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MARCH 2013


CAB Member Since November 2010

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36 47 27 26 From the editor........................................................................................... 12 PROFILE Arthur Psaltis ........................................................................... 16 PROFILE Dane Richardson.................................................................. 18 PROFILE Kirsten Rose.............................................................................. 20 PROFILE Evon Knudson........................................................................ 22 PROFILE Kent Lyon................................................................................... 24 COVER STORY MATRIX – DESIGNED FOR THE FUTURE...........................................26 Meyer Shircore creates an exciting, practical and future-proof flagship headquarters for Matrix.

INDUSTRY NEWS & VIEWS WA WOMEN EARN $470PW LESS THAN MEN, WORST IN AUSTRALIA......................................................................................31 UnionsWA comments on the release by the Australian Bureau of Statistics of data measuring the gap in earnings between women and men nationally as well as in WA.


COMMERCIAL TOP OF THE TERRACE IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE................ 36 The Terrace Hotel offers a modern, stunning rethink of an historic St Georges Terrace heritage building.

THERE’S NOTHING SQUARE ABOUT HOW QUBE DOES THINGS........ 47 Developer QUBE adds another impressive project to its portfolio; this time a building housing its own offices in Subiaco

A CAR PARK IN DISGUISE........................................................... 53 The new Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre car park is one of the largest multi-deck car parks in the southern hemisphere - but it looks more like an upmarket office building that perfectly matches the natural beauty of neighbouring Kings Park.

EDUCATIONAL TUART FOREST PRIMARY SCHOOL BRINGS THE OUTDOORS IN....................................................................... 76 Kent Lyon Architect helps bring to fruition the new Tuart Forest Primary School, a colourful and innovative new addition to Western Australia’s education system.

SUSTAINABILITY IN THE ‘ASIAN CENTURY’............................. 31 Green Building Council of Australia discusses the impact of urbanization in Asia on Australia.

TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT THE WA TRAINING AWARDS – RECOGNISING THE STATE’S BEST................................................................................................. 32 Sam Goodall and Nathan McGuire are two of the 2012 recipients of the prestigious WA Training Awards.

on the cover Matrix – Understated, Functional & Efficient Read our cover story on page 26. Photography: Steve Scott - Scott Image

4 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013


A Total Insulated Door System That Doesn’t Cut Corners If you are serious about insulating your garage space, don’t let your garage door be your weakest link. Even the best insulation in the world is wasted if the outside steel skin of your garage door is allowing heat-transfer to and from the inside steel surface. Do you have an insulate garage door with a specifically designed thermal break and full seal system?

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67 BREATHING NEW LIFE INTO BUNBURY PRIMARY SCHOOL. . ......................................................................... 92


Old and new come together to revitalise Bunbury Primary School as a centre of learning excellence.

Clients wanted a comfortable, environmentally friendly weekender; Dane Design Australia gave them that and a whole lot more.


BUILDING HOMES IS A FAMILY BUSINESS............................... 67

NEW HEIGHTS IN LUXURY.......................................................... 40

Cicirello Homes, one of Perth’s leading boutique builders, bring a family touch to magnificent custom-built homes.

Finbar hits all the right notes with a luxurious new high-rise apartment development, Adagio, in East Perth.

TO BERM, OR NOT TO BERM – THAT IS THE QUESTION....... 44 Dane Design Australia delivers a sensational “buried” home inspired by Parliament House in Canberra.

FREMANTLE’S GREAT LEAP FORWARD................................... 50 Somersault by Match apartments are a magnificent new addition to affordable housing in Western Australia.

MEDALLION BRINGS ICONIC STYLE TO PERRY LAKES........ 56 A luxury two-storey home in the new Perry Lakes residential precinct combines Webb & Brown-Neaves’ modernist design flair with a contemporary take on the iconic Floreat style of the ‘50s and ‘60s.

INTEGRITY DEVELOPMENTS LIFTS THE BAR ON MULTI-DWELLING DEVELOPMENTS........................................... 59 Boutique builder Integrity Developments cleverly combines two blocks to create a unique project of six townhouses and a villa in Doubleview.

6 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

LIVE FOREVER ZEN IN THE AZUMI............................................. 72 The Azumi, from Webb & Brown-Neaves, offers magnificent Japan-inspired living in the heart of Burns Beach.

SUSTAINABLE SPIRIT..................................................................... 74 A Port Denison rammed limestone home takes eco-design and building to new heights, blending seamlessly in with its surrounds.

BUILDING ON A SOLID FOUNDATION....................................... 79 Craig Sheiles Homes has a growing list of satisfied repeat clients, as a beautiful new family home in Floreat attests.

BUILDING A NEW LIFE................................................................... 82 There’s more to building than bricks and mortar, according to Edward Brewer Homes director David Brewer.

STARS ALIGN................................................................................ 85 The sky’s the limit for National Lifestyle Villages’ new portfolio of homes, launched under the Project Star banner.

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99 96 88 FROM A TO ZAZEN...................................................................... 88 Zazen Building & Design and Chindarsi Architects overcame some tricky technical (and other) challenges to produce a beautiful, ultra modern residence.

DEVELOPER, DESIGNER AND BUILDER CREATE UNIQUE RENTAL SOLUTIONS................................................................... 94 For developer Yaran Property Group, there’s no need to invest outside WA; it believes the “diamonds are in our own backyard”. A new Yaran project at Aubin Grove is one such diamond.

HELPING SHAPE ALBANY........................................................... 96 A striking home on steep site in Albany is another successful project from local builder Tectonics Construction Group and architectural practice Hobbs Smith Holmes Architects.

MOTUS ARCHITECTURE AND ABSECON BUILDERS BRING A TOUCH OF NEW YORK TO COMO.............................................. 64 Beautiful New York-style mezzanine apartments and retail office suites are the centrepiece of a luxurious new development in Como, courtesy of Motus Architecture and Absecon Builders.

FINANCE BORROWING TO INVEST WITH YOUR SELF MANAGED SUPERFUND................................................................................. 104 Sterling Taxation discusses the pros and cons of borrowing through Self Managed Superfunds for investment purposes.

RENOVATIONS KITCHEN AND BATHROOM RENOVATIONS. . ................ 106 Some food for thought when renovating your kitchen or bathroom.

GOOD THINGS COME IN THREES............................................... 99 Three recently completed projects show the diversity of Charles Pace’s Pace Projects and Construction Management.



Make the most of our sunny climate with a pool and spa that suits your needs.

IN THE SWIM................................................................................ 108

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8 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

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A cyclonically rated, architecturally attractive and revolutionary complete walling system that will enhance the way you build. • In cyclone areas, Designstone provides attractive masonry finish, an alternative to steel cement sheeting products. • Designstone is not just a walling system, it’s a versatile package that can provide a preliminary concept to engineered construction drawings and site support. • Using the Designstone walling system substantially reduces construction time.

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BUILDING THE NORTHWEST AND BEYOND FOR OVER 20 YEARS D.A Burke Builders is a commercial and residential building company with projects from industrial workshops, multi-dwelling unit developments to single dwellings for your family. We have full design and construction capabilities in-house, taking your concept right through to your completed project.

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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

DESIGN VALUE OF STRUCTURAL STEEL CAN BE MORE THAN JUST SKIN DEEP...........................................................................112

Sub-Editor Norman Burns

Australian Steel Institute explores how close communication early in the design process for buildings can extend the value of structural sections.

LIGHT GAUGE STEEL RISES TO THE CHALLENGE.................114 The right steel in the right place imparts strength, longevity and aesthetic qualities to the built environment

ENERGY EFFICIENCY ENERGY. WE CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT IT BUT WE CAN LIVE WITH LESS! ................................................ 118 Australians live in the biggest houses in the world, however, with the increase in population and with it, urban sprawl, building smaller houses would be a big step in living a more sustainable life.

SUSTAINABILITY SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION FOR LOW COST, LOW CARBON BUILDINGS: LOOKING FOR HELP?..... 120 Professor Peter Newman discusses the need to reduce carbon dramatically and at the same time reduce costs with sustainable construction.

Admin/Artwork Co-ordinator Gina York Graphic Designer Pearlin Bracewell Writer Rocky Amatulli Contributing Journalists Keith Mexsom Sales Executives Rod Saggers, Mike Thake Accounts Julie Jones Printer Quality Press Distributor Northside Logistics

WATER EFFICIENCY PLUMBING THEN AND NOW 1973-2013................................. 122 Master Plumbers & Gasfitters Association analyses the plumbing industry over the last 40 years

FROM WASTER TO WATER.......................................................... 124 Suggestions for positive water management measures on our building sites.

BUILDING PRODUCTS & SERVICES.................................... 125 TRADIES CORNER......................................................................... 135 DIRECTORY LISTINGS................................................................. 137

APOLOGY The Builders Choice Magazine would like to apologise to Gary Mackintosh of Hames Sharley for having incorrectly spelt his name, and for some procedural inconsistencies relating to Gary’s profile printed in the December 2012 edition.

10 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

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.

Finally – a smart and practical approach to affordable building!

Combining 7 years experience with resilient, lightweight and readily available materials, Western Australian pioneer ECOSTRUCT HOMES has improved its already incomparable building system which delivers quality, cost effectiveness and simplicity. ECOSTRUCT HOMES manufactures and supplies it superior patented ECOSTRUCT E-PANEL building system designed to create contemporary looking and environmentally friendly homes – using quality Australian products. In most cases, standard single storey homes built using the system can be locked up within 20 days and occupied within 40 days of the floor slab being poured. The ECOSTRUCT E-PANEL building system already provides great thermal properties, and by incorporating our E-SOLAR PV systems, E-LED lighting package and double E-GLAZED window options, your energy bills are reduced even further. ECOSTRUCT HOMES is proudly Australian owned and operated, and our E-PANEL building system is designed for Australian conditions - including being cyclone rated. To learn how your project can benefit from our E-PANEL building system, contact Managing Director David Lovell on 0407 990 617, or visit our website

phone (08) 9493 1110 fax (08) 9362 4064 email factory 61 Austin Ave Kenwick WA 6107

from the editor Welcome to another new year with The Builders Choice Magazine. Our March issue has an eclectic mix of features for you all to enjoy. While the global focus on sustainability continues, one good read on page 120 is an article on sustainability kindly provided by renowned Professor Peter Newman and Kuntal Dutta from the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute. This article is addressing sustainable construction in Australia for low cost and low carbon building. Our cover story on page26 features Matrix Composites & Engineering’s new offices in Henderson. Architects Meyer Shircore have again shown their aptitude for style, colour and appeal. Meyer Shircore has delivered this project for their client with complete conviction which leaves no doubt that Meyer Shirecore truly are a design force to be reckoned with. Another must see feature in this issue are the Adagio Apartments situated in East Perth by Finbar Group. Beautifully designed with great views, and perfectly suited for people who want to call city living home. Each apartment features open plan living, and luxurious interiors to suit everyone’s taste.

are proud to again assist Engineers Australia in holding the Face to Face Expo for Young Engineers. The purpose of this event is to bring together employers face to face with the next generation of graduating engineers. Should you wish to participate in this event being held on Saturday 13th April at The Robinson Pavilion Claremont Showgrounds, please contact our office on 9409 5143. Last year over 1200 student engineers were introduced to some 77 organisations involved in a diversity of engineering activities undertaken within and outside this state; which included mining, oil and gas, the military, construction, electronics, information technology, the environment and both the state and federal sectors. I look forward to bringing our readers many more great features and industry news throughout the rest of 2013 and our next 3 issues. Please remember to contact me if you have a project you would like featured. Until next issue,

The development is said to be by far more luxurious than any other development on Terrace Road, including that even of other Finbar developments. In our September 2012 issue some of you may have seen our advertisement for our new online A-Z directory. Since launching we have had a huge response from clients and potentially new customers. Perhaps when you a moment in your busy schedules, look us up on Facebook and whilst there please check out our new online A-Z directory I would like to bring your attention to the fact that we, at BPA,

Merelyn Demarte Managing Editor Email:

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up close + personal with

arthur psaltis


Tell us a little about your background: what drove you to become an engineer, how long have you been in the industry, and what you enjoy most about it? I studied Civil Engineering at The University of WA in the mid to late 80’s. I chose engineering because of my technical drawing, maths and physics ability. I always enjoyed understanding how things worked. I did work experience with Pritchard Francis leading into my final year of studies and was offered a position after graduating. After a few years I left, to work for Halpern Glick Maunsell (now Aecom). I returned to PF in early 1994, became an associate director that same year, a director in 1996 and managing director in 1998. The enjoyment that has remained constant for me over my career has been the mental challenge of my work and having direct involvement and influence over successful outcomes on the projects I work on. How has the profession changed since your early days and how have you adapted to those changes? The biggest change has probably been in documentation, having seen the transition from board drafting to 2D CAD and now 3D CAD and BIM. Personally, I’ve adapted poorly. In relation to the engineering profession, I think we have made design more complicated than it needs to be. Codes demand more analysis work and while technology has given us the tools to undertake this work, it has not necessarily resulted in better solutions or more efficient use of materials. What changes or challenges do you see ahead for the profession? Regulation and procedure-driven outcomes are making it more difficult to produce sensible results. As a society we continue to set higher and higher expectations which take more and more resources to achieve. We continue to become less competitive in the world market. I personally hate procedure over-riding common sense and I see more and more of this as time goes on. Your company (Pritchard Francis) is already very active across many aspects and project types in the Structural and 16 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

Civil Engineering fields. Do you foresee or are you planning to expand into any other areas? We have grown 12-fold since I became a Director in 1996. Part of our success has been through expanding into other areas of work rather than just doing more of the same. Our current Strategic Plan identifies areas we see the practice developing further. Defence, resources engineering, hydrology, major civil infrastructure and sustainable development are a few we have identified. All of these areas have a civil/structural focus. We have no ambition of being a multi-disciplined practice. Pritchard Francis offers scholarships to young graduate engineers. Is it common in the profession, and why did you feel it important to get involved with them? It is not common for a consulting practice like ours to offer scholarships and I believe ours is quite unique in its structure and the outcomes that result from it. The benefits occur at various levels. The scholarship program at UWA allows us to offer something back to the industry at tertiary level. The program has been going for 10 years and has proved very successful, not only in the reputation it now has, but also the opportunity it has provided to many of the students who have been involved. I believe a great deal of our success and our ability to grow has resulted from a strong commitment to graduate recruitment and a disciplined focus on training and developing individuals within the firm. The scholarship program has been the cornerstone of this approach. The nine scholars who have graduated all currently remain with the firm. Our inaugural winner is now a director of the firm. Since 2004, 17 out of 18 graduates, most of whom came through the scholarship program, remain with the firm.

