket with your favourite wine. The place is signposted with sculptural walls. There is a new northern lookout, and BBQ and gazebo with impressive sculptures and play space created out of historical assets. • Yallingup play space – a playground of natural materials, with a surfing break wall, timber surfboard, bird’s nest swing, and a timber shack. A sure winner with an imaginative child/adult. • The universities – at ECU and Curtin B209. • Central CBD sports “pocket parks” around the corner from Jamie’s Kitchen at One40 William St. • Shopping centre landscapes submitted for the LIAWA Awards of Excellence 2014 – The Mezz in Mt Hawthorn with car parks replaced with playground and outdoor fireplace, and the water play at Cockburn Central Square. • A high-profile project of Crown in Burswood with its main entry revamped and redeveloped pool area. • WALGA moved into a new building in West Leederville – there is a substantial green space zone at the rear of the building, flanked by sculptural additions, and internal courtyards. There isn’t sufficient space to list or showcase all the projects highlighted in this article. Past winners, such as the Rio Tinto Naturescapes play space at Kings Park, are popular too. For more examples of green spaces, browse the awards at www. or email or BC Esther Ngang is the Executive Director of Landscape Industries Association of WA Inc and CEO of Nursery and Garden Industry of WA Inc Landscape Industries Association Western Australia:

The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 105


The 202020 Vision is to increase green spaces in urban areas by 20 percent by the year 2020.

WATER EFFICIENCY Low water use plants can enhance parks and foster sense of community.

Vibrant communities A new parks and open space guide is an invaluable tool for industry. // words government of western australia – department of water

The State Government has recognised that along with Western Australia’s growing population, there is a rising need to ensure the liveability of our increasingly urban community. Managing the state’s finite water resources is of key importance in developing, building and maintaining adequate parks and open spaces that can help to ensure we all enjoy healthy and vibrant communities. Water Minister Mia Davies, along with the Minister for Sport and Recreation, recently released the Public Parkland Planning & Design Guide (WA) to highlight how water-sensitive urban-designed neighbourhoods can more effectively match water use to levels of activity. The guide was developed by the Department of Water and the Department of Sport and Recreation with extensive input from the

106 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

turf industry, planners, urban designers, landscape architects and local government. At the forefront of the guide is the recognition that the WA climate is drying and this presents challenges with water supply and water planning for parklands. It highlights best practice in designing, planning, developing and maintaining the state’s parklands in order to promote the environmental and social benefits of these valuable community assets. “Providing water to support the development and maintenance of parklands for community sport and recreation is a Government priority,” Ms Davies said when releasing the guide. “Through good planning, sensitive design and appropriate management, water availability should be no obstacle to creating parks that are attractive, adaptable, accessible and resilient.” The department’s Director of Water and Land Use Don Crawford said sourcing water was an obvious priority in the planning process and noted that the new guide provided important information about how to navigate the planning and design process. “Parkland planning and design must be integrated with other broader land use and resource planning processes,” he said. “This requires collaboration between professionals involved in numerous disciplines involving strategic planning,

THE BUILDERS CHOICE water efficiency

(Top) Planning for public open space in urban developments. (Bottom Left) Water efficiency recycle project coordinator Aaron Compton (left) and Water and Land Use Planning manager Timothy Sparks with copies of the planning guide. (Bottom Right) Streetscape design uses native planting.

recreation and sports planning, conservation and natural resource management, heritage planners, landscape and urban design, engineering, community and cultural development and public health, among others.” Mr Crawford cited the example of building a sports oval in a new sub-division and said a developer would first need to consider the social and recreational needs of the projected users, access, existing constraints on the proposed development – such as environmental or infrastructure obstacles – and any cultural or heritage features. “Once these basic issues have been addressed a developer would then get down to managing the engineering design of the project,” he said. “For an oval this could include issues such as ensuring specific spatial or gradient requirements are met and that there is sufficient space for accompanying parkland and surrounds so an audience could watch a football or cricket match in comfort.” He said other topics covered in the guide included the development of multi-use parklands that balanced sport, recreation and environment needs, the emphasis on using local resources and materials and ensuring maintenance requirements were integrated into the design of parks and open spaces. “Shallow aquifers have traditionally been the source of low-cost options for irrigation of parks and open spaces in many urban and regional areas,” he said. “But a groundwater allocation may not always be available. Increased demand and reduced groundwater availability are driving consideration of other fit-for-purpose sources to supply parkland irrigation, such as stormwater harvesting and treated wastewater.” Mr Crawford said the practice of using treated wastewater

