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MARCH 2012


CAB Member Since November 2010

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78 30 From the editor.......................................................12 PROFILE Eric Meyerowitz.....................................14 . PROFILE Diane Wainwright.................................16 PROFILE Romilly Madew......................................18. PROFILE Tony Bisignano & Gary Masiello......20. PROFILE Rob Crawford.........................................34 PROFILE Jason Springate.....................................96 COVER STORY New Shire offices for Augusta Margaret River.... .............................................................................................22 The diverse angles and curves of this magnificent building called for a

Making the new fit the old at Broome..................78 It’s very prescriptive in Broome, especially in Chinatown, as to what can be built – not just the materials but the form as well.

MIXED USE Chic urban living that’s close to everything.106 As a joint venture, the Swanline Group and Finbar are to build 90 apartments and eight commercial lots on three blocks of rezoned land in Perth.

DEVELOPMENT – Residential A white series silk at Piara Waters.........................30 The floor plan of this White Series, Silk range of Webb & Brown-Neaves home, has a definite family focus with the kitchen at its centre.

unique interfacing of the materials and products used.

COMMERCIAL A merging of tradition at Wangara......................42 A leading Perth building firm and the BMW brand have come together in a merging of tradition.

Waterford Plaza Shopping Centre........................50 The newly-revamped Waterford Plaza Shopping Centre is set to become the destination of choice for both daily shopping and evening entertainment.

4 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

on the cover This edition’s cover photo was taken by photographer Michael Conroy. See more on page 22.

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 5





Houses with double masters at Doubleview ....35

Tropical modernism at Watermans Bay ...............61

After recognising a niche in the market for couples who require separate, master bedrooms, Cooper & Oxley have created just the

Just a few hundred metres from Watermans Beach, this house was the winner of the Best Residential Interiors category of the 2011 Building

houses for them.

Designers Australia WA Design Awards.

A facelift for a Federation cottage .....................38

Off the energy-rating radar at Quedjinup........64

What was once a Federation-era worker’s cottage has been renovated and extended to provide more space for the socially-engaging aspects

With the climate control built into this house, the builder/occupier is sure that he will not incur any heating or cooling costs throughout the

of family life.


Affordable living in harmony with nature.......46

Catalina Estate..............................................................68

Frasers Landing at Mandurah epitomises all that is desirable in a

WA’s popular northern strip is out-selling the southern corridor two to one with West Australians attracted to the healthy and relaxing, beach

contemporary and sustainable, residential development.


A fraternal block of luxury ...................................52 Averna Homes has helped two brothers to simultaneously achieve their

A very personal service at Middleton Homes ...72

separate dream homes on the same block.

Middleton Homes has become particularly adept at overcoming the difficulties of tricky blocks with innovative designs and this one at

Four new pearls at Broome .....................................56

Lathlain is no exception.

A need for more housing and commercial premises is being met by architects and builders keen to transition Broome to a more modern and

A finely-finished home at Floreat ........................81

functional town.

There are so many unique aspects to this home and just one is the luxurious golds and blacks of the American walnut flooring.

An Ascot home with a difference ...........................58 This double-storey home is typical of those that have been

A metropolitan masterpiece ...................................84

custom-designed and built by Amano Homes.

Situated in the heart of the western suburbs, this home successfully combines structural elegance with complete sustainability.

6 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

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98 90 93 An award winner at Drummond Cove...................86 This project stands testament to the high standards, skill and experience of the builder and the result is a beautiful home.

Sustainability at Fremantle ....................................90

INDUSTRY NEWS & VIEWS Top ten trends for green building........................88 The Chief Executive of the Green Building Council of Australia, Romilly Madew, presents her top 10 predictions for the future, built environment.

The design brief called for four houses that were socially-sustainable and affordable at all stages of design, construction and occupation.

Tony Arnel joins Norman Disney & Young........ 108

A beachfront home with a difference .................93

The former Victorian Building and Plumbing Industry Commissioner has joined the leading firm of consulting engineers, Norman Disney &

This home at Marybrook is a nominee for Best Contract Home between


$3 and $6 million in this year’s 2012 MBA South West Awards.

TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT A central creation at Attadale..............................98 An Attadale builder and his wife wanted a house that was not only great for entertaining, but also a liveable, comfortable space for their growing family.

Central address the envy of Karratha ........... 101 Padbury Central has been the first independently-contracted project for

Always a good time to invest in skills development...................................................................27 The current downturn in residential construction is causing employers to think twice about apprenticeship training.


EcoFit Homes, a division of the NLV Group.

Timber-framed house construction for the north-west.................................................................. 111


The Pilbara and Kimberley regions of Western Australia are both growing rapidly with massive investment in major resource projects

Retirement village a first for WA..........................74

and housing.

Located within the Settlers Hills estate in Baldivis, Affinity Village will consist of a Community Centre and some 220 contemporary, independent living units.

APOLOGY Business Promotions Australia (BPA), publishers of The Builders Choice Magazine, regrets that an editorial for Glass Fencing Warehouse was incorrect in our Dec 2011 issue. Please refer to page 126 of Building Products & Services for the corrected version.

8 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

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is produced quarterly by

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 Graphic Designer Pearlin Bracewell Journalist Keith Mexsom Contributing Writers Rhionagh Rowley

Staying connected inside homes and buildings... .......................................................................................... 113 The National Association of Steel-framed Housing (NASH) has developed a Technical Note on telecommunication reception in buildings.

ENERGY EFFICIENCY Digging up a green future...................................... 115

Sales Executives Rod Saggers, Karl Nasner, Mike Thake Admin/Artwork Co-ordinator Gina York Accounts Julie Jones Printer Quality Press Distributor Northside Logistics

Professor Ray Wills of the Sustainable Energy Association of Australia points out that the basic concept of natural air conditioning dates back many centuries.

New rules on energy performance.................... 118 Professor Ray Wills of the Sustainable Energy Association of Australia outlines some concerns about the energy-performance data that may have to be disclosed by property owners.

WATER EFFICIENCY The unlocking of the Murray development potential...................................................................... 120 Unlocking the area’s development potential has been constrained by environmental matters, including concerns about flood risk and water management.

BUILDING PRODUCTS & SERVICES................... 122 TRADIES CORNER.................................................... 140 DIRECTORY LISTINGS............................................ 141

10 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

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.

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from the editor THE NEW YEAR AHEAD Can you believe March is already coming to a close? Where have these first three months gone? I trust you all enjoyed the holiday period and managed to get yourselves some well-earned rest. I’m certain this year will continue to be a busy and challenging time for us all. With much negativity having been expressed about the building and construction industry in WA lately, it would seem that all is doom and gloom. Why is there nothing being said about the positive side of this industry? Yes, WA has been experiencing tough times, as indicated by reports of plunging home sales, job losses, mortgage and rent increases and slowing construction rates. But are there not signs that the industry is recovering? Home sales have increased so far this year and many previouslydiscontinued projects have restarted. We can only hope that during the rest of 2012, building & construction activity will continue to improve and new home sales take off. The must-read stories in this edition include our cover story on page 22 which showcases the stand-out Augusta Margaret River Civic & Administration Centre project, a striking design by Edwin Bollig of Bollig Design Group, built by Cimeco. Also included in this issue and a good read, is our feature on Frasers Landing beginning on page 46. Throughout the year, we will continue to improve The Builders Choice Magazine with more new sections planned, including many outstanding and award-winning projects and other topics of interest to our readers. We wish you all much success with this year’s upcoming awards.


I take this opportunity to express my thanks to the many who took the time to contact me and who sent cards and flowers during and following my surgery and hospital stay in December. And another big thank you to all for your expressions of heartfelt sympathy and comfort following the loss of my beloved eldest brother, John, on the 15th of February. Your support has been so very much appreciated during what has certainly been a very difficult start to the year for my family and I. I cannot thank you enough for your kindness and support. However, amid all the sadness, there has been a very special event for our family with the new addition of an adorable baby girl, ‘Aaliyah’, born Saturday the 3rd of March at Mercy Hospital. Congratulations to my darling niece, Tia, and husband, Mario, and families. I’m a very proud, great aunty. Should you have a project you would like to see featured, or perhaps a new product you would like to showcase throughout the year, please e-mail: or contact me at 9409 5143 to discuss the details.

Merelyn Demarte Managing Editor Email:

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12 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

Build your business in Broome North.

Broome North is a major residential development in the Kimberley with opportunities for builders to contribute to the 4,800 residential homes over the next 20 years. Waranyjarri Estate, the first precinct to be developed, will total 469 lots amongst a primary school, sporting facilities, shops and parks. A display village featuring eight local and metropolitan based builders will soon be open to showcase diverse housing designs suitable for the local climate. Single, duplex and grouped housing options are available in the estate with abundant stock still to be released. Lot prices start from $185,000 and are sized from 568sqm-1,245sqm. As a builder your business can be part of this fast growing development. To find out how, contact LandCorp Builder Liaison Manager, Greg Byrne on 9482 7544 or sales agent Sue Pascoe of LJ Hooker Broome on 9192 6633.


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up close + personal with

eric meyerowitz STATE MANAGER – WESTERN AUSTRALIA, PROBUILD CONSTRUCTIONS // interviewed by keith mexsom

How, when and where did you start your career in the construction industry? The only job I’ve ever had started in South Africa in 1980 with Wilson Bayly Holmes-Ovcon (WBHO) Construction which subsequently acquired a strategic interest in Australia’s Probuild in the late 1990s. The deal was that WBHO would provide me with a bursary for the final year of my civil engineering degree if I gave them a guaranteed year’s service and I’m now into year 32 with them. The company has always been a wonderful organisation to work for with good people and good vision. I did a lot of commercial stuff – hospital, hotel, retail type of work and progressed to the Board in 1986 and was there until I came across to Australia in 2000. I came over to Australia for a specific project and I was subconded to Probuild to build the Victoria Garden Shopping Centre in Melbourne. I spent the next five years or so on a range of jobs when an opportunity came up in WA to build a shopping centre extension and I’m still here, becoming Probuild’s State Manager in 2006. Is there plenty to keep you occupied? We have a large in-house workforce in Western Australia now and it’s a great place to be trading, a fantastic place to be trading. There’s a lot happening and Probuild as a brand is becoming well known. Our boards are up around town on some very high-profile jobs. Obviously, we need to make sure we continue to deliver a classy, quality product on time and on budget. We’ve completed some significant work in Perth including 140 William Street and

14 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

Raine Square and now we’re working on the new Burswood Casino. So it’s all happening and it’s a wonderful market to be trading in right now. I think we have jumped the parochial fence which is actually quite high but you can get over it once people get a feel for you and what you can do as an organisation. We’ve just moved into our third office which will be our new home for the next five to seven years but during that period, we intend to build our own head office, so we are here for the long haul. I’m also involved with Probuild’s Civil work, carried out in conjunction with a company we’ve acquired at Karratha, building infrastructure by way of roads and mine structures and carrying out maintenance work in the refineries.

What industry developments have had an effect on Probuild’s business in recent times? The biggest shift, and I think it’s a national shift and not just a West Australian State shift, is that the methods of delivery of projects have changed. We are now dealing with public/private partnerships (PPPs) as a method of delivery to government agencies but they are not interested in assuming the associated risks. Instead, they want those financial and contracting risks to be managed by the contractors and that includes the project design. Just about all of our current work is now design and construct which places a new and much bigger emphasis on the design element. We’ve always had design capacity but now it’s needed for just about every job and we have to manage it and that becomes part of the time management process as well.


Sometimes there is a very low level of risk, but sometimes that risk can be high and that obviously adds to the stress in a city like Perth where there is so much going on. So you have to surround yourself with seriously good professionals so you have the capacity, depth and the expertise to deliver. So the market has changed and we are now becoming a design and construct company as opposed to just a construction company and I think everyone, not just us, is in the same boat. But that is what clients are looking for – to take away all that construction and design risk and put it into a box where they think it can best be managed. The clients are very clear about what they want as a product so once we understand their project’s specific needs, we have to make sure our designs meet those needs and deliver what’s called a fit-for-purpose building. That’s pretty normal but we have to watch the timing now that it’s all sitting on our desk. The up-front period is now shorter and the designs have to be produced faster. There’s a shorter line of communication now because it’s all controlled and done within the same office. So the delivery methods have definitely changed and we are now employing architects, engineers and aesthetic designers – more highly skilled people are needed to produce aestheticallypleasing products.

How is that change complicated by a shortage of skilled labour? Probuild is in a unique position of having an extremely low level of staff turnover. It sounds fantastic and it is fantastic because we have some wonderful people working for us but, in saying that, you must create growth all the time and that process needs new people. We try to have self-contained business units on each project with the manager controlling the design, the construction, all the budget financials and, most importantly, all of the health and safety issues. So he has a very big agenda to get through every day and it needs to be done properly. People go to work every day to go home safely at the end of it. So those are highly skilled people we are seeking to employ and they aren’t easy to find. There is a shortage and we try to recruit at engineer graduation level and promote our brand

awareness to them as much as we can. We have a very firm view of who we are looking for to come and work for us as an organisation and deliver value to our group and I think we have been very successful in doing that, but we would like more people. Basically, we are looking for engineers, quantity surveyors, contract administration and architects so we press on with the graduate programme and we do have a sponsorship programme where we bring in people from overseas when things get really tough. Obviously, the European market is slowing down and providing us with some recruitment opportunities and it is a relatively easy process once the basic criteria are satisfied. I’m all for that by the way – you must have immigration criteria that meets the needs of the country. So far, the process has been so successful for us that you would think you were at the United Nations if you went into our back office. But the challenge is to employ good people. I think the market’s handbrake is the ability to have enough top-end management to run all these projects. That is where our challenge lies and we seem to be meeting that challenge but it is a tough challenge. And I really think everyone in the industry has the same problem.

What has been your most challenging project in recent times? The tunnel under William Street, between the Raine Square tower and the Murray Street Station, has been very challenging. Although not one of our biggest projects, it has been one of the most technically challenging, particularly when dealing with the water down there. The water table is natural for Perth and we’ve had to manage it. The project will be completed on time and on budget. What do you do after work? I’m a golf junkie. My spare time is family and golf. I have my first grandson who is four months old. I used to fly a lot in my spare time but that’s now history as I no longer have the time to keep up the flying hours needed to remain current. So now it’s a matter of trying to keep a single-figure golf handicap and spending time with my family – that’s my spare time taken care of. BC

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up close + personal with


How long have you worked for RiverStone and what are your responsibilities? This is my twelfth year with RiverStone and although my title is Building and Design Consultant, I do a little bit of everything – as you do in a relatively small company. My main job is still currently working with clients. I liaise between them and the designer to make any changes during the design process. As a result, I have learned a lot about design and I can work out with the clients what their requirements are and discuss their options and relay those to the designer. Because I’ve done a lot of work with so many clients over the years, I tend to pick up a lot of referrals which is good business for RiverStone. I love dealing with clients one-on-one. It’s an interesting job and I have acquired a lot of knowledge in the area of planning and Residential Design Codes (R-Codes). But I am also the company’s Deputy Marketing Manager, assisting one of our Directors for the past 18 month or so, with a view to taking over more and more of that side of the business. It is a totally different area of work for me and I am learning as I go but I enjoy the variety of the new role, looking at trends and analysing past sales. Both roles are very satisfying but I do see my future in more of a marketing or business development type role than working directly with clients. Where did you work before RiverStone? My background is in human biology and health promotion but that career path never really took off and instead I married and had children. When I was in my twenties, I built a couple of homes myself and profited from them but it wasn’t until I was in my thirties, when my children were older, that I started working full time. I first worked for Collier Homes, then Giorgi Homes (formally Buildwise), for about three years, until the opportunity to work

16 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

for RiverStone came up. At the time, the guys here were still developing the market in the western suburbs where I lived and my husband is a real estate agent, so they saw my knowledge of property values and the area as a bit of a benefit. I also had all my kids in the local schools at the time so there was that connection to the western suburbs in a market where the women generally make all the home-buying decisions. Yet there weren’t many women in this industry at the time, and I think I was the only one to apply for the job. Anyway, I’ve been lucky to have been carried along with RiverStone’s success in this higher-end market where we’re not doing much under a million dollars now.

What challenges have you faced working for RiverStone in recent times? I’m not involved too much with the construction aspect, but, in general, some of our homes are becoming more complex. They tend to be three-level and built on sloping sites with river or ocean views, and all this complexity means more effort is required to obtain Council approvals and keep the neighbours happy. Environmental issues are another complication and we are now bracing ourselves for the 6-Star rating which I believe comes in at the end of April. We will then have to look at the design side of those new requirements. But the challenges usually have as much to do with dealing with Council regulations, particularly the R-Codes, as it does with satisfying clients with the design outcomes they wish to achieve. Meeting Council policies with good design and negotiating that whole process before we even get to start on the project, that’s the real challenge. Apart from their regulatory application, the R-Codes also enable designers to come up with designs that achieve performance-based criteria and sometimes Councils don’t understand that. They don’t realise that everything is subjective – that nothing should be set in stone.


Your Wall – Your Ocean For instance, we recently ignored a rear set-back (minimum boundary distance) and pushed one of our homes further back on the block so the neighbours could retain a view they already had. If we had met the set-back, the house would have been plonked right in front of their view. Nevertheless, the Council concerned wanted to stick to the rule and I had to fight the decision for five months before it finally agreed to work in with the neighbours. Unfortunately, a lot of architects and designers use the R-Codes to their benefit, to get some things they shouldn’t as well so I can see why some Councils do get a bit upset.

Are clients generally happy to go along with the planning and regulatory process? Sometimes, the process can take six to twelve months before approvals are obtained and that doesn’t always make sense, but I don’t get a lot of complaints and I think because it’s mandatory, they generally accept it. Does the RiverStone type of luxury home business have a future? We all struggled a bit after the global financial crisis and we lost a few of the higher end developers, but there is even some of that business coming back now. In the meantime, we are still pretty busy with individual clients with money to spend on a decent home. When their budget reaches a certain level, these clients are looking for much more of an individual and better service for the money they are paying. One way of getting that level of service is to use an independent architect, interior designer and consultant engineer, but that can be a much more expensive and time-consuming exercise than letting us provide the complete package with our in-house people and consultants. At RiverStone, our service remains very personal in all areas of the design and build process. For example, our interior designer designs the cabinets with the client here using 3-D modelling and then we send out for quotes, whereas most project home designers will just provide a selection of what they have already designed. Although we do use suppliers we are comfortable with, we are happy to receive quotes from others as well. Does RiverStone have any ambition to expand to regions outside Perth? As a small, family-owned business, RiverStone is unlikely to expand outside of Perth. We do build out as far as the Perth Hills, north to Mindarie and south to Mandurah, but that’s as far as we go. What activities are you involved in outside of work? I’ve just taken up golf and I’m hoping to find a little more time to get off a 45 handicap. My husband is an avid golfer and I’ve decided that if I don’t join him, I’ll be left at home. I enjoy it but it can be a very frustrating game. Other than that, I have three children, aged 27, 25 and 19, and their partners to spend time with. I have a daughter who is a television producer in Melbourne so I travel over to see her when I can. BC




Underwater Photography on Canvas by Nick Thake

The images in this advert and on the website have been taken by Nick Thake around various parts of Australia in the past 5 years. Nick currently works as a Marine Scientist/Scientific Diver, assisting in various coral monitoring and water quality projects around WA. After living in Exmouth for 4 years working on whaleshark boats and pearl diving, Nick has built a catalogue of pictures ranging from sharks to eagles... Underwater photography on canvas produces a highly desirable wall feature for modern and traditional homes. The canvas and inks used are of high quality, and are stretched professionally over Meranti timber – providing a great end result. All canvasses are finished with a laminate to prevent wear and tear and help to preserve colour over many years. Take a look at the sizes and prices on the website The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 17


up close + personal with


// interviewed by keith mexsom

What positions did you hold before your appointment as the Chief Executive of the Green Building Council of Australia in February 2006? My former roles have included Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia’s ACT Division (which also included national Executive Director of Sustainable Development); Board Director, ACT Government’s Land Development Agency; Client Relationship Manager at law firm, Mallesons Stephen Jacques; and joint owner, Madew Wines and Grapefoodwine Restaurant (Lake George, NSW). Has environmental sustainability always been an interest? Sustainability has always been an interest of mine. I have very liberal minded parents who challenged our thinking about all things. After finishing school, I completed a Bachelor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Sydney (although my mother would say I did a degree in rowing!). My thesis was a cost benefit analysis of a Land Care Project in Western NSW – to the angst of my Professor who did not think Land Care would ever be relevant. After working for a range of organisations in the communications, legal, tourism and hospitality industries, I was appointed ACT Executive Director and National Sustainability Executive Director for the Property Council of Australia. From there, I worked as a consultant for the newly-formed Green Building Council of Australia, writing the Dollars and Sense of Green Building in 2006, which was the first publication to outline the business case for green building. Today, I am very fortunate to work for an organisation and an industry that is truly making a difference not only to our environment but also the people who live in it.

18 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

Are you of the opinion that the building industry as a whole is becoming more aware of sustainability issues and, if so, how quickly is that occurring? The building industry has been aware of sustainability for many years. Most of the building-related industry associations such as the Property Council of Australia, Master Builders Association, Housing Industry Association, Australian Institute of Architects and others, have been running energy or sustainability-related seminars for a number of years. What has changed is an increased focus by all levels of governments through planning and building codes and other requirements. This has resulted in a heightened awareness by the industry and a shift from wholly focussing on environmental issues to the broadened issues relating to sustainability - that is, issues of social, economic, environmental and governance. The adoption of the Green Star environmental rating system for buildings is one of a number of activities that has rapidly transformed Australia’s property and construction industry. While a 5 Star Green Star rating seemed unachievable in 2003, today we have nearly 400 Green Star-certified projects around Australia, and a further 550 registered to achieve Green Star certification. The number of publications and reports highlighting the positive impacts of green buildings has also increased in recent years. The Building Better Returns report, published in September 2011 by the Australian Property Institute and Property Funds Association, found that Green Star-rated buildings are delivering a 12 per cent ‘green premium’ in value and a five per cent premium in rent. Similarly, the most recent IPD Property Index has found that 4 Star Green Star-rated buildings deliver a 10.8 per cent higher return on investment than non-Green Star buildings. At the same time, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for real


estate in 2011 was overrun with Australian companies - with 6 out of 21 being Australian. Since 2002, Green Star has penetrated the commercial office market to the extent that 18 per cent of CBD office space is now Green Star certified. Certainly, a Green Star rating is considered ‘business as usual’ for commercial office developments. As Daniel Grollo, the Chief Executive of Australia’s largest privately-owned development, funds management and construction company, Grocon, said recently, “It is a liability to have too few Green Stars.” And the Property Council of Australia’s Chief Executive, Peter Verwer, recently said, “The industry already knows it: Sustainable design and management of office buildings has become part of the core business.”

Do you think that an increasing awareness is now leading to a more general acceptance and practical application of the concept than previously or are there other factors involved as well? I think we’re seeing a ‘perfect storm’ of factors from tightening regulation to growing consumer demand for sustainable products and services; and tenant demand for healthier, more productive spaces, not to mention construction companies recognising that green building delivers a better return on investment and ‘future proofs’ assets. Certainly, all the trends are pointing to green building becoming the norm. A widely-quoted McGraw Hill Construction report has found that more than half of global construction firms expect to be fully committed to green building by 2013. Similarly, the Davis Langdon 2011 Construction Sentiment survey found that sustainability was ranked the number one opportunity for the industry over the next five years and one of the major risks included failing to adapt to a carbon-constrained future. Has that acceptance and application been adversely affected by uncertain economic conditions in recent times? If so, how badly? Despite some sections of the property and construction industry feeling the pinch, Green Star registrations continue to increase and we certified 100 projects in 2011 – the most certifications in one calendar year since Green Star was established in 2003. This continued growth in registrations reflects the maturity in the Australian green building market and demonstrates that, even when economic conditions are uncertain, Green Star can still be

relied upon to deliver economic, environmental and social returns. The leaders in our industry, who have integrated green building principles and practices into their entire organisations, know that regardless of market conditions, green building is the future.

What do you say to those industry critics who label building sustainability as a bandwagon and its promotion by designers and suppliers as little more than a marketing tool? Sustainability is not a fad or a fashion – it is here to stay. All the evidence points to the fact that green building is not just sustainable building – it is smarter building. In the future, we won’t be defining a building as a ‘green building’, as all buildings will have incorporated green elements. Apart from your involvement in sustainability issues, what other professional interests and goals do you have? Winning the Telstra Business Women’s award for Community and Government in 2009 allowed me to have a voice on issues such as the importance of flexible work arrangements and the advancement of women in the workforce. I have been fortunate to not only speak regularly about green buildings but also about being the head of an industry association and a working mother. The Telstra Business Women’s awards has a strong network of business women which has broadened my scope in recent years. I mentor a few young women from different industries and enjoy engaging with senior women across a range of industries and experiences. I am also heavily involved in the World Green Building Council; I chair their International Rating Tools committee and was previously Chair of their International Council Development Committee. This has allowed me to advocate green buildings internationally. What activities are you involved in outside of work? With three children, work/life balance is very important to me. I am a volunteer lifesaver at Bilgola Beach, where my children are Nippers, and I am also the Under 8 boys Nippers Age Manager. I enjoyed racing in 10km and half marathons and with wear and tear on the knees I am now participating in ocean swims. I come from a tight family unit, and have a close network of girlfriends who I see regularly through a reading group. BC

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The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 19


up close + personal with

tony bisignano & gary masiello

DIRECTORS, AMANO HOMES // interviewed by keith mexsom

Tony Bisignano (left) and Gary Masiello (right)

When and how did you start in the building industry? Tony: I’ve been in this industry over 20 years now. I come from the design and construction side of things and my interest in property development is what inspired me to delve further into the building industry. Gary: I’ve had about 20 years experience in the property industry now. I have a background in finance and accounting which really helped when Tony and I got together to start developing property.

When and how did you start Amano Homes? Tony: We started Amano Homes back in 1999. It was a natural process really. Our skills complimented each other and it was as if we were just following a path that was laid out already. Gary: Being cousins meant that we already knew one another inside out and we work better together than some married couples!

What encouraged you to start the business at that time? Tony: We’d had a lot of success with our own property development company Ravina Property Group. However, it was getting hard to find a builder to complete each project to a high standard and also to our deadlines. Amano came about to breach that gap. We soon found that there were lots of investors out there wanting to build and found our niche in the market helping these clients reach their investment potential.

20 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

Have you always lived and worked in WA? Gary: Even though we have our Italian roots and love to holiday over there, we’ve always lived and worked in WA and it’s a great time to be West Australian! We’re really lucky to have an economy that has weathered the GFC and that so many opportunities still exist here. It’s a shame to see Europe struggling so much at the moment. We just hope they can pull through it. What do you see as your greatest, personal accomplishment as a property developer and builder and do you have a favourite project? Tony: It has been great to have experience and gain knowledge from being on both sides of the fence. As a developer, there are a number of things a builder would not usually take into consideration and vice versa. However, we’ve had the opportunity to see it from both sides and I feel our greatest achievement is being able to offer this expertise to our clients, enabling them to gain the maximum returns on their investments. Gary: I think my favourite project would have to be a 4-unit site we developed in East Victoria Park. We managed to get development approval and 100% pre-sales before we’d even settled on the land. And it didn’t stop there. We built the houses in record time too. I think if you can set a good project pace from the outset, everything else follows.