I note that your company was the recipient of the Engineers Australia Sir William Hudson Award for the Condor Tower project. What did this recognition by your peers mean to you, and what lessons can be learnt by the construction industry generally from the reasons you were given the award? The Sir William Hudson Award is the highest honour bestowed on a project within Australia.


It was extremely rewarding, deeply satisfying and we were very proud to have been acknowledged at a national level for our achievements on this project. While the project was not the largest undertaken that year, it was recognised for its complexity, unique challenges, the courage of the design team to push the boundaries and the confidence we had in our expertise and technical ability to achieve world-class outcome.

You are obviously very committed to the profession. What personal goals do you still have that you want to achieve? I feel that the practice has already accomplished a great deal over the years, which means many of my personal goals have been achieved. Very importantly, the firm has changed, grown, diversified and matured, but through all of this maintained high standards of engineering, a high level of service and most importantly, maintained its very strong reputation. My role within the firm has also changed significantly over the years. I see myself now working towards ensuring the firm survives beyond my direct involvement. We have a core group of individuals within the practice that can now carry the firm beyond my tenure. Personally, I would like to ensure the firm is robust and strong. I will gain enormous personal satisfaction in seeing some of the very talented young professionals within our firm reach their full potential. Can you offer young people commencing their engineering studies any advice? My advice to young people commencing their engineering studies is work hard and make decisions that create long-term benefits for yourself, not short-term gains. Engineering and the construction industry is a very mature industry; you don’t get to where you want quickly. Experience is highly valued but can only come with time. If you are good at what you do and act professionally you will slowly gain recognition and develop a good reputation. Gaining industry recognition and being highly regarded by your peers and clients is extremely rewarding. Could you have chosen any other career than engineering, and why/why not? I did consider a few other professions prior to University, however, once I made the decision to do engineering I never looked back. I believed, at the time, I made the right decision for the right reasons and, beyond that point, committed 100 per cent to my career. I believe in always taking the appropriate time with enough information to make the right decision, but once made, move ahead fully committed. Apart from a love of engineering, what else do you enjoy doing? My family life is very important to me. I have a young family and a very supportive wife. I have always managed a sensible work and personal life balance, particularly since having children. I try to encourage this within our practice and always try to ensure our staff are not over-worked. Most of my holidays and breaks from work are spent down south with the family. I have a strong interest in Formula 1 racing, I believe, mainly due to their professional approach and uncompromising pursuit for excellence. I enjoy fishing when I get the opportunity, however within this interest I show no professionalism or signs of excellence. BC











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The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 17


up close + personal with

dane richardson


Tell us a little about yourself, and how you got into your industry? Design and construction has been my life. I started with hands-on experience completing a trade in carpentry and joinery, which in turn lead to various roles in construction and ongoing through construction management. I have been involved with building design from the days I started my trade, designing and documenting my first home at age 19. From this point on I built on my skills and moved to 3D modelling and BIM software as my preferred method of developing and documenting our designs. In 1995 I established Dane Design Australia (DDA) and focused all my energy on design, leaving the construction side of the industry to preferred contractors - so I could focus all my effort on design. In addition to developing my own firm I also worked on a number of fantastic projects in India, China and Indonesia. Tell us about your company, what it does, and what roles you undertake within it? DDA is a small design firm, but we have extensive experience with private residential commissions across a wide range of budgets and specification levels. I am the principle designer and company director. I am personally involved in every design, and that is the only reason I come to work. I do of course have day to day duties of managing the business however designing is my driver and my passion. We have also completed a number of commercial projects and are currently expanding this portfolio. In addition we have been developing our own pre-designed projects. This is an ongoing task however we do hope to be able to market this range of homes within the near future. Typically we are engaged to take a project from concept to completion. No matter how small or large the scope, we have repeatedly delivered high value to our clients. Personal communication and a trouble-free experience for our clients have seen most of our new commissions come through client referral. We also pride ourselves in supporting our design work with the highest quality documentation and project management services.

18 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

What types of projects do you get involved in, and which ones do you enjoy most? At the outset the majority of our projects have been private homes, so the complexity and scope has varied considerably over the years. I love the detail of the design phase and the relationship developed with the owners - it’s very personal. A private home is one of the most challenging of architectural designs; form and function are always challenged when designing a home for someone else. As much as I have enjoyed working (in construction) on large hotels, resorts or towers in large cities I am personally drawn to the private ‘home’ as the most satisfying building to design. Where do you draw your inspirations from? The site delivers just about all the information required to commence a design. Whether it is restrictions imposed by development codes or the site orientation or view corridors, the site will say a lot to me. The site will also deliver an amazing palette of materials and colours, a site collection of soil, leaves and tree bark will often break down to the total building palette. The planning of rooms will be evident from a single walk across a new site, privacy, views, solar gain etc all come from a site visit. I work closely with that feeling that I get from the site, and of course the client. What were some of the main challenges on projects you undertake – and how do you overcome them? There are so many challenges with architectural design. There are literally limitless options and when you arrive at a solution you know that another week or month may allow you to develop a better solution - and so it goes on and on. I know that ‘we will never arrive’ and this is what keeps me so inspired with designing buildings. Then there are the challenges of layers and layers of compliance, regulation and performance matters. In terms of overcoming them, I simply make sure I allocate sufficent time and if I haven’t I just take longer in order to get it right.


What do you feel makes your approach unique? Is it unique? I doubt my approach is unique however the results will be. Ultimately, it’s a creative role and each different designer can produce a different version of the same thing. I hope that my response to a brief/site/client/design provides honesty and integrity, and optimises the potential for that project. What are some of your favourite materials used on your projects? I think that natural untreaded untouched materials are the best hands down. The patina of weather and time can not be substituted in any man-made material. Stone cut and sawn with-out polish or adjustments is perfect. Timber which is unsealed is perfect. Concrete without treatment is perfect. Any modern forms with natural materials is absolutely it for me stone, timber, concrete, copper, rammed earth, etc. What have you learnt from your experiences and the industry? I am still learning, and there is way too much to list. What I can say again is that I know ‘we will never arrive.’ I am just at the beginning, and while a lot has been learnt, I also know that I have a lot to learn. How has your industry changed since you first started, and what are the main challenges you foresee? Clients are notably more informed of building technologies and performance, which is great. However managing budgets and expectations is now more demanding as a result. This is not altogether a bad thing, but demands more time and that can take time away from the purity of design. Finding a balance between function/performance/consumption is also a consideration which is becoming more prominent. Reusing spaces, designing for future use and changing uses for spaces and buildings impacts more and more on design. Limiting waste is something we should all strive towards in some way, including what can often be the beginning of a process – design. Do you care to share any other exciting projects you are working on? Every project I work on is exciting to me, and I hope that my passion shows in the final built form that our projects take. What would you like to be remembered for? I design as I do because I enjoy expressing and interpreting what I read from a site and a client into a design and finally a space that in turn other people can enjoy. I guess this means that I impact positively on peoples’ lives in a small but hopefully significant way. Some people may choose to remember me for this. What else do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? I love surfing, and I love my family (who all surf now) so I get to enjoy the best of both worlds. BC The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 19

up close + personal with

kirsten rose


Can you tell us a little about yourself, and how you got into your role? I was drawn into to the field of sustainability relatively late in my career. I started off that ‘career’ journey by completing a BA in Art History at Northwestern University in Chicago. My professional background is in strategy consulting and professional services management. I ran an internet company (in Chicago and London) and an advertising agency (in London). After moving to Perth in 2005 (returning to work with two small children) I wanted to work in an area I was truly passionate about. I started my own sustainability consulting business, then moved to working in the carbon markets (Carbon Neutral) and then finally to become the CEO of SEA in October 2012. The key things I bring to SEA are a strong commercial management background, strategic problem-solving, client service - and a passion for sustainability and renewable energy (which I believe is a mandatory pre-requisite for this field). What does the SEA do? The Sustainable Energy Association is an incorporated (2002) not-for-profit industry association for the sustainable energy industry and for enterprises supporting sustainable energy. We work to support and promote the growth of the sustainable energy industry across Australia, with a particular emphasis on Western Australia. We are supported by over 300 members from a diversity of businesses. Our members include all types of sustainable energy companies, such as solar, wind, wave, geothermal, biomass, and more. But our membership goes beyond that to include a wide variety of organisations who are committed to sustainable energy practices in a broader sense, such as companies who specialise in energy efficiency solutions, sustainable design and building, sustainable transport, energy storage, and more. We also have a number of Local Governments who are committed to sustainable solutions for the community as members. We continue to grow our political influence and relevance, as well as our depth of business networks. We have a strong reputation for authoritative commentary and advocacy on a broad range of energy efficiency and sustainable energy issues.

20 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

What roles do you undertake within the SEA? As the CEO I see my role as that of being a champion for the industry. This means advocating to Government on the industry’s behalf, as well as being a voice in the media to help bring people along this journey toward a sustainable future. I work hard to make connections and help solve problems, all with the goal of furthering sustainable energy; we help break down the barriers for our member organisations and help champion their successes. Tell us a little about the types of project/initiatives you get involved in, and what you enjoy most? As an industry association, we are always working to provide services and information that is valuable to our membership base. This often takes the form of advocacy and lobbying, and working to influence policy at all levels of government. We also hold a variety of events for our members, which range from prominent speakers to segment-specific working groups on specific issues. Where do you draw some of your main inspirations from? It may sound trite, but I am absolutely passionate about the need for us to combat climate change and live more sustainably. Every day in Perth the climate reminds me that Australia has the world’s best solar, wind, and wave resource – we need to be harnessing that to power our lives. I take great satisfaction in even the smallest steps forward, as I believe we can achieve great things one step at a time. I am constantly awed and impressed by our member organisations – each and every one is working tirelessly to build the kind of world we all want to live in, and their stories and technologies are truly inspirational. This is a great legacy for future generations, and I am proud to be a part of that legacy. What are some of the main challenges in your role and for the SEA? We need to move beyond the debate about climate change and just get on with solving the problem. Our challenge is to help governments, business, and the community embrace the vast potential that Australia has to be a leader in sustainable energy, and to help craft the path to achieve that potential. As a business chamber, we’re advocates of market-based solutions, and we work toward helping sustainable businesses become commercial in their own right as quickly as possible. Changing government policies also don’t help the cause. Sometimes


as fast as we make headway, we are undone by that loss of continuity, purpose, commitment and support as changing Governments place differing levels of importance on what we are trying to achieve. Economics themselves also play a part as the financial downturn has hampered investment into the field. Ultimately, most businesses want to maximise returns for their risk and investment, and so we too need to demonstrate that we are a viable sector to invest in.

How do you overcome them? By tirelessly working to keep the conversation in the mainstream. We also work hard to educate the community, and we advocate to Local, State and Federal governments and maintain a strategic view of our energy future. What have you learnt from your experiences in the industry or in your role, and are there any innovations that you can share with us? Whilst I feel that I am still quite new to the role, I can say that I am more convinced than ever of the need for businesses working in this area to come together with a single voice. The force of public opinion is behind renewable energy, but in many cases there are still significant barriers, red tape, and historical obstacles that ‘renewables’ have to overcome. Although the path is getting somewhat easier for more established technologies such as solar and wind, there are incredibly exciting things happening in other areas like biomass, solar thermal, and marine. There is still a massive need to support sustainable businesses and technologies – which is where SEA comes in. What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? I am really passionate about the built environment – I enjoy learning about more environmentally friendly building materials and processes, and considering the embodied and lifecycle energy of materials. I think there’s a growing appetite for more energy efficient homes and offices, and that people are becoming more aware of the fact that an energy efficient house represents significant long-term savings. Whilst some of the technology and innovation is can still be fairly costly to purchase, we need to get people and organisations to think medium to long term. Only then can we effect a significant change to impact on the environment. I am currently building a sustainable house myself (but on a budget) which has been a great learning experience and a personal exercise in making sustainable choices – and sometimes, tradeoffs. This only serves to highlight some of the realities of what the SEA is trying to achieve and must deal with whilst I am CEO…..and in some ways also serves to strengthen my personal resolve of the absolute necessity of our work. What would you like to be remembered for? I believe that anthropogenic climate change is one of the biggest single threats to our environment and to the fabric of our society. It is not something that may affect us one day, it’s here now – the increasing frequency and severity of weather events in Australia is just one example. It’s our responsibility to do something about it. At the same time, I’m a businessperson through and through, and believe that there are commercial solutions that combat climate change and build our economy, create jobs, and spark innovation. So I’d like to be remembered as someone that goes beyond just talking about the problems but instead contributes my skills and passion to creating solutions in the real world - where they can make a real difference. If I can help many businesses take steps toward a more sustainable world – whether they are big steps or small ones – I will have left a legacy I’m proud of. BC

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up close + personal with

evon knudson

ESTIMATOR, PROBUILD // interviewed by keith mexsom

How long have you worked for Probuild? I have worked for Probuild as an estimator for three years. What did you do before? Since completing my degree, I worked for several companies in Perth in quantity surveying and estimating roles, including two years at Gavin Construction as an estimator, before I joined Probuild. What is your position description? As an estimator, I am essentially responsible for putting together tenders for the projects Probuild are bidding for. This involves: • Determining which trades will be involved in the job before sending each subcontractor and supplier the relevant documents and specifications so they can quote for their services. Obviously, that also involves dealing with a lot of queries as they arise. • The assessment and comparison of the subcontractor and supplier quotes. • The measurement and rating of trades (concrete, masonry, steel, finishes, etc.). • The assessment of preliminary costs required for the project (scaffold, crane, staffing, etc.). • Evaluation of engineering services and determining cost-saving options, such as alternate construction methods, and so forth. • Acquiring fee proposals and quotes from the relevant design and engineering teams for ‘design and construct’ tenders. Our estimating team at Probuild includes a senior estimator who oversees my work and that of two others. As well as preparing the competitive tenders, the estimating team also: • Provides preliminary cost plans and budgets to clients at the early design stage. • Supervises document control on tenders, budget and cost plans. • Corresponds with authorities, architects, engineers and the like. • Seeks new subcontractors and suppliers which we maintain on a shared database. • Provides indicative pricing and rates to our site staff when requested.