and recycled stormwater to irrigate parks and public open space in regional Western Australia’s dryland areas has existed for many years and had played an integral role in helping these communities enhance their outdoor lifestyle and amenity. “The guide helps set out the kind of engagement parkland planners need to have with the department on these sorts of important water issues.” He said the department was now actively encouraging other communities to adopt the same practices that had proved so effective in regional WA and referred to recent work with developers to the North West Corridor Water Supply Strategy. “The Public Parkland Planning & Design Guide (WA) complements this work and broadens its perspective to allow the application of its underlying principles across the state,” he said. “For example, the guide suggests harvesting stormwater to irrigate parklands is best considered for high-density residential or commercial areas, areas with existing large-scale stormwater drainage facilities or for areas with economically viable storage systems such as lakes or aquifer recharge systems.” He said key areas where industry expertise was essential included establishing water budgets, appropriate water accounting and metering systems, parkland design, science-based horticultural advice, efficient water distribution, sensor-based irrigation systems and ongoing research and innovation to deliver water efficiencies. “It is important to have the capacity to meet different needs and functions and that is why it is necessary to have a range of planning tools and options,” Mr Crawford said. BC Government of Western Australia – Department of Water:

The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 107


BuildItEco — A new force in Lightweight Construction Since the Company was formed, the Directors of BuildItEco have left no stone unturned to ensure the supply of “the best” tried and tested building products to the Perth Market. Director Steve Foster searched Australia wide for an insulated attractive cladding material that BuildItEco could supply and install with confidence for Perth Builders. Steve selected ThermaWallPlus from RMAX based on the performance of various products available on the East Coast. ThermaWallPlus had been tested and approved for use under all aspects of the BCA, but this was not enough for Steve. “I installed the product on an extension on my own house, to satisfy myself that all the claims made by the manufacturer were true” he said. “Only then did we make the decision to promote the product”. BuildItEco have coupled the ThermaWallPlus, with Dulux finishing products and fully trained Installers to ensure

that all jobs meet the highest possible standard. Another product imported by BuildItEco is Supaboard, a Magnesium Oxide Board. Again the BuildItEco principles of ‘tried and tested’ were applied. Managing Director Matt DePledge made several trips to China to personally check out a number of Manufacturers. “I only wanted to import a product from a reputable Manufacturer who had a strict quality control system in the factory. A manufacturer with export experience, and one who could demonstrate they had a product tested to international standards. Supaboard ticked all the boxes” Matt said. BuildItEco have put together a complete package of Supaboard and the Peer façade System for external cladding to ensure the board system can be specified and installed with confidence.


New name for new panel building system Ecostruct Panel Systems ECOSTRUCT ™ is a new structurally engineered insulated panel wall system that can be used in residential, commercial and industrial construction in lieu of brick, timber or steel. What makes ECOSTRUCT ™ different is the patented panel connection system that allows flexible design for external (150mm thick) and internal walls (86mm thick) with cyclone rated construction to two storeys as a minimum standard in any Australian conditions. There are many advantages of using ECOSTRUCT ™ panels including energy efficiency, white ant resistant, fire retardant and the component materials are recyclable making the panel system sustainable and eco-friendly with less waste during manufacture and construction. Construction requires only one trade meaning less people on site for a shorter period of time allowing lock up and practical completion sooner than using traditional brick materials. Using the patented connection system with base and top plates tied down to the concrete slab the Ecostruct Panel System wall is ADVERTORIAL SUPPLIED BY CLIENT

108 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

simple, quick and connects to any selected roof construction method. The cost advantages of ECOSTRUCT ™ include less material costs compared to the traditional alternatives and with significantly reduced build time saving site costs for Builders. Home buyers will benefit greatly with reduced interest and rent payments as well as the construction savings and they will be in their house much sooner. ECOSTRUCT PANEL SYSTEMS is ready to respond to the growing demand for Engineered Sustainable Panel wall systems for the residential market in WA and the rest of the country. For further detailed information please visit www.ecostructps. com or for your quotation please contact the office on phone 9493 1110 or Email For further information regarding this release please contact, Peter Kay (Executive General Manager) Ecostruct Panel Systems: P: 08 9493 1110, M: 0411 750531 E:

THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction


Why Double Glazing? The benefits of Double glazing: • • • •

Significantly reduces heating and cooling costs by making the room easier to stabilize the temperature. Improves comfort levels More environmentally friendly, reducing green house gases Improves energy rating of your home, use of low e glass reduces sunlight UV ray infiltration in summer as well as keeping convected heat inside during winter. • Huge noise reduction, which can also be increased by changing glass configurations • No condensation caused by the outside of the pane being cold and the inside warm • Integral blinds between the the panes, eliminating cleaning and raising and lowering for access

Why Glasscene? • • • • • •

We are a member of the AWA, All our systems conform to AS2047 We manufacture powder coated aluminum thermally broken frames, (any colour) Our energy ratings can be viewed on WERS All our window systems can be made to any size (not standard sizes like some manufacturers) We offer multiple glass configurations, standard is 5mm toughened, also tinted, Low E, cyclonic (AS 1170), laminated etc. • All systems : including bifolds, awning, casement, tilt and turn, sliding.


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Thermal break aluminium window system Double glazing Multi Locking points Thermal efficiency, Low U & SHGC values Low e glass, tinting options Internal Blinds (located between the two panes of glass) Hidden fixing on the frames (ideal for retro fit) SYSTEMS: Tilt and Turn I Awning Sliding doors and windows I Bifold doors P 08 9452 7004 Mobile 0433 984 244 10 Mcintyre Wy Kenwick, WA 6107 Email: www.

The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 109


A faster, smarter build // words anthony pillinger

I’ve always loved building but have always considered it medieval in selection of material. Why are we still building with mud bricks and coating them with an earthen daub? Why is a pure masonry building still favoured by so many? With the advent of more lightweight options available to today’s builders and designers, earthen building products should be put in their place - as heat sinks and as feature walls/floors that assist in regulating the ambient temperature without the input of power. The place for a lightweight wall that can achieve over R4.0 is on the sunny perimeter. It is as simple as that. I am a builder and quantity surveyor and over the years have done the number crunching on many methods of composite construction. Sadly, the reverse brick veneer tops the list in affordable composite solutions but not by much. Why do they do it the wrong way around over east but next to never here? I think the answer is demand, and market awareness. We are fortunate enough to be building in a period of strong marketing and increasing public awareness of the merits of lightweight construction, coupled with many innovations. It is for us to change with the times, and embrace a greener and smarter approach to construction. Using a prefabricated timber structure substantially reduces construction times and directly helps drop the cost of time-based incidentals such as scaffold. There are also other hidden benefits such as a decreased pressure on Building Indemnity Insurance limits as a result of

110 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

ARE YOU GETTING ENOUGH? We are fortunate enough to be building in a period of strong marketing and increasing public awareness of the merits of lightweight construction, coupled with many innovations. At Rondo, we have built our reputation on delivering much more than just the products you need. With all of our products, you get the extra protection of our complete rondo Warranty that guarantees they will perform to specifications when installed correctly.


...THERMAL INSULATION AND A 6 STAR ENERGY RATING, SUPER SPEED OF CONSTRUCTION, FLEXIBILITY OF DESIGN, ULTRA LIGHT WEIGHT, EASY ON THE BUDGET - ALL WITH A ROCK SOLID LOOK! BUILDING CODE OF AUSTRALIA COMPLIANCE- Cladtex is Fully compliant with the BCA and Meets the necessary approval requirements. VALUE FOR MONEY- Cladtex is probably the best value cladding available in WA. FIRE RESISTANT- Fire resistant properties means Cladtex is self extinguishing in small fires. ENERGY EFFICIENT- Cladtex has a very high R value. Allowing some standard homes to rate over 8 Star at no extra cost. VISUALLY APPEALING- Finished Cladtex cladding has a similar appearance as rendered masonary construction. VERSITILE AND FLEXIBLE- Cladtex can be applied to various substrates in curved or straight lines. STRONG AND HARD- Finished Cladtex cladding can easily handle normal household impacts due to the reinforcement mesh and render coatings.