We started Amano Homes back in 1999. It was a natural process really. Our skills complimented each other and it was as if we were just following a path that was laid out already.

Property purchase, planning, design and construction are very different, yet connected, disciplines in terms of overall property development. Which of these disciplines interests you the most? Gary: I think it must all come as a package. If you get just one part wrong, you can run the risk of turning a perfectly profitable development into a situation where you lose money. As always, it’s about balance and things working in harmony, so you need to put equal energy into each. During your years of involvement in the development of Perth, have there been changes important enough to have radically affected the way you do business and what effect have they had? Gary: The global financial crisis has made the banks very wary to lend and this has really impacted upon potential clients. We’ve had to work extra hard to provide products for our clients that will provide them with exactly what they want, but for a smaller price tag. We launched the Meno range at the beginning of this year exactly for that purpose and the results have been great. When things get hard you have to work harder but I believe this can only help you achieve more. We’ve actually exceeded our own

budgets this year, building a record number of houses, which proves my theory perfectly.

And what sort of future do you see for Amano Homes and for general property development in Perth? Gary: The future is looking bright! I think things can only get better for development in Perth. We’re already seeing things turn around, post GFC. Perth is a great city and it’s leading the way with infill projects. People can live close to work, shops, bars and restaurants; life is so much easier that way. Tony: We plan to grow Amano to a certain level and once we get there, we will clip the roots. We want to remain close to our clients, offering them advice and taking a hands-on approach. I don’t think this is possible once a business gets too big. We want all our clients to feel like their project is important and remaining boutique-sized will enable us to do that.

Do you have any ambition or desire to expand to regions outside Perth, such as the North-West? Tony: No, that’s not and, quite honestly, will never be, part of our plan. We know the Perth market like the back of each other’s hands and we want to stick to what we know and can do best. At the end of the day, that’s unit development. BC

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 21


A fine home for the Shire at last 22 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012


// words keith mexsom // images michael conroy




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The Augusta Margaret River Council was finally able to merge its administration into one when it moved into its new $13 million premises at Wallcliffe Road, Gloucester Park in November 2011. After many years of having its staff dispersed throughout as many as three different buildings, the continued growth of the Augusta Margaret River region necessitated a consolidation of the Shire’s services that, in the words of the Council’s 2009 business plan, “…reflects the expectations of the community and our customers to provide a high level of customer service, professional planning services and professional management of our assets and community infrastructure…over the next 40 years.” Indeed, since the Council extended its former administration centre in 1990, the Shire’s population has nearly doubled and so, naturally, has the number of Council employees. According to the Council’s business plan, “Even modest population projections indicate that the Shire’s population and servicing requirements will increase over the next generation…”. In 2009, the plan envisaged that a new administration centre would be “…an iconic landmark building that the community can be proud of reflecting the strength of the Augusta Margaret River Region and the confidence in our future… and provide for the needs of both current and future generations...and demonstrate the Council’s confidence in its future sustainability.” By November 2011, that optimism and vision was well and truly realised with the completion of the Shire’s new Civic and Administration Centre –designed


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The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 23


by the Bollig Design Group of Perth and built by Western Australian-based building contractor, Cimeco. The Bollig Design Group (BDG) is a team of 20 skilled design and management professionals comprising architects, master planners, urban designers and interior designers/space planners which, since as long ago as 1959, have offered clients a multi-disciplinary approach with a dedication to design excellence. Edwin Bollig, Senior Architect and the Managing Director of BDG, has over 25 years industry experience. His approach to architectural and interior design during that time reflects a dedication to design excellence as well as the pragmatic needs of commercially viable design solutions required by commercial clients. Edwin and Mandy Yau were the architects responsible for the design of the Augusta Margaret River Civic and Administration Centre. Edwin described the final result as contemporary architecture that not only reflects the civic nature of the building but also a strong local ethos. “The design also incorporates a strong environmentallysustainable design (ESD) approach that includes the use of recycled materials such as timber milled from trees felled for road widening; passive solar design techniques; high levels of insulation including thermal-performance double glazing; automated windows for maximum access to temperate fresh air; low energy lighting connected to sensors; and low-water use rain garden and landscaping,” said Edwin. “In fact, ESD principles were central to the design concept with this emphasis placed on all areas of the building’s design, from first principles to material selections. “From a design perspective, the key features of this building include:

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24 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

Estate and the new Margaret River Shire offices. Having grown the company over time with a core team of long-term stonemasons and a large inventory of machinery and equipment, Wildwood Stone maintains the high quality and consistency of its stonework and focuses on going above and beyond clients’ expectations. We always deliver on time and on budget.


The extensive use of local timber for both internal lining and external cladding; • Bondor insulated roofing products used to achieve thermal ratings and create a visually-open space without traditional, low-height office ceilings; • Locally sourced granite for internal and external feature walls tie the landscape to the base building; • Polished-concrete floors were selected for maintenance minimisation and to blend the exterior colours and finish with those of the interior. “The interior design and space planning was also developed simultaneously with the architecture so as to meet the operational requirements of the Shire in both a cost and environmentally-effective manner,” said Edwin. Cimeco is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the publicly-listed, Forge Group, offering a one-stop-shop approach to client’s construction requirements and it was its job to transform both the Augusta Margaret River Council’s Plan and the Architects’ vision into practical reality. Richard Bell joined the Augusta Margaret River Civic and Administration Centre build as Cimeco’s Project Manager a few months after construction started in October 2010. Richard had previously worked in the United Kingdom construction industry for more than 20 years. When asked to comment on the challenges that had to be met during the build, Richard replied that because there was a skate park, a footy oval and the Shire’s Cultural Centre next

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The project features external timber wall cladding, massive timber sun shades, decorative light boxes and furniture, precast exposed aggregate, all undertaken by our highly skill team based at our Bunbury facility. We wish to thank all of our subbies and suppliers in making this project such a big success. Call today to find out how Cimeco can add innovation and quality to your next building project.

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The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 25


“the many different angles and curves in the design meant there were a lot of interfaces between the different materials and products used.” door, maintaining the site’s public interface was always a priority. “We had to keep the site’s perimeters clean and tidy and of course ensuring the security of the site was a challenge at times as well,” said Richard. “As far as the build was concerned, the many different angles and curves in the design meant there were a lot of interfaces between the different materials and products used. As a result, there was a lot of extra sequencing to get the right trades in to complete their part of the work at the right time. “But we had regular meetings with the client (the Shire) and their project manager was very proactive on the site and played a key role in working with us. As a result, any difficulties were quickly sorted out. “Wherever we could, we used local tradespersons, labour and materials. For instance, there was a lot of stonework used on the building and that was sourced locally, as well as much of the timber panelling. “It’s a nice feature of the building to know that local materials were used wherever they could be,” said Richard. “The Shire had obviously put a lot of work in with the Architect before construction started. The result is the fine finishing, starting with the Margaret River polished-concrete floor that extends from the reception area through to the Chamber’s lobby

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area. Throughout, the interior is very finely finished yet very functional. “A lot of the carpentry and cabinetry, such as the extensive wood panelling and furniture in the reception and administration areas, and the Council Chambers was carried out by Cimeco’s own cabinetmakers. The Chamber’s desks had also to be fitted with electronic voting systems and microphones,” said Richard. “A lot of technology was also used to fulfil the environmental sustainability requirements of the building. For instance, there is a weather station on the roof which measures temperature and wind at prescribed times of the day and preset measurements based on that information are used to control window louvers and blinds by means of the building management system. “It is technology that’s been around for a little while but, when combined, there were interfaces that had to be resolved. In the end, the key to the job was the relationship between the client, the architect and the contractor. Everybody worked well together and that’s why the building turned out to be of such quality and finished on time. It was a very rewarding job to have been a part of,” said Richard. BC Bollig Design Group: (08) 9321 4402 Cimeco: (08) 9792 3600

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THE BUILDERS CHOICE training & development

Always a good time to invest in skills development // words eamon moore – construction training fund

The current downturn in residential construction is causing employers to think twice about apprenticeship training. It is, however, a good time to invest in skills development. It is worth knowing that the Construction Training Fund has generous grants of up to $16,500 available to employers in WA’s construction industry to help reduce costs associated with employing an apprentice or trainee. And that is in addition to incentives from the Commonwealth Government. The Construction Training Fund operates under State legislation to collect a small levy on every construction project in Western Australia, with the exception of engineering construction in the resources sector. The revenue from the levy is used to help the construction industry meet its demands for skilled workers. The Fund collected $28.97 million during the 2010-11 financial year, investing $20.7 million in a grants scheme to support eligible employers of apprentices and trainees in construction trades. The value of the grant is dependent on several factors, with a maximum of $16,500 available per apprentice. As an example, an employer would receive a base grant of $9000 for an apprentice in a three-year trade, with additional supplements dependent on the age, regional location and indigenous status of the apprentice. The Fund is currently providing employers with grants supporting

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more than 5000 apprentices and trainees across residential, commercial and engineering sectors in WA’s construction industry. The residential sector employs a significant number of sub-contracting trades who, in turn, employ the majority of the whole industry’s apprentices. Show me the money! Employing an apprentice or trainee isn’t always just a financial decision but for a small business, the numbers have to make sense. Wages, superannuation, insurances and other costs have to be balanced against the additional productivity and capacity that can be generated by an additional, skilled pair of hands. Let’s take John, a plasterer, as an example. He is a single operator and sub-contracts to residential builders in the metropolitan area. John has recently employed Mike, a local lad, as his apprentice in a 36 month indenture. Mike is 17, recently completed a pre-apprenticeship in plastering and is well and truly work-ready. John knows that he is eligible for the Fund’s employer grant and that he can claim the first instalment of $3000 when Mike completes his probation period, on top of the $1500 incentive payment from the Commonwealth Government. That is $4500 that can help John offset some of the initial costs of employing Mike. Half way through Mike’s apprenticeship, John can make


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THE BUILDERS CHOICE training & development

contact with the Fund and claim his second instalment of $3000 and when Mike successfully completes, John can claim his completion payments of $3000 from the Fund and $2500 from the Commonwealth. Mike, don’t forget, had already completed a pre-apprenticeship and received a three-month reduction in term, meaning John employed him under apprenticeship conditions for 33 months. The two grants in total reduced John’s employment costs by $13,000, or just under $395 per month, that Mike was his apprentice. Mike, as an apprentice, is also eligible for a range of benefits including a tool allowance of up to $5500 from the Commonwealth Government, paid in instalments, over the life of the indenture. Rewind……so how does it all start? John, our plasterer, had never employed an apprentice before. He knew he could hire one from a group-training organisation, but because Mike came highly recommended by a trusted contact, decided to employ him as his own. After some quick Google work, John found the Australian Apprenticeships website and pretty soon had someone from an Australian Apprenticeships Centre (AAC) visit him onsite. The AAC rep brought along a lot of information about the main processes and procedures of apprenticeship training, together with a wad of forms for John to sign…and the process had begun. About six weeks after the AAC rep’s visit, and about half way through Mike’s probation period, John had a call from the Construction Training Fund’s Training Support Officer who arranged a time to meet with John and Mike. The probation period

was going well but John still had a few questions about the whole go-to-whoa of apprenticeship training and the Fund’s TSO gave him the answers he needed by explaining the role and function of all the key players such as the Apprenticeships Centre, the training provider and, of course, the employer and the apprentice. Employment models There are two employment models to consider when training an apprentice or trainee either as a direct indenture or through a group training organisation (GTO). A direct indenture is when an employer enters a training contract together with an individual apprentice, for the whole term of the apprenticeship. GTOs employ multiple apprentices, taking responsibility for all costs incurred. The apprentices are then placed with host employers, who are charged an hourly rate for the apprentices’ labour, for work-based training. Regardless of the model chosen, eligible employers of direct indenture and GTO apprentices benefit from the Fund’s grant scheme. Each is paid the total value of the grant in instalments over the life of the indenture; a direct indenture employer receives three payments and the GTO receives the grant as monthly instalments, based on the nominal term of indenture. The GTO then passes on the full value of the grant to each of the apprentice’s host employers, as a reduction in the hourly hire-out rate charged by the GTO. Once all the information has been considered and a decision made to employ an apprentice or trainee, an employer can select the employment model that best suits the needs of the individual business – direct indenture or group training.

Employers! If your staff are employed in the construction, alteration, repair or maintenance of any structure or building in either the Commercial, Industrial or Domestic areas - then your business must be registered with the Construction Industry Long Service Leave Payments Board. All Employers with staff working in any of the above areas are required by law to ensure that their businesses are registered and that long service leave contributions on behalf of staff are made to the Board every 3 months. Contributions are invested in a Fund and are used to pay for the scheme’s administration and to pay long service leave entitlements to Construction Industry employees registered with the Board. For more information on your obligations as an employer call:

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28 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

THE BUILDERS CHOICE training & development

Group training organisations consult with host employers to ensure a good match between apprentice and host, and manage most of the contractual obligations of the training contract. A host is still required to provide adequate opportunity for skills development and a safe working environment for the time the apprentice is hosted. Six easy steps Direct indenture involves the employer in every aspect of the apprentice’s training and development and even though it may seem like a lot of work, it really comes down to six steps 1) Recruit through your own contacts, local schools and Colleges that run pre-apps in your trade area; 2) Contact an Australian Apprenticeships Centre to initiate the employment process, choose a Registered Training Provider for the off-the-job training and commence probation; 3) Complete probation and claim commencement incentives from the Construction Training Fund and Commonwealth Government; 4) Train the apprentice, through appropriate on-site experience. Approximately 85% of an apprentice’s training and learning is completed on-the-job; 5) Sign off on completion together with the training provider when the apprentice is competent; 6) Claim completion incentives and be satisfied that you have made a positive contribution to a. The capacity and capability of your own business; b. the skills bank for the industry;

c. the career and overall life of a young West Australian. It all sounds too easy and, in many ways, it is a simple process with multiple benefits. The sub-contractor network that supports the residential sector and employs the majority of these apprentices is understandably careful about becoming involved in apprenticeship training during a downturn. Right now, however, the long term view is clouded by our position in the current economic cycle but the construction industry has a history of growth in the longer term so the future is bright. The reality is that the construction industry has a healthy appetite for well-trained trades and it becomes insatiable when the economic cycle recovers and gains momentum. All too often, the industry is caught out by an increasing shortage of skilled trades right at the time it needs them, because employment and training are the unfortunate victims when the economy dips. The recent drop in employment of new apprentices in construction trades will leave a significant skills gap in the not-too-distant future, compounded by the financial romancing of the existing construction workforce by the resources sector. Adding a new apprentice can be a big commitment when work is tight and income is reduced. The Construction Training Fund’s employer grants can offset some of the costs, together with incentives from the Commonwealth. It may be an expense now, but apprenticeship training is an investment that can give a business the edge when everyone else is unprepared, undermanned and underskilled when the industry returns to form. BC Construction Training Fund: (08) 9244 0100,

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 29


A white series silk at Piara Waters // words keith mexsom // images courtesy of wbn




30 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

There’s a lot of residential development going on down at Aspiri-Piara Waters, off the Armadale Road, south of the Perth CBD. This development of almost 400 allotments, just a short driving distance from the Gateways Shopping Centre and public transport interchange at Cockburn Central, is incorporating the very best of home design, landscaping and environmental design. It is at 363 Wright Road, within the Newhaven Estate at Piara Waters, that Webb & Brown-Neaves have constructed one of their most recent, White Series display homes based on their single-storey, Silk design and layout of 287 square metres, including front porch, al fresco area and double garage. Rob Crawford, Sales Manager for Webb & Brown-Neaves, describes the White Series as a range of homes attractive to the younger market of aspirational Webb & Brown-Neaves buyers. Our normal customer demographic would include buyers who are aged between about 45 to 60, but this series is targeted at a younger demographic who aspire to get into a Webb & Brown-Neaves product as early as possible in their home ownership journey,” said Rob. “It’s like the potential BMW 5-Series buyer who enters the market with a 3-Series because they want the engineering, build quality and the prestige. That’s the opportunity we are offering


with this home and the concept has certainly been well received,” he said. The home designs incorporated within the White Series of homes now on offer by Webb & Brown-Neaves include the two-storey Pearl and Quartz homes and the single-storey Salt and Silk designs. “They all form a range of homes with generic similarities in specifications but each home has subtle differences. For instance, the homes don’t all necessarily have the same hand basins or balustrades. “They all have stone tops and similar ceiling heights and cornices and that sort of thing, but there are some elements that are unique to a home within its range,” said Rob. At 363 Wright Road, the floor plan of this White Series Silk range of Webb & Brown-Neaves home has a definite family focus with the kitchen at its centre. “It’s the engine room and just about everything that happens in the home happens in and around the kitchen whether you’re eating or watching television or whatever,” said Rob. “According to client feedback, it is important for the kitchen to be the centre from which the mother controls this part of the world and her family.

While this home is a little bit off the beaten track and not in a display village, it seems to be attracting people who are serious about building.

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“To do that, there must be plenty of kitchen bench and storage space and in this home there is a large scullery that every mum craves and a built-in side unit with a spacious desk top that serves as a control centre complete with a pin-up board and room for the mobile phone and laptop. “This is mum’s space with what she needs to help the family function,” said Rob. At the other end of the kitchen, a large, optional breakfast bar, positioned at right angles to the island bench, completes the perimeter of mum’s headquarters. From this vantage point, she can survey the open-plan dining and family rooms, through the glass doors to the outside deck and into the home theatre/activity room. “When the kids are in the activity room, mum may not want to watch Looney Tunes on the television, but she still wants to keep an eye on things and she can do that very well from her kitchen command centre,” said Rob. There are three bedrooms in the bedroom wing of the home and these are all essentially the same with plenty of room for a

queen-size bed and built-in wardrobes with rails, shelves and drawers. “As a result of feedback from clients, we have deliberately gone for a slightly higher ceiling in these rooms to give them a feeling of greater volume and having all three down one side of the house gives good separation for mum and dad,” said Rob. “It keeps the mess and the noise in one side of the house but the bedrooms are not that far away that mum and dad can’t understand what’s going on. “There are pros and cons with that as well, and of course it depends on the ages of the children,” said Rob. A bathroom, WC and laundry are also situated along this side of the home with the latter exceptionally roomy with plenty of bench space and storage. “Again, as a result of feedback from clients, we have made the laundry a real work space. It’s a utility room so it’s got to be functional in the first instance and it’s got to work,” said Rob. Not forgetting the master bedroom situated off the entry hall, it contains a built-in wardrobe (there is an option for a

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walk-in version) with buckets of space for shoes and handbags. The spacious en suite is classy and practical with twin sinks a man can put his face into. “Sometimes, we can incorporate too much of the latest design in such things as sinks at the expense of the practical. While we are trying to put the latest out there, the fact is you still need to shave,” said Rob. Speaking of a clean shave, a smoothly-smart office is situated across the entry hall and just inside the front door, ideally positioned to cater for the activities of a home business. While this home is a little bit off the beaten track and not in a display village, it seems to be attracting people who are serious about building. “This home, priced at under $300,000, is certainly receiving a lot of positive feedback from those who have seen it and they certainly don’t drive here because they have nothing to do,” said Rob. “We don’t normally play in that space but it’s effectively about putting a product in a price point that we don’t normally get involved in to allow people who are aspirational Webb &

Brown-Neaves buyers to experience our product very early on. “We are obviously very proud of our quality and we can still provide that at these price points simply by keeping these houses quite effective in design and engineering,” said Rob. “While the specifications of those houses covered by our White Series are obviously not the same as our normal product range, they are commensurate with the price range. “And if people want gold taps, then we’ll install gold taps. There are plenty of instances where people are looking at these products and saying they don’t want a double-storey home because they are getting older. So they buy these and spend another $100,000 on things like granite tops and mirrors and bi-fold doors – all the extras that can be put into any home in a significantly cost-effective way. “It’s all about giving the potential customer a lot of options that have already been thought of and pre-costed. Instead of them spending ages thinking about what they want, they just have to tell us and no doubt we will already have it drawn and costed and ready to go as part of our range,” said Rob. BC Webb & Brown-Neaves: (08) 9208 9000


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The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 33


up close + personal with

rob crawford SALES MANAGER, WEBB & BROWN-NEAVES // interviewed by keith mexsom

How long have you worked for Webb & Brown-Neaves? I started with Webb & Brown-Neaves in 2003 in a selling capacity and I have been their sales manager for the past three years. What were you doing before that? Before Webb & Brown-Neaves I worked for the ABN Group’s Homebuyers Centre for about two and a half years. My original career was in the finance industry and as the first-home buyer market is all about finance, it was an easy transition to selling new houses. Since you started, have you seen changes important enough to have affected the way you sell homes? Before the global financial crisis (GFC), it was insane, we were building houses like there was no tomorrow and knocking back work because we could only build so many at one time. Then, when the GFC came along, it was a defining moment in the marketplace and actually a very good opportunity to reassess the whole process and start tailoring our products more to the needs of our clients. To do that, we had to meet prospective buyers and obtain an understanding of how their families function and of how they wanted their new home to function. Whether they have cats and dogs, or whether they are lock-up-and-leavers, or the reason why they only want two bedrooms – there’s a lot of personal information we now want to learn before we can provide their dream home. While no one likes the GFC and the constraints it has put on everyone and everything, some good points have come out of it. Now, we sort of live for a couple of years with the people we build for. We form quite a relationship with them and although, as a salesperson dealing with the process, you are not the one physically laying the bricks, they develop a very strong bond with you because it’s to you they are actually expressing what they want. It can be a very personal journey and a very emotional one for both the salesperson and the client. And a journey you have experienced from both sides yourself a few times? Very much so. I’ve built four Webb & Brown-Neaves homes during the time I have been with them and every one has been unique and an accomplishment. I moved into my recent new home in early February and it’s the best one I’ve ever done. So I am a bit of a serial builder and it’s a trap, I suppose, of being in the industry. It’s about build and sell, build and sell and have a lot of fun doing it. It helps that I have a very patient wife. Do you find display homes to be one of the best marketing methods, or do you prefer alternatives? Obviously, we are in the age of websites and the internet and they are powerful tools with which homebuyers can find out where homes are and download brochures and plans. However, not everybody can read a plan and at some point, they want to feel and touch. Everybody has to get a feeling of space.

34 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

They have to physically come into a home to get an understanding of what it is they are thinking of doing and how it will work for their family. They imagine their kids in the home, they imagine where their pool might be and how it might work for the view they might have. You can’t beat display homes for providing the means by which prospective buyers can physically test the opening of a door and actually touch the latest trends coming out of Europe, Japan and America. People still have to do that and display homes are still by far the best way for them to do so. In the project market that we are in, there are also lots of people who can’t go down an individual design path simply because they are not spatially aware by just reading the plans. A display home gives them the opportunity to understand space and work out if it is right for them and, if it’s not, what they have to do to make it right. It’s the difference between the imaginary and reality and that’s why a display home is such a fantastic tool for our business. Webb & Brown-Neaves have about 13 display homes which were sold to investors or people currently overseas as soon as they were built and leased back to us. It’s a very good investment for an absentee landlord because they have a tenant who doesn’t live in the home and so there is no wear and tear that we won’t repair straight away. Because it is a display home, we are more paranoid about its presentation than what an owner would ever be. So the gardens and pool are maintained weekly and we will repaint when necessary. After two and a half years (the normal time frame for a display home), it may be that old but, in terms of use, it is brand new.

What activities are you involved in outside of work? I am very much from a country background. I was born in Geraldton but my family now have a farm at Nannup, about 280 kilometres south of Perth, where I regularly help to pick olives. In fact, harvesting starts in a couple of months so I’ll soon get a tap on the shoulder to go and help and do a few other things on the farm for dad. Otherwise, I have been very involved in surf lifesaving at my local surf club, Fremantle, for the past seven years and that’s a result of having kids going through the Nippers Lifesaving Movement. My wife, Kathleen and I, have two teenagers – Amy is 16 and in her final year of school, and Jack is 14 and in year nine. It’s great fun on the beaches every Saturday and Sunday, watching the kids grow in a very safe environment. I’d rather see them do that than hang around Hay Street Mall. Webb & Brown-Neaves has also been a sponsor of surf lifesaving through the Trigg Island Surf Club for a number of years. Surf clubs are a really strong, community-based organisation – very family orientated, so the company’s association and its building of family homes is very appropriate. I used to do a lot of swimming for personal fitness and I have


Houses with double masters at Doubleview // words keith mexsom // images steve rivett

Most residential properties being built in the suburbs of Perth these days necessarily meet market demand for the traditional family home of three bedrooms and two bathrooms with open-plan kitchen, dining and living areas opening to an outdoor entertainment area. Depending on a family’s budget, its requirements might also include a study, play area, a room for a home theatre and even a powder room or three. However, as with most things, there are some exceptions to the traditional, and one of these has been astutely recognised by the reputable building company, Cooper & Oxley. Uniquely breaking the mould of the traditional home, Cooper & Oxley has recently completed two detached houses on a block in Doubleview, just two minutes from Brighton Beach, at


8A and 8B Lynton Street. Both are of two stories and 291 and 289 square metres, respectively. Construction of these houses started in March 2011 with one house fronting Lynton Street while the second, situated behind the first, has its own access from an adjacent lane. Steve Rivett was Cooper & Oxley’s Project Manager during the construction of the two homes. “While we could have constructed standard three-bedroom, two-bathroom houses, there are many of those on the market, both in Doubleview and the surrounding suburbs,” said Steve. “Instead, we designed these houses differently so as to cater for a group of couples in the community who live together but who want separate bedrooms and bathroom facilities. They may be married, de facto or partners and they are looking for a



The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 35


design that incorporates just two master bedrooms and associated facilities that are completely separate. “This is a market that we feel has been neglected in the current residential market. Our research has indicated that buyers are looking for this concept, but have not been able to find it as a credible construction option. “After recognising this niche in the market, we have created two houses that each includes two master bedrooms, each with their own exclusive en suites and capacious, walk-in wardrobes,” said Steve. “While the layout could be adapted to accommodate three bedrooms, if necessary, and these houses do include a study, the fundamental intention of the basic design only allows for the two bedrooms. “Of course, the bedroom layout could also serve as a great pad for students, or flatmates in the same house, having separate bedroom spaces and bathroom facilities to themselves,” said Steve. Unrestricted by the inclusion of too many rooms in a given space, there is certainly plenty of the latter on the carpeted, upper floors of both houses. The rear house also has a small balcony opening off one of its bedrooms and the area designated for a study. Again, the size of each of the bedrooms, their adjoining en suites and walk-in wardrobes is very impressive and is perhaps the most obvious indication that, while one may be standing within a series of rectangles and squares, the concept of this design is a

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result of thinking that is very much outside of both. While, in contrast, the ground floor areas of the normal open-plan kitchen, dining and living areas might be expected to be rather mundane, nothing could be further from the truth. For instance, the kitchen is particularly well appointed with the latest Bosch appliances and laid out and furnished with plenty of Essastone-topped bench, cupboard and pantry space. The first house has a unique, pull-out pantry with shelving that slides out toward the kitchen as the door is opened, while the second house has a pantry that is completely built-in. The ground floors of both houses are finely finished with Tasmanian oak which flows on through the kitchen and living areas to the backyard via glass doors to the covered decks of the outdoor areas. The attractively-raked ceilings of the decks are also lined with pre-finished, Tasmanian oak. French doors separate the kitchen, dining and living areas from the entry hall from which the roomy laundry and powder room and the double garage of each house are accessed. “Each double garage has a particularly higher ceiling and roller door than normal to accommodate the likes of a Land Cruiser with a roof rack. That’s just another example of the way in which these houses have been designed to cater for a specific lifestyle-type of owner,” said Steve. “And the people interested in buying these properties do not want a large backyard, so we have provided for only a modest amount of landscaping, for those who might want to potter, and the rest is paved.