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What are the most challenging aspects of your present position? Most definitely, the deadlines. When estimating, we are completely reliant on the subcontractors providing sufficient information to allow us to compile our tender price in plenty of time. We usually only receive the trade pricing in the last few days before the deadline, meaning we have only one to two days to compile the entire tender. When new drawings and specifications are also issued well into the tender period, the process can be somewhat stressful. Can you describe the importance of estimating to a firm like Probuild? I’d consider estimating to be a fundamental role within Probuild. That’s not to say it’s more or less important than any other role but, at the end of the day, we’re responsible for getting the work in. Without the estimating department, Probuild wouldn’t have a defined avenue for securing work. What degree/qualifications do you have that provided a pathway to becoming an estimator/quantity surveyor? I have an honours degree in Construction Management and Economics (CM&E). Why were you interested in studying for such a career? My initial plan was to do architecture. In high school I loved tech drawing and just the idea of being an architect. I did apply for Architecture at Curtin University but I didn’t quite get the TEE score required to enrol. A career counsellor at Curtin suggested Construction Management as the first year of that course was fairly similar to the first year of architecture. The original aim was to complete year one of CM&E and then transfer over to architecture. However, I absolutely loved CM&E. Fantastic group of friendly, down- to-earth students, super interesting subjects, and a huge variety of career options at the end. Also, my Dad had worked in construction (started as an electrician and ended up manager of a lift company). He knew the


industry well and knew the potential for great employment opportunities. Plus, he had a few contacts in Perth which always helps when you are fresh out of uni and finding your way.

How many other women do you know who studied the subject with you and/or now work in the industry? Not too many. In my class at uni, there were six women out of a class of 30. Four of those were international students who I lost contact with as they are now overseas, and one local who’s now working as a building surveyor. We’ve kept in close contact since uni and she’s a great friend. And as for other women in the industry, I’m lucky that one of our other estimators here is female. I only know of two other female estimators in Perth (there may be more?) Of course, there’s plenty of women working in contract administration, document control, and associated roles. Have you found it easy to fit into the traditionally male-dominated construction industry? At first it was extremely tough. I think women in these roles are initially not taken as seriously as the men. We tend to have our ability ‘questioned’ a lot more. But I’m pretty resilient and having people doubt me when I was younger and less experienced, actually made me more determined to succeed. It’s not an issue at all now. Is it a career you would recommend to those women contemplating work in the construction industry? Absolutely. Although you have to have the right kind of employer; one who promotes a ‘family-friendly’ work environment, flexible hours and so forth. Touch wood, I’ve never been out of work in this role. It’s a real people-person career. And it’s usually head office-based so you’re able dress up for the office, yet there’s always the chance to get the steel caps and hard hat on out on site. It’s a nice balance. From a personal perspective, are there any particular occupational goals that you would like to achieve? In the immediate term, I’m working on refining my practical knowledge, particularly the intricate details of construction that aren’t necessarily detailed on a plan. Being office-based, I unfortunately don’t get out to our sites much, but this is something I’m working on changing this year. I guess my major medium-term goal would be to hold the position of senior estimator. What activities are you involved in outside of work? Activities outside work – lots. I have always been interested in fitness and health but, in the past 18 months, I started competing in triathlons. Now my weekdays start at 5a.m. for a run, ride or swim before work. I’ve also recently started yoga. During the weekends, I love BBQs, picnics and Sunday afternoon beers with friends – the usual stuff. And, in between work and sport, most importantly, I spend time with my two-year-old daughter and my husband who is a stay-at-home dad and part-time graphic designer. BC The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 23

up close + personal with


kent lyon DIRECTOR, KENT LYON ARCHITECT // interviewed by rocky amatulli

Tell us a little about yourself, and how you got into your industry? I was born and raised in the USA. I had a passion for architecture, and received my first degree (Bachelor of Arts in Architecture) at University of Washington in Seattle. The architectural program’s emphasis was on urban design and incorporated an ‘Architectue in Rome’ Program which was truly inspiring. I was fortunate to be one of a select group of 24 to live and study in Rome for four months. As part of the program I travelled extensively and soaked up the culture, language, history and architecture. Rome exemplifies the concept that architecture is both an art and a science. The experience was incredible and my future career path was confirmed. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture in 1987. After graduation and before commencing work with an architectural practice in Seattle, I travelled to Perth, to visit my father’s second family. Here I met Rebecca and after much hard work, saving and interaction with the immigration department, I returned to Perth to marry. I now hold dual citizenship. My University of Washington degree was a pre-professional degree and not accepted here by the Architectural Board for practice and I was required to attend the University of Western Australia to obtain a Bachelor of Architecture degree. Fortunately most of my initial degree was credited and my extra degree was achieved whilst working in a prominent Perth architectural practice. In addition to creating computer models for large commercial projects I honed my design skills by spending time on the ‘traditional’ drawing boards. I also provided training on how to use the computer as a design tool to existing staff within the Perth architectural practice. Subsequent positions within large and medium sized Perth firms were beneficial and have provided me with new friendships and many useful contacts, but the lure of the region and the possibility of my own practice finally won out, and therefore I moved our young family to Bunbury.

director and registered Architect. We work with our clients and respect that their investment in our services needs to provide design that gives value for money. People often ask what types of projects we specialise in – to which the answer is a range of projects from Architecture, Interior Design, Heritage, and to Accredited Green Star professional. We give clients a reliable service with many returning to us for other projects. For example we assisted a client with their medical offices when they relocated to Bunbury and two years later when they were ready to design their home they returned to us. This highlights also our diversity in experience with housing, commercial premises fitouts, heritage works and reports, schools, medical centres, offices and workshops.

Tell us a little about your own practice, what it does, and your role within it? I run a firm of committed, passionate, and savvy designers that was established in 1996 and is dedicated to serving the South-West Region of Western Australia. I am the practice’s

Where do you draw your main inspirations from? The local site context, client’s needs, formulating and then realising spaces from a desire to make better places for people to dwell in. In this global open environment of information exchange there are many outside sources that we look to for

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Can you tell us about the types of projects you get involved in, and what types do you enjoy most? Kent Lyon Architect has considerable experience across a range of projects and has particular expertise in: • Civic Projects (civic centres, art galleries, museums) • Educational Facilities (new campuses, redevelopment of existing campuses, stand alone buildings, alterations and extensions) • Housing (single, multiple, renovations and extensions) • Heritage/Conservation (conservation plans and works) • Office Accommodation (fitouts and new buildings) • Sustainable Developments (environmental, solar and feasibility) • Urban Design (streetscaping and redevelopment of precincts) Over the past 16 years there has been a wide range of projects across the region (also a couple outside the region in Albany & York) that we have worked on. Each type of project brings its own challenges and rewards, the most enjoyable projects are those where the end users are involved and engaged with us in providing their enthusiasm and interest in the built environment.


inspiration, and on a personal level one of the key players in our industry Rem Koolhaas and his Office of Metropolitian Architecture.

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What are some of the main challenges that you encounter on projects, and how do you overcome them? Budgets, legislative changes to building standards, codes and acts, approving authorities, co-ordination of consultants, time and builders are all challenges in themselves, and moresone when two or more act in combination ona project. Managing these challenges often requires managing expectations, communication with the client, keeping up to date on changes to legislation, teamwork (between the client, builders, consultants, artists, authorities) to ensure that each project has the momentum required to get the most bang for the buck and achieves the best outcome for the client, which is ultimately what we are aiming for. What do you feel makes your approach unique? Communications and an open approach to each project. That may sound a little bit simple and old-fashioned, but that approach has served me (and my clients) well over my career. I try to instill these values into younger designers and architects whenever I can. What are some of your favourite materials used on your projects? Stablised Rammed Earth walls, Colorbond Custom Orb wall sheeting, painted compressed sheeting, concrete, Donnybrook stone. These materials provide diversity in colour and texture. They are also durable and can be relatively low in maintenance. I also like them because they are sensible choices for use in our climate and the surrounding landscape. Are there any innovations that you’ve developed which you’d like to share? Using cantilevers for upper floors to help shelter the lower floors, two windows in every room to ensure a cross flow of air, light & visual aspect. Sustainability isn’t just a tack-on extra to projects - it is part and parcel of what and how we design for our clients and the end users of the spaces and buildings we create. What have you learnt from your experiences/industry, and how has it changed since you first started? As we become more restricted on time allowed for projects to be designed and documented, there are still processes that we need to follow to ensure we get the best result for the client, user and general public. I don’t believe in shortcuts which can comprimise the outcome or project. There are more specialists (Project Managers, Building Access, Fire Engineers, Sustainability Consultants, etc) and the certification process has become more lengthy and complicated. On a positive note, the general public seems more concious of their built environment and have an opinion on matters that 20 or so years ago when that didn’t seem to be the case. BC

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Matrix – designed for the future





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Experienced Architecture comes from understanding and responding sensibly and practically to the Client Brief, Environmental Conditions and Site Factors. So when a progressive and trusting client collaborates with an experienced Architectural and Interior Design company, the results can only be described as outstanding!

// words rocky amatulli // images steve scott – scott image

Approaching the Matrix Having previously worked with their client Matrix, Meyer Shircore had already built a trusting relationship which then saw Matrix and Meyer Shircore perfectly placed to tackle Matrix’s flagship headquarters in Henderson. Whilst situated in an industrial zone, upon approach to this new two-level office facility (which features prominently and proudly on a corner site) the architectural input and detail are evident, and makes the building worthy of any location.

The site did provide its challenges; salt air environment, wind, heat due to orientation, and a two-street frontage. On closer examination however, Meyer Shircore’s experience has systematically resolved these challenges, whilst balancing practicality with form and design. Part of the response to the challenges lies in the design itself. The east, north and west elevations which are prone to harsh sun and heat have louvres on the exterior of the glazing. Whilst these louvres provide control of sunlight however, they also

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 27


introduce strong linear horizontal elements to the façade. The entrance to the building is located on the north-west corner of the building, and susceptible to strong sea breezes and rain. To counter this, the entrance is under cover from weather and has a wind lock. And whilst the building has two street frontages, every one of the four elevations could just as easily serve as the front. There is no rear wall which looks neglected or compromised in attention, detail and design. Other elements adding to the overall character of the building are the use of materials and colour. Stainless steel, pre-tinted glazing, Alucobond cladding, Kingspan insulated wall panelling and anodised aluminium louvres all add to the clean contemporary look of the building, but again underlie the

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28 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

architect’s commitment to specify durable and practical materials given the harshness of the environment the building is in. Having said that, the façade is not ‘bland’ or ‘sterile’ by any means – cantilevers fascia forming the overhanging entrance is a bright red, incorporating one of Matrix’s corporate colours. Overall, this ‘matrix’ of cleverly balanced materials creates a unique presence and a strong identity for the building. Currently Matrix only occupy part of the building (the first floor, comprising approximately 1300 square metres), but the brief included the requirement for Meyer Shircore to design an office accommodation and an interior which Matrix could grow into – effectively creating a twofold brief – an interior that Matrix could use effectively occupy and use now, and an interior of approximately double that size that Matrix could effectively occupy and use in the future. Inside the Matrix With respect to the design of the interior itself, Meyer Shircore was given a ‘free run’ apart from the expected accommodation and storage requirements its client had (again testament to the relationship and trust that Meyer Shircore had developed with Matrix). Given the strong visual queues from the exterior, it made sense to maintain cohesion between the exterior and interior and continue that design language of linear elements, clean lines, uncluttered space, and contemporary finishes – all interlaced with punches of bold colour. Again, whilst this may seem to make the task appear easy – it was not! Faced with realistic issues such as budget, timelines


...this ‘matrix’ of cleverly balanced materials creates a unique presence and a strong identity for the building. whilst ensuring the required level of detail and finish, Meyer Shircore had a task ahead of itself. Given the scale of the project, it was faced with specified products becoming discontinued before they were required on site, leading to re-selections and meaning that they had to still ensure that any re-selected material still fully maintained the integrity of the overall scheme and did not compromise it in any way. Whilst the interior is visually balanced overall, there are some notable features which include the clever transition from the general carpet tiles (again in a strong linear pattern) to welded sheet floor vinyl in the ‘café’ area, ensuring a more serviceable and lower maintenance finish. The designer also developed some acrylic screens with the Matrix logo routered into them. Other notable elements (which perhaps are the only elements providing a departure from the square and linear design which dominates the exterior and interior) are the curved counters on the ground and fist floor. However, apart from providing some relief from that predominantly ‘masculine’ interior, they serve to give a more gently and sweeping transition into the work areas from reception and entry points – and though they include those same linear elements, they

create focus and interest at the same time. A curved overhead bulkhead and punches of Matrix’s signature red in the seating and signage complete the picture. Workstations are efficient, functional and understated, but include planters which act as screens and also soften the acoustics. The layout is uncluttered and open, and provides a collaborative environment for Matrix’s staff. Even the humble library has been given a new lease of life through the use of the coloured laminates which were used in the cabinetwork. Again, Meyer Shircore has demonstrated sensible and innovative design which doesn’t end up costing its client any more than bland materials would have. Coupled with a central storage and layout unit, the combination of charcoal and red make for a pleasant but interesting space, if not perhaps a little bit quirky and unexpected. The boardroom includes stackable bi-folding glass panels, and opens directly onto a breakout area on one side, and the outside undercover balcony on the other. This creates a very open vista, allows (controlled) natural light to enter the building, and provides additional uses for a room which traditionally sits empty in most offices for much of the time. The notion of