You also get access to our expert technical & design support with detailed product and installation manuals that are recognised as the most comprehensive in the industry, as well as access to a team of Technical Design Engineers to offer free help and advice when you need it. And if you want more hands-on experience, you can take advantage of our free skills training programs, both online and in person. You even have the advantage of industry-leading innovations like our free rondo app for iPhone and iPad, that puts all the power of the Rondo Wizards at your fingertips and lets you find and order the products you need from your nearest Rondo distributor. It’s a complete package. So don’t settle for less. Visit and see just how much more you can get.

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The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 111

THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

For a prefabricated frame job, with correct final checking procedures prior to final shop drawings, an average two-storey insert can have a lid on it within three weeks of demolition.

a faster turnaround on jobs. Clients may also have the benefit of a reduced rental period while awaiting their new home. In the case of site-fabricated timber framing, I believe the job is still much quicker than having wet trades installing mass where it is not needed. On top of a faster build, the general mass of waste is radically reduced by avoiding too much brick and plasterwork on the job. Hence, less bin rental, and less site clean labour. Let’s also add less final clean of dried and hardened mortar from every splattered surface. For a prefabricated frame job, with correct final checking procedures prior to final shop drawings, an average two-storey insert can have a lid on it within three weeks of demolition. Good for the extension market from autumn to spring. A 100 percent timber two-storey structure could have a roof in it around four to five weeks from receipt of frames on site.


Weigh that against lower-level brickwork, scaffold, formwork, upper slab pour, upper brickwork, scaffold, and finally roof frame then cover. Even in winter when you are dodging showers, the biggest concern is safe OH&S with regard to power and slipping; the chippies can keep putting in the hours. Their poor fellow wet tradesmen cannot go putting mixes onto mud boards if there is more than a light rain. The hardest and the easiest thing to do is talk someone out of a suspended slab in favour of a timber-framed floor. It is hard, because there is a strong user desire for a solid concrete slab that “doesn’t transmit noise”. It is easy because this slab will add about $30,000 over the cost of a chipboard and timber-framed floor on the average job. The options available now put this prejudice to rest in my mind. We have acoustic batts, acoustic ceiling lining, even sound-break






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COMMERCIAL BUILDING SOLUTIONS Located South of Perth, AG Trusses [AG’s] has been supplying the builders of WA for over 15 years. With a long history of offering quality design and manufacture, AG’s has turned their attention to the commercial market, offering design consultation, as well as individual manufacture. The client approached them with significant issues relating to a second floor construction above an existing roof, which required battening and lining the underside of the floor with fire rated plasterboard. Due to restricted access below the new floor, AG’s were presented with a dilemma in how to install the fire rated plasterboard. The challenge was to provide a solution that achieved the desired fire rating, as well as an efficient installation process.

On site work completed in 3 days

Creative Truss Solutions developed by AG Trusses

Craning floor sections into place

The final solution involved manufacturing floor trusses, constructed into banks of floor sections, then bracing the entire structure. This then allowed each bank to be battened and lined with fire rated plasterboard. The floor sections were then transported to site, craned into place, and fixed. The on site work was completed within only a three day period! The resulting structure was impressive both in it’s design and speed of installation, proving it’s hard to beat pre-fabricated truss systems.

Armadale, West Australia Kilsyth, Melton, Victoria



THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

There are many more ways to keep a house cool than there are to skin a cat... As a community, we need to embrace the better option.

dropped metal grid ceiling frames. What about mass? Timber does not conduct heat as well as a slab, however if the floor were to be a lightweight aerated concrete product with a tile finish, the mass issue is remedied. These products all are readily available in Perth; a builder/ designer just needs to think outside the box and get to know them. Finally, slabs will be rescheduled if there is a whiff of rain. The timber-framed floor, with or without the aerated concrete, will be installed in a fraction of the time it takes to prepare and pour a suspended slab. About 90 percent of our jobs are substantially lightweight these days. Our single-storey houses commonly have a polished concrete slab, and a feature face brick wall to the southern internal face. The rest is well-insulated timber framing.