“We designed these houses differently so as to cater for a group of couples in the community who live together but who want separate bedrooms and bathroom facilities.”


east boundary fence and large items, such as structural steel, had to be craned over the roof of the cottage,” said Charles. “Otherwise, there were no major problems and the existing cottage was thoroughly renovated throughout, all walls and ceiling relined, floors polished and skirtings and architraves replaced. “Some minor modifications were also made to the existing timber frame of the cottage with the fitting of new steel framing where necessary,” said Charles. “A Bobcat was successfully used for the large basement excavation which was bounded by the existing house, the pool and the east and west boundary walls. “During the excavation, a fine-cement-grout injection was used to stabilise the ground during excavation so that the house and the neighbours’ boundary fences and ground on the east and west sides would remain supported. Fine-cement-grout injection can only be used in sandy soil conditions and carried out by a specialist contractor. Fine cement is mixed with water to achieve a fine, flowing slurry mix which is then pumped through a small steel pipe to the required excavation depth. In ten days, the slurry hardens to a limestone consistency and excavation can proceed. It worked very well for us on this job,” said Charles. BC Craig Steere Architects: (08) 9380 4662, Mulberry Homes: (08) 9388 1717,

The presence of the pool did restrict just how far the extension could go, but the open-plan concept of the structure gave the whole area a sense of space.

Top quality steel fabricators Security Steel was established in 1991 with premises in Osborne Park and has had the same owner ever since. We mainly made balustrade gates and awnings for project home builders on two-storey jobs. We now mainly work for builders doing architecturallydesigned newer renovations, one-off designs for residential and small commercial and government jobs. Now having moved to larger premises at Wangara, we also do small structural jobs for housing additions, factories and warehouses. We have top quality suppliers of steel-protective coatings, finishes, fixings and hardware. We can also provide in-house shop drawings for most jobs.

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 41


A merging of tradition at Wangara // words keith mexsom




42 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

A merging of tradition is a common factor between a building firm and the BMW brand. First established in 1913 as an aircraft engine and motorcycle manufacturer, BMW sold its first car in 1929. Some 30 years later, in 1960, McLeish & Matthews Pty Limited commenced trading at Perth as commercial and industrial builders. Just as the ongoing success of the BMW brand has depended on the reliability and quality of what it produced, so too has that of McLeish & Matthews which, for more than 50 years, has continued to sustain an excellent reputation for the quality of design and construction of thousands of structures of varying size and complexity, built for a wide range of clients. So it is only fitting that a business with as much history as BMW and a need for another showcase at Perth, should have chosen a WA entity of a similar lineage, family-owned and operated, McLeish & Matthews, to build what has become Australia’s largest BMW dealership. Known as Westcoast BMW, the dealership is now open for business at the corner of Hartman Drive and Luisini Road, Wangara after construction of its more than 6,000 square-metre premises was completed by McLeish & Matthews in August 2011, a year after its commencement. One of the most prominent features, so eye-catching from Hartman Drive, is the new building’s three major façades of toughened-glass panels. Facing north, south


A merging of tradition is a common factor between a building firm and the BMW brand.

and east, these panels are more than six metres high and twelve millimetres thick with 19-millimetre thick, glass fins. But while these huge slabs of glass and the vehicles they enhance and protect predominate, the remainder of the rectangular structure is not without its fine lines and a certain solid style, enhanced further by the site’s circular, BMW logos. The Alucobond-clad bulkheads that serve to internally separate the building’s showrooms and service areas also protrude through and above the horizontal, boxed-roof structures, adding to the total look of right-angled strength. That sturdiness continues through to the building’s internal expanse of superbly-tiled, showroom floors; the sheen of which competes with the softening effect of the deluge of natural light spilling through the glass boundaries and splashing from the pure whiteness of showroom ceilings and pillars. The new building comprises showrooms for new, used and special cars; dealers’ lounges; a service centre; commercial offices and a boardroom for support staff; a major workshop and fast-service bays; drive-through wash bays; external sales areas for new and used cars and back-of-house parking and maintenance areas. From the reception desk and administration offices to the conveniences and workshops, all are designed and finished to a standard normally found at the best hotels.

One of the most prominent features, so eye-catching from Hartman Drive, is the new building’s three major façades of toughened-glass panels.

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 43




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Gavin McLeish is the Contracts Administrator for McLeish & Matthews and a third generation McLeish to work in the business, following in the footsteps of his grandfather and father. When asked to comment on the design and build of the Westcoast BMW premises, Gavin explained that local designers, M & L Designs, did the design work which was co-ordinated by Peter Stanley, project manager for Peters Investments. “McLeish & Matthews also contributed considerable costing inputs during the design stages and BMW provided guidelines so the structure would meet their corporate requirements,” said Gavin. “For instance, the showroom floors are laid with special tiles chosen by BMW Australia to maintain a theme common to all of their showrooms. Not only are the tiles of a suitable quality but of course they also have to be durable enough to support a good deal of vehicle movement. “Also, a lot of quality control went into the process to ensure the floor would be perfectly level, with no deviation. Instead of the tiles being laid straight onto the concrete slab, a special 50mm screed was first laid which the tilers then finished to 100 per cent level before the showroom tiles were finally laid. “The 14,300 square-metre block slopes a little from the front showroom on its eastern side to the service centre on the west and there are some large spans with extensive retaining walls to the southern and western facades. “The main structure is of steel and concrete tilt-panel, especially around the workshop area, with some 160 lineal metres of glass around the showrooms,” said Gavin. “In the case of vehicle dealerships, building design and construction always involves the integration of a lot of services. At the BMW Wangara premises, there were many specialised items that we had to co-ordinate and assess and build around and accommodate. “At Wangara, there were vehicle hoists, carwash systems and water reuse systems to accommodate. We also installed linear air conditioning ducts through the showroom’s box ceilings and large spiral ducts in the workshops for air conditioning and exhaust venting. The ventilation and mechanical system is controlled by an Innotech Genesis BMS system and there’s a large plant room upstairs for mechanical plant and equipment,” said Gavin. “The workshops are not just a painted area. We’ve gone to extreme detail to provide a very clean and large workshop area finished with 200 by 100mm tiles that provide an impact and oil-resistant floor covering. In fact, the difference between this project and a normal car dealership is the level of such finishing. “In these uncertain economic times, most businesses would be fairly reluctant to pay for such a high level of finish but BMW obviously considers their Wangara outlet to be a long-term investment and so quality was always the underlying theme of this project,” said Gavin. “The driveways are of exposed-aggregate concrete and the grounds have been finished with huge expanses of lawn. As well as the rows of stainless steel bollards that stand guard before the showroom windows, the building’s integrated security systems include sophisticated intruder alarms, CCTV, lighting sensors and


access control, all of which are continuously monitored,” said Gavin. “McLeish & Matthews also installed additional drainage and upgraded that part of Luisini Road bordering the project. “As well as upgrading the road to current standards and council requirements, provision was made for a suitable parking bay adjacent to the new building’s service entry to facilitate the safe transfer of vehicles to and from their transporters,” said Gavin. This was not the first BMW project undertaken by McLeish & Matthews which has carried out many projects for the company over a 25-year period, including the recent refurbishment of BMW’s first Perth dealership, Auto Classic, at Victoria Park. Referring to his company’s longevity and established reputation, Gavin McLeish credited much of his firm’s success to its long history of excellent results and the team of reliable suppliers and subcontractors built up over 50 years. “That’s what most of our business is. Clients call us to say we built for them in 1980, and they have just bought a block for a new building and can we help them out? “We feel it’s a very fortunate position to be in and stands testament to our commitment to professionalism, quality and honesty,” said Gavin. BC McLeish & Matthews: (08) 9356 1200

Vision Clad Australia – Delivering a quality product on time every time Vision Clad Australia Ptl Limited (VCA) is a licensed, approved supplier and installer of aluminium composite materials, Alpolic, Alucobond and Ultrabond and other innovative external façade products Terracade, Danpalon and Sunpal. To date, we have completed more than 400 local commercial and residential projects. Our philosophy from inception has been to provide a quality product to the market, on time every time. We never over commit ourselves and are very honest and upfront when detailing and negotiating projects with our clients. We supply a minimum 10-year warranty for our service (manufacturing and installation) back-to-back with a 10-year warranty for the products directly from material distributors. We are locally-based, CNC automated and provide in-house drafting services to assist in design and pre-construction detailing. The owners of Vision Clad Australia are hands-on and involved daily in key positions, with more than 50 years combined construction experience. “ We offer architectural composite panel solutions.”





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The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 45


Affordable living in harmony with nature // words david christison // images courtesy of frasers property

Frasers Landing at Mandurah epitomises all that is desirable in a contemporary and sustainable, residential development. Located on 54 hectares of riverine land adjoining the Serpentine River, Frasers Property Australia is developing a new community built along more than a kilometre of river frontage. Frasers Landing offers a spectacular, natural bushland setting less than an hour from the Perth CBD. The tranquil setting is also just a few minutes drive from cosmopolitan Mandurah and its range of business, cultural, dining and retail offerings. The homes at Frasers Landing integrate with the natural beauty of the riverside environment, with many retaining the natural canopy and existing vegetation of the area and offering a backyard setting to be envied. Completing the picture, are tree-lined streets, walking tracks, boardwalks, parklands and a dedicated 12-hectare, core conservation area. The development has won awards in 2010 and 2011 from the Housing Industry Association for framed housing and




46 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

small lot housing, and from the Australian Landscape Industry Association for its stunning entry statement and sales pavilion. The concept homes for Frasers Landing were designed exclusively by the company’s team of internationally-renowned architects, working with local architect Barry Small from Bravura Design Group. The first homes in the development, The Frasers Collection, were constructed using a rendered, RMAX Thermawall cladding over a timber frame. All internal walls are lined with insulating material for thermal and acoustic benefits. The external walls are texture-coated to create the appearance of a rendered-brick home but, unlike the brick and plaster version, the houses maintain a much more even temperature due to superior insulation capabilities. Thermawall material is used as part of an entire system rather than simply as a cladding, incorporating the panels, the timber framing, the Sisalation and Gyprock applications and the painted-finish, trowel-on texture coating. Larger-than-normal windows using Low-E glass have been installed, reducing the need to run expensive air conditioning and consequently saving on general energy consumption. Metal Deck roofing, R3.5 ceiling Batts and Anticon above 2.7m ceilings complete the picture. Construction efficiency is such that 75% of materials left over after completion can be recycled. All unwanted construction material is placed in a skip bin at the site from where it’s taken to a sorting yard and on to the appropriate recycling depot. The sustainability theme continues outside with only water-wise plants used in small garden areas. What irrigation is required is sourced from a shallow aquifer. This reticulation water, along with rainwater harvested from roofs, is returned to the aquifer.


“This is a beautiful and purposeful home. It is very easy to live in with great space relationships and internal dynamics presented in very contemporary design,” said architect, Barry Small. The large, uncluttered living room and study that takes up the entire front of the ground floor, and a separate informal space at the rear, provides residents with space and flexibility. This roomy, double-storey home has been designed to make the most of every square metre under its roof. And, as with every home in The Frasers Collection, Haven has been finished and fitted out to Frasers’ exceptional standards. All the elements of this home combine to make it exceptional value. Haven is a double-storey, three-bedroom, two-bathroom townhouse with a powder room. Features include: • Separate formal and informal living zones; • Study room; • Three exceptionally large bedrooms; • Walk-in wardrobe and en suite with bath and twin hand basins to master bedroom; • Island kitchen servicing informal dining, living and courtyard; • Feature staircase around double-height void; • Single-gated carport.

All Frasers Landing homes are connected to a micro-tunnelled, seven-metre deep sewerage system. The method was chosen ahead of the traditional open-cut system in the interests of saving existing trees. Low wattage lighting is used throughout the development, helping achieve a minimum 6-Star energy rating, irrespective of the orientation of the house. While other estates can create a heat sink effect due to massive retaining walls and outmoded, construction methods, Frasers Landing retains a natural cooling effect thanks to the developer’s commitment to retain 30% of natural bush in each residential hamlet, together with a 12-hectare core conservation area, ceded to the local council. Frasers Landing’s master plan has been devised in consultation with community, heritage and conservation groups, leading architects and building specialists, to ensure that the very best outcome will be delivered. A stunning lagoon will form the centrepiece of the development. Place Making will be achieved by celebrating Frasers Landing’s magnificent setting on the Serpentine River. The lagoon will be a gathering place, the heart of the community, with plans for a café and restaurant. A new jetty will provide water access at Frasers Landing for canoes and small boats, just a few steps from a proposed, riverfront café. The master-plan design connects the natural open spaces, village green, hamlet parks and nature reserves via a pedestrian and cycle network built on tree-lined avenues and boulevards, walking tracks and boardwalks. The extensive parklands and beautiful freshwater lagoon will make Frasers Landing a unique living experience and create a rare residential environment with a strong sense of place and identity.



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“This is a home that displays brilliant use of space in a compact footprint. It has a wonderfully fluid living area which occupies one entire side of the home, flowing from the front entry right to the rear, open-air courtyard. It gives the living areas an amazingly bright and airy ambience which makes the home feel spacious and comfortable,” said architect, Barry Small. A triangular hi-lite window creates a seamless transition to the raking ceiling of the informal areas. A feature of Drift is a delightful internal light court that spills light and warmth into the kitchen, third bedroom and master en suite, and is the perfect place to incorporate an open-air potted garden. There is also a flexible rear courtyard that affords the space to accommodate a boat or caravan. Drift is another wonderful example of The Frasers Collection philosophy with clever design, meticulous attention to detail and great connection to the surrounding environment. Drift is a single-storey three-bedroom, two-bathroom, townhouse with entry porch and internal court. Features include: • Integrated kitchen, dining and living areas; • Attractive entry porch; • Sliding, full-height glass doors from family room to garden courtyard; • Kitchen with breakfast bar; • Rear courtyard large enough to accommodate a caravan or boat.



(08) 9528 1362 48 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012



Contemporary in approach, Courtyard feels light, almost transparent. With its welcoming ambience, it delivers the sensation of a spacious apartment yet the joy of owning one’s own home. As architect, Barry Small, explained, “It is well planned, innovative and fresh. Its internal courtyard offers a secure and sheltered environment for year-round enjoyment, whatever the weather.” The central courtyard is a major design feature of this beautiful home, seamlessly interconnecting the formal and informal zones of Courtyard with outdoor living and the natural environment beyond. As with all homes in The Frasers Collection, Courtyard has many tiny and interesting details that, when combined, add up to a home that will set the benchmark for future Australian residential architecture. Courtyard is a single-storey home with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a protected central courtyard. Features include: • Separate formal living and dining rooms, plus separate informal dining or family room and adjoining kitchen; • Living areas and master bedroom open onto courtyard; • Open-plan kitchen with pantry and plenty of bench space, with direct access to laundry; • Easy garage access, with garaging for two vehicles; • Distinctive, stacked-stone exterior detailing.

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Spinifex is designed around a prominent, double-height glazed courtyard. “This feature is central to the architectural philosophy of the design. It showers light into the downstairs living areas and upstairs sleeping areas, adding a natural glow and warmth. And the flow of the living spaces through a full-height, glazed opening into the rear courtyard adds to this feeling of light and transparency,” said architect, Barry Small. As with all homes in The Frasers Collection, this double-storey, three-bedroom home with two bathrooms, powder room and study, is handsomely designed. The inviting porch and entry hall, island kitchen and study alcove upstairs are all features that make this home stand out in The Frasers Collection range. Spinifex is a double-storey terrace home with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, powder room, study alcove and a double-height, internal glazed courtyard. Features include: • Porch and entry hall with double-height stairwell; • Spacious formal living room; • Separate informal living area with dining and island kitchen; • Both living spaces directly open onto an open-air courtyard; • Single-gated carport.

The first house and land packages offered at Frasers Landing have attracted interest from a wide range of people, including first home buyers, retirees and investors. “The homes designed exclusively for Frasers Landing are a perfect fit with this environment, featuring strong eco-credentials in keeping with the overall vision of living in harmony with nature,” said Mr Small. “This is achieved without compromising luxury, amenity or lifestyle,” he said. Exclusive selling agents, Port Bouvard Real Estate, say demand for house and land packages has come from a broad range



of buyers, from young singles looking for their first home, to retirees looking to downsize. “I think the location, alongside the river, has captured the imagination of a lot of people who’ve come along to view the display homes,” said PBRE licensee, Simon Wroth. “The pricing of these exclusive house and land packages represents outstanding value and we’re constantly receiving enquiries from first, second and third home buyers, investors and retirees,” he said. BC Frasers Property: 1300 306 966,


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Waterford Plaza Shopping Centre // words rebecca fraurud // images robert frith – acorn photography

The creation of the cosmopolitan High Street is interspersed with al fresco dining and cafes, together with strip-retail shopping.




50 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

The newly revamped Waterford Plaza Shopping Centre is set to become the destination of choice for both daily shopping and night time entertainment as it is the largest, district shopping centre within the City of South Perth. The Waterford Plaza Shopping Centre, strategically located adjacent to Curtin University on the corner of Manning Road and Kent Street in Karawara, offers a unique retail and dining experience. Focused on the demands of the diverse Waterford community, the redevelopment integrates a piazza and entertainment precinct, known as the High Street, with its many eateries and retail outlets. Designed by Hames Sharley, constructed by Doric and project-managed by Kish Consulting on behalf of Midpoint Holdings, the project was completed in November 2011 after multiple staging of the project over a 10-year period. The delay was partly due to a protracted, planning-approval process but the development was also staged to lessen the impact on the legacy retailers and customers of the original premises. Now a popular destination for many of the 45,000-plus students and staff from nearby Curtin University, the redevelopment includes an additional major supermarket, a new internal mall, 29 additional outlets that include restaurants, cafes and retail and increased parking capacity. Soon to be completed will be the iconic Hippo Creek’s first tavern, expected to open in mid-2012. The creation of the cosmopolitan High Street is interspersed with al fresco dining and cafes, together with strip-retail shopping to encourage a


The larger-than-life halo structure improves connections between the street and internal malls.

vibrancy that was previously absent. At night, the Plaza comes alive with an active streetscape including a state-of-the-art, illuminated halo to complement the High Street’s visual appeal. The Centre not only targets university students, but also acts as a social hub for the local community. With the design of the Waterford Plaza Shopping Centre, Hames Sharley has drawn on the success of strip-style shopping experiences from around the world. Hames Sharley Director, Dean van Niekerk, said the redevelopment provides a significant addition to the area and desired amenities to the Waterford and Karawara community. “We chose to incorporate a main street surrounded by food tenancies and retail outlets to encourage vibrancy and life into an area that lacked such amenities. The contemporary yet subtle design also helps to create that cosmopolitan style environment making it an attractive and desirable place to be,” said Mr van Niekerk. “The development has been an exciting project to work on and the previously under-utilised, neighbourhood shopping centre and the inclusion of the High Street concept is setting a high benchmark for future designs in Perth,” he said. Other features include a large, suspended-concrete car deck with ramp access from Manning road and pedestrian access to the retail level via an undercover travelator.

Steering away from the traditional neighbourhood shopping centre of enclosed internal malls for food tenancies and retail outlets, the Centre responds to the environment and encourages a more sustainable approach that focuses on natural light and ventilation. An adaptive re-use of the existing building and structure has also minimised the effect the construction has had on the environment. The architectural expression and use of materials such as granite paving and kerbs, timber trellising and a range of steel awning profiles all add variety and articulation to the Centre. Urban design elements focused on activating the High Street which runs directly through the retail precinct and streetscape and encourages visitors into the heart of the development, while the larger-than-life halo structure improves connections between the street and internal malls. By integrating the built form with the outdoor piazza and High Street, the Centre has evolved into a pedestrian-friendly and well landscaped, open and shared public space. The extended trading hours have also increased High Street activity and attracted many to the staging of lively events such as festivals and markets when the street has been closed and restricted to pedestrians only. BC Hames Sharley: (08) 9381 9877,

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 51


A fraternal block of luxury // words keith mexsom // images andrew pritchard photography




52 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

When interviewed by The Builders Choice Magazine in 2011, the Managing Director and founder of Averna Homes, Paul Serra, said he believed his company’s success is partly attributed to building luxury homes at an affordable price. “It’s also about providing a more personalised service. I want clients to get to know the builder (who can)…walk them through the processes involved in building,” Paul said at the time. Both the luxury home concept and the personalised service have certainly been experienced by two of Averna Homes’ recent clients – Gennaro (Gino) Di Tonto and his brother, Lorenzo. They have had two separate homes designed and built by Averna Homes on the same block at 137 Roberts Street, Joondanna. Despite their Dulux acrylic-render finishes, Colorbond roofing and proximity to each other, both two-storey contemporary homes, completed in November 2011, could not be more different. The interior layouts of each house are certainly as different as the brothers’ individual tastes and living requirements. For instance, the living area in Lorenzo’s home comprises the lounge, dining, kitchen and study on the ground floor but those amenities are located upstairs in Gino’s home because he wanted


“In this case, it was unique not only to have two brothers as clients simultaneously, but also to be able to help them to achieve their dream homes at the same time.”

to recreate the perception of the apartment living to which he had previously become accustomed. The fact that Gino’s home is perched higher than Lorenzo’s helps to re-enforce the apartment living lifestyle. This feeling of high-rise apartment living is further enhanced by Gino’s upper floor al fresco area with its cedar-lined, balcony ceiling and a superb view of the City. That’s not to say that Lorenzo’s home does not also have excellent views of the City and suburbs. It certainly does, particularly from its three upstairs bedrooms and the large balcony accessed from the main suite. The view from this home is also enhanced by feature windows positioned on two adjacent walls of an upstairs lounge designed as a retreat. The master suites of both homes have commodious en suites and walk-in wardrobes. There are also a number of well-appointed bedrooms, guest rooms, bathrooms and activity areas for use by the families of each household. Each kitchen has a feature bulkhead and walk-in pantry, together with an L-shaped, island bench replete with stone top and double sink. Apart from the tiled wet areas and carpeted bedrooms, the living areas and hall floors consist of marri timber, more commonly known as red gum. The double garages of both homes have aluminium-framed doors fitted with infill Perspex panels from Perth’s Designer Garage Doors and the driveways are of exposed aggregate. When asked to comment on the difficulties faced during the design and construction of this double project, Paul Serra

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described the process as a tight fit to position both homes on the same block at the same time. “Obtaining Council approval for two homes on the same lot proved to be challenging because we maximised the size of the homes and their outlook and in so doing, tested the normal set-back allowances for the block,” said Paul. “We eventually received Council approval and achieved the desired outcome for our clients. “A further concern associated with designing & building these narrow-lot homes was to achieve enough indoor and outdoor living space while taking into account solar aspects. To overcome this challenge, the upstairs balcony, positioned adjacent to the kitchen


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54 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

& dining area, was extended so its sits right on the limitations of set-back requirements. This resulted in achieving the full potential of the seamless, indoor-outdoor living as well as taking advantage of the vista. “Access and material handling provided challenges throughout the build process. This was surmounted by smaller loads of material being delivered to site at any one time while still remaining budget-conscious. “Nevertheless, this side-by-side concept worked and illustrates the ability of Averna Homes to work with their clients to understand their family and lifestyle needs; to look at the land and the budget and come up with a concept to suit,” said Paul.

Challenge Cabinets – reputation built on quality and service Challenge Cabinets is a West Australian, family-owned company which commenced in 1989 and has built its reputation on quality and high service. They have a strong team of 28 staff, all skilled tradespeople and expert manufacturers. Their work covers both the residential and commercial markets ranging from new homes, renovations and multi-storey apartments to commercial fit outs. Integral to their business is their team of qualified people to assist their regular builders. For private clients, Challenge Cabinets provides a personalised service throughout the whole process which is a must in today’s busy environment. Challenge Cabinets congratulates Averna Homes on their achievements in the industry.



“In this case, it was unique not only to have two brothers as clients simultaneously, but also to be able to help them to achieve their dream homes at the same time.” “Both clients had a significant involvement in the design stage and they each received a beautiful, quality product that showcases our workmanship,” said Paul. Gino Di Tonto certainly agrees. He and Lorenzo had owned the block at Roberts Street for about three years before they decided to build on it. Gino has had some 26 years experience in the oil and gas engineering industry and he has been involved in the design and construction of commercial developments, single residential housing, grouped dwelling developments and renovation type work so he was very glad of the opportunity afforded by Averna Homes to participate in the design of his new home. “I gained a great deal of satisfaction from my input and thoroughly enjoyed being involved in the project to such a degree,” said Gino. “During the planning stage, the original designs of both homes required some modification due to Council requirements, by-laws and building regulations but we were soon able to reach a compromise that involved modifying retaining walls and the like. “There is nothing I would change about my new home. I believe a thorough design phase leads to premium product and a successful project and that is exactly what this has turned out to be,” said Gino. BC Averna Homes: (08) 9373 3999,

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Four new pearls at Broome // words keith mexsom // images cado lee photography

Broome is one of those few places in the world which can be said to have been founded on a fashion accessory. Indeed, it was the world’s craving for the Pinctada maxima, the pearl oyster, that first put the town on the map during the late 1800s. But it wasn’t the pearls that this mollusc only occasionally produced, but its inner shell layer, known as ‘mother of pearl’, that was sought for use as buttons and cutlery handles and there was a time when some 75 per cent of the world’s supply came from the Broome pearl industry. Until the invention of plastic buttons in the early 1900s wiped out the mother of pearl market and Broome’s prosperity for many years, a number of different nationalities, including Koepanger, Chinese, Japanese, Malay and European settled in Broome to harvest this treasure. It is said to be that early blend of nationalities that has resulted in the cultural diversity and architecture that constitutes the Broome of today. Although following the advent of pearl seeding, Broome has once again become one of the world’s major suppliers of quality pearls, its position as the southern gateway to the Kimberley region of Western Australia has led to its more recent growth in tourism and mineral and gas exploration. This has, in turn, resulted in an increase in the region’s population and a need for more housing and commercial premises – a need currently being met by architects and builders keen to transition Broome from the historical buildings of its Chinatown to a more modern and functional form. One of Perth’s biggest firms of architects and interior designers, Oldfield Knott, is doing just that with a number of projects under




56 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

way in Broome and other parts of WA’s north-west. Established in 1973, Oldfield Knott undertakes work in both private and government sectors, covering the full range of projects - corporate, commercial, industrial, retail, research, public, tourism, recreational, multi-residential, aged person housing, health facilities, educational, fast-food outlets and the hospitality industry. The firm has the expertise and personnel to provide their clients with full architectural services through the entire building procurement process, from undertaking feasibility studies and brief development, through sketch design and the gaining of local authority approvals, the preparation of tender documents and contract administration during the construction phase and fit-out. A residential project, designed by Oldfield Knott Architects, and which includes three, three-bedroom and one five-bedroom residential units has been recently built at the corner of Manggala Drive and Wongai Crescent, Broome. This project comprises two, semi-detached two-storey units of 185 and 160 square metres respectively, and two separate, single-storey units each of 145 square metres. Started in September 2010 and completed in August 2011 by builders, Colin Wilkinson Developments (CWD), each unit has been uniquely positioned within the triangular site. Obviously built to meet both BCA and local cyclone codes, the units are constructed of light-weight steel wall framing with custom orb, Colorbond cladding. All roofing is of Custom Orb ‘Surf Mist’ Colorbond and the gable ends are of cedar-look, painted Hardiboard.