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allowing natural light to travel through into the interior is again reinforced by the use of full height glass to the offices in lieu of lesser amounts due to cost (which is often the case). The architects of change Built by H.Troon, the building and interior certainly represent current and cutting edge design and construction, without crossing that often-crossed-line where the project has dated before it is even completed, or is sure to date at some point in the near future. It is a fine balance which only experienced and sensitive architects and designers can achieve – and this description embodies the values and approach taken by Meyer Shircore on this project. Over a 50-year period Meyer Shircore has delivered its design services for over 7000 construction and refurbishment projects. With a portfolio spanning retail, corporate, industrial, healthcare and medium density residential, tourism and educational projects throughout Australia and Tasmania, Meyer Shircore has been the recipient of many awards in Western Australia. That said, Meyer Shircore also embraces a more humanitarian approach to business as supporters of various foundations and events including the Esther Foundation, the WA Special Needs Children’s Christmas Party, and Anglicare. Out of all the detail, material use and combining and colour comes clarity of design and a strong identity for Matrix’s headquarters in Henderson. Meyer Shircore has delivered this project with absolute conviction which leaves no doubt that it is a design force to be reckoned with. BC Architects: Meyer Shircore and Associates Architects: (08) 9381 8511, H.Troon: (03) 5339 2208,

30 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

UnionsWA has commented on the release today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics of data measuring the gap in earnings between women and men nationally as well as in WA. Meredith Hammat, Acting Secretary, UnionsWA said: “Today’s ABS release has the gender pay gap in WA the worst in Australia. On average women in WA earn $469 per week or $24,393 a year less than men. “This is far worse than the gender pay gap across Australia with women earning $262 per week or $14,000 a year less than men nationally. “WA is going backwards, the gap is actually getting worse, not better. “In November 2009 the earnings of men were 24.1 per cent higher than women, now those earnings are 26.9 per cent higher. “The costs of living in WA are high and rising, so that makes this difference all that more stressful. “For women to be earning so much less is not good for workplaces, or for relationships between women and men at home or in the community. “To bridge this gap, we need to do more, especially in WA. “Employers need to improve their recruitment practices, particularly for women who want to work in non-traditional occupations such as those in the resources sector.

“In traditional occupations held by women such as in health and community services, the pay needs to be better. “The success of the Australian Services Union in its pay equity case under the Fair Work Act will do much to redress poor pay of community sector workers. “Our industrial relations system has an important role. “The introduction by the Federal Government of the paid maternity leave scheme and the proposed new right to request flexible work arrangements such as part time work, are examples of how women can be supported to remain in the workforce. “We also need to make work more secure. Casual and after-hours work loadings have a role, but security of work and flexible arrangements for work are a better way to go, especially for women.” Meredith Hammat is available for comment. BC UnionsWA: (08) 9328 7877,

Source: ABS release 6302.0 - Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, Nov 2012 2012?OpenDocument Note: Annual earnings have been calculated by multiplying averaged weekly earnings by 52. Ordinary weekly earnings for women in WA were estimated at $1,278 and for men at $1,747 in November, 2012.

Sustainability in the ‘Asian Century’ // words romilly madew – chief executive, green building council of australia

Each year, around 44 million people in Asia – double the population of Australia – leave their rural homes in search of opportunities in cities. The scale and pace of urbanisation is just one of the opportunities identified by the Australian Government in its recently-released ‘Australia in the Asian Century’ white paper. The white paper points to the fact that Asia will soon be home to the majority of the world’s middle class, all of whom need transportation, infrastructure, housing and utilities. By 2025, China is forecast to have more than 200 cities with populations of more than one million. In contrast, Europe has 35. The urban populations of other countries in region, including Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, Pakistan and Vietnam, are set to double over the next 25 years. This rapid urbanisation will require substantial investment in quality infrastructure – as much as US$8 trillion by 2020 to support the current levels of economic growth – as well as buildings. The Australian Government’s white paper argues that high urbanisation rates in Asia will shift investment activity from the building of heavy industry to the building of infrastructure – large-scale residential construction, roads and other transport networks, container port capacity, and urban amenities such as water and electricity distribution. Australia is well-placed to gain a position of influence in a growing Asia. Our property and construction industry has an international reputation for its sustainability skills. The Green

Building Council of Australia is one of the world’s largest and most influential, and has a leadership role in the World Green Building Council. The forecasted growth for Australian industries over the next five years shows us where our nation’s biggest opportunities lie: construction is forecast to achieve a 4.0 per cent average growth, compared with mining at 3.6 per cent and manufacturing at 1.2 per cent. While exporting ‘rocks and crops’ will certainly boost economic growth, exporting our skills and knowledge – particularly in burgeoning fields such as sustainability – can help us to create more prosperous and resilient communities in both Asia and Australia. But before we export our skills, we must ensure our environmental assets are managed sustainably, and that we can demonstrate that our buildings, communities and cities are among the world’s most sustainable. A sustainable, productive, liveable built environment will have a multitude of benefits. Unlocking the potential of our own buildings holds the key to Australia’s place in the Asian century. BC Green Building Council of Australia: (02) 8239 6200,

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 31


WA women earn $470pw less than men, worst in Australia


The WA Training Awards – recognising the State’s best // words rocky amatulli

The WA Training Awards are run by the Department of Training and Workforce Development and recognise and reward the outstanding achievements of apprentices, trainees and vocational students, as well as the contribution to training made by trainers, training organisations and employers. As can be expected, the stories behind award recipients are not always just about skills, application and hard work – they are sometimes inspirational stories about people overcoming adversity through sheer determination, only to ultimately triumph.

32 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

In this article, we proudly feature two of the 2012 State winners – Samuel Goodall (2012 WA Apprentice of the Year) and Nathan McGuire (2012 Australian and WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year).

Samuel (Sam) Goodall 2012 WA Apprentice of the Year (Certificate III Carpentry & Joinery) Sam was born in Albany WA, and studied at Great Southern Institute of Technology (GSIT), achieving 100 per cent perfect

THE BUILDERS CHOICE training & development

... the stories behind Award recipients are not always just about skills, application and hard work – they are sometimes inspirational stories about people overcoming adversity through sheer determination, only to ultimately triumph.

score on all assessments. He went on to win the Best Carpentry and Joinery Apprentice Award at GSIT two years in a row. During his second year of apprenticeship, Sam used his new skills to draw up plans for his first house. After finishing work each day he would travel to his site and using materials he picked up from demolition jobs, he dedicated the next year to constructing his own home. Re-using materials and drawing upon his savings meant he didn’t require any bank finance and he and his wife are now living in the house, mortgage free. Sam credits his achievement to his lecturers at GSIT as well as his on the job training. But there is much more to Sam’s story…. After finishing school and working as a labourer, a motor bike accident which broke Sam’s wrists meant a change of direction. Sam worked as a carer for people with disabilities for two years while his injuries healed before starting his apprenticeship. The demand for trades subsided in his region and unfortunately his employer, K&T Castlehow Builders, had to let Sam go during the downturn. Work was very difficult to find and eventually Sam got a job with a logging company working 13-hour days, 4 days a week so that he could continue with his studies at GSIT one day a week. When the building industry picked up again and Sam’s former employer resumed business, Sam got his old job back and finished his apprenticeship in August as scheduled. Sam believes the experience helped him to learn to be flexible and adapt to changing conditions in life. Sam now mentors young people who attend a weekly youth group run by the local church. Many of his charges struggle with low self-esteem, bullying, and depression, and he encourages them to set goals, build confidence and develop skills via education. Sam also plans to travel to Thailand and use his building skills to build a house for his friend who is working as a missionary in a remote part of the country. In Sam’s own words… Since winning WA Apprentice of the Year 2012, what have you been doing? “Since winning the award in 2012 I have finished my apprenticeship and ceased working for my employer. I am now in the process of gearing up to run my own renovation and extensions business this year and possibly also work for GSIT as a part time lecturer.”

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The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 33

THE BUILDERS CHOICE training & development

“Becoming a registered builder is still something that I would like to pursue as a long-term career goal. I intend to grow my knowledge of the industry in many ways.” SAMUAL GOODALL

You said in your application that you were considering furthering your studies to become a builder and starting your own business. Is that still the case? “Becoming a registered builder is still something that I would like to pursue as a long-term career goal. I intend to grow my knowledge of the industry in many ways. There will be a constant learning curve as I endeavour to stay at the forefront of modern trends in construction. As for my immediate plans, I will concentrate on gaining experience as I operate and expand my own business.” Did winning the award open any doors for you? “Winning the WA Apprentice of the Year Award has opened many doors for me. I have a received a huge amount of positive exposure in my home town and further afield. This comes at a great time for me as I plan to operate a

business that relies heavily on customer confidence and word of mouth to remain busy and also competitive in the construction industry. My training provider has also been made aware of my achievements because of these awards and has invited me to join the staff here in Albany sometime in the future.” What would you say to anyone thinking about entering the awards? “I would say, GO FOR IT! Being a part of the awards is such a blast. When you share your story with others it really helps you to see what you have accomplished in your apprenticeship and in life. The whole process will open your eyes to see the bigger picture that is the Australian Building and Construction Industry and how apprenticeships and traineeships play such a vital role in so many different industries. We all have a different story, so be proud of yours and show Australia what you are made of!”

Nathan McGuire 2012 Australian and WA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Another one of last year’s winners was Nathan McGuire, who took out the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year. Nathan studied at Central Institute of Technology in Perth, achieving an Advanced Diploma of Interior Design. He won an award (the Crosby Tiles Challenge) in 2011 for a concept bathroom design which incorporated Aboriginal elements like the water spirit and the Wagyl. The design was featured in Scoop Home and Art Magazine as well as the West Australian newspaper. He is now seeking employment with an architectural business. Outside of study, Nathan is heavily involved with the David Wirrpanda Foundation, Hockey WA and Nyoongar Sports Association as a mentor and coach. As part of the Western Australian Institute of Sports (WAIS) men’s hockey program, he represents the State in the WA Thundersticks team for the Australian Hockey League. In 2011 Nathan won the Hockey WA Youth Player of the Year. Nathan is also active in community programs, and runs hockey clinics at the Nyoongar Sports Association and David Wirrpanda Foundation for primary and secondary students. In Nathan’s own words… Since winning both the State and National award as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year 2012, what have you been doing? “Since the Awards I have been preparing my resume and sourcing my contacts to gain employment in the interior design industry.”

34 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

THE BUILDERS CHOICE training & development

“Winning has opened many doors for me, and I have been offered opportunities to work and study overseas in Europe...” NATHAN MCGUIRE

Did winning the award open any doors for you? “Winning has opened many doors for me, and I have been offered opportunities to work and study overseas in Europe. This seems like a huge opportunity that has come to me and I don’t think would have been possible without the Awards.” You said in your application form that you were appointed a team leader to redesign Chinatown and the Nick’s Lane precinct in Northbridge. Is that still the case, and how is that progressing? “This was a theoretical project, but our class definitely impressed the right people. The Mayor of Perth, Lisa Scaffidi, had only the highest praise for our group and our visions for Perth. It is still in the process of being discussed as a real option for Perth. We hope, and would love to see, our visions become reality.”

What would you say to anyone thinking about entering the Awards? “I would say get in and have a go. It is such a great experience and the people you meet are awesome and you make some really good friends! It certainly opens doors for your career pathway and gives you recognition in your field.” More about the WA Training Awards This year there are 14 categories in the WA Training Awards; seven individual categories and seven organisational categories. Applications are now open until 10 May 2013. Winners take home a share of more than $100 000 in cash and prices and may be eligible to participate in the Australian Training Awards held in November each year. For information visit BC

Skill Hire – Your One Stop Shop for Employment and Training Needs • Extensive branch network across WA • Experts in apprentice and trainee employment • Easy to use service • Committed to safety in the workplace • Catering to all construction related trades Visit to find your nearest branch The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 35


Top of the Terrace – in more ways than one! // words rocky amatulli

The Heritage-listed St George’s House was originally named Bishop’s Grove, and it represents a great example of a Federation Queen Anne style building. But now it has a new name – The Terrace Hotel. Only 120 years in the making In 1856 Bishop Hale (the first Anglican Bishop of Western Australia and an independently wealthy clergyman) purchased five allotments on St Georges Terrace in order to build a residence for himself and his family. Bishop Hale built several buildings on what became known as Bishop’s See, including Bishop’s House (1859 also known as Legacy House), Bishop’s Cottage (1860 also known as Clergy House), Hale House (1872 also known as the Native Mission Cottage and Hale Cottage). The Perth Diocesan Council constructed a number of other buildings on Bishop’s See following Bishop Hale’s departure These included St George’s House (1892 also known as Bishop’s Grove, Cardigan and Ingle Hall), St George’s Mansion (c. 1930)





36 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

and Bishop’s Court (1935 also known as Bishop’s Grove). All these residences were designed by John Talbot Hobbs, and were leased to private tenants to provide an income for the Diocese. One of those buildings, St George’s House, is a two-storey brick and corrugated iron building constructed in Federation Queen Anne style in 1891/92. It was initially built as an apartment and boarding house. St George’s House was classified by the National Trust (WA) in 1998 and was permanently entered on to the State Register of Heritage Places in 2000. During the 1960s, St George’s House was converted into offices. In the early 1980s, the redevelopment of the overall Bishop See site was approved by Perth City Council. This


The development comprises the refurbishment and extension of the existing St George’s House heritage building located on the corner of St Georges Terrace and Milligan Street, Perth. comprised three high-rise office towers, a low rise office tower, a 3-level podium structure, restoration of Bishop’s House and gardens and 1200 parking bays. Developing Perth’s heritage In 1986, St George’s House was restored. This involved partial conservation and adaptation of the existing building. Over the many years, much of the external timberwork such as the picket fencing, verandah balustrades, and gable finials had disappeared, the tuck pointed brickwork had been painted, original roof sheeting had been replaced, and the original roof vents and single-storey front porches had been removed. Internally, larger rooms had been subdivided, new doorways added and original timber work and plaster mouldings had been either damaged or were missing. The facade also now consisted of asbestos sheeting and louvre windows. The outer layer of additions and alterations, which hid its character for more than 50 years, was completely removed in 1987 reducing the number of rooms from 60 to 30. Much of the original fabric, particularly the bricks, had to be replaced owing to its poor condition. Some, though not all, of the verandahs were also reinstated and the building was completely refurbished internally. By 2001, approximately half of St George’s House was vacant or used for storage, the other half providing office space, amenities and meeting rooms for the occupants. A new hotel with great service(s) The existing heritage building was redeveloped between March 2011 and October 2012, and extended for use as a luxury boutique hotel comprising 15 suites, restaurants, function rooms, wine cellar and bars. The development

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Tel: 9725 2206 55 Turnberry Way, Bunbury WA 6230 • The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 37

THE BUILDERS CHOICE commercial cover story

The Terrace Hotel now combines the charm of yesteryear with the technology of today – which was not an easy feat to achieve!