In two-storey scenarios, many have a lower storey of 100 percent brick and an upper of 100 percent timber. By cladding the lower wall instead of rendering we can mimic the benefit of an external timber frame. There are many more ways to keep a house cool than there are to skin a cat. Start with timber, and think where it can be best used, don’t leave it as just an option for holding up the roof sheeting. Be active in promoting timber in your designs. It has helped Swell Homes, being so closely aligned with Shoreline Designs, develop into a better building company. As a community, we need to embrace the better option. This needs to be across the board, and marketed correctly so that all are aware of the benefits of a composite home. BC SWELL HOMES : Anthony Pillinger – 0438 388 892, Email: ant@,

MiTek PosiStruts have an easy access advantage. MiTek PosiStruts are ideal for today’s building needs because they offer a wide range of advantages, which deliver savings to the architect, engineer and builder. They’re a truly customised, totally engineered flooring and / or roofing system that combines the versatility of timber with the strength of steel. PosiStruts unique ‘open web’ design provides excellent access for services, whilst making them lighter and quicker to install than solid timber joists. Plumbing, electrical, heating & air conditioning/ducting can all be easily accommodated by this ingenious ‘open web’ system. Forget cutting through solid timber joists and reducing their strength; PosiStruts make difficult access a thing of the past. No other Beam can boast ‘Top Chord Support’… so there is no need to use expensive fixings and brackets during installation. PosiStruts can be manufactured in lengths up to 12 metres, with either 35mm or 45mm chords, depending on load bearing requirements. They can span large, open areas with minimum use of internal supports, making them the ideal solution for open plan designs. They can also be specifically designed and engineered for special projects and tailor made to accommodate special support conditions like hidden steel beams. ADVERTORIAL SUPPLIED BY CLIENT

114 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

There have even been some innovative applications in roof construction, with everything from standard roof-lines to curved structures. Although popular in domestic construction, PosiStruts are now making a name for themselves in a vast array of commercial and light industrial applications because they offer a far more cost-effective solution to steel and are much easier to install. They’re also ideal for second storeys, sites with poor foundations and steep sites which need to be cut & filled, thus avoiding costly retaining wall structures. In fact when you take into account the ease of installation and the easy access advantages for services, the savings onsite, in man-hours alone, can be considerable.

Difficult, expensive access problem?

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Domus Access is your answer Domus Access is the only company in Australia to own Omme 3000 and Platform 1890. • • • • • •

Reduce scaffold & access costs Improve your profit margins Reduce the time on site Operated by accredited driver Meets all Australian Standard Rules & Regulations High powered high water pressure available in the Platform 1890

Engas Australasia assists companies to reduce their refrigeration and air conditioning energy costs by 15% to 35% (depending on the application). This also reduces carbon footprint by converting their air conditioning and refrigeration units to run on environmentally friendly – Hydrocarbon Refrigerants (HC).

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p. 08 9322 3153 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 115


THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services


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116 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

Brikmakers Romanbrik enabled me to create a comfortable 21st Century space with classic design integrity and style. Emiliana Vanni Project Architect | JCP Construction

To discuss the Lloyd Wright Collection’s potential to make your next project stand out, email or visit or simply call 1300 360 344.



THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services


ITEM 110



DIMENSIONS 1.95m High 0.75m Wide 1.95m Long Load Capacity 225kg


ITEM 113







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Ingenious product ends call-back headaches Waterstop Streamline was developed by a team of Building Supervisors, Water-Proofers, Tilers, Shower Screen Fitters and Building Maintenance Contractors to address the constant problem of call-backs due to leaking shower screens. After extensive testing, it was found that the cause of most leaks was due to the design of the shower and not to an error by the contractor. Gleda Pty Ltd Managing Director Brett Krey explains; “In most showers, whether a hobbed, hob-less or recessed design, the screen is sealed directly to the tiles and not to the water-proofing membrane. This design allows water to wick through the grout lines where it travels through the glue cavity underneath the tiles that the screen is “sealed” to, and escapes the shower enclosure.” “Waterstop Streamline provides a positive seal between the screen and the water-proofing membrane, trapping the water within the enclosure and eliminating the call-backs. Its unique, one piece design creates a template for the following trades and makes it very difficult for mistakes to occur. When compared to a tiled hob, Streamline is faster to install, looks better, wastes less space and works out cost-neutral!” Move out of the dark ages and switch to what is rapidly becoming the new industry-standard method of shower construction. For more information contact: Phone: 07 5426 3700 Email: Website: ADVERTORIAL SUPPLIED BY CLIENT

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118 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

GLEDA PTY LTD Phone 07 5426 3700 Fax 07 5426 3711 Email:

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services

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Water Features Pots, Fountains & Urns Made In WA Garden Ornaments Paving & Pier Caps 9371 9191 Pumps & Ponds 222 Collier Road Letterboxes Bayswater WA 6053