Each of the two-storey units has a garden pavilion which comprises a separate guest bedroom and en suite, separated from the main house by a covered walkway. Every unit has a plunge pool. The dividing party walls between the semi-detached two-storey units, the plunge pools and the front boundary fences are constructed of reinforced-concrete, cavity-filled blocks. The internal flooring and external timber decking is of Jarrah with American oak, stained to match, fitted as the treads of the prefabricated staircases in the two-storey units. In such a hot climate as Broome, it is essential to meet local building codes requiring the provision of adequate cross-ventilation, ceiling fans, insulation, passive solar design, such as wide roof overhangs, and louvered windows. The two-storey units also have adjustable, sliding aluminium louvered screens fitted to the first floor balconies. R2 insulation has been installed in all walls and R3.0 to ceilings, and each unit has dedicated breezeways within its living area. Ceiling fans are fitted to all living areas, including the decks. The kitchen of each unit has plenty of cupboard space, including a small wine cellar and island bench with twin sinks and dishwasher. The dining and living areas open on to 30 square metres of covered deck where occupants can spend a good deal of their time beside the pool. The builder of these units, Colin Wilkinson Developments Pty Ltd (CWD), is a company that has evolved from more than 40 years of expertise and commitment to the Kimberley and Pilbara regions of Western Australia. With offices in Broome (head office), Karratha, Kununurra, Newman and Port Hedland, CWD provides comprehensive,

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construction solution service capabilities, including but not limited to: project feasibility, design, construction and project management. CWD has an unrivalled reputation for the successful completion of private and government residences, commercial and industrial projects, retail and industrial construction, motels, resorts and schools. According to CWD’s Contracts Manager, Martin Long, the quality specification and fit-out of these units have provided a level of opulence synonymous with the resort-style accommodation Broome is famous for. “While the tight nature of constructing four large units on one residential block offered up some unique building challenges, the privacy afforded to each unit through good design ensures each resident feels like they are living in their own secluded resort,” said Martin. The rich landscape of the whole block was designed by local landscape architect, Fred Coates, of Curvo Land Design. His design comprises many native shrubs and mature trees that contribute greatly to the shade cover and aesthetic appearance of the community formed by these units. BC Oldfield Knott Architects: (08) 9381 6788 Colin Wilkinson Developments: (08) 9193 7444 Curvo Land Design: 0417 178 232

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The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 57


An Ascot home with a difference // words keith mexsom // images aperture 22




58 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

It is the front-entry portico that rises to resemble a castle keep that best provides this new home at 14 Northerly Avenue, Ascot with an added touch of Georgian refinement. This double-storey home is typical of those that have been custom-designed and built by the independent, WA-owned Amano Homes since the company was founded in 1999. In that time, Amano Homes has focused on hands-on customer service and the building of quality homes designed to complement a diverse range of lifestyles. The Northerly Avenue home was first designed from scratch by an Amano Homes’ designer to suit his client’s specifications. Then the client sat with the designer to change things until the perfect layout was created. With the client’s permission, the design has since been made available to future clients as a custom design called Xanadu. (see: design/xanadu) One cannot help but be impressed by the result, particularly the lavishness of the home’s décor and the fine finish of its stylish appointments. Through the portico-protected front door and to the left of the main entry hall, is the first of two master suites. The other is upstairs and both have almost identical walk-in dressing rooms and en suites. The floors of the en suites are finished with Royale Travertino Noce tiles and the vanity bench tops


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are of Laminex Essastone in panacotta. The downstairs en suite includes a spa bath. Across the hall, a room set aside as an office is handily placed close to the front door to cater for any commercial activity that the occupants might wish to conduct separately from the rest of the home. From the grand entry hall, finely-finished floors of polished Tasmanian oak lead past the ceramic-tiled laundry room and a convenient powder room to the spacious, open-plan dining, living and kitchen areas. The kitchen is divided from the living area by an island bench of Laminex Essastone and its accoutrements include stainless steel Blanco appliances of oven, hot plate and rangehood. The living and kitchen areas are flooded with additional light and height from a void that extends above these areas to the upper floor. There, the void opening is bounded by a Planar structural glazing system which side-mounts the glass panels and fixes them by means of stainless steel stirrups. The light and spaciousness of the void is further enhanced by the expanse of glass and glazed stacker doors that provide direct access from the main living space to the al fresco area which is well sheltered by a high roof, uniquely pitched to allow even more light and air to saturate the kitchen and living areas.

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 59


...pleased with the process of sitting down with an Amano Homes designer and “chopping and changing until it came right”, this owner is also very happy with the final result. The double garage, complete with large storeroom, has a rear lane access with an internal entry from the kitchen. Another door from the garage provides access to the al fresco area and backyard. The Tasmanian oak flooring of the ground floor flows on as the timber finish for the treads of the feature staircase that curves to the upper floor of the home. Again a Planar glazing system has been used to fix glass balustrades to the staircase and these provide an additional lift of light and air to its floating treads. As well as a replication of the walk-in wardrobe and spacious en suite of the ground floor, the upstairs master suite number two also has access to the castle-keep balcony overlooking the front courtyard. The balcony balustrade is of Balustrade WA’s Settler design with aluminium, powder coated posts and slim-view handrail. Bedroom three is across the hall and further toward the rear of the first floor, past the bathroom and airing cupboard

Coastline Kitchens congratulates Amano Homes on this outstanding new development.

complex, is a combined, open-plan study and play, or lounge area. Apart from its wet areas of ceramic tile, the upper floor is entirely carpeted. The position of the guest room, across the void and above the garage, uniquely isolates it from the remainder of the house. In this home, an adjoining spare room is used as a gym, but it could equally serve as a theatre or extra bedroom. If it can still be said that a man’s home is his castle, then there is no doubt that the Amano home at Northerly Crescent not only fits the bill as far as its design is concerned, but also in the eyes of its new owner and occupier. Obviously pleased with the process of sitting down with an Amano Homes designer and “chopping and changing until it came right”, this owner is also very happy with the final result. At Amano Homes, they call it the Amano difference. BC Amano Homes: (08) 9367 1252

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Tropical modernism at Watermans Bay

“Protecting the home from the strong afternoon sun and westerly winds was one of the first elements that had to be addressed during the design process.”

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 61


// words keith mexsom // images andrew pritchard photography

Arc Seven.1 Building and Interior Design is a multi-award-winning practice established in 2004. Working as a small professional team, Jason Saunders and Nicole Tollman have more than 20 years experience in their respective fields and, as a result, provide a personal design service with innovative solutions tailored to the clients’ requirements. The firm’s scope of works includes private residences, unit developments and renovations with a focus that not only includes the built form and interior fit-out, but also the landscape that forms an integral part of these three disciplines.




62 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

Over the years, Arc Seven.1’s attention to detail in all areas of design and documentation has ensured the success of their many projects, the high quality of which has been praised by clients and regularly recognised by industry peers by way of awards and commendations. One such accolade has been for a contemporary three-storey house built on a 445-sqare-metre, north-facing block at 14 Margaret Street, Watermans Bay – just a few hundred metres from Watermans Beach. This house was the winner of the Best Residential Interiors category of the 2011 Building Designers Australia WA (BDAWA) Design Awards and its overall design was also commended in the Residential Buildings, over 450 square metre, category. When asked about his initial thoughts as to the design of this home, Jason Saunders explained that his clients are a middle-aged couple with grown-up children so they were looking to downsize to living on a smaller block. “However, having lived in the area for the past 25 years, they had a clear understanding of what living on the coast was like,” said Jason. “They also had definite requirements as to what was to be incorporated in the design of their new home and these included: • the home was primarily for themselves, an entertainers home, which had defined zones over three levels, with separate internal and external spaces that could be opened up to form


Our aim was to create a home that placed an emphasis on the connection between the internal and external living areas.

larger rooms. This was to be balanced by the need to create intimate spaces, both publicly and privately, within the home; • With the clients having a keen interest in horticulture, the aim was to create a home that placed an emphasis on the connection between these internal and external living areas; • Due to its north-facing orientation, the intent was to design the home to maximise the amount of natural daylight into the living area, but to also take advantage of the of the ocean views to the western side of the property; • A pool with water features was also to be introduced to create an ambience and connection to the ocean; • As the site fell from east to west, and having substantial houses built around it, privacy as well as the capturing of views was to be balanced; • Creating two separate zones over three levels – an interactive ground floor level for the children and their guests and living areas and master bedroom suite on the first floor, so oriented as to take advantage of the sea views; • The ground floor was also to be designed so as to take advantage of the views of the ocean and the outdoor areas around the pool; • A lift to allow access to all floors. This was particularly important as the owners intend to live in this home for many years. “Enjoying the sea views while still protecting the home from the strong afternoon sun and westerly winds was one of the first elements that had to be addressed during the design process,” said Jason. “With the clients having a keen interest in horticulture and inspired by the architecture of the renowned Sri Lankan architect, Geoffrey Bawa, the principal advocate of tropical modernism, our aim was to create a home that placed an emphasis on the connection between the internal and external living areas.

“This was largely done with the use of strategically positioned ponds and planting areas which contributed to a harmonious connection and enhancement of all areas of the home,” said Jason. “The use of natural materials such as Lebanese sandstone, granite cladding, rust timber and stainless steel also created a link that promoted a harmonious flow throughout the home. “Even though the house is built over three levels, open practical spaces were introduced to ensure that there were not too many individual rooms crammed into each level. This has allowed for a free-flowing, open form that gives the home a larger feel. “The living areas and viewing corridors were positioned on the first floor to capture views of the ocean over the rooflines of the adjoining neighbours’ houses. The children’s bedrooms, informal sitting areas and outdoor living spaces were included on the ground floor to protect them from the strong south-westerly winds which are traditionally associated with living on the coast, and the basement level of the home accommodates the garage, a sauna and a gymnasium” said Jason. “As the home was orientated to the front, north side of the property with a large cantilevered balcony added to capture the ocean views, a roof light was introduced to open up the space and bring the warm, winter sun into the first-floor living areas. It was positioned between the dining, kitchen and living rooms to allow the natural light to filter through to these areas. “A picture window was also fitted to the dining room and the master bedroom to frame the views of the ocean and minimise the overlooking of neighbouring rooflines. “Having been in the home for several months now, the clients are thrilled with the way that the home works and of how it fits their needs perfectly,” said Jason. BC Arc Seven.1: (08) 9201 1280,


Phone Glen on

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The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 63

THE BUILDERS CHOICE residential community

Off the rating radar at Quedjinup 64 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012


“I just loved it – to be able to turn a pile of timber into something, to use my hands like an artist...”

// words keith mexsom // images nathan shanahan

As a boy of about ten, growing up at the small seaside town of Zilzie Beach, Queensland, Sepp Hock was already following in the footsteps of his carpenter father. And he was learning fast because, even at that age, the cubby houses he built could not be demolished by his rivals. “I just loved it – to be able to turn a pile of timber into something, to use my hands like an artist – to create something like that,” said Sepp. After more than 30 years as a builder, his enthusiasm to create structural masterpieces remains. Sepp is not only designing and building quality structures to withstand the elements (and the maliciousness of any boys) but also those that provide for the very best in energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. He has just completed such a home on the other side of the country at Quedjinup in the south-west of Western Australia



where Sepp moved two years ago to join his wife, Jesca Maas. Of some 250 square metres, plus a double garage and verandas, the timber-built home includes large living areas, two bedrooms and an office – all enclosed within a thermal envelope and serviced by the very latest energy-saving appliances, amenities and natural climate control facilities. The whole structure is uniquely elevated and supported by a Mega Anchor system which can be used on sites of any contour and completely replaces the traditional concrete and post foundation. “The Mega Anchor concept is a phenomenal product requiring no excavation whatsoever,” said Sepp who is a West Australian agent for the supply and installation of the system. “We didn’t need to bring in any machinery to dig the home’s foundations. In fact, we haven’t actually dug into the earth other than for the concrete slabs laid in the car port so the land is just as good as when we bought it. It’s very cost-effective and energy efficient from that perspective. “The number of Mega Anchors needed is determined by the sub-floor structure and the size of the home, but the whole system is so strong that an eight tonne crane can’t pull an anchor out of the ground,” said Sepp. Kingspan Air-Cell has been used as insulation between the floor joists as well as about 150mm of insulation installed beneath the ply flooring throughout, including the wet areas. The sub-floor is overlayed with secretly-nailed tongue and

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 65


personal profile

sepp hock Why did you become a builder? It’s always been my life. My Dad was one of the first A. V. Jennings-Germans to come over after the war as a young carpenter to build Canberra and he later became one of the first master builders in Queensland. Our family of 10 (eight boys and two girls) was all about being efficient in the use of what we had – recycling and paying attention to nature and that naturally led to the way I like to build homes. That’s the way we were all brought up, and it just became a way of life for me so it wasn’t as though I had to go and study sustainability. It is how I have always lived my life. It’s also about having the human heart connected to the process because if you have the empathy and understanding and connection with people, really care about people and the environment, then each home can be designed and built to best fit the occupant’s needs and their surroundings.

groove Driftwood (Victorian ash), effectively resulting in a 40mm thick floor. All of the internal and external walls are insulated with recycled plastic in the form of a locally-supplied insulation Batt and the external walls and the underside of the roofing iron are also lined with Air-Cell. The roofing iron is double thickness so as to absorb less solar energy while all of the roof space, from the ceilings to the truss areas on the external walls, is covered with Batts all the way to the roof. Indeed, the house is completely wrapped from the floor to ceiling with everything overlapped and taped so there are no leaks in its thermal envelope whatsoever. Every window in the house is of low-e glass and this also helps to maintain a consistent temperature throughout. As required in the cyclone areas of Queensland, Sepp has also lined every internal wall with a 6mm bracing ply which is really a very strong, laminated, recycled particle board. The bracing ply also adds to the soundproofing and thermal mass insulation of the whole structure. “We believe that because of the climate control built into this house, we won’t need any heating or cooling throughout the year and because of our 2.15 kW solar power system, nor will we have any energy costs. In fact, our calculations show that we will have surplus power for the grid,” said Sepp. “The home also has a 130,000-litre water tank, filled solely from roof runoff, which provides all the water needs of the home’s occupants. This water is subsequently treated by way of a special filtration system that uses filter and mineral stones

66 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

What has been your most challenging project in recent times? The house at Quedjinup has been challenging from the point of view of sourcing some of the material. Because of my background of building houses in Queensland, I wasn’t going to not build a cyclone-proof home but I had to really search for the materials I needed. I’ve done some pretty radical projects in the past. The Australian Shearing Shed at Rockhampton’s Heritage Village in central Queensland was probably my most biggest and challenging project so far. The roof was about 15,000 square metres and floor area was about 1000 square metres. The trusses had to be hand-built on the ground instead of being made in a factory and no company wanted to take it on so I did it. We had a car park full of timber and had to make trusses to span 15 metres and 15 metres in the air. More relevant to WA, my plumber brother and I have recently built a two-storey house on the side of a mountain. We designed the whole house to be resistant to a bush fire by providing a sprinkler system that can flood the whole of the outside of the house with water from tanks stored on the top deck. Are there particular types of structures that you prefer to build? For me, it’s more about the domestic market and I’m a craftsman passionate about timber and that side of it really works for me. I do have a commercial licence but unless a project came along that included a sustainable design of some sort, it’s not something that interests me. What activities are you involved in outside of work? I surf, do yoga, play the Indian flute, love reading good books and socialising with good people. Practically everything is based in and around the ocean. That’s my lifeline and I’m a happy camper.


The whole structure is uniquely elevated and supported by a Mega Anchor system which can be used on sites of any contour.

Solatube® Daylighting Systems and magnetic energy. “There is a requirement that because there is town water to the block, that supply had to be connected to the house which we have done, but we only use that water to service the two toilets,” said Sepp. “Our taps, showers and toilet systems are very energy-efficient with the toilet cisterns also capable of receiving water runoff from the sink basins. “Irrigation for the garden actually comes from the entire house. The sewage system we have is a Health Department WA and Council-approved, above-ground system from Taylex which recycles the entire grey and black sewage to the above-ground irrigation system for our organic food production for our own consumption. “LED lights are fitted throughout the house and these are estimated to save 70% of normal lighting costs. As this point in time, we are in the process of having our home rated for thermal performance by means of a Life Cycle Assessment Programme specifically for measuring and improving the sustainability of buildings. “In the meantime, we know that we have a very cost-effective and energy-efficient home well up off the ground. The proof of the pudding is in the eating and anyone living in the house through the summer would have noticed the difference,” said Sepp. BC Sepp Hock: 0424 480 686,

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P: (08) 9731 0250 M: 0409 010 609 E: The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 67


Catalina Estate Thousands of homebuyers are signing up to live in Satterley’s brand new Catalina Estate as the north-coastal corridor continues to be one of Australia’s fastest growing areas. // words darcy farrell // images courtesy of satterley group

WA’s popular northern strip is out-selling the southern corridor 2 to 1 with West Australians attracted to the healthy and relaxing beach lifestyle. About 2000 potential buyers have now registered their interest to buy at Catalina Estate, located between Mindarie and Burns Beach. More than 2500 home lots are to be built on the near-ocean site which will become home to 8000 people. It will be a ten-year project with the first 24 lots going on the market within the next few weeks. This beachside development, by the Satterley Property Group for the Tamala Park Regional Council, is set to be a premium, elegant and connected community with innovative, outstanding planning techniques. Satterley chief executive, Nigel Satterley, said Catalina Estate was a unique opportunity to be part of an exciting, new master-planned project.




68 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

A major point of difference is the clever concept of having three distinctive precincts. There will be Catalina Beach, Catalina Central and Catalina Grove. An impressive structure plan will ensure that the 180-hectare master-planned estate will set high standards of quality and excellence. “We will be striving for world best-practice in sustainability and will be promoting innovation in the areas of water conservation and management, clean power generation and the provision of IT infrastructure. “There will be many firsts, including a green link providing a safe, attractive and efficient pedestrian and cycleway system four kilometres long, making it perfect for those who enjoy the great outdoors. “The green link will stretch from the Clarkson train station to the beach. Residents can traverse the entire development in family-friendly surroundings, encircled by the natural ecosystem,” said Nigel. More than ten per cent of Catalina is dedicated to landscaped parks and conservation areas where much of the native bushland has been retained, as a home to the resident population of cockatoos and other wildlife. The Satterley Property Group is well known for its commitment to conservation and has worked closely with environmentalists to ensure native fauna and flora are protected during Catalina’s development. Before the clearing and major earthworks started, plants


More than ten per cent of Catalina is dedicated to landscaped parks and conservation areas where much of the native bushland has been retained, as a home to the resident population of cockatoos and other wildlife.

that were identified as valuable to the habitat were carefully prepared for lifting and moving and then relocated to parks and reserves within the development. Some 110 grass trees were replanted, many of which were hundreds of years old. Seeds were also collected from the area to propagate new plants and to be used in re-seeding programs. The local wildlife consisting of reptiles, small mammals and insects, were all professionally trapped and relocated. This approach will continue throughout the whole development, creating a new landscape that integrates environmentally-responsible designs with the needs of a new community. The natural theme will flow into the nearby Neerabup National Park which is an added attraction of Catalina. This master-planned estate gives residents easy access to Mindarie Marina with its cafés, restaurants and boat ramp; Ocean Keys Shopping Centre; Neerabup Business Centre; numerous schools and the northern rail expansion which provides a direct CBD rail link. The fresh, new estate will be served by a plethora of schools and colleges including Peter Moyes Anglican, Catholic, Baptist and Mindarie, as well as numerous pre-school and K-Year 12 government schools. The Tamala Park Regional Council and Satterley Property Group are going all-out to achieve a world-class practice in urban design and sustainability. Nigel Satterley said the bar will be set high so that Catalina becomes well known for its superior community and family amenities, environmental merit and cutting-edge planning. “The same expertise which has made Brighton and close to 150 other Satterley estates so successful will be utilised to make the Catalina project as good as it gets,” he said. “We are pleased to have the opportunity of pulling together

all the best qualities learnt from our 30 years of experience in this north-coastal locality and blending them with new ideas and the latest planning techniques. “Above all, the Tamala Park coalition of leading, local-government councils and Satterley will be working hard to make land and land-home packages affordable. “As most people are aware, with interest rates steady and rents rising, there is no better time to build. “It’s a buyers’ market and when the first lots come up for sale at Catalina, the prices will reflect our desire for affordability,” said Nigel. Lots at Catalina Central, the first precinct to be built, are expected to start from only $220,000 and will range in area from 383 to 658 square metres. Tamala Park Regional Council, which owns the Catalina land, consists of seven separate local governments – the Cities of Stirling, Wanneroo, Joondalup, Perth and Vincent and the Towns of Cambridge and Victoria Park. Twenty-four leading builders have already confirmed their strong interest in participating in the first display village and they will offer a wide range of homes designed for the variety of lot sizes. The first sites to be completed will be near Marmion Avenue and Neerabup Road and in close proximity to established retail facilities. The Satterley Property Group was appointed by the Tamala Park Regional Council to provide project management and sales and marketing services. Expressions of interest for land sales should be directed to Danuta Wnek at (08) 9368 9068 or 0418 918 419. BC Satterley Property Group: (08) 9368 9000,

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 69


A very personal service at Middleton Homes // words keith mexsom // images courtesy of middleton homes

Since Middleton Homes was established in 1998 by father and son builders, Tony and Vince Middleton, this design and construction company has remained very much a family-run business with a reputation for faultless workmanship and the very best of personal service. By 2006, the firm’s order books were so full that Tony and Vince needed a hand and so hired Tony’s other son, Chris Middleton, and Richard Spradbury as part of the team. That team now numbers some 16 very experienced and talented design, building and management employees serving the Perth and the south-western region as far south as Margaret River. Vince Middleton runs the south-west side of the business from an office at Busselton, opened in 2008, while Chris Middleton and Richard, the firm’s General Manager, are based at Perth. Before joining Middleton Homes, Richard had been employed in the home-building industry for nearly twenty years, having previously worked for BGC and home builders, Content Living. “Vince has been our main Director. He’s had his builder’s ticket since the mid-nineties and he was a supervisor before that, so he has more than 25 years building experience,” said Richard. “All of the staff at Middleton Homes are proud of the fact that they have contributed to the firm’s growth over the years. They




72 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

are encouraged to have their own ideas and if someone comes up with a new way of doing things that works, we encourage that. “Indeed, as an example of the firm’s great teamwork, Middleton Homes won the 2011 Home of the Year in the MBA South-West Awards, for a house built at Yallingup. “And while the number of builds we do per year have been going up, it has never been about numbers with us, but doing well with the numbers we have – maintaining the time frames and quality of workmanship,” said Richard. “To do that, Middleton Homes limits the number of sites each of our supervisors looks after, to less than ten. That’s one of our strengths. It means that they actually get the time to regularly monitor each site properly. “And all of our supervisors are over 55 with at least 30 years experience in the industry, so they are very experienced high-end guys. We also have a construction manager who is a fully registered builder and he calls in on every site at least fortnightly to ensure that each of the homes is built on time and meets our high standards. “Middleton Homes does not have any display homes or standard models or anything like that because we never build the same home twice. The client we cater for is the client who wants an individual home that is unique to them,” said Richard. “Sometimes, a client has a sketch on a bit of paper or just a broad idea and our in-house designer, Owen Valli, will visit the client’s block to get a feel for what the client wants and then he makes a plan which goes back and forth until they get it right. So it is completely out-of-the-box stuff. “A client may come to us with an architect’s plan or plans that are already done, and we can build from those. Sometimes, they will have a premium plan done by a draftsman and we can turn those into working drawings. “We also have a fully qualified interior designer on our staff


Erins Isle (left and above), Laithlain (right)

and her advice is provided as part of the service. So it’s quite a personal and all-encompassing process with Middleton Homes,” said Richard. “We have really found a niche for owners who don’t want that project-builder experience. They’ve been with project builders and they’ve seen all the display homes and they haven’t found a home that’s for them, so they really need someone to create that home from the start. “The benefit of doing that through us as the builder, instead of having an architect do it for them, is that we often have a better idea of the practical costs involved. “With the sort of market we are in, we have to be competitive, but there is also a massive fluctuation between many different builders, so some clients actually get lost and decide not to go through a standard, production-line builder and go for a more boutique builder instead. But there are literally a thousand of them in Perth, and which one do you choose? “Our main source of business comes from referrals and we were actually a finalist from about 40 builders in the HIA Customer Service Award last year. We are also a finalist for the Best Customer Service Award in the upcoming MBA awards in March. So personal service, flexible and innovative designs and a desire to build quality homes at affordable prices are the cornerstones of our success at Middleton Homes,” said Richard. “From the design stage to the moment you walk into your new home, you will deal with a dedicated team who offer a reliable and efficient service other builders of mass-produced homes can’t provide. “Middleton Homes has become particularly adept at overcoming the difficulties of tricky blocks with creative and innovative designs that can solve problems associated with narrow or irregularly-shaped blocks, or those restricted by easements and boundary set-backs. “In fact, we have amassed vast experience of building on rear-strata blocks such as in the case of a home recently completed at 58 Gallipoli Street, Lathlain,” said Richard. “Finished just before Christmas 2011, this two-storey home of 370 square metres had to be positioned as a house behind a house on a battleaxe block with very little space in which to work.