Photos: (Above and Opposite Top Left) Perrine; (Opposite Top Right) David Morcombe – Imagery

Commercial / Industrial / Residential • Erection/dismantling • Aluminium modular access • Mobile towers • Stair towers • Stretcher access • Lift shaft access • Tub & fitting access • Gantry access • Birdcage access • Edge protection • Labour supervision • Weekly hire

38 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

comprises the refurbishment and extension of the existing St George’s House heritage building located on the corner of St Georges Terrace and Milligan Street, Perth. According to the Project Director for the Terrace project Kevin Spark, a defining feature of the new multi-storey hotel tower extension located at the rear of the heritage building utilises stackable pre-cast modules. “The pre-cast modules were designed by Perrine Architects and prefabricated off site,” says Spark from Norman Disney & Young (NDY). “Final cladding and final internal fit was undertaken in-situ with the concrete modular shell extension fully constructed within 2 days.” The Terrace Hotel now combines the charm of yesteryear with the technology of today – which was not an easy feat to achieve! NDY were engaged to design all building services and assist with the integration of the existing heritage building and new rear multilevel extension. NDY were presented with numerous challenges, with consideration needing to be given to preserving the style and aesthetics of the high-profile 19th century building. Of limited overall site area and with boundaries in very close proximity to the existing building, the building services plant had to be located within the building and concealed to minimise the affect on the building aesthetics. The strict fire safety requirements of today’s Building Code of Australia would have required significant upgrades to the existing building structure, but again NDY’s (fire safety) engineers rationalised the fire safety requirements through a performance-based, fire-engineered design to minimise their overall impact. NDY’s fire safety engineers and fire designers developed a fire hydrant system that did not require the onsite water storage tanks and pumps that would typically be required for this type of development. Quiet enjoyment The NDY acoustic design solutions proved very effective in minimising noise disturbance from the public areas to the


adjacent accommodation rooms...a desirable outcome for a hotel of this pedigree. The Terrace Hotel’s guests however, can treasure ‘quiet enjoyment’ of free wireless internet, in-room ipads, AppleTV, Foxtel IQ, Bang & Olufsen HD digital TV & surround sound system, and plug & play connectivity panels. The mechanical services for the development comprise VRV air conditioning throughout, and specialist cooling systems to the wine cellar for the storage of client wine. The nature of the heritage building presented challenges in terms of coordination


1300 255 883

and spatial allocation for the major services. This was overcome by NDY with careful detailing of the servicing routes and working closely with the architect, builder and services contractors. Already very popular amongst diners and guests, the new Terrace Hotel is developing its own heritage. BC Norman Disney & Young: (08) 9281 6800, Perrine Architecture: (08) 9226 0776, Suburban Design & Construct: (08) 9301 5377,

SJ Electric & Seme of Trivantage are proud to be associated with the Terrace Hotel Construction. Trivantage can offer comprehensive turnkey solutions and maintenance packages to support all projects related to electrical, security, refrigeration/mechanical and technology services.

P: (08) 9470 4292 E: The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 39


Reaching a new height in luxury // words rocky amatulli





In the world of music, the word ‘Adagio’ refers to a slow passage of music which is graceful. In the world of apartments, the word ‘Adagio’ refers to slowing down your hectic pace to enjoy the graceful river views from your new luxury apartment. And who has orchestrated this magnificent development? None other than Finbar, Perth’s largest and most trusted apartment developer. The stage is set… Situated on Terrace Road in East Perth, Adagio is the latest apartment development by well known Western Australian developer, Finbar. Comprising 115 apartments in large 2 and 3 bedroom configurations (and valued at $174 million), this apartment complex offers its occupants luxury living coupled with Swan River panoramas. Marketing of the project commenced in November 2010 with construction starting in mid 2011. The building is now in its final stages of completion. Finbar Group Limited is an Australian property development company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, trading under the security code ‘FRI’. Incorporated in 1984 and first listed in 1995, Finbar has established itself as the market leader in built form apartment developments in the Perth metropolitan area. One drive along Terrace Road and you will see multiple stunning Finbar projects, proof of why Finbar is Perth’s largest and most trusted apartment developer. Finbar’s core business lies in the development of medium to high density residential apartments and commercial property within Western Australia, where it carries out its development projects in its own right, or

40 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013


“The development is by far more luxurious than any other development along Terrace Road – and that even includes previous Finbar developments.” through incorporated special purpose entities and joint venture companies of which Finbar directly or indirectly holds interests in project profitability ranging between 50-100 per cent. On this particular project, Finbar’s joint-venture partner is Ventrade Australia Pty Ltd. More like a complete symphony than just a one-hit-wonder So what did Finbar set out to achieve with Adagio? Just like a

composer, Finbar was determined to create something which is sumptuous, elegant and timeless. Adagio includes a high level of finishes and fittings, larger apartment sizes (with 2 bedroom apartments at 107sqm and 3 bedrooms from 147sqm) and large balcony spaces maximising views towards the Swan River. The development has a heated 25-metre lap pool, spa, furnished pool lounge, bar area, BBQ, a games room and even includes a boardroom with a conference table and chairs for eight people.

At Astro Synthetic Surfaces, we can help you turn imagination into reality, with high-quality residential and commercial sports synthetic turfs, playground softfall and aquatic safety surfacing, installed and maintained by professionals with over 9 years of experience in the industry. We have installed quality proven products which have been manufactured to Australian Safety Standards for City Councils, Childcare Centres, Builders and Architects. We stand by our products and workmanship and guarantee the performance. We pride ourselves in the quality of work and compliance to the Australian Playground Safety Standards. With us you can:


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The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 41


“Inner city living is still relatively new in Perth and is growing. People are now beginning to appreciate the benefits of a ‘lock up and leave’ lifestyle, as well as living close to work”

Geopractika Pty Limited is proud to be associated with the prestigious Adagio Apartments as ground support contractors. We are a West Australian family owned and operated business with over 47 years industry experience in all facets of ground support.

Quality is our foundation. For any enquiries phone Steve 0411 140 160 or Warwick 0414 088 683.

Geotechnical Contractors PO Box 1362 South Perth WA 6951 T: 08 9497 5637 F: 08 9498 3290 I 42 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

“The development is by far more luxurious than any other development along Terrace Road – and that even includes previous Finbar developments”, according to Ronald Chan, Finbar Chief Operations Officer. “The building is 23 stories high which is the second-highest along Terrace Road. In addition to that the usual two level podium frontage as seen in other developments, Adagio is unique as the podium building increases that height to three stories,” says Mr Chan. And whilst the exterior of the building is impressive in both scale and design, it’s the interior that provides its future occupants with the luxury and detail that is expected in a project of this calibre. 40mm stone benchtops and high-end appliances, tapware and fixtures dominate in this development making the apartments more like luxury hotel suites than residences. It is rare to find double glazing and solid core doors finished in timber veneer – which add to the comfort of the apartments and its occupants and guests. But again Adagio has all of this, and more. “Inner city living is still relatively new in Perth and is growing. People are now beginning to appreciate the benefits of a ‘lock up and leave’ lifestyle, as well as living close to work,” says Mr Chan. So what does a great developer do when it is still part way through completing a magnificent development like Adagio? It embarks on another project. Finbar has recently launched Spring View Towers in Rivervale, comprising 188 apartments, to the market. Commencement of construction is expected to be mid to late 2013, with completion anticipated in early 2015. It would seem then, that we are only in the opening passages of Finbar’s concerto, with no finale in sight! 3500 apartments….and more to come Finbar has successfully delivered every development it has launched to the market, making it Western Australia’s largest and most trusted apartment developer. Finbar’s experience and track record is evident in having developed over 45 projects, comprising more than 3,500 apartments in excess of $1.3 billion in value, with around 90% of its development being in the inner-city area. It is refreshing and reassuring however, to know that despite this level of success, Finbar remains humble and respectful of others who have helped


it to change the apartment landscape (for the better) in Western Australia. “Finbar acknowledges its success and partly attributes this to its long standing relationship with its architect SS Chang Architects along with its builder Hanssen Pty Ltd and its sub-contractors who play a big part in all of our projects”, Mr Chan says. Building on its past and current successes, we are assured

of seeing more quality developments just like Adagio from Finbar. For more information, visit au or go to to see the host of other quality projects it has delivered. BC Finbar Group Limited: (08) 6211 3300, Hanssen: (08) 6218 3800,

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The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 43


To berm, or not to berm – that is the question! // words rocky amatulli // images mark cooper - design by lime





44 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

Out of the comfort zone Think about Parliament House in Canberra. Then scale it down, redesign it to make it a home, add some textures with the materials you use and locate it on a beautiful spot on a hill overlooking a bay. Dane Design Australia (DDA) has achieved brilliant delivery of this on a site and client-specific home, which meets all client expectations on spaces, performance and comfort levels. DDA has also ‘shifted slightly’ to start exploring the use of earth ‘berms’ and underground construction which is new to the firm. So what is a ‘berm’ I hear you ask? A berm can simply be described as a ‘man-made hill or embankment’, and in the case of this project, the home is partially ‘buried’ under the berm which sits against part of some elevations. The result is unique, and both house and landscape seem very much at ease with one another. So how did this all come about? The owners arranged to meet after a referral from a previous DDA client. The owners’ brief asked for DDA to take them ‘out of their comfort zone’. Interestingly after having in fact achieved that with this conceptual design, Dane Richardson (Director and Principal Designer of DDA) now doubts he has ever seen a more comfortable couple in a new home – so it’s a perfect fit! DDA’s role on this project included all core architectural services ranging from assisting the owners to consolidate their brief through site analysis, concept design, design development, construction documentation, tender/approval and finally, management of the


construction program. The main architectural design, interior design, selection of materials/fittings /fixtures were all included in DDA’s scope. DDA also became involved with some selections of the loose furniture and soft finishes. Lynne Sheen (who worked as part of the DDA team) handled the loose furniture scope independently to the main project, however it was still under DDA’s watchful eye. “In my opinion,” says Dane, “the best results are achieved when a client outlines what they would like and then they stand back to some degree.” The owners of this home walked into Dane’s office, described the rooms they wanted along with a few features, and then added, “Take us out of our comfort zone”. This was a notable statement and definitely provided an enjoyable start to the project. The main requirements aside from the spaces and rooms they required were that they were to be low maintenance and durable. The home was to have details and interest and to not be like a ‘pimple on top of the hill’. “In terms of the main influences, the site is always significant - as are orientation, view corridors and local weather patterns. Although these considerations are not about the home’s owners directly, our response to these can greatly affect how the owners interact and use their home – and therefore the influences become connected to the owner through the built form and its performance,” says Dane. Connections and junctions This building was relatively simple in its design and so the challenges were mainly limited to creating and expressing a personalised space for the owners. The site had easy access, reasonably good drainage and a good orientation towards the bay views. Positioning the building to maximise the natural setting was first and fundamental. Pushing earth berms up and around the building came as a direct response to prevailing winds, and the owners’ request to not end up with that pimple on top of the hill. Detailing the concrete works was involved, however with a very good structural engineer on the team and considerable previous experience with concrete, DDA managed this aspect with relative ease. Methodical and careful attention to detailing also proved again to be fundamental to achieving the best outcome. After the form and spaces were adequately resolved it was always all about connections and junctions. “The more time allocated to resolving every junction on a building the better chance of a successful project,” says Dane.

…the owners’ brief asked for Dane to take them ‘out of their comfort zone’.