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The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 121

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services

FRAMETEC Steel Wall Frames Roof Trusses Light Fabrication • Residential • Commercial • Cyclonic Areas

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Winners of over 50 Awards of Excellence Office/Showroom 5/15 Halley Road, Balcatta P (08) 9344 2366 E

Unit 2-36 Meliador Way, Midvale WA 6056 PO Box 205, Bullsbrook WA 6084

Goodwill Engineering has over 30 years of experience in the building hardware and component industry, we are able to provide quality products and sound technical advice to assist you with your housing and construction needs. Goodwill Engineering has worked closely with the building and construction industries and has experienced a steady growth in business capabilities to meet the demands of customers. The range of products we offer through our relationship with hardware stores throughout Western Australia allows you the peace of mind that if we don’t stock the product, we can make them to your specifications. Goodwill Engineering supplies a range of certified products that meet Australian Standards 3700, including a large range of standard cavity ties, masonry veneer ties, masonry and timber connectors, hoop iron and flashing. We also supply a range of commercial products that can be made to suit your requirements. Goodwill Engineering can also supply Hoop Iron (roof tie down straps) that meets the BCA and WA Building Commissions requirements. Galvanised Z600 coating and marine grade 316 stainless steel, both are available in 1.8m, 3m or rolls of varying lengths. Our engineering capabilities include laser cutting, robotic welding, general welding (mig and tig), CNC pressing, plasma cutting and high-definition plasma cutting. Goodwill also has the capabilities to manufacture a wide range of products made from black, galvanised or stainless steel sheet. The range of products we can supply includes:

Quality hardware products to meet your specifications For more information contact: Doug Ennis - Production Manager Phone: (08) 9249 3444

122 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

• • • •

Security Gates Architectural Screens and Panels Benches Structural frames, Cleats and Fittings

In addition, the company’s extensive experience allows it to provide the highest quality products and service to the residential and commercial construction industries.

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services


n All jobs catered for n Decorative concrete Driveways & house slabs n Free quotes & advice


n n

Deliveries to all areas Quarry materials also supplied


To order or for more information, ask your local Hanson representative

CONCRETE 13 26 62 AGGREGATES 13 36 66

we’ll make it happen

Give your customers a 6-star service.

6-star Builder’s Series. Building on our heritage of innovation, we’re proud to introduce the Rinnai Builders Range of continuous flow hot water – now with added efficiency to help further reduce energy usage and running costs. The range includes: B16 - 6.2 star efficiency with temperature preset 500C or 600C available. B20 - 6.1 star efficiency with temperature preset 500C or 600C available. B26 - 6.1 star efficiency with temperature preset 500C or 600C available. The Rinnai True 50 Innovation. To offset heat loss in the pipework, the installing plumber can set the temperature at the unit to ensure the temperature is precise when it reaches the outlet.

Adjust temperature here (530C)

Get perfect temperature here (500C)

Make the Rinnai Builders Series a must-have on your next job.

for futher assistance and an introduction to your local Rinnai representative.

05174 WA

Call 1300 555 545

The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 123

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Chemical Toilets Sewer Connect Toilets Event Portable Toilets Trailer Mounted Toilets Waste Tanks Portable Toilet Treatment WA Manufactured Non Skid Flooring Fully conforming to Health Dept of WA Regulations Full Polyethylene Internal Construction Stainless Steel Fittings Full Range of Replacement Parts Available in Stock Full Repair and Maintenance Facility on Premises Experienced and Qualified Staff for Friendly Advice Suitable for Transport Anywhere in Australia

(08) 9359 1103

139 Chisholm Crescent, Kewdale WA 6105 Email:

P: 9240 5222 F: 9240 5300 2/146 Balcatta Rd, Balcatta WA 6021 E:

124 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014






HAVE YOU BOOKED YOUR BOAT PARTY YET? WA’s Largest Choice of Charter Boats Serving the Building Industry for 12 years

Call Lia on 0405 353 353 CRANES



(excluding doors & drawer fronts)

(08) 9256 2828

M: 04311 70207 U3/24 Baile Rd, Canning Vale e:


Specialists in: Commercial/Industrial Walls and Ceilings Gyprock • Ceilings - Wall Linings Suspended Ceilings Extenzo Stretch Ceilings Office Fitouts • Partitioning Project Management

PO Box 629, BALCATTA WA 6914 Unit 15/16, 213 Balcatta Rd BALCATTA WA 6021 T. (08) 9240 7887 F. (08) 9240 7890 E.