“What a lot of designers try to do is fit design A or B onto blocks such as these but, as with our usual approach to these things, Middleton Homes completely designed the house to suit the block. “In so doing, our designer, Owen Valli, laid out the front elevation of the home as a 45 degree diagonal to the length of the block with that diagonal flowing through both the ground and upstairs floors of the home. It is a very clever way of fitting such a large home on such a small block,” said Richard. “The Gallipoli Street home is roofed with tile and constructed of rendered brick with a feature Travertine-marble cladding as a finish to the portico and front-entry elevation. “The owners of the home wanted large, open-plan living spaces with the ultra-modern kitchen opening out onto the timber deck. They certainly had their wish with the kitchen, dining and living area uniquely positioned diagonally to the covered al fresco area. “Rooms positioned on a 45-degree diagonal don’t always show their full aesthetic potential on paper, but when the owners were able to walk through and actually see how it worked, they loved it,” said Richard. “Rooms branching off from the living areas include a study and laundry, a huge games room which includes a built-in bar, and an unusual, sunken media room. Apart from the tiled wet areas, the downstairs flooring is of Yarra while the upstairs is carpeted. “All four bedrooms are located upstairs with the master bedroom’s en suite continuing the open-plan concept with the spa bath overlooking, and very much a part of, the bedroom. There is also a second bathroom and WC for the floor’s other occupants to use. “The design came about as a result of a lot of work between the owners, our designer, Chris Middleton and I,” said Richard. “All in all, it was quite an achievement to incorporate all of such a complex home design on such a small block, in a way that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. “It all worked out really well and the owners are very happy with it,” said Richard. BC Middleton Homes: (08) 9472 0100

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 73


Retirement village a first for WA // words keith mexsom // images stephen nicholls photography




74 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

Since its beginnings in 1952, Stockland Corporation Limited has grown to become one of Australia’s leading diversified property groups, actively managing a portfolio that includes residential communities, retirement villages, shopping centres, commercial and industrial properties. Stockland Retirement Living which owns and operates 63 established retirement villages in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia, has recently started the development of Affinity Village, the first new Stockland village to be built in Western Australia. Located within the Settlers Hills estate in Baldivis, Affinity Village will consist of a Community Centre and some 220 contemporary, independent living units (ILUs) set in more than nine hectares of landscaped grounds – all situated across Safety Bay Road from the Stockland Baldivis shopping centre. The Community Centre, of some 1580 square metres, is expected to be the first retirement living building in Australia to achieve a 5-star rating under the Green Building Council of Australia’s Public Building pilot tool. Benefits will include an estimated, operating-cost reduction, due to energy and water efficiency, of some $30,000 per year. The Centre will include its own town hall, a doctor’s room, a nursing station, a salon, a mail and media room, a gym, a billiard room, bar, cafe, internal swimming pool, a bowling green and a library with computer facilities. The whole complex will be secured by both vehicle and pedestrian gates with individual swipe-card entry. There are to be seven variations of unit throughout the village, each differing as to whether or not they are one or two-storey; and by way of internal and external colour schemes, cladding finishes, the number of bedrooms (2 or 3) and bathrooms (1 or 2) and carports and garages with one or two bays. There are also multiple front façade differences which can include a choice of gable roof ends, brick blade walls or brick piers with posts.


However, all units share some common construction basics such as double-brick walls, timber roof frames and metal roofs and each contain similar kitchens, laundries, fixtures and fittings throughout. Where necessary, design provisions have been made to cater for the aged and less able by way of such variations as wider doors and flush thresholds. The Community Centre and the individual units have been designed by T & Z Architects with Wood & Grieve as the engineer for the project and leading landscape architectural firm, Plan E, is the Village’s landscape consultant. T & Z Architects is a medium-sized practice which has provided architectural, master planning and project management services throughout Western Australia since 1965. Their expertise has been applied to a wide range of

projects, including commercial offices, shopping centres and retail spaces, multi-unit residential, interior fit-outs, education and age-care facilities, civil and industrial. The Village is to be constructed in six stages by the experienced, commercial builder, Gallacher Pty Ltd; a privately owned building company that has been operating throughout the Perth metropolitan and selected country areas of Western Australia for many years. The first group of 13 ILUs, including four display homes, was started as stage one on 27 April 2011 and completed on 31 October 2011. The four display homes and a sales office were officially opened at the site with an open day function on 12 November 2011. The final 32 units of stage one, including all associated roadworks and landscaping, were completed on the 2nd

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Located within the Settlers Hills estate in Baldivis, Affinity Village will consist of a Community Centre and some 220 contemporary, independent living units.

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The Community Centre is expected to be the first retirement living building in Australia to achieve a 5-star rating. of March 2012. Each of these units is of one storey with an average home living area of 150 square metres. Work on the Community Centre started on 7 November 2011 and this is expected to be completed in August 2012. Matthew Turner is Gallacher’s Director responsible for Affinity Village. He explained that there were some challenges, from a construction point of view, that had to be met from the outset. “The main services to the site were not available at the start of construction because the civil contractors had not yet reached the site with mains water, drainage and power,” said Matthew. “Consequently, we could only build the units to a certain point, ready for the installation of gas and power and, in the meantime, we had to provide water and power from tanks and generators for our own use. Also, stage one has been a semi-prototype deal where some items such as linen cupboards and windows were added or removed as construction progressed. “Nevertheless, we’ve managed to build 45 homes, including in-ground works ahead of programme,” said Matthew. BC Gallacher: (08) 9443 3566 T & Z Architects: (08) 9481 0685 Stockland Retirement Living: (02) 9035 2000

Complete plumbing services Wizard WA prides itself on being a complete supplier of plumbing services for all size projects, large and small. From project management, to large scale civil works, to final fit-outs and everything in between, we have extensive experience in all areas of plumbing and hydraulics. Our ethos is to apply the utmost level of quality and service to all work we do. The Settler’s East multi-unit retirement village is just one example of our capabilities and we take satisfaction from having forged excellent relationships with everyone involved in the project. For any enquires please contact us at (08) 93375060 or

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PH: 1300 360 432 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 77


Making the new fit the old at Broome // words keith mexsom // images cado lee photography




78 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

Unlike some of the country’s larger centres, Broome can be a bit fussy about maintaining its heritage despite its urgent need for more buildings. For instance, the design for a new, two-storey block of commercial premises to be built at Dampier Terrace in Broome’s Chinatown, had to have the finished appearance of a series of smaller, interconnected buildings rather than one, larger structure. “It’s very prescriptive in Broome, especially in Chinatown, as to what can be built – not just the materials but the form as well,” said Oldfield Knott Architects, the designers of the project. “We were not allowed to have a single large roof even though it is really a single structure. As a result, we have a series of four pitched roofs, with their gable ends fronting the streetscape, because this is far more representative of the twentieth-century style. “The building also incorporates verandas constructed over the footpath. These are encouraged by the Shire to provide shade and shelter from the rain,” said Oldfield Knott Architects. Started in September 2010 and completed in late 2011, the ground floors of the retail units were destined to be occupied by a photographer, an art gallery, jewellers and a coffee shop while the upper floor is tenanted by WA Newspapers and a local radio station. In the main, the building is constructed of lightweight steel


The design had to have the finished appearance of a series of smaller, interconnected buildings rather than one, larger structure.

19 Hunter St Broome

Phone 9192 2427 Mobile 0418 908 052 EC004421 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 79

THE BUILDERS CHOICE commercial residential

“Access to the rear of the site was limited and, at high tide, the water often lapped the rear of our site sheds, and the sand flies were insane.”

framing with some structural walls, like those around the lift shaft, built of re-enforced block. The roofing and wall cladding is of Colorbond Custom Orb over steel stud framing. Construction was undertaken by the long-established building firm, Parnall, which, since 1956, has been building commercial facilities such as primary and secondary schools, offices, retail outlets, police stations, shopping centres, university facilities, entertainment theatres, hospitals, information centres, supermarkets and aged-care homes. As well as its wide range of commercial building services, Parnall’s team of experienced professionals also undertakes residential new home construction, home extension and renovations. The company also provides design and construct packages, construction management and project management services. The award-winning company has offices at Wangaratta and Gippsland in Victoria and established an office at Broome in January 2009. Parnall also operates in the states of Queensland and Tasmania, and the company has recently been awarded a contract to supply buildings to Antarctica for the Australian Antarctic Division. Iain Edmondson, Parnall’s Managing Director for the past

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seven years, has described the construction of the Dampier Terrace premises as reasonably straightforward, apart from a few relatively minor problems. “The biggest of these was that the construction team had to work around some high-voltage power lines running through the site. For various reasons, the lines could not be de-activated until six months into construction,” said Iain. “Access to the rear of the site was limited and, at high tide, the water often lapped the rear of our site sheds, and the sand flies were insane. “Of course, the distances from our supply sources also meant that lead times were greater so our programming had to be done with greater accuracy, but that came together very well in the end. “Parnall also carried out the fit-out of the WA News premises and that was an interesting project because we had to soundproof the radio broadcast studios so that the incoming planes could not be heard. The final approach to Broome runway is directly over the project,” said Iain. BC Oldfield Knott Architects: (08) 9381 6788 Parnall: (03) 5721 6480

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A finely-finished home at Floreat // words keith mexsom // images serena pearce – code lime photography



Founded in February 2010, Silk Constructions specialises in designs for single and two-storey homes, the building of legacy and architect-designed homes and extensions and renovations. The company also undertakes commercial office and retail fit-outs, providing a high quality finish and service with minimal disruption to work premises. The Directors of Silk Constructions, Andrew Cox and Brian Bartrop, have more than 20 years combined experience in the building and property valuation industry. Having managed numerous commercial and residential developments, renovations and new home construction projects in the past, Andrew has the kind of invaluable insider expertise that can add value to any project. And Brian is there to ensure those projects are delivered on time and to budget with all suppliers and contractors meeting the highest standards of quality and workmanship. Speaking of which, Silk Constructions has just concluded its second year of operations with the showing of its latest, luxury home at 17 Athlone Road, Floreat. Comprising five bedrooms, three bathrooms, two powder rooms and built-in furniture, the rendered-brick home, finely finished in stone, glass and wood, was built in just less than 12 months. There are so many unique aspects to this home but perhaps the most obvious upon entry, are the luxurious golds and blacks of the American, walnut imported from Virginia to grace the whole of the

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 81


It is probably the outdoor entertainment area located beneath the cedar-lined ceiling of a pagoda-style structure that best defines the functionality of this family-orientated home.


82 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

downstairs floor of this home. Finished with clear polyurethane, the walnut continues on forever from the entry hall through to the kitchen, dining and living areas. Another feature unique to this home is that of the children’s wing off a hallway seemingly separate from the main living spaces. The hallway runs practically the whole length of the house and connects the three children’s bedrooms, their bathroom and the spacious laundry room. The bedrooms are also roomy with loads of storage space provided by walk-in wardrobes in two of the bedrooms, and a built-in in the other. While this area seems relatively isolated from the rest of the house, the children are actually only a few short steps from the kitchen and dining area so the isolation is illusory. “But the kid’s wing works very well especially when we have some large parties here for the kids,” said Andrew Cox. Speaking of parties, it is probably the outdoor entertainment area located beneath the cedar-lined ceiling of a pagoda-style structure that best defines the functionality of this family-orientated home. Inside, the home has a kitchen, complete with a waterfall kitchen bench topped with Caesarstone and the large scullery and plenty of bench and storage space. It has the home theatre, large dining and lounge areas and then it has the ceiling-height, glass stacking doors that lead from all this to the outdoor entertainment area and almost a repeat of the kitchen, dining and lounge facilities…except, of course, for the adjacent pool, the fitted barbecue and the large gas heater for those cooler evenings. The partying, holiday, relaxing atmosphere of this outdoor area is enhanced further by plenty of guest seating within splashing distance of the pool. An outside toilet is also available to wet


bathers and a large workshop and storeroom, adjacent to the double garage, is accessible from the side of the house. Back inside, and treads of the same American walnut lead to the carpeted, upper floor and its area of retreat that, like the previously described children’s wing, seems not to be a part of the house at all. The spacious main bedroom which extends from one end of this retreat, contains a massive walk-in wardrobe and large en suite complete with a feature Victoria and Albert bath. Another bedroom or office completes the floor plan. The home is of course fully insulated and it has two air conditioning units to individually serve both levels. However, the design of the home is such that the flow-through effect of its spaciousness precludes the need for the units to be used too often.

P: 9371 9722 F: 9371 9744 E:

The home is a Silk Constructions design specifically intended to fulfil both the aspirations of occupants who entertain large and often, as well as meet their need to provide a family-oriented environment. “Our speciality is providing a high-quality product that not only suits a client’s budget, but also his or her lifestyle,” said Andrew. “We listen to what a client wants and then guide them through the entire process from the design stage to final handover. Sometimes, they can be very budget-focussed but basically want to build their dream home and that’s what we do for them. “And being a small company, we can concentrate on just a few projects at a time so any fluctuations in the marketplace are unlikely to affect us,” said Andrew. BC Silk Constructions: (04) 1163 9751,

Ph: (08) 9271 8644 Fax: (08) 92718677 Showroom: 2/18 Drynan Street Bayswater, WA 6053

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 83


A metropolitan masterpiece // words Rhionagh Rowley // images bluejay media

Situated in the heart of the Western Suburbs, this surprising build successfully marries structural elegance with complete sustainability.




Developments & Construction Pty Ltd

84 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

Core Developments and Construction is a family-owned and managed building company that provides a range of construction services. Specialising in house building, renovations, property development and commercial construction, Directors, Darren and Rhonda, have over 25 years experience in the construction industry. They pride themselves on educating their clients in sustainable and cost-saving building practices. The company’s unique approach to development is evident in their preference to use in-house tradesmen to ensure that each build has the same high quality of workmanship. This sort of company structure readily lends itself to speedy, robust delivery with the flexibility needed to respond directly to the project-specific needs of their clients. Darren and Rhonda not only wanted this build to have a strong, traditional family-home feel to it, but also wanted it to uniquely represent them as an impressive custom builder. Sustainability was the buzz-word for this build and despite the block’s lack of northern orientation, the team at Core Developments still took full advantage of cross-flow ventilation, thermal mass and natural light to obtain an 8-Star energy rating. Set on a quiet residential street in Wembley, this two-storey family home stands out from its one-storey colonial-style neighbours. The front of the house is landscaped to perfection using sharp-angled garden beds to reflect the strong masculine lines of the house. The linear facade is softened by the light colour scheme and the strategically-placed, feature lighting that highlights the contrasting sand-coloured brick. The strong, crisp, white front doors open to a sea of bamboo flooring that draws the eye down towards the open-plan living area and out into


the back garden. The bamboo-clad staircase is hidden off to the side so as to not disrupt the flow of the ground-level floor plan. The kitchen is modern, sleek and contemporary. Appliances are hidden away in drawers and cupboards, giving the benches a clean, sleek look. Despite the modern facilities of the kitchen, Darren and Rhonda have not let it become stark or austere. Instead, the warm lighting and welcoming colour scheme makes you feel at home. The upstairs living room opens out onto a private and intimate deck that provides enchanting city views. The unique challenge in the development of this opulent, yet functional, house was the problematic orientation of the block. The 650-square-metre west-facing block was simply not suited to a solar-passive design, something which Darren and Rhonda try to integrate into every home design. They believe that the success of the sustainability concept relies on the selection of the correct building materials and the home’s orientation on the block. The first step towards sustainable living begins at the design stage. Core Developments explore all potential opportunities to use recycled and recyclable materials. This is done by studying building specifications to reduce excess waste. During the construction process, waste is minimised by separating metals, brick and timber for recycling. Despite the east-west orientation of this home, the 8-Star energy rating was achieved primarily through facing the doors and windows towards the east or the north to capture the morning sun, with the western walls being protected with foil insulation in the walls from the afternoon sun. UPVC double-glazed awning windows are strategically placed on the south-western side of the house to catch the all-important mid-afternoon Fremantle Doctor. The unique design of the awning windows provides a better ventilation system, allowing 98% of all air flows into the house. Air movement is the most

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important part of passive cooling. The more you move warm air, the more heat it actually loses. It is for this reason that ceiling fans are the main cooling method within the house. As well as being the greenest, active cooling method available, they also won’t break the budget. As well as cleverly placed windows, LED lights were used to significantly reduce the house’s carbon footprint as well as to reduce energy bills. The LED lights that are installed throughout the house use less power than compact fluorescents and last up to three times longer. Bamboo flooring has been used in the majority of the house. Sustainable in its cultivation, bamboo demands less area for growth than hardwood. The house has been constructed using European design techniques that Darren acquired during his 25 years working in the United Kingdom. Working on commercial projects such as nursing homes, it was important for Darren to make sure the design allowed the building to keep the cold air out and the warm in. These sorts of building practices translated easily into Australian housing design where keeping heat at bay is also a priority. Therefore, it was second nature to Darren to suggest to his clients that by insulating walls and utilising the thermal properties of UPVC double glazing, a sustainable way of living could easily be achieved. This stunning, family home successfully offers relaxed western-suburb living combined with magnificent rear city views. After taking only eight months to build, it has been entered into this year’s Western Australia’s HIA GreenSmart awards in the Custom Built category. BC Core Developments & Construction Pty Ltd: 1300 048 531,

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The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 85


Award winner at Drummond Cove // words keith mexsom

As well as the quality of construction of this Paul Mandosio home, it must have been the fine finishing that most impressed the MBA judges.




86 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

A new home built by PJ Mandosio Homes at 28 Wave Crest Circle, Drummond Cove, 12 kilometres north of Geraldton, has won awards in the Contract Homes $250,000 - $300,000 and the Best Appointed Kitchen categories at the 2011 MBA Midwest Housing Awards. These awards are all the more significant because this is the first home to be built by PJ Mandosio Homes, established by former bricklayer, Paul Mandosio, less than a year before. Paul Mandosio has worked in the construction industry, mostly in the Geraldton area, for more than 20 years – first as a bricklayer apprentice and then, eventually, in business for himself as the principal of PJ Mandosio Bricklaying Contractors and later as PJ Mandosio Bricklaying, subcontracting to local builders. After achieving registration as a builder, Paul founded PJ Mandosio Homes which was registered on 6 August 2010 with the aim of providing architecturally-designed homes of the highest quality in and around the Geraldton area. Situated within a relatively new sub-division of Drummond Cove, one of the more sought-after suburbs of greater Geraldton, this single-storey home of rendered brick was designed by Perth home designers, Archiplan Pty Limited. Since its establishment in 1986, Archiplan has designed more than 2000 homes ranging from small residential units to those valued at more than $3 million. Completed in June 2011, the 310 square-metre, PJ Mandosio home comprises four bedrooms, including a master bedroom with walk-in wardrobe and an en suite of twin basins and a frameless-glass shower screen. A second bathroom serves the additional bedrooms which are of a good size with built-in, double wardrobes. Both bathrooms are finely finished with ceramic tile. All internal walls are of finished plaster and the ceilings are of Gyprock. The bedroom floors are finished with carpet, as is the home theatre floor, while glazed porcelain tiles cover the floors of the entry, passage, laundry and main living areas. The home’s laundry room contains a generous amount of bench


and cupboard space with direct access to the paved clothesline area. The kitchen includes a Caesarstone-topped, waterfall style island bench with twin sinks; a double pantry; a large number of finely-made cupboards and drawers; and neatly-fitting appliances, all of which contribute to its award-winning appointments and functionality. Just as the kitchen area merges easily with that of the dining and living areas, so does the whole of that living space lead to the easily accessible, wrap-around veranda on the home’s northern and western sides. The veranda’s roof overhang, supported by square, wooden posts reminiscent of colonial times, protects the large, outdoor entertainment area from Geraldton’s often harsh environment. The veranda theme is continued on the home’s eastern side as shelter for its distinctive front entry and perpendicular windows of grey glass. The home’s window frames are of aluminium and all internal door frames are steel. Corinthian flush-panel doors are standard throughout the home apart from those providing access to the theatre room which are feature, Corinthian Madison doors. Access from the road to the home’s double garage and its

panel-lift door, is by means of a smartly-laid, brick driveway that continues as a pathway along the northern side of the house to the backyard. The fitting of an Anticon 50mm insulation blanket and R3.5 ceiling Batts beneath the Colorbond roof, together with the installation of split-system air conditioning systems in the main bedroom, theatre and kitchen have facilitated a 5-star energy rating for the home. The other bedrooms are also fitted with ceiling fans. As well as the quality of construction of this Paul Mandosio home, it must have been the fine finishing that most impressed the MBA judges – from the two-coat sand finish of its exterior to the finely-finished kitchen and living areas. In summary, this project stands testament to the high standards, skill and experience of the builder and the result is a beautiful home and extremely happy clients who took it upon themselves to advertise their appreciation in the local newspaper on several occasions. BC PJ Mandosio Homes: (04) 1893 0951 Archiplan: (08) 9242 1818

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The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 87

THE BUILDERS CHOICE industry news & views

Top ten trends for green building // words romilly madew – chief executive, green building council of australia

Australia’s green building sector has come a long way since the first Green-Star rated building was completed in Canberra in 2004. Romilly Madew, Chief Executive of the Green Building Council of Australia, believes green building is fast becoming the norm. Here she presents her top 10 predictions for the built environment in the years to come. Since 2004, the Green Building Council of Australia has certified more than 4.2 million square metres of space, and with 900 member companies is one of the largest green building councils around the world. There are strong indications that the construction industry and the corporate world see green building as an inevitable part of business as usual in immediate future. As is the case now with fire safety standards and disability access, sustainability will soon be taken for granted. It will be ‘just the way we build’. • A recent Jones Lang La Salle global corporate occupier survey found that 64 per cent of respondents believe that sustainability is a critical business issue. • A McGraw Hill Construction report has found that more than half of global construction firms expect to be fully committed to green building by 2013. • The latest Davis Langdon 2011 Construction Sentiment survey found that sustainability was ranked the number one opportunity for the industry over the next five years and one of the major risks included failing to adapt to a carbon-constrained future. Here are my top ten predictions for the built environment. 1. The focus on existing buildings will intensify In the US, the fastest growing rating tool in 2011 was the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Existing Buildings program. Closer to home, policies such as the Australian Government’s Commercial Building Disclosure scheme are already encouraging building owners to upgrade their existing stock. The Australian Financial Review recently said: “the retrofitting of older buildings is no longer an option for owners but a commercial imperative.” To help the industry green its existing stock, the GBCA is developing the Green Star – Performance rating tool, which will assess the operational performance of existing buildings against the nine current Green Star categories. We expect this tool to revolutionise the industry.

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2. Zero net energy designs will gain traction There will be little room for buildings that aren’t carbon neutral, as well as energy, ecology and water positive. Many GBCA members are active in this space. Woods Bagot with Buro Happold have developed an interactive design platform which tracks energy and carbon footprints for design solutions, enabling designers to experiment with different options and start the design process with the question: ‘what can this building do for the environment?’ 3. Building products and materials will become greener The shift to green materials is being driven by life cycle assessments of materials – that is, the impact of a material from the beginning to the end of its life. An emerging trend will be more emphasis on ‘cradle-to-cradle’ thinking, where material purchases are made based on both their first and second lives. Organisations such as InterfaceFLOR, which is recognised as the world’s most sustainable carpet manufacturer, has implemented a take-back and recycling program to ensure its products have a useful ‘second life’. 4. Affordable green will be the norm Many people associate green with higher costs - but that’s changing. New business models, technologies and high performance materials are bringing green within reach. Colonial First State’s Rowan Griffin recently said that there was no longer a premium for green property. “We have already gone to the stage where it’s the norm to be green and energy-efficient, so people expect that out of premium buildings. So it’s more a discount of those that are not energy-efficient and not green,” he said. 5. Energy sources will transform We live in a country with more sunny days than anywhere else on the planet, yet we are lagging behind Asia, Europe and North America in installation of solar photovoltaic panels. Expect this to change, as we begin to see solar, wind and photovoltaics routinely integrated into buildings and used as a building material, rather than simply being installed on top. And many of these renewable energy sources won’t be large. Micro-turbines are already becoming popular in Asia, and we’ll see more Australian innovation in this area as we recognise the benefits of integrated small systems over one giant, geographically remote power source.

THE BUILDERS CHOICE industry news & views

The Australian Institute of Management’s Katitjin Centre with a 6 Star Green Star Education Design v1 rating

6. Building information modelling will become de rigeur Expect a more sophisticated approach to building monitoring as building information modelling (BIM) systems become more comprehensive. BIM will enable cross-disciplinary teams to share knowledge and track data of complex building projects. The project team on 1 Bligh Street in Sydney, for example, employed 3D BIM technology during the design and construction phases. The BIM model brought together more than 30 individual discipline models and all sub-consultants were in part appointed on the basis of their BIM capability. The team found that 3D BIM saved costs, saved construction time, and supported better building performance and control. Furthermore, DEXUS believes BIM also has the capability to generate efficiencies throughout the life of 1 Bligh Street as all the building data is available on hand for the property managers. 7. Government focus on energy efficiency and overall sustainability will improve Governments are stepping up their mandates for green buildings for both their own buildings and the private sector. The desire to reduce carbon emissions by going green will lead more government agencies to require green buildings. New schools and hospitals will be built to the highest environmental standards as community demands and government priorities shift towards sustainability. We currently have more than 100 education projects registered to achieve Green Star ratings – and this is only the tip of the iceberg. 8. Investors will demand greater action on climate change When the GBCA first published The Dollars and Sense of Green Buildings in 2005, little attention was played to the role of investors. Two years later, our revised version tracked an overwhelming change in attitude. Today, the Investor Group on Climate Change warns that investors are monitoring the approach of companies on climate change and carbon pricing, including what they say in the public realm. In fact, 75 per cent of fund managers believe organisations need to integrate

climate change issues into business strategies and set policy commitments on climate change, while 57 per cent of super funds believe companies need to improve their reporting and disclosure on climate change.