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Earth coupling Dane really thinks that the earth berms pushed up and around this home distinguish it from all others in this area and styles this home very comfortably into the site and rural context. The choice of materials also influences the outcome heavily and in a positive way if done with creativity and sensitivity. Concrete has been used extensively on this project - the floors, walls and main roof are all structural concrete. Some of these areas such as selected walls both internally and externally have been left as an off-form finish. This gives a ‘natural’ finish to a man-made product. Other materials include exposed aggregate concrete for paving, and a magnificent feature stone wall which runs from the exterior through to the interior – connecting the two. The home also features magnificent timbers in the floor, stairs and fireplace lining. Other materials and textures which give this home ‘life’ are those of nature itself (which is just outside). In terms of what he has ‘learnt’ when he reflects back on this project, Dane says: “I would like to explore and take earth coupling and underground and earth berms further.” Underground homes

or homes partially cut back into hills and sites is something he is very interested in and he hopes a new client is just around the corner for this type of project. Given the marvellous results DDA has achieved with this home, it shouldn’t be too long before that happens. Dane is also quick to acknowledge the builder on this project – Tallwood Constructions. He describes Tallwood as “an outstanding construction firm that offers robust management procedures and an extremely high level of execution of works.” A good design is only that, until it is realised into its built form. The more unique the design, the more challenging it can sometimes be to build. Building such designs requires a builder with the right attitude and the right processes in place. Then we let earth and home and owner do what they should do - enjoy each other’s company for many years to come. BC Dane Design Australia Pty/Ltd: (08) 9755 3861, Tallwood Constructions: (08) 9791 7776 or 0427 568 214,

A good design is only that, until it is realised into its built form. The more unique the design, the more challenging it can sometimes be to build. T 08 9754 1211 F 08 9754 1213 34 Cook St, Busselton WA

46 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013


There’s nothing square about how QUBE does things! Western Australian developer QUBE has created another significant (and attractive) office development as part of the redevelopment and revitalisation of Subiaco. Their latest contribution is a building which houses their own offices - that’s how good they think it is! // words rocky amatulli // images steve scott – scott image





The multi-dimensional QUBE QUBE Property Group is a company owned by five individuals, three of which have been involved since the company was established in 1995. QUBE primarily identify, fund and develop residential land estates, apartment / mixed use developments and office buildings. Mark Hector, one of the directors of QUBE who has been involved since its inception, says that he entered the industry having returned from a year overseas, because of the fact that he felt that “you create something tangible in development and whether it is an office development, apartment development or a new land estate they all impact on how individuals and their families live, work and recreate which is very rewarding.” QUBE does not physically undertake any of the construction and always employs a third party for that role. In regard to the residential estates and apartment development, the developed product is sold off, however, the office buildings are all retained for the longer term and a division of QUBE undertakes the management of those office buildings. Their latest development to be completed (situated at 437 Roberts Road) is the third office building that QUBE has developed in Subiaco. Through a detailed process with the Subiaco Redevelopment Authority, QUBE purchased the site during the GFC and in conjunction with its investors, went about finding the necessary lease pre-commitment and then undertook the development of the office building - which was constructed by Georgiou Construction who did an excellent job. QUBE’s offices occupy a portion of the building along with six other tenants.

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 47


QUBE undertook the acquisition, funding and project management of this particular project. QUBE has only sold one completed office development in the past 18 years and retained the other five, with a further three currently under construction. They take a very long-term view, along with their investors and therefore any new building must be one that is going to stand the test of time, from design, quality of construction and usability. In the case of 437 Roberts Road, the primary requirements of the brief were a modern office building that didn’t necessarily fit any specific style but also one that would hopefully remain relatively timeless and equally as important, and provide into the future the necessary spatial and amenity requirements of tenants which includes QUBE. The main influence on this (and all of QUBE’s projects) is an economic design whilst meeting the above objectives. Of course, skills and track record aside, there were some factors which QUBE could not control, and so the main challenges on the project were based around securing the necessary pre-commitment and funding for this project during the middle of the GFC. Fortunately, over the years QUBE has completed a significant number of precommitment leasing appointments and they utilised this experience to source the necessary tenants to underpin the requirements set by the bank which in turn allowed the project to commence.

When less is more Notable features of the project from a design point of view are probably the minimalistic façade which largely comprises Alucobond cladding and deeply recessed windows, which were a requirement to achieve a 4.5 Star NABERS target rather than hanging sun shade structures to the facade. The use of Alucobond and the window detail helps to keep the façade visually clean, but also minimises maintenance – which again reflects on QUBE’s ‘economic’ based approached. What also makes this project unique is the large floor plates for a suburban office development. This gives tenants more choice on their accommodation options, and offers QUBE’s investors a more lettable building and hence better returns. With respect to their own offices, QUBE engaged Meyer Shircore to create a space that is minimalist and functional. The use of contemporary materials and colours reflect QUBE’s ‘uncluttered, no fuss’ style and approach to business. The reception is predominately monochromatic yet has a punch of colour coming from the waiting area chairs and graphic elements. Such features were inspired by QUBE’s corporate colour “red”. One wall has a massive (and predominate) black-and white graphic which is a collage of photos of the exterior of some of the buildings developed by QUBE. (If QUBE was to have murals of all of its developments on its office walls I dare say that there would very likely not be much white space left!)



0439 956 343 FAX 9275 0829


48 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

“…you create something tangible in development and impact on how individuals and their families live, work and recreate - which is very rewarding”


Finishes range from porcelain tiles in reception and the kitchen to carpet tiles in the boardroom and throughout main office Area. Gyprock lined studwork with feature glazing makes up the wall partitioning, feature flush plasterboard coffered and suspended bulkheads in the reception, boardroom and meeting room create a uniform and streamlined effect. The executive offices contain custom joinery and Caesar stone bench tops, as do the boardroom and reception. LED cove lighting in the reception and boardroom ceiling is another notable feature. When asked about innovations on this project, Mark went on to say: “The most significant innovation on this project was achieving the necessary parking ratio on site whereby a continuous grade carpark over three levels below ground was the solution.” Understandably, this is becoming an increasing consideration (and problem) in the CBD, West Perth, and Subiaco. Replying to what he feels QUBE learned from this project, Mark Hector says: “We continually learn each day from each of our projects.” Judging by the quality of their previous and current developments, it’s easy to see that QUBE have put this learning into practice. QUBE that just keeps rolling QUBE is working on a number of other exciting new projects at the moment, including 100 Havelock Street, West Perth which again has been designed by leading architectural firm, Meyer Shircore. It is nearing completion and is now some 85 per cent pre-committed. Also, they are working on a 5 Star, Green Star office building in joint venture with the West Australian Local Government Association in West Leederville, which has been designed by Hassell Architects and is being built by PACT Construction. This project is 25 per cent through the construction process and will be complete by the end of 2013. BC Architects: Meyer Shircore and Associates Architects: (08) 9381 8511, Subiaco Building Company (SBC): (08) 9301 5377, QUBE Property Group Pty Ltd: (08) 9386 8080,

ABN: 19 470 502 418 REGO: 7784

Matt - 0410 476 558

Email: Ph: 9304 7338 Fax: 9304 8338

Commercial Residential New & Old Repaints The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 49


Fremantle’s great leap forward The Department of Housing and Match take a leap of faith together. The result is the Somersault by Match Apartments. // words rocky amatulli





Government of Western Australia Department of Housing

50 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

Opening doors The Department of Housing mandate is to build better communities and enable all Western Australians to have a place to call home. Through the State Government’s Affordable Housing Strategy 2010-2020: Opening Doors to Affordable Housing (Opening Doors), the Department is firmly focused on helping Western Australians progress towards home ownership. The Department provides public housing for those in need, affordable land and housing opportunities for those on low-moderate incomes, assists with housing finance through KeyStart, provides rental assistance, and provides government employees in regional areas with quality homes so that they can deliver the necessary services to their communities. The Department purchased the land from Match and entered into a Design & Construct contract with its construction arm, M Construction. Subsequent to this, the Department of Housing also appointed Match to undertake the marketing and sales management of a portion of the properties which were for sale under the project banner of Somersault by Match. A key objective of both the Department and Match was to develop an affordable housing product of the highest quality that could be achieved for the budget in place. The availability of new affordable property for rent and sale in Fremantle is rare, and consequently significant effort was spent on delivering an affordable, yet high quality, outcome.


Moving forward with a Somersault The concept of revitalising the eastern gateway to Fremantle had been canvassed for years but only came to fruition with a public-private partnership to redevelop part of the historic Dalgety Wool Store. The Department’s vision was to provide an opportunity for individuals and families who don’t necessarily have high incomes to live in a vibrant city centre with a wealth of lifestyle options available. Somersault by Match started the rejuvenation of the precinct immediately adjacent to the heart of Fremantle’s CBD, which will ultimately be a vibrant mixed-use zone with a residential population of up to 2000 people. Somersault was funded under Stage 2 of the Federal Stimulus Program which required particular specifications to be incorporated within the project. Those requirements and other specific site requirements included universal design, 12 adaptable units, compliance with Port Authority Blast Zone Regulations, Heritage Council requirements, and coastal weathering conditions - as well as the completion of the development within strict timeframes. The apartments were built on 1846 square metres of cleared land adjacent to the main Wool Store building located behind a Heritage-listed facade on Beach Street, Fremantle. The 58 one-bed apartments were built over two blocks with each block comprising five storeys, and with communal space separating the two blocks. The project commenced late September 2010 and was granted practical completion late January 2012 (489 days at an average of 8.5 days per unit to complete).

over both blocks and a concrete suspended slab to each of the floors above. Load-bearing brickwork and block walls support the suspended slabs with a steel roofing system above. The internal unit walls are insulated stud-lined walls. A concrete walkway bridge to meet fire and emergency regulations connects both unit blocks. The existing facade was secured to the new structure to enable it to withstand high coastal winds. The energy efficiency required by the Department was a minimum 6 star NatHERS rating. The project achieved


Nine Stars The built form of the two apartment blocks comprises ground floor raft footings and slabs, with a transfer suspended slab

MARK FAULKS – 0418 429 499 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 51


an average 7 star rating for the whole development up to a maximum 9 star for the apartments. Building on a site with four existing surrounding walls was one of many challenges, and problem solving experience and skill came to the fore during construction ensuring the project kept to program and budget. M Construction removed the need for pumps, tanks and fire hose reels through incorporating alternative engineered fire design solutions. To ensure the heritage facade did not collapse with high winds or with construction vibrations, a temporary propping system was installed. The project needed a rear retaining boundary wall solution that did not use traditional piling methods to avoid problems associated with excessive vibration and working space needed, so the ‘ICW’ system from Compile was selected, enabling the wall to be constructed from natural ground level down to the required depth to deliver the finished wall once soil is removed. Instead of using standard concrete soak wells to the front of the site, the Department opted to use an ‘Atlantis Cell’ system because of the high water table and limited space available between footings. The heritage facade had been neglected over many years, so bricks and eroded mortar were replaced and re-pointed as required, reinforced concrete cancer to the concrete lintels was repaired, corroded brick ties between the inner and outer leaf brickwork were stitched up, and original jarrah timber frames were replaced with identical jarrah frames and sashes especially made by a local joinery company. The back face of the facade wall was lime washed using a special waterproof additive to the mix. Close to Port Due to the site’s proximity to the port, significant attention was given to ensuring that the most suitable materials were specified and used. Ultra Colorbond finish roof sheets meet coastal condition requirements as well as aluminium screens and balustrading in lieu of painted steel, preventing future rusting and maintenance issues. The apartments are fitted with

52 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

commercial window suites with laminated glass, not just to deliver thermal and acoustic properties, but also to meet the Port Authority blast requirements and weathering conditions. Balcony floors are epoxy coated and the underside of the balcony is finished off using a trowelled on texture coat. The internal common area passage finishes are standard across the entire development for ease of maintenance and upkeep. Services to the development incorporate the latest technology and future provisions, including common area lighting wired to infra-red sensors, an intercom system in all units, a secured stretcher-compliant lift in each block, a digital TV antenna and cable in readiness for digital reception, provision for air conditioning located on the balconies, Heritage Council approved lighting to highlight the building’s grand features at night, a monitored fire detection system, and a monitored car park exhaust system. 20,000 homes still to come Somersault by Match delivers compact (but uncompromised) affordable housing in a highly accessible and attractive location. The market for this type of product will increase over time and the Department will continue to refine and deliver this product where it can. What makes this project unique is the preservation of heritage of the site and combining this with modern, energy efficient and accessible apartments, along with providing the opportunity for individuals and families who don’t necessarily have high incomes to live in a vibrant city centre with a wealth of lifestyle options available. As part of Opening Doors, the Department of Housing is playing a pivotal role in connecting stakeholders and partners from the private and not-for-profit sectors, local government authorities and other State Government agencies to deliver at least 20,000 more affordable homes for low-to-moderate income earners by 2020. BC Department of Housing: (08) 9222 4666, Match: (08) 9324 3855, M Construction: (08) 9321 0262,

// words keith mexsom // images nathan archer – archer imagery





Following its establishment in 1958, Perth’s Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre comprises the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and a range of other healthcare facilities that now occupy some 28 hectares next to Kings Park. Collectively, the Centre serves more than 2000 patients per day. At peak times, there can be as many as 5000 staff at the Centre and more than 19,000 vehicle movements transport patients, visitors and service personnel on and off the site every day. In a bid to provide a more efficient and safe access to the Medical Centre’s health services for patients, visitors and staff, and also to consolidate the site’s car parking facilities for other developments, which includes a new children’s hospital, the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre Trust and the State commenced planning in 2009 for a new parking facility at an estimated capital cost of $125 million. To deliver this project, the Trust made part of its site available to the State to enable it to enter into a ‘Build, Own, Operate and Transfer’ (BOOT) contract with Capella Parking Pty Limited to design, construct and finance a new, multi-deck car parking facility and to maintain and operate the car parking facilities over the operating phase. As part of the public-private partnership (PPP) model, Capella Parking and Probuild was awarded the design and construct contract to undertake the design, construction and commissioning of the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre car park. Probuild was founded in Victoria in 1987 and commenced operations in Western Australia in 2006. The firm has since completed many prestigious building projects, including the multi-storey office and retail complexes at 140 William Street and Raine Square in the Perth CBD. (The Builders Choice Magazine, December 2011) In collaboration with architectural firm, DesignInc, Probuild subsequently designed what is to be the largest, multi-deck car park in Western Australia and one of the largest in the southern hemisphere. Covering a total area of 80,000 square metres, distributed over a total of eight floors, the Queen Elizabeth II

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 53


A car park in disguise


Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre Car Park will provide more than 3000 car bays and incorporate a child care facility and two retail spaces.