New Builds & Additions Power Points & Lighting Specialist in LED lighting TV, Phone & Data Points Ceiling Fans Smoke Alarms/R.C.D’s Safety Switches

For all your crane hire needs 24 Hour Services

For all crane bookings, please contact Michael on:

P. 08 9279 7762


F. 08 9279 7742

JOEL 0400 695 333

PO Box 122, Glen Forrest WA 6071




ph. 0448 870 338 GLASS

Terry Brown Managing Director Mobile: 0407 733 822 Email: 24HR


GLASSCAPES stylish • creative • unique

P. 08 9302 2425 F. 08 9302 2180 Unit 1/67 Motivation Dve, Wangara WA 6065 E. E: EC 10629




Misting and Fogging Specialist since 2005


PHONE: 9201 0088

Outdoor Cooling Cools areas up to 15º C 7 Reasons to Call CoolMist

for your outdoor cooling requirements

Our Secure Destruction Services include: • Document Destruction & Shredding; • Archive Box Removal, Office Cleanouts; • Digital Media Destruction; • Destruction of Blueprints, Discarded Designs; and • Destruction of Expired Uniforms.


8 Cressall Rd


9240 8388

1300 738 364

Innovative and effective technologies Best cooling power – designed for WA Climate Professional installation Customised systems Economical to use, Eco friendly Quality equipment for long service life After sales service and support

Deal directly with the experts


Unit 4/160 Balcatta Rd, Balcatta 6021 T (08) 9240 6464 F (08) 9240 8338 E.

The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014 125





M.Ayak Plastering WANGARA PAINT SUPPLIES T: 08 9409 9948 F: 08 9409 5194 U1/49 Prindiville Drive, Wangara WA 6065




Commercial and Residential

Quality Tradesmen Internal and External Phone 0413 356 100 AH 9342 9913

Specialising in Commercial and New Residential Homes

Ph: 08 6253 8156

Fax: 08 6253 8146

PO Box 1615, Canning Vale WA 6970 Unit 2/21 Mordaunt Circuit, Canning Vale WA 6155 PL 6382 GL9617 PRINTERS


Printing, copying, scanning and design solutions.

P: (08) 9582 7503 PO Box 3840 Success WA E:



INDUSTRIAL • COMMERCIAL • RESIDENTIAL Labour & Hire • Labour Only • Hire Only

All aspects of Timber Flooring Construction and Renovation Residential and Commercial Planning, Installation, Maintenance

You will always get the very best with our high quality, competitive pricing and fast service.


T (08) 9478 3188

81 Acton Ave, Rivervale WA 6103


33 Buckley Street Cockburn Central WA 6164 Ph 08 9417 2474 Fax 08 9417 2484 Email


tel 0415 833 117






perth metro area

More than 30 years experience Commercial waterproofing for all applications Internal waterproofing External waterproofing From basements to rooftops Liquid membranes to sheet membranes Mastic work, silicone work etc

Contact Us Today Ivo Peer Mob: 0405 322 426 Fax: 08 9403 5068 Adam Peer Mob: 0412 477 917

126 The Builders Choice Magazine – June 2014

THE WRITE STUFF Norman Burns Freelance Writer Media Comunications PR m: 0439 424 185 e:

FULFILLING CUSTOMER LIFESTYLE CERAMICS THAT INSPIRE Ceramo: A lifestyle concept of vision, beauty and comfort created through spaces characterised by state of the art ceramic products. Sourced from the very best international tile manufacturers and presented in a new concept environment that inspires both creative and innovative design for all interior spaces.

Rectified Wall Tile: 333x1000 Suede Taupe

Latest release from the Porcelanosa Group Suede Taupe offers a stunning sculpted look and soft feel with all the easy clean and no maintenance characteristics of ceramic.

19b King Edward Rd, Osborne Park WA 6017 P: (08) 9445 1777 E:

We invite you to come and experience a world-class kitchen appliance showroom now open in Perth. Iconic retro fridges, built-in ovens, freestanding cookers, cooktops, dishwashers, rangehoods, coffee machines and more...


Builders choice magazine june 2014