9. Blue is the new green It’s not all about energy. Building designers and managers are taking steps to reduce water consumption through the use of water saving fixtures, rainwater recovery systems and innovative new water technologies. Lot 12, TradeCoast Central, for instance, gained a Green Star innovation point for its shared, precinct non-potable water storage and distribution system. The system reduces potable water consumption by 80 per cent – the equivalent of more than 10,000 litres a day – and the only potable water used within the precinct is for kitchens, showers and hand basins. 10. The demand for green communities, cities and infrastructure will grow Beyond the building envelope, we’re already seeing the conversation shifting - and we are looking at how to green our communities and cities. The penny has finally dropped: buildings are part of larger systems. In the future we will no longer view our buildings in isolation, but as interconnected pieces of a larger community. The GBCA’s Green Star – Communities project is driving this shift. When released in mid year, Green Star - Communities rating tool will be Australia’s first independent, transparent, national scheme able to assess and certify the sustainability of community-level projects. The Green Star - Communities rating tool will usher in a new era of sustainable development, one which looks beyond environmental efficiencies in the built environment and looks at how we build entire communities that are liveable and sustainable. BC Green Building Council of Australia: (02) 8239 6200,

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 89


Less is more TE



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// words rhionagh rowley // images robert frith – acorn photography

As populations continue their climb and resources begin to dwindle, development and design must march ahead in an eco-friendly and sustainable way. When one imagines a home that is internally sub-dividable, universally accessible and socially sustainable, one cannot help to imagine a rather large, bare, open-plan warehouse type of design. Not for architectural firm, Officer Woods. Co-founded by directors, Jennie Officer and Trent Woods, in 2007, Officer Woods is a dedicated architectural practice that enjoys the opportunity to innovate with design. When they were approached to design a group of four, sustainable dwellings on a large suburban block in Fremantle, the team met this eco-challenge head-on. The brief called for four houses that were socially-sustainable, flexible and affordable at all stages of design, construction and occupation. Co-founder of Officer Woods, Trent Woods, explained that the design focuses on the provision of a flexible planning model that privileges social housing principles; multi-generational occupation, universal accessibility, home office adaptability and internal subdivision to accommodate growing families. “The design was inspired by the desire of our client, Earthcare Development, to build a project which reflected their objectives and values for holistic, low maintenance sustainable design,” said Mr Woods. The block sits at a hefty 1472 square metres and living space utilises the majority at 715 square metres. The site strategy utilises solar-passive principles, with compact building forms and plot ratios to maintain generous outdoor spaces. The project relies on materials being left in their natural state; Zincalume and fibre-cement sheet external cladding, rammed masonry walls and raw concrete floors. Black oxide was added to the exposed concrete slab to increase its thermal performance, and local Jarrah veneer used in kitchens to complement the recycled floorboards and decking. Low-embodied-energy mass walls on the southern boundaries provide thermal storage as well as retaining, acoustic and fire separation. The rammed, recycled masonry composition of the northern and southern walls double as retaining walls and are a key component of the structural design. They cool in summer and retain heat during the cooler months through their high thermal mass. Director of Imagin Constructions, Peter Hobbs, the building company for the project, explains that since the build wasn’t a normal, brick-and-tile construction, it


These houses prove that interesting architectural ideas can be built cheaply and sustainably. was still relatively easy to construct. “The most challenging part of the build was to ensure crisp junctions between all the various claddings used throughout the four builds. Apart from that, it was a typical build,” said Peter. Peter believes that these houses prove that interesting architectural ideas can be built cheaply and sustainably. Three of the four houses are universally accessible with all ground-floor bathrooms housing fixtures and fittings to suit universal and aged-care requirements, wall framing is ready to accept safety grab-rails and all pathways and doors accommodate wheelchair access. Not a drop was wasted during the build, with numerous materials salvaged from the previous house. Roof tiles, old concrete blocks and even Jarrah floorboards were rescued from the old house and put to good use. Traditional, Fremantle limestone was extracted from the site and used to form pivotal parts of the landscaping, intertwining the area’s history with the new modern design. The flexible room layout is an interesting feature of these homes and lends itself to growth and change where traditional fixed-wall homes do not. Growth is accommodated by anticipating change and providing designs with inherent flexibility that facilitate internal partitioning, allow for an additional bedroom and study, or internal subdivision into dual key residences with aged-care and universal accessibility facilities. Garages are finished and serviced to allow for adaptation into offices with site planning that maintains the distinction between work and family life. The houses have simple volumes with no built-in cabinetwork in the living areas which allows for a variety of room configurations. They have full-height, internal doors and minimal trim, skirtings and applied finishes, and the roof is a single pitch to simplify roof drainage. Not impressed yet? Not only do these homes change shape,

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92 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

accommodate every type of resident and boast two generations of recyclable materials, but they also produce their own electricity. The PV solar energy system allows all four residences to be electrically-sustainable. A photovoltaic array has been incorporated in the living room skylights which are positioned and angled to optimise power production and sized at 2 kW to offset the majority of domestic power consumption. Adhering to the ethos of waste not, want not, the majority of the mature trees on the site were retained, including native peppermint trees along the western and northern boundary, and a tipuana in one of the courtyards. Landscape design and installation was provided by Earthcare Landscapes who were very sensitive to this aspect of the project as any new planting that was done was primarily native vegetation. A large flame tree was relocated from the middle of the site to the front setback and, true to form, each house was provided with a raised vegetable bed. Each house possesses high-efficiency lighting, a 3500-litre rainwater harvesting system which is plumbed to toilets and washing machines, as well as a double-plumbing system for grey water recycling. Interaction with the area and local community was an important factor when designing transport entry and exit points. Vehicle and pedestrian entries are separated to enhance safety, security and legibility and a ramped pedestrian access maintains universal accessibility to all dwellings. The development prides itself on its 7-star energy rating and its socially sustainable definition. Ms Officer says that social sustainability is achieved by maximising the density of an existing locality which has high amenity. In addition, the dual-key planning allows for the density to double in the future and for blended live-work arrangements. BC Officer Woods Architects: (08) 6365 8069, Peter Hobbs Architect: 0408 080 462


Feel the sand between your toes // words rhionagh rowley // images courtesy of springate constructions

With the highest standard of finish and fit-out, the residence showcases outstanding quality and craftsmanship throughout.



Revel in the sumptuous decadence of this illustrious modern residence in Western Australia’s tranquil south-west. Modern, sleek and luxurious are the words that come to mind when describing this beach-front home built by Springate Constructions on Caves Road, Marybrook. Covering 1000 square metres, no expense has been spared on this two-storey family home. With the highest standard of finish and fit-out, the residence showcases outstanding quality and craftsmanship throughout. Owner and Director of Springate Constructions, Jason Springate, explains that the house was designed with the idea of entertaining extended family in mind as the client has children and grandchildren that will be regularly using the house. “It’s the type of place that is capable of housing quite a few people, but is designed in such a way that they all have their own space,” said Jason. The home was quite complicated to build with significant detailing, particularly in the large stone and glass lobby. Jason explains, “It’s a resort style of house that has more commercial features in it and utilises larger-style building techniques.” The development was by no means of lightweight construction, with a combination of masonry, steel and concrete used within the building. Although the design was relatively simple, a lot of attention to detail was required. Jason and his team worked extensively with the client on the project, meeting with them every other weekend on the site over two-and-a-half years. Consequently, they struck up a very good relationship.

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 93



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94 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

“We had to tailor the build to their needs but, in the end, the project turned out extremely well and the clients were very happy,” said Jason. The house begins as a single storey before expanding into a double storey that faces the beach. Together with the demolition of the previous asbestos house, there was a relatively large amount of earth work that needed to be done, as well as retaining walls that needed to be built. The home sits abreast a winding, semi-circular driveway set in landscaped gardens. The ample, five-car garage blends seamlessly into the grounds thanks to its dark wood roller door, while the walkway up to the front of the house draws the eye across to the Zen-like pond that is peppered with natural, rectangular stepping stones. The perfectly-manicured lawn helps sympathise the house with its surroundings as well as acting as a pathway down the side of the house and into the generous backyard. The large, glass-panelled front door swings open to reveal a long and airy entrance that leads towards another set of wood-framed double doors. These then open onto a large expanse of polished-concrete flooring and a succession of natural granite feature columns that arch overhead, highlighting the immense, double-storey glass lobby. The fully-smart-wired house is equipped with fully-automated lighting and air conditioning controlled by an internal CBUS system. The open-plan dining, living and kitchen areas have minimalistic and modern, white finishes accentuated by natural wood beams and stacked granite feature walls. A central void above the dining area reveals


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a mezzanine on the second storey and showcases a selection of large George Nelsons, hanging lights. The kitchen counter tops are made of a white Caesarstone that merge effortlessly with the bright, white walls. Beyond the kitchen is a bespoke cedar and glass temperature-controlled wine storage, back-lit in elegant, soft blue lighting that is capable of holding hundreds of bottles of wine, perfect for any occasion. The black and chrome Miele appliances dot the expanse of white wall in the kitchen, while the jarrah cabinets hide away everyday appliances and kitchenware. A fully-fitted large scullery with food preparation area is perfect for in-house entertaining. The downstairs al fresco also boasts a crisp, white, stone kitchen with an in-built, commercial pizza oven. The relaxing outdoor lounge area looks onto the fully-reticulated, lush landscaped gardens that are just steps away from the pristine beach. Off the living area, lies a luxurious library lined with jarrah bookcases and a granite-housed fireplace takes dominance in the centre of the room.

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personal profile

jason springate

You’ve been involved in the construction industry for quite a while, how exactly did you get to where you are today? I moved out from the UK 17 years ago with an Honours Degree in Building Surveying, a Diploma in Civil Engineering and a Diploma in Building Studies. I attended college in the south-east of England and went to university in the Midlands. I’ve worked as a professional for eleven years in Australia, for several large engineering and commercial building companies, before registering as a builder six years ago. I started Springate Constructions a year later, so it’s safe to say I have quite a lot of experience in the industry. How did you decide to change from engineering work to becoming a builder? It was a natural progression from engineering to building, so I’m still using the same skill-set as when I was working as an engineer. Some of the projects are quite large so my civil and structural engineering skills do come into play quite a lot. I wanted to start a life in the south-west of WA and I saw there was a demand for construction professionals in the area, so I took advantage of that opening in the market. The work that I was doing in engineering was quite large-scale which was more suited to moving around the country on different projects – something that I wasn’t keen on doing. I wanted to settle down and start a family and a move into building seemed like the right decision. Do you think your previous qualifications give you an advantage over other builders? I definitely think that because I have such an extensive list of qualifications, it brings peace of mind to the client. I studied for eight years which is quite different to many builders who come from more of a trade background. I’ve also spent a substantial amount of time in the industry and having the skill-set and the qualifications that I have provides an all round professional service to clients, which is especially important to jobs that are quite large contracts. It’s important for the client to be confident in my capabilities.

96 The TheBuilders BuildersChoice ChoiceMagazine Magazine––March March2012 2012 96

As Springate Constructions services the south-west area of Western Australia, what makes it so unique? We specialise in boutique, high-end residential. I feel we’re widely known for our contemporary and innovative homes, and we offer a customised building service with the highest level of finish to all our clients. We’ve also established long-lasting relationships with many designers and architects that work in the region. How involved are you in the construction process? I am fully involved in each project. We do a lot of design and construct work but we also work with architects and designers and do build-only packages, so we tailor ourselves to the needs of the client. If the client prefers a design and construct package, then we engage and manage the design team required to carry out the entire design. What projects are you currently working on? At the moment we’re working on a winery and two large homes that are all situated around the Dunsborough/Margaret River area and are all large multi-million-dollar builds. I don’t like to take on too many projects as I feel like I can’t maintain the high level of service and quality of finish that I need and want to give my clients. I don’t like the company to be stretched too thin. What sort of accolades has Springate Constructions been awarded? In 2010, we won the Master Builders Association’s Best Contract Home in the south-west region over $2 million, for a project in Old Dunsborough. We also achieved Excellence in Construction on a Challenging Site, Excellence in Glazing and Excellence in Plastering. In 2011 we took out the MBA’s President’s Award for Best New Builder and won Best Contract Home in the south-west region $1.5 - $2.5 million, for a project in Dunsborough on Geographe Bay Road. Again, we achieved Excellence in Floor & Wall Tiling, Glazing and Best Appointed Bathroom.

THE BUILDERS CHOICE industry news & views

With the highest standard of finish and fit-out, the residence showcases outstanding quality and craftsmanship throughout.

The west wing of the home contains four ample bedrooms that look out onto the central pond, all boasting eye-catching polished concrete and each with luxuriously-appointed en suites. The definite stand-out bedroom is the bunk room that houses four, built-in bunk beds built into a polished-concrete frame. Upstairs lays a pristine master bedroom with large en suite and enviably-sized walk-in wardrobe and raked ceilings. The master suite opens out onto the generous deck with views into the lush garden below and the beach beyond. A large viewing gallery overlooks both the lobby and the living area and leads to a

fully-fitted jarrah office that takes in the expansive views. The home is a nominee for Best Contract Home between $3 million and $6 million in the upcoming 2012 MBA South West Awards to be held at Bunker Bay in March. Jason is ecstatic with the end result and that all the elements came together to produce such a high-quality, luxurious resort-style house that his client now thoroughly enjoys. BC Springate Constructions: 0400 066 664,

LEON MESSINA 0414 400 506

T (08) 9249 8686 F (08) 9249 8788 E U6, 354 Victoria Road MALAGA WA 6090

Coloured Glass Splashbacks New Kitchens I Any Image to Glass Bathrooms I Mirrors & Robes Unlimited Colours I And much more... 11 Stuart Street, Bunbury WA 6230 P: 08 9791 2558 M: 0417 912 588 F: 08 9791 5839 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 97


Majestic Modernity An Attadale builder and his wife wanted a house that was not only a great entertaining space, but also a liveable, comfortable space for their growing family. // words rhionagh rowley // images be productions (benjamin gregory)

The design incorporated a view of the pool from every main area of the home.




98 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

As Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.” The same can be said for Viva Development’s co-director, Daniel Scafetta’s new double-storey home in Attadale. Sitting on a 922-square-metre block with panoramic city, river and hill views, the house boasts two floors of spacious, warm, yet modern, living. Daniel and his wife Daniela bought the block four years ago when a 1948 cottage home sat on it. They lived in the mid-century house until they knocked it down to make way for their new family home. Daniel has always lived south of the river. Originally from Spearwood, he’s also lived in Beeliar, Melville, Kardinya and now in Attadale, an area in which Daniel can see himself and his family staying for a long time. The build took two years to complete, including a six-month pre-planning process when designs had to be sent to the council for approval before construction could start. Daniel and Daniela knew exactly what they wanted, modern contemporary, but with a warm and welcoming feel. “Being a builder, I like to be kept up to date with all the modern style homes and that’s exactly what we were after. We wanted it large enough to accommodate a growing family,” said Daniel. Daniel explained that when he designed the house, he took into account what the elevation was going to look like, as well as the engineering side of things. “I feel like I’ve done a good job minimising cost, purely through the design,” he said. The way that the upper floor rests on the bottom floor is simple but


effective. Even though, from the front of the house, there looks like there is quite a lot of hangover and cantilevering along with different brickwork heights and lines, Daniel said the construction was relatively simple. Daniel wanted to incorporate certain materials into the design and layout process, such as the marine-ply timber lining and feature sandstone on the exterior walls. The polished porcelain tiles sweep through the home giving the floor a luxury-hotel feel. Luckily, the block faces north and is in a fortuitous position to bathe in the sought-after, winter sun. Daniel acquired a feel for where certain rooms should be placed from living in the original home. The previous house had a patio that faced south and was doused in strong sunlight all year round, something that Daniel was sure to rectify with the new build. The al fresco now sits on the north-east side of the home and not at the back of the home. This purposeful placing was to ensure that the outdoor area didn’t receive the full brunt of the sun - especially during the summer months. The design of the al fresco area means that it is able to be utilised at all times of the year. Being a family home that has two young girls running around, the house works incredibly well in keeping the family unit close together. Daniel designed the bedroom layout so that the girls’ bedrooms were in the same area as the master bedroom but still had their own play/study area, so Mum and Dad could keep a watchful eye on them. The garage was placed on the west side of the house, not only to not interfere with the intersection that sits on the north-east corner of the block, but also to take full advantage of the views.

The best views in the house are situated in the north-east corner of the second-storey balcony, something that Daniel has taken full advantage of by placing an exterior staircase running from the al fresco area downstairs to the second-level deck. Daniel and Daniela hired Kerry-Anne from Kior Interior Design to help them with interior design choices. “Kerry-Anne was involved from day one and she was coming around to see us when we were still living in the old house,” said Daniel. Daniel didn’t want white everywhere and for the house to look stark and cold, so they opted for a soft-grey colour contrasted by other warm-toned colours. Red is a key feature that is used in main rooms to highlight certain features. Not only did Daniel use a soft-colour palette to bring warmth to his build, but the use of natural materials, such as stone and timber veneers, helped to enhance a homely and cosy feeling. The large, front, pivot door opens to a spacious foyer with double-height ceilings. The second-floor living room looks down on the entrance area, giving the space a mezzanine-type feel. The quiet and relaxing study, immediately to the left, allows Daniel to work in peace while the family mill around in the living area further on down the house. Next to the study, is the exciting theatre room with fibre-optic lighting built in to the ceiling giving a feeling of being in a planetarium. The room features a projector and screen with the machine hiding away in a built-in alcove in the ceiling. Further on down the corridor, is a sweet and simple powder room. The meals and living area is a big open-planned space. It was

Ph: 9351 3400 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 99


Viva Developments You started Viva Developments in 2006 with business partner, Mel Letizia. How did you meet and become friends? I’ve known Mel for almost 22 years and we’ve been close friends since we played in a band together. I was best man at his wedding, our wives are very good friends and our children have grown up together, so it’s safe to say we’re very close. Mel and I work effortlessly together as we both bring different qualities and skills to the table. As the company’s registered builder, my forte lies in the construction and paperwork side of things, whereas Mel has a passion for design and handles all of our design work, as well as supervises for the company.

“...modern, contemporary, but with a warm and welcoming feel.”

important to Daniel that the meals and the al fresco area could be opened up into one large area. To do this, Daniel installed bi-fold doors in between the two areas and kept the floor level at the same height. The double-sized room is capable of holding 50 to 60 people comfortably. The kitchen features an impressive, walk-in cool room and pantry, two ovens, an induction hot plate and a plate warmer. The three bedrooms on the ground floor are equipped with walk-in wardrobes and en suites. The second floor houses the guest quarters with a kitchenette/bar, living room, bathroom, games room and gymnasium that can also be turned into a fifth bedroom if required. The living area opens out onto a generous, outside balcony space that takes full advantage of the sweeping city, river and hill views. Following the exterior staircase down to the stunning al fresco area, the crystal-blue pool is obviously the main feature of the home. Daniel made sure that the design incorporated a view of the pool from every main area of the home. The pool is flanked by a stone, water-feature wall on its left and an infinity spa on its right, making it an eye-catching part of the home. Daniel says that the house is exactly what he and Daniela envisioned and, being in the perfect area, makes it all the more attractive to them. “We love the area of Attadale. It’s close to the river, Fremantle, Garden City and the Freeway. It’s just such a great central location. The girls only have to walk 100 metres down the road to their school as well,” said Daniel. Daniel intends to stay in the home for another year or two before beginning the whole process all over again. BC Viva Developments: (08) 9330 8249,

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How did you decide you wanted to start your own building company? I’ve been a builder for just over 12 years. Before that, I was a supervisor for other builders, so I’ve been in the construction industry for over 19 years. I’ve worked for other builders doing estimating, scheduling and supervising so I’ve had experience in every possible area of a building company. Knowing this, I felt like it was the right time to start my own business and put all my skills to good use. Mel and I had discussed this on a number of occasions before finally deciding to put our talks into action. Having Mel as a friend and business partner has allowed us to become the successful business that we are today. The company is a very close-knit family affair and that’s the way we want it to stay. My brother-in-law, Andre, is a supervisor and our two wives, Samantha and Daniela, also help out in the business. How do you see Viva Developments as a building company? Viva Developments specialises in double-storey, single-storey and multi-development sites anywhere in the $1 million to $1.5 million bracket. We can cater from the initial design concept to the stage where we are selecting development sites for clients, right through to the end. We pride ourselves in being able to complete every process of the construction process in-house. As we have over 37 years of combined experience, our personalised service ensures that our clients receive an outstanding finished product. We deal directly with our clients and offer them a unique, one-on-one service to achieve the best individual home that caters for all their needs. We don’t want to expand as a building company, preferring to stay small and focus on servicing our clients in the best possible way. All the work we get is by word of mouth or referral which to me is the best form of advertising a company could want. What makes you different from other building companies? We have a lot of different things to offer to a potential client. They come to us because we have the ability to design the house for them, on the lot that they want. Each property we have built has been absolutely different because everyone’s lots and requirements are different and the reason they come to a smaller builder, like us, is to get that higher level of service. Flexibility is a big thing that you don’t get with many builders these days, and that allows the client to have as much input they want into creating their dream home. They give us the pieces to the puzzle which we in turn put together and make work. We involve the client every step of the way, working as a team, even if it’s something quite small. We want to see the build go the distance once the last tradesman has left the site. Longevity is important to us. We feel that, as a boutique builder, we can offer higher-quality builds, better service and more flexibility, something that the bigger building companies can’t offer.


Central address the envy of Karratha The recent completion of Padbury Central, a 28-home high-quality private accommodation estate in Karratha Central, heralds the diversity of the NLV Group’s capacity for expansion, following their newly-acquired business, Velocity Villages, in WA’s north-west.



// words berlinda conti // images courtesy of nlv

In 2010, the NLV Group and its subsidiary homes manufacturing division, EcoFit Homes, won a tender to build and install the architecturally-designed homes at the estate by development company, Velocity Villages, who have recently completed a 184-room accommodation project in the region. Fast track to early 2012 and the NLV Group announced its acquisition of Velocity Villages which will act as the company’s major accommodation provider in WA’s resources sector. Velocity Villages will share the stage with the NLV Group’s three business divisions, National Lifestyle Villages, EcoFit Homes and Lifestyle Developments. NLV Group, chief executive, Mike Hollett, said the acquisition was a natural progression for the company – the result of a two-year diversification strategy. “Velocity Villages’ expansion for the NLV Group was a logical step in building on our core strengths of developing, building and managing communities, and a very strategic one in enabling NLV to tap into the strong growth sectors led by energy and resource developments in the Pilbara,” said Mike. Velocity Villages’ director, Kevin Hughes, brings with him a project portfolio spanning more than 22 years. Developments closer to home have included assignments in Subiaco, West Perth, Cottesloe, Dunsborough, Bunbury and Karratha. “Padbury Central was the first independently-contracted project outside the NLV Group framework for the EcoFit Homes division, so it was a prime

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 101


opportunity for the company to diversify its building potential, and the end result speaks volumes,” said Kevin. To prepare for the project, Kevin said he visited numerous National Lifestyle Village developments to draw inspiration from the existing home designs within the Group. “I wanted to take the home designs to another level than those seen in the Group’s existing village developments and enlisted architects, Christou Design Group, to facilitate the designs we see today,” said Kevin. In doing so, the passive-solar-designed homes are smart and luxuriously appointed with high-pitched ceilings fitted with highlight windows (their angles let in light but omit heat) to maximise light and reduce energy costs. The living areas are intentionally generous, using the entire width of the homes and every space is built to maximise solar and breeze-way efficiencies. “The kitchens have the same layouts as used in a $1.5million townhouse project recently completed in Cottesloe. We used

stone bench-tops and full-height tiling behind them which is a really nice touch,” said Kevin. Included are deep-set pot drawers, extensive cupboard space and careful consideration of the room’s functionality such as below-bench microwave allowances and bench-height, single-drawer dishwashers. “Small details like heater fans in the laundry and en suites, rather than generic fans, look aesthetically appealing and will come in useful during the colder months and, believe it or not, it does get cold in the Pilbara for two months of the year,” said Kevin. Wider hallways provide a greater sense of space and allow for wheelchair access. Block-out blinds, split-system air conditioners and fans in all rooms are standard, as is undercover al fresco areas and sufficient outdoor storage space. Each of the two- and three-bedroom homes is built on a land area of about 300 square metres, and each has a dual carport and additional space to accommodate a trailer or boat.


RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL 62 McCoy Street Myaree WA 6154 Tel: (08) 9330 2033 Fax: (08) 9330 4584

Versatile Building Products “Helping build the West” WA’s leading building materials supply company Phone (08) 9249 2333 Fax (08) 9249 2153 500 Alexander Drive, Malaga WA 6090 Email:

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Award Logistics is a company that specialises in the transportation and relocation of houses and mine site accommodation. We currently operate a fleet of trucks, including sub-contractors, servicing companies such as T&R Homes, Eco Fit Homes, McGrath Homes, Nomad Modular Builders, Freo Group, McNally Group and others. We have maintained long standing partnerships with our clients by providing them with an understanding of their specific requirements, as well as excellent service delivery, trained professional staff and well maintained equipment. Award Logistics is committed to ensuring a safe and healthy working environment for its personnel in its offices, workshops and workplaces. We promise to uphold integrity and operate to the highest possible standard. Our adaptability to consistently meet and exceed our clients’ needs has seen our company strengthen to the force it is today.

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Padbury Central is located behind St Paul’s Catholic School – a rare piece of land acquired from the Uniting Church which had retained an additional area to allow for a possible future church site. Kevin said the properties sold off-the-plan prior to being built, and being so close to the Karratha township was a significant advantage. “All 28 residences were secured very quickly, attracting the likes of listed corporations, mixed government (such as Government Resources Offices Housing) and savvy investors,” said Kevin. Consistent with EcoFit Homes’ building standards, the residences achieve a minimum 6-star energy rating and leave the company’s Malaga site, via semi-trailer, completely finished in less than 13 weeks. This includes all fittings and fixtures, interior and exterior painting, floor coverings and window treatments. EcoFit Homes’ general manager, Geoff Wilson, says every effort was made to ensure the homes were built to survive the harsh realities of the Pilbara’s arid and tropical climate. “The homes are built to withstand the Pilbara’s unique climate which is characterised by a hot humid summer and a dry cooler winter and it goes without saying that all homes are engineered and built to local cyclonic standards, as are all

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104 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012


The passivesolar-designed homes are smart and luxuriously appointed with high-pitched ceilings fitted with highlight windows.

carports, patios, sheds and surrounding fencing,” said Geoff. “In keeping with this, we upgraded the steel framing from 75mm to 90mm, presenting an incredibly strong alternative, and each home is built with unique wall-cavity ventilation and full insulation. “All homes are built upon pre-stressed concrete slabs weighing about 40 tonnes per home, with the addition of concrete pile tie-downs and in-situ pad footings. This is over and above the engineer’s minimum recommendation criteria for this site,” said Geoff. Because the homes are built to last, every residence comes with a six-year structural warranty and a six- month building

maintenance period applies from the time of occupancy. Each of the residences has sold for between $600,000 and $800,000 thus highlighting the affordable nature of the modular-home project and those to come. “A number of pipeline projects providing similar resource-sector, accommodation outcomes are currently being progressed through the feasibility stage and will come under the Velocity Villages Division of the Group,” said Mike Hollett. BC NLV Group: (08) 9221 9099, Ecofit Homes: (08) 9270 6888,

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 105


Chic urban living that’s close to everything Ecco Apartments is a chic destination for those who are looking for the ultimate lifestyle in Perth.




106 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

Swanline Group and Finbar formed a joint venture last year to build 90 apartments and eight commercial lots on three blocks of rezoned land in Perth owned by Swanline. Perth-based property developer Finbar will build the apartments with both groups sharing equally in the profits from the project. Recent pre-sales indications have revealed that Finbar can expect to commence the project in mid 2012 with completion due in 2013/4. Centrally located near the corner of Lord and Bulwer Streets, Ecco Apartments is the latest development in Perth which offers city views and is close by to endless entertainment hotspots including Mount Lawley (Beaufort Street), Highgate, East Perth, Northbridge and the Perth CBD. The entertainment and shopping precincts of East Perth, Northbridge and the Perth CBD are all less than 2km away while East Perth Train Station is easily accessible for work and other leisure activities. Half the apartments will consist of two bedrooms with the remaining half being split evenly between one and three bedrooms. Prices start at $355,000 for the one bedroom apartments, $479,000 for two bedrooms and $570,000 for three bedrooms. Each apartment will possess European stainless steel appliances, coloured glass splashbacks, granite or stone bench tops and multi split-unit air-conditioning to all bedrooms and living areas providing an exclusive stylish haven.