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Medical Centre Car Park will provide more than 3000 car bays and incorporate a child care facility and two retail spaces. Probuild began the first of four construction stages in September 2011 and the first stage, comprising the ground floor to the fourth level over two-thirds of the plan area, was completed in October 2012. Levels four to seven of the same area were completed well ahead of schedule and handed over on December 15, 2012. While work continues on the remaining one-third of the build, the first stages are now available for car parking with the existing ground-level car parks having been reconfigured to increase the efficiency and capacity of the existing bays. By the time the multi-deck car park is completed in July 2014, there will be some 4800 parking spaces across the Medical Centre site and that number will increase to 5100 upon completion of the new children’s hospital in 2015. When finished, the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre car park will consist of two lanes of entrances and exits for staff and one lane for public use. The building will include four emergency exit stair cores, four main stairwells and five lifts. The sequencing of existing car parking with the new car park, and ensuring there were as many accessible parking bays as possible during the first phases of construction, was just one of the complexities of the build described by Probuild’s Project Manager, Nigel Smith. “The safety and operational aspects of building the second phase of the project over the first, which was occupied and operational 24 hours a day, was another concern. We also had to ensure that the fire and safety systems for the occupied areas of the first phase were acceptable to the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) while we continued to work on the levels above,” said Nigel. “The maximisation of parking bays during construction, and therefore keeping disruption to a minimum, was achieved by close liaison with all the stakeholders working at the Medical Centre. Early discussions with DFES and other consultant parties resulted in a smooth and hitch-free handover of the first stage. “The finishing of the actual concrete structure of that first


stage was accelerated to ensure it was well and truly completed prior to the first stage being handed over and this also greatly reduced the interface between the completed and new work,” said Nigel. “Much of our time saving can also be attributed to the use of post-tensioned concrete for all of the car park floors. The success of this method, combined with our use of the metal deck formwork, meant a reduction of the mechanical handling of materials, a reduction of the amount of reinforcement needed and accounted for the early striking times of the formwork. “The handover of the second stage, months early, is a reflection on the benefits of the systems we used,” said Nigel. Due to its proximity to the pristine Kings Park landscape, the design aesthetics of the car park were a major consideration. The client’s brief was to make the building look as little like a car park as possible. “That’s why the main exit stairs on the west side of the building were designed as a semi-office stair core with high-level, external finishes and lighting more in keeping with an A-grade office than a car park,” said Nigel. In keeping with a corporate image, the obscuring of the building’s contents was therefore a priority, as was the maximisation of natural lighting and providing natural ventilation throughout the building. To accomplish all that, more than 7000 panels of 4mm pressed sheeting with one-off designed perforations have been used to clad the building. Concealing an otherwise stark concrete

skeleton, this unique combination of coloured panels blends with the softer hues and contours of the adjacent Kings Park, reflecting its change of light from dawn to daylight…to dusk…and to the shadows of the night. “The cladding has certainly provided a talking point for the building and primarily allows the building to ventilate under free air without forced ventilation and that also reduces long-term maintenance requirements,” said Nigel. Indeed, the car park’s panel cladding system has proved so successful that the product has now been launched as a standard panel by the manufacturer for use in numerous free-air situations. But as successful as the building’s cladding may be, it is but a superficial sign of what the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre car park project has achieved. Not only has the building and its facilities already improved accessibility for all Medical Centre users but, when finished, it will provide a centralised, safe and secure on-site parking facility for the Centre’s patients, staff and visitors well into the future. BC Probuild: (08) 9363 1400 DesignInc: (08) 9328 3299,


M: 0417 177 186

F: 9572 2251 E: The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 55


Medallion brings iconic style to Perry Lakes TH




56 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

// words webb & brown-neaves

Inspired by the early architecture of Floreat, the Medallion by Webb & Brown-Neaves is a mesmerising narrow-lot masterpiece tailor-made for today. Built on a slim block in the new Perry Lakes residential development on the site of the old Perry Lakes Stadium, this luxury two-storey home combines Webb & Brown-Neaves’ modernist design flair with a contemporary interpretation of the iconic style of Floreat in the ’50s and ’60s. Simon Birkhead, general manager at Webb & Brown-Neaves, said the Medallion brought a fresh, new approach to innovative design, creating something a little unexpected. “We wanted a home that not only reflected the history of Perry Lakes and the 1962 Empire Games, but that also maintained the integrity of a


An open-tread staircase appears to float above an indoor pond...

refined, modernist home,” Mr Birkhead said. “The Medallion delivers all the things our clients love about Webb & Brown-Neaves, such as exacting detail and stunning craftsmanship, while creating a design that is contemporary, fresh and captivating.” Designed for small families, professional couples or the discerning downsizer looking for a spacious contemporary home with a low-maintenance garden, the four-bedroom Medallion teams light-filled spaces with inspired detailing. An open-tread staircase appears to float above an indoor pond, while the introduction of a streamlined, low-line window below the fireplace makes the lap pool look as if it’s actually part of the chic open-plan living area.

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Home of Fine Wood Floors 8/2 Smeaton Way Rockingham WA 6168 T: 08 9528 1524 F: 08 9527 3519 E:

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 57


The impressive specification includes stone benchtops in the kitchen, custom-made designer cabinetry and gorgeous china basins. A large alfresco area, an oversized balcony and a separate porch overlooking the lap pool provide great outdoor spaces in which to entertain guests, while long lines and linear water features give the impression that the whole home is ‘floating’ within the landscape. Mr Birkhead said the unique elevation, with its sleek lines,

beautiful proportions and sections of copper cladding, helped make the Medallion a luxury “talking-point” residence. The Medallion is priced at $788,000, representing exceptional value for money. For more information on the Medallion by Webb & Brown-Neaves, contact (08) 9208 9017 or visit BC Webb & Brown-Neaves: (08) 9208 9017,

Ph: 9351 3400

P: 9204 2611 F: 9204 2101 12 Burgay Court Osborne Park WA 6017 E: 58 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013


Integrity Developments lifts the bar on multi-dwelling developments Take two 3-unit sites in Beatrice Street Doubleview, add a dash of Integrity, and you’ve now got 6 new Townhouses and a Villa with street frontages. // words rocky amatulli // images steve nicholls photography





Integrity. Not just a name - more a way of doing things Integrity Developments was established in 1997 by Kevin Ledger and Stephen Burns who both had extensive experience within the building industry. Their vision was to build a company that could help others gain financial freedom through their extensive knowledge of building unit developments. Integrity has become a boutique builder which specialises in unit developments and custom homes. The company uses its experience and expertise to custom design developments - taking into consideration each client’s block dimensions, budget, vision and lifestyle requirements. Integrity saw one of the blocks of land for sale in Beatrice Street Doubleview, and wanted to expand the project, so it acquired the block next door allowing it to maximise the area of the blocks to fit six townhouses and 1 villa on the overall parcel of land. It was involved in every aspect of this build - from acquiring the land, design of the development, documentation, feasibility, council approvals…..right through to building and landscaping.

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 59


Perhaps the best outcome achieved was the Integrity’s clever combining of two 3-unit sites which when amalgamated allowed it to build 7 homes in total – all facing the street. Integrity wanted to ensure that they achieved good sized townhouses which were modern and had an individual street presentation. Each of the townhouses and the villa was designed to have its own street frontage, giving the impression of an individual property with no common areas. They also had to be profitable and functional; to be bright and have an open plan living area, and ultimately appealing to a variety of buyers and occupants. As is the case with most developments, there are always a number of factors influencing the design. In this case orientation of the block and profitability for investors involved in the project

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60 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

were major (although quite different) considerations in the design and construction phases of the development. Redesign of the roof structure to allow a more modern and appealing exterior was another important aspect driving the design. The final result is a crisp, clean modern elevation. Perhaps the best outcome achieved was Integrity’s clever combining of two 3-unit sites which when amalgamated allowed it to build 7 homes in total - all facing the street. And then there were other major outside influences, the prominent one being the Global Financial Crisis. This made forecasting the start date to fit in with future market rises an interesting and challenging exercise. Integrity overcame this challenge by holding the project back and reading the market. What Integrity has ended up producing are actually large homes on small blocks, despite the fact that it is essentially a unit development! The dwellings have skillion raking roofs, high ceilings, garage door (with infill to allow natural light), all finished externally in render. Each townhouse has a unique


What Integrity has ended up producing are actually large homes on small blocks, despite the fact that it is essentially a unit development!

presence (as each was designed to take advantage of the road frontage with all driveways accessing the road giving the units an individual feel). Integrity believes that this improves the values of surrounding homes. It’s all in the detail There are many small (but significant things) which make a difference to these townhouses and villa. This project is a testament to that! For example, Integrity has included raised 30-course ceilings (where the standard is often 28 courses) and has provided coved cornices to the bedrooms and wet areas. It has also included slimline venetian blinds throughout (excluding wet areas), a security alarm, ducted reversed cycle air-conditioning, Delonghi appliances and an integrated dishwasher, a TV antenna, flyscreens, and full landscaping – so in other words (with the exception of furniture) the dwellings are ready to live in. Another such (unseen detail) is the fact that Integrity has a dedicated site supervisor for every project it undertakes, and that supervisor calls out to his sites every day during the construction phase. This is the most desirable way to manage the construction of dwellings, but is not always achievable (or done) by builders within the industry – and ultimately the clients or project can suffer as a result. At Integrity, this simply does not happen. Integrity reflects on the Beatrice Street development, and share that it would “like to continue doing more of these types of projects”. To that end, Integrity is currently working on 3 large homes with great city views in the Tuart Hill area. The directors also acknowledge that “a good real estate agent helps make for a successful development”.

that the unit purchasers and occupants all ‘sleep well at night’, Integrity offers a 7-year structural guarantee, a maintenance period up to 6 months after settlement, and Bi-flex pest control spray with a 10-year warranty. Integrity Developments carries the highest HIA category Insurance Premium Rating. “We understand the huge responsibility that comes with building your multi-unit development. Integrity Developments prides itself on supporting its clients through the entire process from vision through to handover. Our core value is ‘Integrity by Name, Integrity by Nature’ and our satisfaction comes from ensuring your building experience is both smooth and enjoyable,” say Kevin and Stephen are quoted as saying. Perhaps a lesser known fact about the company is that it also proudly supports many Community and not-for-profit organisations, including Teen Challenge (for the rehabilitation of youth suffering substance abuse), Variety Club Bash, Youth Mission Team, Bayswater City Football Club and Marist Football Club. BC Integrity Developments: (08) 9202 6888,

Quality that makes a world of difference.

You can never have too much Integrity And it would seem that the directors of Integrity Developments take their company name very seriously – and very literally. This is particularly important to the Kevin and Stephen as all clients deal with them as the owners of the business. And to ensure

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First there was Earth. Then there were Walls. Finally, there was the Earth Wall House // words rocky amatulli // images mark cooper – design by lime





62 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

Ask and you will receive The owners’ brief was to create a small comfortable weekender. The home was to be single level, and be able to cater for immediate family and a crowd. Accommodation wise, the owners wanted 3 bedrooms (master bedroom, guest bedroom, bunk room to sleep 6), 3 bathrooms (master ensuite, guest ensuite, bathroom) and 2 internal living spaces (open living lounge/dining and an activity room). The home was to focus on the natural bush setting and northern orientation. The materials palette needed to be simple and robust with low maintenance given the nature and use of the house. A slow combustion fireplace and an external fire pit should be included. The owners had spent some time with a project builder because they felt their budget would not allow a custom design building. However they struggled with this because they just couldn’t see the fit of project home in the bush setting and their lifestyle. Whilst cost control was still to be maintained, and although it was only a weekender, they still wanted it to be special in ‘some way’. That seems a big ask – but that’s where Dane Design Australia comes in. This project still included all core architectural services from DDA (which included assisting the owners to consolidate their brief right through to the management of the construction programme). The main architectural design, interior, materials, fittings and fixtures were all included in DDA’s scope. Site significance played an impotant role once again, with orientation, view corridors and local weather patterns all being taken into consideration. Restrictions with the Bushfire Provisions (given the high fire risk location in relation to the use of timber externally) added their own challenge to this project. And to make matters even more interesting (and challenging), satisfying the local council’s requirements with rammed limestone was thrown into the mix.


“this project has reconfirmed that tight budgets should not limit people with desires to have custom design solutions for their homes”. Rules, rules and more rules In order to meet these statutory requirements, material selections had to be compliant with high fire risk. DDA’s responsibility included constantly checking that the building was not exceeding the brief, maintaining a focus on where to allocate the funds most efficiently, and ensuring compliance – a diverse set of parameters which could often be at odds with one another! This ultimately helped steer the design of the project towards the use of simple rammed limestone blade walls without openings or embellishment. The rammed limestone protects the rooms beyond from sun, wind and fire. This material ticked every box for this building – and was locally sourced, had low toxicity, a wonderful texture and natural colour, and great thermal mass properties. So out of challenge, grew the character and uniqueness of this home. It was decided that the rammed earth blade walls would have to be the main focal point on arrival and then internally these walls focus and frame the view to the bush setting. In some regards, there are facets of the build that are relatively ‘standard’ as all of the building techniques used are quite typical of this area. The rammed limestone walls are the main material feature and dominate the western and eastern facade. The material palette was based on a natural selection of finishes. The rammed limestone was an early selection, other materials then co-ordinated to this selection. The grey walls fit into the shadowy

treed site, locally sourced marri timber was used throughout on cabinets and inlays into floors, concrete floors dominate, and then a neutral white background colour is selected for the walls. Again, even though the house was referred to as a weekender, and the main materials are quite simple in their form, composition and colour, there is a high level of detailing in the kitchen cabinets which also provides focal point. This is by no means a lazy weekender. It measures up against any home. No such thing as an ordinary weekend anymore Like all projects, this house was also unique from the point of view of its own site, owner and brief. So there is always the opportunity to take something from the experience of designing and managing the construction programme. DDA’s Dane says that “this project has reconfirmed that tight budgets should not limit people with desires to have custom design solutions for their homes”. After all, this client was initially going to get a project builder to design and build it in order to keep costs down. Needless to say, they are extremely pleased with the result. They now have their weekender. They now love their weekends even more! BC Dane Design Australia Pty/Ltd: (08) 9755 3861, Studium by Todd Huxley: (08) 9759 1088,