On the ground floor, Ecco Apartments will feature a vibrant selection of offices and cafés while the facilities will capture a ‘hotel’ feel and include: • Secure lobby with keyless entry and lift access • Remote controlled security gates • Fully equipped gymnasium featuring multi-station weight training system, spin bike, treadmill, elliptical cross trainer and 42-inch LCD TV • 17m solar heated lap pool and timber-lined sauna • Air-conditioned pool lounge • Games room Finbar’s Managing Director, Darren Pateman, said “The first homebuyer in the $350,000 to $500,000 range wants to be close to the city, work, public transport and entertainment. Ecco Apartments fits these criteria perfectly and has resulted in a strong level of interest from buyers and prospective buyers prior to the sales launch. In addition, this market appeals to those looking to downsize and buyers looking for a corporate tenant.” Named after the Italian phrase ‘here it is’, Ecco Apartments is a chic destination for those who are looking for the ultimate lifestyle in Perth. The two complexes within Ecco Apartments will reflect each other using striking architectural features and ensure they will fit perfectly into its fashionably urban location while blending residential apartment living with dynamic commercial offerings.

Conveniently located directly across from the iconic NIB stadium and Loton Park Tennis Club and less than 1500 metres from the Swan River, Ecco Apartments offers significant recreational opportunities for the local resident while only a few minutes walk from the restaurants, cafés, bars and exceptional shopping of Beaufort Street. National demographer, Bernard Salt, spoke at the Poised for Prosperity Seminar in December 2011 and said “When you consider major CBD lifestyle redevelopment projects such as Melbourne Docklands, Pyrmont in Sydney and Brisbane’s Treasury Casino site, it is evident that Perth is at the threshold of an amazing period, which will create significant economic gains for the City.” “With the impending $5.3 billion investment within the CBD, Perth is finally going to contain a dynamic precinct where people will enjoy living and working in the city,” he added. It seems that Finbar, who has been developing inner city lifestyle apartments in the Perth metropolitan area since 1995 and earned a reputation for producing exceptional quality developments, has identified the Ecco Apartments project as another opportunity to tap into Perth’s high demand for urban stylish developments. BC Finbar Group Ltd: (08) 9474 4460, Ecco Apartments:

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 107

THE BUILDERS CHOICE industry news & views

Green Building Council Chairman joins Norman Disney & Young Leading engineering consultancy Norman Disney & Young (NDY) is pleased to confirm the appointment of Mr Tony Arnel to the position of Global Director of Sustainability. In confirming the appointment, NDY CEO Ian Hopkins highlighted the importance that Mr Arnel’s sustainability credentials will bring to the NDY group. “I am delighted to confirm that Tony Arnel has agreed to join NDY: his role as Global Director of Sustainability will provide a great boost to NDY’s well established sustainability offerings,” Mr Hopkins says. “Over the coming weeks Tony will meet the management and sustainability teams in each NDY office to assist him in the development of a comprehensive strategy- this will build on the excellent work that has already been done in a number of offices in building NDYs reputation for excellence in sustainable design.” As well as being a founding Director and Chair of the Green Building Council of Australia, Tony is also the former Chair of the World Green Building Council. Most recently, Tony was also the Victorian Building and Plumbing Industry Commissioner. Over the past decade Tony has been a leader of the national and international sustainability debate, particularly in the Asia Pacific region, advocating sustainable building as a means of reducing greenhouse emissions without impacting economic growth. In 2010, Tony was the inaugural winner of the National Leadership in Sustainability Award from the Australian Institute of Architects and last year won the Melbourne Award for the individual who made a major contribution to the sustainability of Melbourne’s built environment. Tony continues to play a key role in the transformation of the Australian property market to sustainable practices and is a board member of the Sustainable Melbourne Fund. According to Mr Arnel, it’s the opportunity to work within a progressive consultancy that attracted him to this key position with NDY. “I’ve long admired NDY’s reputation for its engineering excellence, its breadth of talent and the company’s genuine commitment to sustainable solutions. I’m looking forward to being a part of the excitement around NDY’s growing global sustainability capabilities.” BC Norman Disney Young: (08) 92816800,




108 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

Tony Arnel Tony is the former Victorian Building and Plumbing Industry Commissioner. As well as being a founding Director and Chair of the Green Building Council of Australia, he is also the former Chair of the World Green Building Council. Over the past decade Tony has been a leader of the national and international sustainability debate, particularly in the Asia Pacific region, advocating sustainable building as a means of reducing greenhouse emissions without impacting economic growth. Tony continues to play a key role in the transformation of the Australian property market to sustainable practices. He is a board member of the Sustainable Melbourne Fund. Tony is a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects and a Victorian Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia. He is a past Chairman and Director of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival - Australia’s largest arts festival. In 2009 he received the Australian Financial Review’s ‘True Leadership’ Award and in March 2010 he received the inaugural ‘Leadership in Sustainability’ Award from the Australian Institute of Architects.

Norman Disney & Young Norman Disney & Young (NDY) is a leading firm of consulting engineers with a global presence. With offices in Australia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Dubai, and Malaysia, NDY is able to deliver innovative and sustainable solutions for a diverse group of clients. Established in 1959, NDY remains a private company employing over 600 people servicing key markets in buildings, defence, health, industrial, mission critical, transport and utilities.

THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

Timberframed house construction for the north-west The Pilbara and Kimberley regions of Western Australia are both growing rapidly with massive investment in major resource projects. This includes substantial growth in iron and natural gas exports and various other mineral development projects. In addition, there is a need for support industries and infrastructure to support this development. The State Government’s Royalties for Regions program is providing funding for the development of regional cities and towns in the north-west regions. These initiatives are aimed at attracting more long-term residents to support the burgeoning industrial development. As a result, housing construction is growing rapidly in places like Karratha, Port Hedland, Broome and Kununurra. House construction types are a mix of timber and steel-frame, clad walls with some using a concrete block. Roof frames are either timber or steel truss, clad with steel.

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1800 018 888 110 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

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THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

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The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 111

THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

Prefabricated timber trusses & wall frames? Find out everything you need to know. It’s all in here!


Pryda has developed an easy to follow Western Australian Builders Guide to Prefabricated Timber Trusses and Wall Frames. Specifically for the WA builder market, it has a strong focus on WA building practices. Even simpler, it can be yours absolutely FREE!

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Housing construction is growing rapidly in places like Karratha, Port Hedland, Broome and Kununurra. House construction types are a mix of timber and steel-frame, clad walls with some using a concrete block.

Termites are a formidable issue in the north-west and so all construction timber must be treated to resist them to a minimum treatment hazard level of H2. Any timber exposed to the elements, such as pergolas, fascia, rafters and exposed eaves, should be treated to H3, if above ground, and H4 for any timber that contacts the ground. Full details are available in AS1604. Cyclonic conditions are a major design consideration. The cyclone season runs from November to April each year, with the more intense category 4 and 5 cyclones mostly forming in the latter half of the season. In WA, the risk areas are the Pilbara and Kimberley coasts which are rated as C and D regions and regarded as cyclonic-design zones. The Pilbara coast is the highest risk area in Australia. Houses built in cyclone regions C and D require additional strength to withstand the wind loads and, in particular, to resist the huge uplift that can affect the roof. Metal sheeting products require substantially more fixings, especially in edge zones. Roof frames require additional strength and bottom chords should be designed to resist increased compression. The tie-down capacity of the wall and roof frames is especially important. The design needs to transmit the tie-down loads from the roof trusses, through wall components, to the floor. Timber wall frames can be designed to take increased tie-down capacity by using single-skinned plywood bracing. Increased capacity can be achieved with full-length, steel tie-down rods. High-capacity connectors are available for roof truss-to-wall frames as well as the full-length rods. BC Wespine: 1800 018 888,

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THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

Staying connected inside homes and buildings The National Association of Steel-framed Housing (NASH) has developed a Technical Note on telecommunication reception in buildings. It discusses the commonly used frequencies for mobile phone, wireless-data networks, portable phone, television and digital radio applications, and explains what construction materials and features affect the reception of different signals. The transmission and reception of radio waves for voice and data communication, entertainment, navigation and security is an integral part of modern life. Radio wave use, particularly for mobile applications, is growing in all parts of the world, including Australia. Inevitably, this means that the radio signals that we rely on are required to pass through natural features as well as buildings and other structures built with materials and of construction methods that are constantly evolving.

Most people experience satisfactory telecommunications performance within residential buildings from most devices, most of the time. When they don’t, there is likely to be a combination of factors leading to the poor reception. For signals that need to pass through the external envelope of a residential building, such as mobile phone and digital TV, significant signal reduction can occur with metal cladding, foil sarking and dense masonry construction. Performance will vary with distance from the transmission tower, sensitivity of the device, location within the building and proximity to windows and doors that provide entry points for radio waves. Weather conditions, especially rain, can also play a part. For signals passing between the rooms of a dwelling, such as those from portable phones and home wireless networks, steel or timber framed walls cause very little signal reduction

Cutting-edge design increases building energy efficiency Foilboard® Insulation Panels rely on cutting-edge, rigid panel insulation design, combined with reflective air spaces, to increase a building’s energy efficiency. With Foilboard, a builder or home owner has the capacity to create a home or commercial building which exceeds the energy efficiency requirements recommended by the Building Code of Australia. The unique insulation properties of the reflective-foil, insulation panels create an incredibly effective thermal barrier that keeps home owners cool in summer and warm in winter.

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 113

THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

The transmission and reception of radio waves for voice and data communication, entertainment, navigation and security is an integral part of modern life.

Double the work – halve the time Henrob pioneered the self-piercing, riveting process for use in steel framing in Australia 30 years ago. Its application has grown internationally to be used extensively in the automotive industry in place of welding. For the same reason that car and truck companies rely on Henrob to assemble the whole vehicle body, fabricators of steel framing rely on it as a quick and consistently-reliable, high-strength fastening. The Henrob System does not need pre-punched holes or post-painting. With the development of the double-sided riveter, frames can be fastened in half the time without the need to turn them over, as is the case with screws. A great benefit is having the rivets auto-fed on a belt so that, at the press of a button, a pair of rivets is set with consistent quality, time after time. Tools are suspended overhead on an XY rail to cover the full area of the frame or truss. With the advent of click-together, locator dimples in the stud and plate, a perfect job at double the pace is a benefit of the Henrob fastening system.

because the wavelengths are typically quite small and the spaces between wall members are quite large. Where many walls are passed through, or walls are constructed of concrete, masonry or other dense materials, signal reduction is likely to be much greater and higher transmission power may be needed for satisfactory reception. The NASH Technical Note may be downloaded from the NASH website at: Just click on the Publications link then NASH Technical Notes. TechnicalNote3_1328501518.pdf BC NASH: 1800 656 986,

The Fastest Gun in the West Henrob self pierce rivets are set two at a time at the press of a button in only two seconds • Ideal for Steel House Frames Trusses and Flooring • No holes required • No clean up of messy welds or swarf • No need to turn over frames and trusses • Flush finish on steel surface • Click together Dimple location of components • Rivet joint strength rated for cyclonic regions

Flush Rivet


114 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

Find out more at: Email Ian Reed at: Mob: 0411 602 818

THE BUILDERS CHOICE energy efficiency

Digging up a green future

Green design, sustainable homes, eco-smart buildings, green precincts, eco-cities are some of the phrases we are becoming familiar with but, in many cases, the concepts date back tens of thousands of years with designs to keep buildings cooler or warmer without access to air conditioning. The ancient Chinese used concentrated solar power for heat energy and fire, and the Indians used latticed screens, or jaalis, to filter direct sunlight into the palaces, while leaving the heat behind. Native Americans, Romans, Japanese, Maori, and many others used hot springs as renewable, geothermal sources for cooking, healing, and bathing. Middle Eastern and Indian builders used clever designs incorporating water to cool the centre of buildings to reduce their heat load. As the ancient Greeks ran into fuel shortages, they started

Cavity Wall Installation Rockwool cavity wall insulation is currently the only supplied and installed system for double-brick construction in WA. It is dry-blown and the product is water repellent so moisture will not be drawn across the cavity. The product and installation come with a 20-year installation warranty. Our system allows bricklayers to focus on laying bricks,


improves site productivity by allowing more houses to be completed per team during the year and reduces installation risk. With equipment and training from the UK and installation experience since 1988, we know what we are doing. We do our job so supervisors and bricklayers can do theirs. Call Stuart on 9417 9494 to discuss.

aFilling wall insulation the gap in your comfortsystem that is simple, easy and effective. I n s u l a t i o n

I n s u l a t i o n

Filling the gap in your comfort

• No installation down time for the bricklayer • Used in the UK, adapted for WA • Acceptable Alternative Solution to BCA 2011 • Ideal for six star compliance H H H H H H • 20 year installation warranty Ideal for two storey construction

Water-repellent: It will not wick moisture across cavity, (BS 2972). Non combustible (AS 1530.1).

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56 CUTLER ROAD, JANDAKOT, WA 6164 A.B.N. 25 612 643 993 TELEPHONE: (08) 9417 9494 FACSIMILE: (08) 9417 9595 EMAIL: WEB:

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 115

THE BUILDERS CHOICE energy efficiency

In Australia, early colonial buildings often included elements of passive design in response to the climate.

Supplying energy excellence Solar E is a West Australian company that has been supplying solar power systems to residential properties and businesses in Perth for over three years. Solar E deals in both photovoltaic (PV) and solar hot-water systems. The premium brands that we stock include Sunpower, Upsolar and SMA solar power systems and Edwards solar hot

water. All of these high-quality products are now available at wholesale prices to your building or development company. Our specialists are available to help you through the order process, from system design to installation. Contact Solar E at (08) 9479 3111 for pricing and information.

A dedicated Solar Power Grid Connect & Solar Hot Water dealership

COMMERCIAL & RESIDENTIAL Best Quality Solar Equipment: Sunpower Energy System UpSolar Solar E Energy System Edwards Hot Water

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1/153 Belmont Avenue, Belmont WA 6104 116 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

THE BUILDERS CHOICE energy efficiency

to think more about how to design buildings to maximise heat gain and retention during winter months. The Greeks began orienting buildings and entire city grids so that houses had extra southern exposure to capture the suns rays from low in the sky during the coldest times of the year - sound familiar? Romans eventually took things a step further by adding glass to their windows in order to retain more of the heat gathered from sunlight. In Australia, early colonial buildings often included elements of passive design in response to the climate, not surprisingly borrowing from the experience of other cultures. The ubiquitous veranda, that is now so strongly embedded in the culture of Australian building, originally came, along with its name, from India. For Australia’s European settlers, the creation of simple, energy-efficient homes was a matter of situational necessity, reflecting limited access to materials, skills and resources. Today, improved design utilising passive shade, ventilation and heating strategies to condition the air, reduces the need for continuous cooling or heating and so reduces the operational cost of a home or building. For more information, see: or BC

Edson solar water-heating system Practical and efficient in design, an Edson solar water-heating system is a must for any home. Edson is an Australian company with a history that spans more than 50 years. The Edson range combines the latest in environmentallysustainable solutions using evacuated tube or flat-panel, solar technology in gas or electricity-boosted systems. Edson also offers a unique, energy-efficient heat pump water-heating solution that is up to 50% faster than standard systems. Available across Australia and New Zealand, Edson offers reliable customer care, prompt service, support and installation advice. Edson solar hot-water systems are a cost-effective, practical and sensible choice for any home.

Polyurethane Foam Spray Applied Insulation

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Sprayed or Injected Foams Industrial, Marine, Agricultural Commercial and Theatrical Applications Insulation, Buoyancy and Abrasion Resistance

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 117

THE BUILDERS CHOICE energy efficiency

New rules on sale or lease In Australia, the new National Construction Codes outline the minimum requirements for new building work that includes a minimum 6-Star energy rating (or equivalent) for new homes, and energy efficiency standards for air conditioning, lighting and hot-water systems. The CSIRO is evaluating the impact of the new Codes and is expected to report at the end of 2012. The Ministerial Council on Energy released the Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) for Residential Mandatory Disclosure on 21 July 2011, detailing the options under consideration for implementing this legislation, and signalling the start of the public consultation process. This new disclosure scheme for the residential property sector will require owners of existing houses, flats and apartments to provide energy, water and greenhouse performance information when selling or leasing their properties. The Australian Capital Territory has required existing homes to provide energy efficiency information to buyers and renters since 1999, and Queensland has had a system that requires existing homes to provide building performance information since January 2010. The Victorian Government is already drafting the new disclosure rules for the benefit of potential buyers or tenants.

The law, known as Environmental Performance Disclosure, is expected to be introduced into Victoria in 2012 for the residential sector. This means that people selling or renting out houses may be required to show an energy efficiency rating measured by an accredited assessor. Since the second half of 2010, owners of commercial office buildings and government buildings, with floor space of more than 2,000 square metres, are required to provide up-to-date energy-efficiency information (including a NABERS energy rating) to interested buyers and tenants. Some will be concerned that the mandatory disclosure will impact negatively on sales and profitability, but there is now good data to show the opposite to be true. A study completed on housing in the ACT shows that the ACT housing market places a higher value on energy efficiency. The study looked at whether a relationship exists between the energy-efficiency rating (EER) of a house and its sale price. Using data from 2005 and 2006, the study found that if a house has a higher EER than another, but in all other respects is the same, the house with the higher EER will command a higher price. Data emerging about commercial properties supports the same conclusion, with higher, star-rated properties having much lower vacancy rates and attracting a higher rent premium than their lower-rated counterparts. For more information, see: buildings/homes.aspx eer-house-price-act.pdf BC

ZEGOÂŽ Building Systems! Australia Wide Ph 1300 13 ZEGO (1300 13 9346) World Wide Head Office Ph +612 9651 2277

w w w. z e g o . c o m . a u

118 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

Why Would You Consider Anything Else?







Sustainability WA has been helping businesses Australia-wide to complete documentation required to comply with energy efficiency regulations. As industry specialists, it’s our job to make sure all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed, so you can get your building plans approved without costly changes or delays. We’re backed by Professional Indemnity Insurance and with ongoing ABSA training and audits, you can rest assured knowing your plans and documents will satisfy every energy efficiency regulation, while keeping your original design and budget first in mind. Don’t waste any more of your time worrying about keeping up-to-date with the ongoing changes to energy efficiency regulations. Give us a call on 08 9537 2000 / 0439 060 029 or email us at and let us handle the details for you.

WWW.S-WA.COM.AU | 9537 2000

THE BUILDERS CHOICE water efficiency

Water sense key to unlocking Murray development potential




120 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

The Shire of Murray is poised for increased urban growth. Located inland from Mandurah in the fast growing Peel region, it has long been earmarked for urban development, given its proximity to Perth, Bunbury and Mandurah. But unlocking the area’s development potential has been constrained by environmental matters, including concerns about flood risk and water management. Murray is one of several shires adjoining the Peel-Harvey estuary system, a large inland waterway that provides recreational value to the community and is of considerable environmental importance. The system is recognised as an internationally-significant wetland under the United Nations Ramsar Convention and is home to important, migratory bird species. A lot of the, as yet undeveloped, areas are generally low-lying and prone to flooding and therefore considered risky for urban development. In addition, there has been limited availability of easily-accessible, allocated water – all factors that present major challenges for future development. Last year, the state government released a drainage and water management plan covering a 375-square-kilometre area of the shire, between the Peel-Harvey estuary and the Darling Scarp. The plan has clear applications for developers and others in the construction industry and is viewed as a blueprint for the area’s water-wise urban development.

THE BUILDERS CHOICE water efficiency

“The Peel region between Mandurah and Pinjarra has been a focus for development for 15 years,” Department of Water Executive Director, Science and Planning, Greg Davis, said. “However, development in this area has been constrained because it is very low-lying with a series of inter-connected wetlands, lakes, rivers and groundwater aquifers, and much of the landscape is water-logged during winter. Mr Davis said there were other water-related issues the department had to consider in putting together a plan to help guide new urban development in this region. These included legacies of the alteration of natural drainage systems and the impact of the use of fertiliser on soil and groundwater. “These are legacies that need to be managed for urban development to proceed,” he said. With the release of the water management plan by the Department of Water in July last year, the government is exploring the potential for water-sensitive development to go ahead in the region. The plan took three years to complete (including a three month public comment period) and outlines how the region’s natural waters can be better managed to facilitate urban development while, at the same time, protecting the fragile environment. It will guide developments that embrace total water-cycle management principles and water-sensitive urban design. When he launched the plan last year, Water Minister, Bill Marmion, described the plan as proactive integration of water management into urban development planning by identifying and addressing issues associated with urban development, rather than just identifying sections of the area unsuitable for development. “Water-sensitive urban design as a response to total water-cycle management has long been a requirement of development proposals,” Mr Davis said. “For the Shire of Murray, however, developers will have to consider more carefully how water in the landscape is managed, possibly through innovative solutions.” While the use of groundwater as a suitable water source is fairly typical of most developments in Western Australia, the environmentally-sensitive Murray area will require a more sophisticated set of solutions. In its plan for the Murray, the Department of Water promotes stormwater harvesting and the use of water from the groundwater drainage system that will need to be installed to manage seasonal inundation. It also outlines the government’s commitment to investigate the potential of managed aquifer recharge (MAR). This will allow water

“Developers will have to consider more carefully how water in the landscape is managed, possibly through innovative solutions.”

that was previously considered unusable, to be stored for later redistribution using a fit-for-purpose principle. The Murray plan identifies between 6 to 24 gigalitres of water as being available for harvesting in the area each year. The plan is supported by a separate Department of Water report, Feasibility of managed aquifer recharge using drainage water, published 2011, which points to aquifer storage and recovery as a good way of storing the harvested water for later use as a non-drinking water source. The department is working with the Murray Shire and local landholders to investigate the feasibility of Managed Aquifer recharge (MAR) in the proposed Nambeelup Industrial Estate. The project will provide valuable information on water quality, treatment and aquifer capacity which should assist future development of the region. To achieve the necessary level of innovation, the department has committed to facilitate policy change where necessary and to contribute to necessary investigations. Mr Davis encouraged developers to get involved in the development process early on. “Water security for new developments is a vital issue,” he said, adding that creative solutions are needed. “Water management issues are recommended by the WA Planning Commission to be considered during rezoning and the design phase, rather than at the subdivision stage,” he said. “Stormwater harvesting and storage via managed aquifer recharge, offers a great opportunity to secure water for development.” The Department of Water works closely with the Department of Planning, Water Corporation, Department of Environment and Conservation, Urban Development Institute of Australia, local governments and the development industry to ensure the development and implementation of policy, and that drainage and water management plans are underpinned by sound and rigorous science. Implementation of the Murray plan is ongoing as it guides and facilitates development of the Murray area by providing the blueprint to solve the complex constraints that water poses to urban development. The Murray drainage and water management plan can be viewed at: BC Department of Water:


Call Paul on 0431 985 126

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 121

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services


ITEM 110



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


ITEM 113






email: PHONE 08 9303 2782

FAX 08 9303 2783

122 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

ABN 86 120 237 318

T +61 8 9228 4878 F +61 8 9228 3804

304 Fitzgerald St, Perth WA 6000 PO Box 358, Maylands WA 6931


The Landscape

This new range of highly efficient double glazed fires are a simply stunning addition to any environment. Available in a 1000 model for medium to large areas and a 1600 model for extra large spaces. Both fires boast impressive heating capacities whilst being economical to run and feature full remote control, electronic ignition, modulating burner, auto two speed fan and programmable timer. The Landscape is the obvious choice for the discerning buyer.

Head Office 1340 Ferntree Gully Road Scoresby T 03 8706 2000 F 03 8706 2001 Richmond VIC 300 Swan Street T 03 9428 4443 F 03 9428 4445 Geelong VIC 2a Gordon Avenue T 03 5229 0844

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THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services

The better alternative building solution THE INNOVATIVE POLYSTYRENE CLADDING

With over 60 years of successful use in the global building industry, external insulation systems are second-to-none in their thermal performance and the cost-saving measures offered in installation and energy savings. MasterWall now offers two high-performance, insulated cladding systems for the WA building market. Their flagship product is the MasterWall polystyrene cladding system, which is still a market leader in external insulated systems. The system comprises dense, fire-retardant polystyrene panels that are pre-coated with a fibreglass-reinforced polymer cementitious coating, ready for the application of a flexible modern render system. In the fast-changing WA building market, MasterWall was proud to be involved in the construction of Cachet Homes’ award-winning Timber Frame Home of the Year. This stunning home was completely clad with MasterWall. The MasterWall polystyrene system offers impressive thermal performance of up to R3.0 without the need for Batts in the wall cavity, and is fully accredited by the BCA as an alternative building solution. This takes into account the complete system, including MasterWall’s innovative weather-tight details such as breather wrap, flashing tape and urethane sealant programme. This attention to system detailing offers both builder and home owner peace of mind. In the pursuit of higher performance, MasterWall has just released its K Series, utilising Kooltherm K5 from Kingspan Insulation. With almost double the thermal performance of polystyrene and eight times that of brick veneer, the MasterWall K Series can help you achieve the high star ratings now being introduced into the building code. An incredible R4.5 can be achieved over timber frame, again without Batts. If that were not enough, MasterWall K Series achieves a Bushfire Attach Level of BAL 40, enabling specifiers to overcome restrictions when building lightweight insulation systems in bushfire-rated areas. Again, its speed of installation over other BAL-rated systems is remarkable, making it a real competitor in the industry. Both MasterWall systems tick all the boxes when it comes to modern rendered finishes, thermal performance, time-saving construction methods and cost reductions to the builder/client, compared to traditional brick. For more information, visit:


MasterWall is a market leader in developing innovative and sustainable building materials. A key building solution to residential sustainability are EIFS, a lightweight, energy efficient building solution that looks great, uses less energy, saves money and helps protect the environment.


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Blue Collar People Working for you


Specialising in:

(08) 9354 3144 FAX: (08) 9354 3155 124 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

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THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services


BENEFIT #1 Personalised service – we are not pushy salespeople so you will deal with the owners of the business with more than 30yrs combined tile sales experience. BENEFIT #2 Sensational prices on ceramic & porcelain tiles starting from $22.50/sqm. BENEFIT #3 Tiles supplied & laid from $80/sqm using experienced tradesmen.

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valid until 31/5/1

9446 1417 e. f. 9244 2835 58 King Edward Rd, Osborne Park WA *conditions apply

OUR RANGE HOME LIFTS from 250kg - 1000kg DUMBWAITERS from 5kg - 450kg GOODS HOISTS from 500kg - 3000kg PANORAMA Lifts from 450kg - 4500kg 6 Brolo Court, O’Connor, WA 6163 PO Box 2065, Palmyra DC, WA 6961 abn: 87 712 338 613

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MRL Passenger Lifts from 300kg - 3500kg HANDICAPPED Access Lifts from 225kg - 400kg HYDRAULIC Passenger Lifts from 250kg - 4500kg

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 125

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services

Instant toilets & showers – your business is our business The portable sanitation specialists in Australia are clearly Instant Toilets & Showers. With an unparalleled range of products to suit any situation, the team at Instant Toilets & Showers knows what they are talking about. From a single chemical toilet for a building site, through to a self-contained toilet or ablution block for remote locations, Instant Toilets & Showers have the right products in stock in Western Australia. Instant Toilets & Showers design, manufacture and hire or sell all of our products. Because they know the intricacies of portable ablutions, the company can supply exactly what you need and advise if you are unsure of your requirements. Ensuring their products are well maintained, clean and hygienic has been a number one priority for the company since its inception. By undertaking continual research and development, Instant Toilets & Showers ensure that they have the most modern and hygienic toilets and showers available anywhere in Australia. As the WA distributors for the Polyjohn range, Instant Toilets & Showers can sell or hire you any type of toilet, shower, transportable toilet or ablution facility you might need. And for builders who wish to own their toilets during the course of their projects, the team at Instant Toilets & Showers can provide special, hassle-free packages at the best price. A discounted rate for regular cleaning and servicing is available to all purchasers of a new toilet from Instant Toilets & Showers. Indeed, from initial purchase through to delivery, collection, regular cleaning and servicing and the storage of the units between projects, dealing with Instant Toilets & Showers is very much a worry-free and cost-effective experience. Instant Toilets & Showers operates its own fleet of service trucks to ensure that a high standard of cleanliness and prompt, regular servicing is maintained for its customers. Contact the friendly team at Instant Toilets & Showers at (08) 9406 6600 any time, or visit the company’s website at www. for more information about its products and services.

Fencing expertise, quality and service Glass Fencing Warehouse WA is a Perth-based, family-owned business providing top-quality, glass fencing and balustrading products to the domestic and commercial markets. The company’s signature products include a range of semi-frameless and frameless glass, pool fencing and balustrade products. Glass Fencing Warehouse WA is also a leader in the supply and installation of quality custom designed and made balustrade. With more than 30 years in the fencing industry, of which the past 10 have been devoted almost exclusively to quality, glass installations, Managing Director, Grahame Phillips, is experienced in all aspects of handling, selling and installing glass fencing and balustrade systems. Phone (08) 9418 1866

126 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012



• 370 watt, 240V motor • Tilting table & mitre guide • Quick release for belt change • Linishing work area 100 x 280mm • 150mm disc diameter • 7.5m/sec belt speed ideal for timber • 63mm dust collector port

• 1500W / 2hp 240V motor • 620 x 360mm table size • 1030 x 360mm table size with extensions • 8000 - 24000rpm speed • 0 - 40mm spindle height • Ø100mm dust chute • Includes: mitre guide, 1/4" & 1/2" collets, 2 x push blocks, spindle guard & spanners




Valued at $21 (2 x A36412) (2 x A0610)



$ (L105)

150 x 910mm


SAVE $20



• 2kW / 2.75hp 240V induction motor • 85mm depth of cut • Includes 315mm TCT saw blade • Large 550 x 800mm steel work table • 950 x 800mm with side extension • 550 x 1600mm with end extension • Ø315mm blade • Tilt arbor to 45º • Ø100mm dust chute INCLUDES

• 0.75kW / 1hp 240V motor • Long 1210mm cast iron tables • 150mm width capacity • 8mm rebating • 3 blade cutter head • Rigid quick action tilting fence to 45˚ with adjustable stops • Spring loaded blade guard • Ø100mm dust chute








SAVE $33


SAVE $40.90




Basato 3h Vario BAND SAW

• 1000W / 1.3hp 240V motor • 50 litre steel tank • 2 metre x 100mm hose • 5 micron fine filter • Portable light weight design • 500 cfm

• Unique variable speed drive system 370 to 750m/min • 800W / 1.06hp, 240V motor • Large 548 x 400mm cast iron table • Twin 3-roller precision blade guides • 305 x 205mm cutting capacity BLADE • Solid rip fence with eye-glass for precise settings Valued at $14.30 (1 x W854A) • Patented table tilting from -17º to +45º





$ (W392)

SAVE $14


SAVE $66



• 1.5kW / 2hp 240V motor • 380 x 150mm timber capacity • 3 blade cutter head with quick action blade change • 2 speed gearbox • 100mm dust chute • Solid cast iron construction

• 2.25kW / 3hp 240V motor • 304 x 220mm timber capacity • 1510 x 400mm jointer table size • 100mm dust chute • Four blades on Ø78mm cutter head • Heavy duty cast iron tables • 5m/minute feed speed




SAVE 124 $





SAVE $209

Specifications & Prices are subject to change without notification. All prices include GST and valid until 31-03-12

(08) 9373 9999

41-43 Abernethy Rd, Belmont


THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services

KILL TERMITES THE EASY WAY! Finally, a complete “D.I.Y” TERMITE treatment. No more pest controller needed. As easy as 1-2-3. 1

Install Superway Termite Baiting Stations around your property & inspect for activity every 2-3 weeks.



As soon as the Baiting Stations become active, apply the Termite treatment to the station.


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Ph: 1300 30 29 38 I Fax: (07) 5439 0366

102 Briggs Street, Welshpool WA 6106 f: 9470 9279 e:

More than just waterproofing The Polyseal Group has, since its inception in 1989, provided specialist services to the construction industry, building owners and operators and infrastructure providers. From a background in waterproofing new and existing structures using a variety of materials and techniques, Polyseal has grown it’s repertoire to include a wide range of activities including concrete repair works, carbon fibre and other forms of structural strengthening, cathodic protection and prevention, jointing, coating application to steelwork and concrete structures, epoxy flooring, fire service upgrades, pile wrapping, rail line reinstatement and re-grouting, minor civil works and associated general construction. The varied nature of our specialist services has exposed our people to all major industry sectors including major construction, infrastructure, and mining and has enabled us to develop expertise in the use of a wide range of construction products and chemicals. We maintain global alliances with materials suppliers to enable us to source the most suitable products for our customer’s needs and to bring the benefits of international research to bear in our local markets.


w w w.p 128 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012


THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services

Site Security for the 21st Century Our system is already being used by the country’s leading companies with impressive results “Since installing a Spectur HD System, we’ve had NO THEFTS, NO FALSE ALARMS, NO VANDALISM and NO TRADIES ONSITE AFTER HOURS We can monitor everything live on our smartphones It’s AMAZING!!” – Mitchell Dowdall, Site Manager, Gallacher

IT’S A FULLY FEATURED ALARM SYSTEM If anyone comes onsite when the system is armed, we know instantly. Live images are sent to our security centre (or your phone) within seconds of an activation. Verbal alerts warn that security and police are on their way which is very effective at scaring thieves. Our monitoring centre manages all alarms in real-time, watching events as they unfold. Patrols and police are called only with verified alarms, so no false alarms or wasted cost on unnecessary patrols.

REMOTE MONITORING WITH FULL SMARTPHONE INTEGRATION See your site live in high definition from your smartphone (or computer) from anywhere. Switch between multiple live high definition cameras and remotely arm or disarm alarms from your phone. There’s no need to go onsite.

EVERYTHING IN STUNNING HIGH DEFINITION Our custom built cameras use the latest 5MP sensors.

Revolutionary new security system from Spectur HD The Builders Choice Magazine spoke to Peter Holton of Spectur HD, a Western Australian company, about their revolutionary new security system. It Started With a Big Idea “It might sound like a cliché, but when we started designing our system, our goal was to create the best security system on the market. We knew that customers were generally pretty disappointed with existing technology. Alarms are only triggered after a break-in, large sites were almost impossible to cover, false alarms are a regular occurrence and patrols or static guards are prohibitively expensive as well as largely ineffective. “We knew we wanted a camera-based solution. These cameras had to be of a much higher quality than the ones currently available. We wanted a system that caught people when they entered restricted areas, NOT after they had broken into sites or buildings. We wanted alerts to be received quickly and acted upon immediately. We wanted to remove false alarms totally. We wanted to let customers have remote access to everything, including images and the ability to arm and disarm the system. We wanted a system that didn’t requite massive infrastructure and cabling to a central point. “It was a complex wish list but after two years of solid development, we now have the system we wanted, and some.” More Like Computers With Lenses than Cameras “The cameras control everything. They are fully self-contained security systems in their own right. They aren’t really cameras, more like computers with lenses. The fact that the cameras contain everything needed for the system to operate, means that their images don’t need to be fed back to a central processing unit. This keeps costs down as long runs of cable are unnecessary. “In addition to our initial list of features, we have worked very hard on the overall stability of the system. Cameras automatically reboot if there is a problem, avoiding downtime. We have teamed up with an AA-rated monitoring station that can receive alarms on the customer’s behalf, verify them, then act upon them as they watch events unfold in real time. “We have also added a sensor network to the cameras. Each camera has the ability to control up to 14 external devices. Cameras can keep an eye on streets of empty houses, as well as control things like door and window sensors – all without the need for hard wiring. “Finally, by engineering everything ourselves, including the cameras, we have kept prices at an extremely competitive level. Our system typically comes in at 30% less than other camera-based solutions. But we have a range of features that is well ahead of everything else in the market.” Positive Feedback “Several of the country’s biggest companies, BGC and Stockland, for example, are now using our technology. Mitchell Dowell, a site manager at a Gallacher’s site in Baldivis, has been using the system for five months. ‘Since using the Spectur system, we haven’t had a single theft, break-in or act of vandalism. Trades haven’t been onsite out-of-hours. I’ve got full remote control of what’s happening onsite. Anyone in the company can see what’s going on, from anywhere in the world,’ said Mitchell. ‘Service and support have been excellent. The guys are always available and respond immediately. I’d definitely recommend the Spectur system,’ he said.”

WI-FI, 3G AND SOLAR OPTIONS Using wi-fi reduces expensive cabling keeping installation costs low. Cameras can be moved quickly and easily as requirements change. 3G and solar options allow us to install systems in remote locations.

For more details on a camera based system from SPECTUR HD please give us a call on 1300 802 960.

130 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

Sylvia Broadbent - 0437 873 080 64 Midsummer Circle Pinjarra WA 6208

precast panel & post wall systems commercial & domestic


HEAD OFFICE Bradford Retaining Pty Ltd P: 9309 1933 I F: 9309 1947 27 Rogers Way, Landsdale WA 6065 E:

SALES AND CONSTRUCTION John Baxter M: 0417910623 E:

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services

Reg 2128

A/HOURS Ph/Fax: 08 9398 3011 E:

painting service pty ltd

“Quality at the right price – All hours, All areas”

Vitrified Porcelain I Ceramics Stone Laying / Cladding Mosaics I Floor Leveling Waterproofing I Pool Tiling 8 Rocket Vale, Padbury WA 6025 Tel: 0439 093 941 Fax: 08 9307 5498 Email: charlton

Two-storey home specialist. Save time and money with a higher quality finish than a conventional slab. Full slab service with one contact for your job. Fully engineered and the same strength as a conventional formed suspended slab. Services easily contained within the floor.

A breakthrough in suspended flooring construction. 132 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

No need for false ceilings means more freedom in design.

U4/63 Walters Drive Osborne Park WA 6017 Office: (08) 6461 5660

GRO AGENCIES PTY LTD U2, 37 Howe Street, Osborne Park WA 6017 Ph 08 9446 3288 Fax 08 9244 2257 Email

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services



Footing Detail Retaining Walls Standard & Circular Stairs Suspended Slabs

• • • •

Service Pits Lift/Stair Shafts Tilt Panels/AFS Walls Pedestals, Columns, Beams

20 years of extensive formwork experience Australia-wide On site advice and project liaison

Ph Ivan 0424 413 149 or Sandra 0406 100 130


Fax 08 9407 4514 Email

Transport hire also available




Quality finish at an economical price. Practical alternative to brick or stone. Strong, durable and maintenance free. Specially designed for DIY or Quick, guaranteed installation.



Retaining heights up to 1.5m. Terracing steep slopes. Attractive garden edging. Replacing termite-infested sleepers. Retaining where space is limited.




FEATURES • • • • • • • •

Colours - Grey, Cream or Charcoal Patterns - Plain, Limestone, Slate, Block 2nd Grade posts available for buried walls. Panels interlock with H-section post. Steel reinforced for added strength. Engineer designed for your security. Approved by local authorities. Concrete regularly independently laboratory used

P: 9472 1148 F: 9362 2005 E:

For more information and advice, visit the Wonder Walls factory and sales centre at: 180 RALEIGH STREET, CARLISLE or see our walls displayed at: HOMEBASE EXPO - SUBIACO

134 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

Freecall 1300 360 432

JDS is committed to introducing only the finest in quality products to our customers, backed by second-to-none service with the best lead times in the industry. JDS has added 5 new products that are now available to the market. The new metal fascia we have designed has been in use in the South West for some time and has been met with rave reviews. Available in Zincalume and all Colorbond colours, JDS has made significant improvements including a special clip that results in no fascia clip marks on the fascia itself.


• REGAL Frame • JDS Deluxe Frame


• Split Frames • 10 Bend Knockdowns NEW • REGAL Knockdowns

Our new metal fascia we have designed has been in use in the South West for some time now and has been met with rave reviews. Available in Zincalume and all Colourbond colours, JDS has made improvements in the design to make it stronger and allow for the clip to connect to the fascia in a way where no clip marks are visible.

• Commercial Frames

With the introduction of our JDS Deluxe Frame and the expansion of our Commercial Division, JDS can now be looked upon as a one-stop shop for all profiles of metal doorframes that are currently being offered in the WA market.

• Roof & Ceiling Battens NEW

For information about any of our products, please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly sales team.

• Fascia


• Meter Boxes

21 Alloa Road, Maddington WA 6109 p. 9493 3356 f. 9493 3358 Freecall 1300 360 432 Bunbury Office: 22 Sweny Drive, Australind WA 6233 p. 9797 0210 f. 9797 0310

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services

GREENPAINTERS Using zero VOC paints

• • • • • • • •

R e s i d e n t i a l & C o m m e r c i a l Pa i n t i n g No Obligation FREE Quotes FREE Colour Consultation Ser vices Competitive Prices 5 Ye a r Wo r k m a n s h i p Wa r r a n t y Q u a l i f i e d , Fr i e n d l y Tr a d e s p e o p l e Sustainable Prac tises & Produc ts Av a i l a b l e Fi n a n c e

1300 401 441

E. F. 08 9417 9037 6/24 Hammond Rd, Cockburn Central 6164

PO Box 803 Inglewood WA 6932 Mobile: 0415 209 215 Fax: 9271 1160 Email:

Karl Threadgate

Yellow Metal Yellow Metal is a manufacturer and supplier of quality architectural steel products and services including custom-made planter boxes, house numbers, letterbox plates, message boards and a number of other products. Yellow Metal also manufactures and installs Ramguard Bollards, the most effective automatic security bollards on the market, and operates a successful powder coating and abrasive blasting business. All About Design – From a single planter for your home to a complete theme for a commercial project, we can make your design vision a reality. All About Quality – We are leading manufacturers of high quality products for residential and commercial gardens, al fresco areas and interior design projects. All About Versatility – You choose the colour, size and style; we will produce a unique design that will enhance your home, garden or business.

Suppliers of custom designed: • • • •

Planter Boxes Wall Mount Planters Letterboxes House Numbers

Powder Coating & Blasting Automatic • Retractable • Removable • Permanent Lighting • Cable Gates • Bollard Systems

Elite Bollard Systems and Traffic Management Solutions

Custom Planters & Letterboxes

High Quality Bollards

136 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

Coating and Blasting Services

P: 9353 4392 M: 0403 602 971

Unit 3, 51 Division Street Welshpool, WA 6106

January 1 30/01/2012 1:25:16 PM

THE BUILDERS CHOICE energy efficiency



Since 1945 Vista Visuals Australia has evolved into a significant, multi-faceted organisation that proudly partners with builders and architects, working on a number of projects over the years. At VVA we are proud of our amazing heritage and are passionate about our position as a genuine 100% Australian owned and operated company that continues to manufacture products locally.




Project: Fiona Stanley Hospital - Building A Commisioned by: A&E Projects Product Supplied: Pinboards supplied in frequency 641, frequency 542 and echo panel 542 with special FSH profile, clear anodised trim. Whiteboards use special manufactured profile trim for FSH in clear anodised with mitre corners and porcelain e3 surface. Status: In progress

Fiona Stanley Hospital Artist Impression - approach to internal cafe in main concourse


Fiona Stanley Hospital Artist Impression - entry to main hospital




To register simply email with your name, phone, email and company address. *terms and conditions apply.

ECU - Joondalup ECU - Joondalup

Indoors? Outdoors? Why not have both....

Showroom and Selection Centre Showcasing the largest range of window, door and glass options in WA. This fantastic new resource for builders, designers and home owners was recognised in the national Australian Window Association (AWA) Showroom of the Year Award. 31 Sheffield Road (cnr Dampier Road ) Welshpool Ph: 9351 3400 Opening Hours - Mon to Fri 8:00am - 5:00pm Sat 9:00am - 12:00pm

Open Saturd ay ‘til noon!



Project: Edith Cowan University - Joondalup Commisioned by: Doric Group Product Supplied: Supply and install custom made Porcelain Whiteboards, Combination Porcelain Whiteboards & Velour Fabric Pinboards. Status: Completed


The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 137

mcc bc calendar_mcc bc calendar 29/03/11 11:20 AM Page 2

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services

• Plan Printing • Digital Printing • Photocopying

New innovation in waste removal arrives in WA – a skip bin in a bag!

• General Printing • Laminating • Binding • Artwork

Now there is a convenient, cost effective alternative to steel skip bins. The Mighty Bin skip bag comes flat packed so it’s easy to carry. The 1m³, 2m³ and 3m³ Mighty Bins can hold the same sort of waste that traditional skip bins can hold including general waste, green waste and clean/hard fill (sand, soil, bricks, concrete etc). Mighty Bin is safety rated to 1.5 tonnes. The beauty of the Mighty Bin is that it can be easily carried and stored for instant use, whenever you need it. Unlike oldfashioned steel skip bins, there are no hire fees, no waiting for the skip bin to arrive and you can take as long as you like to fill it. Simply unpack your Mighty Bin where you want it picked up, fill it, then arrange for your pickup. Easy. Pickup is guaranteed within 5 working days. For your nearest stockist please visit or phone 1300 087 895

1/10 Enterprise Crescent Malaga WA 6090 Telephone (08) 9248 8500 Email

Tough floor surfaces for all usage PM Spray-On Paving is a WA-owned-and-operated company offering a variety of industrial, commercial and domestic non-slip flooring services at competitive prices. Our unique, non-slip concrete resurfacing products are ideal for any surfaces, including steps, ramps, walkways, entertainment and wet areas. An epoxy polymer floor surface provides a decorative, internal flooring alternative, great for restoring uneven, cracked or worn concrete. This is ideal for high traffic areas as it has a high resistance to wear and will not harbour bacteria as some other floor coatings can. This is one of the reasons it is highly recommended for food-processing and entertainment areas, workshops, shopping centres and schools. Add value and appeal to your home with our large range of colours, patterns, and borders, custom logos, motifs, fleck colours or other special effects and eye-catching features to create an original and striking surface. PM Spray-On Paving also offers a variety of internal paving solutions for your home or workplace, or wherever your surface needs may be. With our large range of colours and finishes, you are bound to find the best finish to suit your needs.

C O N C R E TE R E SU R FA C IN G SP E C I A L IST S • Custom non slip flooring • Decorative non slip concrete resurfacing in wide range of colours and patterns • Decorative epoxy polymer flooring • Top quality products and workmanship • Epoxy & Polyurethane coatings for concrete, steel, timber & tiles • Domestic, commercial & Industrial applications • Custom logos and motifs



SHOWROOM: Unit 2/84 Callaway Street, WANGARA P: 08 9303 2701 F: 08 9303 2702 138 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

THE BUILDERS CHOICE energy efficiency

Are you familiar with Corex Fluteboard® & Corflute® brands and the potential application within your building sites? We all know fluted board is widely used in the signage industry, however, it can also be used in the following building applications: • Protecting floors, doors, cabinets, pillars and any high value surface • A waterproofing membrane in retaining walls, flower beds and cellars • Lining skylights • Template work for window frames • Filling construction expansion joints • Concrete formwork

COREX PLASTICS (AUST) PTY LTD If you want to protect your valuable work surfaces, consider COREX as your supplier. Contact COREX direct on (03) 9238 1300 or our agent in WA on 0439 032 526.

COREX Fluteboard® is Australian made and is a versatile alternative material which is: • Moisture resistant • Lightweight • Easy to work with, cut and form • Reusable • Recyclable




21 +GST



Terms and conditions apply Call or visit website for details


BUY DIRECT OR HIRE! For more info or to order online visit


After 3 months (offer period), hire reverts to standard rate of $5.30 +GST per day ($37.10 +GST per week)







AND COSTS $50 +GST Hire price valid for term of hire



* Offer only valid if combined with toilet hire. Free delivery and pickup only available if in conjunction with a scheduled toilet delivery, pickup or service. Price without toilet hire is $25 +GST per week plus $45 +GST delivery and $45 +GST pickup.

PHONE 0407 693 242 | FAX (08) 9200 5756 | EMAIL

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 139

tradies corner


THE BUILDERS CHOICE water efficiency

Shooting the breeze Blow out the cobwebs at WA’s only shooting complex in Perth. Lone Ranges Shooting Complex is one of the safest, recreational shooting facilities in Australia. Famous guns such as the Browning, Beretta, Glock, Smith & Wesson and Desert Eagle are available. Customers also have a choice of cowboy-style rifles and shotguns which can be used to test accuracy. Lone Ranges can organise social or business functions and team-building exercises, and it can easily cater for recreational groups of friends wanting to compete against each other. Discounts are offered to groups of 10 or more and all packages include firearm hire, ammunition, safety equipment and basic training. There are also special mid-week packages available.

Welcome to WASP Paintball, the ultimate paintball experience! With three outdoor fields, WASP Paintball is the perfect choice for your next birthday, social, corporate or bucks day out. WA owned and operated with highly experienced staff, excellent customer service, competitive prices, and open seven days a week (including school holidays)! WASP Canning Vale boasts facilities like no other with swimming pool, licensed bar, cafe, outdoor patio, showers and pro-shop. WASP Wanneroo offers large bush scenario fields perfect for bucks groups and corporate events. WASP Clackline is our army based field with fort, trenches, tunnels, village field, just 45 minutes outside of Midland. So for an experience like no other, visit WASP Paintball for your next event. Group discounts and gift vouchers available! Suitable for ages 12 years + 0418 912 795





107-109 Robinson Ave BELMONT WA 6014 TEL (+618) 9277 9200 FAX (+618) 9277 9211

We offer you the thrill of learning to shoot a variety of rifles, shotguns, revolvers and semi auto pistols in the security of our indoor complex. We cater for Corporate, Groups, Bucks and Hens Parties.

140 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012





Appliance wholesaler for builders and commercial projects since 1965


“YOUR ONE STOP SHOP” Mechanical Services Commercial & Domestic Design & Manufacture Supply & Install Air Conditioning Services Property Maintenance RTA No. AU22817

Electsales can offer a huge range of top brand electrical and gas appliances at commercial prices.


Servicing Perth – Mandurah



Building Regulations Consultancy Building Certifiers Fire Safety Engineers


9242 1298


Providing fire safety, health & amenity solutions for the built environment...


0407 085 651

Access Consultants

Phone: 9271 1338

Giving life back






9271 3322 55C Walter Road Dianella WA 6062 We cater for all types of occasions. If you’re having a party, call us! CONCRETE

+ Commercial, Offices, Fit-outs, Ceiling & Partitions + Retail & Commercial outlets


0411 158 747


PO Box 629, BALCATTA WA 6914

+ Showrooms & Industrial developments

Unit 15/16, 213 Balcatta Rd BALCATTA WA 6021

+ Multi-level Residential & Commercial projects

T. (08) 9240 7887 F. (08) 9240 7890 E. W:




Terry Brown Managing Director Mobile: 0407 733 822 Email:

Coastal View Concrete Specialising in: Washed Aggregate Driveways Garage Floors Alfresco Footpaths Polished Concrete


Eddie 0402 236 808


Terry’s CRANE HIRE PTY LTD For all your crane hire needs 24 Hour Services


6/43 Buckingham Drive Wangara WA 6065 P: 08 9309 2653 F: 08 9309 1371 M: 0417 901 271

For all crane bookings, please contact Michael on:

P. 08 9279 7762 F. 08 9279 7742 PO Box 122, Glen Forrest WA 6071

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012 141







8/35 Darlot Road Landsdale WA P: (08) 9303 2376 F: (08) 9303 2356

Ring For Free Catalogue

Contact Paul Flannery P: +61 8 9368 8999 F: +61 8 9367 5335 M: 0411 743 756 E: 52 Melville Parade South Perth WA 6151

Call 1800 888 114


Construction Liability Covers Workers Compensation Business Assets Strata Buildings Plant & Equipment Professional Indemnity Revenue Protection Claims Management




9274 3235


Registered Migration Agent No. 0318250

Since 1963 Unit 6/101 Catherine St Morley WA 6062 P: (08) 9275 4560 F/P: (08) 9275 5153

Positions now available  Boilermakers/Welder  Fitter/Mechanics  Electricians  Auto Electricians  Light Vehicle Mechanics


Phone +61 (08) 9404 7511 Mobile +61 (0) 407 857 850 1 Oldbury Way Tapping WA 6065 PLASTERING



P h ot o gr a ph e r

Western Australia is Experiencing Skilled Labour Shortages

Stephen Nicholls Pty Ltd

sunset coast australian migration

P.O. Pox 2166 Marmion 6020 Perth WA Australia P (08) 9203 5159 F (08) 9203 5659 M 0407 420 479


Plastering & Texturers Pty Ltd



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

Polystyrene Systems Blue Boards/Harditex Brick Render Texturing

All aspects of solid wall plastering Interior & Exterior Float & Set Sand Finish Rendering New Builds & Renovations Mobile: 0415 390 633 Tel: 08 9304 0644



P: (08) 9444 0008

ANDY LAKATANI M: 0410 133 811

142 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2012

Rhys Fode: 0412 772 799 F: (08) 9444 0009 E:

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

Officially unveiled on Wednesday the 8th of February 2012, Cooling Brothers flagship ImagInk™ project ‘The Munday Wall’ comprises a 9.5m high printed glass facade featuring a contemporary Indigenous artwork. A national first for large scale Indigenous artwork on glass, the project is a stunning showcase of the vibrant UV-resistant full colour capabilities of the ImagInk™ digital ceramic printing, and features a rich depth of colour and an unsurpassed level of detail to create the headturning 72 square metre glass canvas.

BELOW: ImagInk features a 300dpi printing resolution to reavel brush strokes and canvas texture in eye-popping detail


Cooling Brothers Glass Company Ltd I 961 Abernethy Road, High Wycombe, Perth, 6057 I ph. (08) 6104 1777 I

Builders choice magazine march 2012