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Motus Architecture and Absecon Builders bring a touch of New York to Como // words rocky amatulli





64 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

From the architect’s perspective The immediate success of a new mixed-use, residential project in Como is indicative of the demand for well priced, well located, near city apartments. This new project Elysium Como combines 12 one, two and three bedroom apartments over two levels, with retail office suites to interact with the local community at street level. Built on the corner of Ley Street and Downey Drive (opposite a park) the corner suite on the ground floor is earmarked for a vibrant café/restaurant. The development is just minutes from the Canning Bridge rail and bus stations, as well as walking distance to shops, schools and the Canning River. While formal marketing only started late last year, the agents have already sold 10 of the 12 apartments. The development is designed by progressive architectural studio Motus Architecture. Elysium Como offered buyers an exciting and convenient living environment in beautiful, New York-style mezzanine apartments. Elysium Como has been designed to a very high standard and the fit-out and feel will set a new standard in aesthetics and style for Como. According to Motus Architecture directors, Adriano Piviali and Peter Jodrell, “The apartments range in size from 58-97 square metres plus balcony spaces from 10-18 square metres. Elysium Como was conceived to meet the demand for more boutique, yet well-priced apartment accommodation in the City of South Perth.” He said whilst other areas of Perth had embraced this form of apartment living, there had previously been little opportunity within the Como area to provide such a product. Motus said for younger buyers still studying, the access to UWA, Curtin and even Murdoch Universities was very easy. The Ley Street precinct had also seen a steady increase in the number of eating and food venues, and the support provided by the City of South Perth for the construction of a new Library and Resource Centre in the Welwyn


Avenue precinct would provide further incentive for the area to support more valuable community facilities. Having a café on the ground floor is sure to attract plenty of interested potential owners, and this mixed with the remaining commercial tenancies makes the Elysium Apartments individual in their own right. Once finished the new café, with the additional other commercial tenancies, will help turn this area into a small business hub and should benefit the area. The open ‘New York’ style apartments help create a largerthan-actual-size feeling and sets them apart from many of the other apartment complexes currently available around Perth. The internal finishes only serve to amplify this. “The apartments maximise the spatial nature of the living areas. We achieved this by raking the main area ceilings and linking this with the upper levels,” Motus says. The different textures and colours used on the external facades give the development its own character - of particular note are the balcony ‘boxes’ which consist of steel framing clad with the James Hardie Exotec cladding which sets it apart from the sand render main walls. From the builder’s perspective Stephen Young (Project Manager for the builder, Absecon Pty Ltd) has been in the construction industry in one form or another for 10 years, having been responsible for the completion of numerous school and residential and commercial projects. Since a very young age Stephen has always been interested in building principles and the multitude of construction methods available for modern construction. Absecon began trading as part of the Pyramid Group nearly 5 years ago (2009), the primary focus being any and all commercial projects valued from $500k to $7 million. Their completed project portfolio primarily includes developments within the educational sector, but on occasion includes developments such as the Elysium Apartments. The wealth of experience and knowledge of those working at Absecon has enabled them to present as a very capable company and its successful completion of projects to date speaks for itself. “Every job presents with its own unique issues and how we deal with them is what makes this job interesting. To sit back

“The apartments maximise the spatial nature of the living areas, by raking the main area ceilings and linking this with the upper levels”

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P: (08) 9467 2541 F: (08) 9331 2790 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 65


“Every job presents with its own unique issues and how we deal with them is what makes this job interesting”

and look at a completed project, knowing that you played a part in taking it from the drawings to a final product is a rewarding feeling. This is what attracted me to the industry and it is what keeps me here”, says Steve. Absecon was invited to participate in a selective tender on this project. Its tender submission was successful based on the original design; however in a bid to achieve further costs savings for the client Absecon changed the main structural element of the job (AFS wall panels to core-filled blockwork). Once the redesign was complete and the costs finalised, the


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contract was signed and a start date was scheduled. Absecon was the head contractor for this development and was responsible for co-ordinating with the architect, consultants, sub-contractors and suppliers to ensure a quality product for the client (Mazebay Pty Ltd). Like all successful projects, the main requirements from the construction side were to ensure that the project was completed to a high standard, within the allocated timeframe – which it will be! The biggest construction challenge on this project was the site access and laydown areas for materials, site amenities, craneage and concrete pumping. Being a corner block adjacent a busy intersection with a building footprint that took up most of the site, any of the concrete pours and crane lifts would have meant shutting down traffic lanes on Ley Street and/or Downey Drive and diverting traffic. The adjacent block (which is owned by the Department of Housing Works) had an old house on it marked for demolition in readiness for a future development. This block was large enough to enable crane setups with ample materials storage and site amenities. Absecon approached DHW to see if it could utilise the land and an agreement was made in which it demolished the house, which would offset the cost of renting the land. Some of the main construction materials and finishes used on the project are core-filled reinforced 190 wide blockwork (for all structural and load bearing walls), concrete in-situ ground floor and suspended slabs, structural steel framing (for top floor roof and parts of the first floor roof ), Colorbond (for the roof sheeting, flashings, gutters and downpipes), float and set plaster to all internal walls (some party walls have acoustic cladding for noise separation) and external acrylic render (to the main features panels) with sand render to all other external block walls. “We always learn something from every project, some projects more so than others depending on the type of construction. This project has been successful so far and we expect that to carry through to completion, so in hindsight at this stage nothing would be done differently”. The balance of Absecon’s current project portfolio includes multiple Catholic School developments in and around the Perth metro area. Two other interesting projects on the go are Christchurch Grammar School renovations and addition and Hammond Park Primary School (greenfield site). BC Motus Architecture: (08) 9319 1911, Absecon Pty Ltd: (08) 9340 9850,

66 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013


Building homes is a family business A great story about a father and his son; our story begins in Italy…and continues here in Leederville!

// words rocky amatulli





Laying the foundations Sam Cicirello, founder and director of Cicirello Homes, came to Perth from Italy in the early 1960s. Like many migrants of that era, he left loved ones behind and travelled to the ‘other end of the world’ to secure a better future for himself, and his family. A bricklayer by trade, he worked the construction sites of Perth, establishing himself as a highly skilled tradesman for more than 15 years before applying for his Building Licence in the early 1980s. As a licensed builder, he quickly established a reputation and subsequent building company under the Cicirello banner, focusing initially on renovations and extensions, but increasingly being called upon to build complete custom homes and often, luxury homes. His broad experience and grounding in the industry gave Sam an exceptional understanding of all facets of building. This, combined with his personal approach, ensured a constant stream of projects through word of mouth – an ethos and business model that still underpins the company’s position as one of the leading boutique builders in Perth to this day. The family business we know today really started to take shape when Joe, Sam’s son and the company’s

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 67


managing director, joined Sam on site. He started as a kid, helping his dad during the school holidays, getting a taste for the industry and inadvertently ‘laying the foundations’ for the ultimate multi-disciplinary building apprenticeship. As a teenager, shadowing Sam as he supervised homebuilding projects, Joe started to develop a thorough knowledge of the building process himself. After securing his Bachelor of Business degree at university, Joe officially joined the business, completing his unique apprenticeship. He learnt from Sam how to build a home from the ground up and manage the myriad elements and trades involved. Joe also learnt how to run a successful business from an administration side, which now proves to be a winning formula for Cicirello Homes. A boutique building company with a deserved reputation for quality workmanship, Cicirello Homes has a uniquely personal and flexible approach to building custom-designed homes and premium quality property developments. The particular project featured (a two-storey custom designed and built home) is contemporary and functional – and definitely built to suit its owners’ unique lifestyle. The design focuses on an integration of indoor and outdoor entertaining. The client’s vision for their long-term family home, and the site itself, heavily influenced the

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68 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

outcome. The long and narrow block suggested a distinct journey and connectivity between spaces was required. The owners engaged the services of Parisa Soltani to design and document the project. Jamie and Sandra (the owners) are collectors of art, and the poetry and feeling that were evident in their collection made a great connection with Parisa’s own approach to form and space in design. Once the design process was close to completion Cicirello Homes was asked to provide feedback and pricing. In collaboration with the designers and the owners, the documentation was then finalised. Cicirello Homes initially provided some construction feedback on design work, but ultimately managed the building process through to completion. What was asked for was a family home that is well suited to needs of a young and growing family and that’s exactly what has been delivered – along with a design that works in harmony with the narrow and sloping block, connecting well to outdoor spaces, and taking advantage of orientation and views. The ground floor has been designed to work with the family’s entertaining and living needs, whilst the upper floor holds the large retreat and 3 large bedrooms. The retreat consists of the master bedroom, a large walk-in-robe, a large ensuite and sliding stacking doors which open out onto the balcony. The kitchen, dining and lounge areas overlook the outdoor entertaining and pool areas, and there is a wine cellar which sits off of the kitchen. The home includes an office at the front of the house, and various storage options throughout the home from the kitchen through to the laundry which prove handy in this large house. How to make a roof look hip There were several challenges on this project. The block sloped from front to rear quite substantially, so there were many retaining walls and steps built to deal with that slope. The roof was particularly complex, with many roof pitch combinations such as skillion and pitched roof designs. The planning policies applicable to that area required a minimum roof pitch of 30º - unsuitable for a narrow lot - and not the style that Jaime and Sandra were hoping to capture. To achieve the right


balance, the balcony roof structure with a tilting PFC beam concealed the hipped roof when viewed by pedestrians. This is reminiscent of the older-style houses with shallow pitched verandah roofs, and works in harmony with existing homes around the neighbourhood by keeping in with a traditional approach yet still in a contemporary and minimalistic way. The ensuite walk-in shower has a step up, projecting up to void space above the living area. The result creates a ‘tension’ expressed by the various elements coming together which creates a sculptural quality derived from the curved bridge and internal glazing. Joe and Parisa both agree that form defines space and raises our sensitivity and awareness, along with appreciation of spatial qualities that are framed and contained within a structure. Joe continues on to say that, “the feature curved walls and the bridge are my personal favourite aspect in this home. The curves instil motion and poetry to the spaces created. There’s a movement and flow which creates a sense of a place, an invitation, an embrace.” This provides an insight into uniqueness of the Cicirello Homes approach. To address the length and narrow width of site, the curved feature walls were incorporated and they became the driving force behind the whole scheme. The spaces created feel as if the home is situated on a much wider block. There are strong visual links throughout the house - from the furthest room one can see the entrance and feature curved walls. On the upper level the link offers great views of the distant hills and treetops of Lake Monger area. The charcoal render finish on the main curved wall has been continued with the same texture internally, expressing continuity of form and space. Again there is sensitivity towards connection both externally and internally. “A lot of planning was required in order for the flow of work to continue through the process. Cicirello Homes had trades and suppliers on the project that were understanding of the situation and were willing to come up with solutions as they

were encountered. We learnt that any construction challenge can be overcome with input from all those involved, including our trades, office staff and supervisor. We gained a lot of satisfaction from completing a challenging architecturally designed project and knowing that the client was happy with the home”. Joe also adds that “great clients make great homes.” Cicirello Homes is currently working on custom built homes in Coolbinia, Attadale, Scarborough and Joondanna - so we are certain that this story will be continued. BC Cicirello Homes: (08) 6267 5136,

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The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 69


Built on

Strength & Reliability Big Ben Homes is a small boutique residential building business specialising in custom designed and built homes and renovations Big Ben Homes offer the following services: · Complete home design · Designing to a budget · Estimating · New home construction 300k to 2m · Alterations and additions 50k to 1m The Principal, Ben Heah, has been building for more than 25 years and his company, Big Ben Homes, has been in operation since 1996. Big Ben Homes uses only well respected, reputable suppliers and qualified tradespersons for their building materials and contract services, and therefore, would like to thank them for their support over the past two years and highly recommend them for any future projects.

BIG BEN HOMES P: (08) 9314 3044 M: 0419 963 341 E:


Live forever zen in the Azumi





72 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

// words webb & brown-neaves

Taking a fresh new direction, Webb & Brown-Neaves has kicked off 2013 with the Azumi, an innovative new single-storey display home that offers refined Japanese-inspired living in the heart of Burns Beach. Teamed with the traditional sophistication and comfort of a Webb & Brown-Neaves home, the company’s latest showcase features iconic shoji screens, water gardens, feature timber ceilings and detailed horizontal windows that promote a serene Asian influence. Taking its name from the Japanese word for ‘safe house’, the four-bedroom, two-bathroom Azumi marries together the beautiful architecture of contemporary Japanese homes with Webb & Brown-Neaves’ renowned style and quality craftsmanship. Simon Birkhead, general manager at Webb & Brown-Neaves, said the new design, which is unlike anything the luxury homebuilder has created before, draws on his travel experience throughout Japan and his love of traditional Japanese architecture.


“All our homes are well-researched in order to achieve a beautiful product and the Azumi was no exception,” Mr Birkhead said. Fundamentally a family home, the Azumi has been designed to give adults and children their own zones, while the heart of the home is where the family will gather. “Shoji screens, water gardens and feature timber ceilings have been detailed as part of the design to add to the inspiration of the home,” Mr Birkhead said. “It’s about that beautiful balance between the tranquility of the water and the horizontality of the ‘harder’ lines of the home, softened with timber details such as the eaves, internal ceilings and alfresco,” continued Mr Birkhead. “The home has been designed as a rear living home so the backyard takes a more traditional aspect. The entrance has been planned so visitors don’t see all the way through the home when they walk in. Instead, they walk to a focal point at the end of the entrance then they turn to where the home completely opens up. It’s a surprise element that makes this home unpredictable.

“The front of the home is actually cantilevered slightly over Japanese Koi ponds to create the illusion that the house is gently hovering over the water. In fact, water features heavily in the landscape design of the home as the Koi ponds extend to the rear of the home, creating a tranquil backdrop to the living areas,” concluded Mr Birkhead. The minor bedrooms sit to the front of the home off an activity area, while the master bedroom has been positioned towards the middle of the home with access to a beautiful Japanese courtyard. This main bedroom has a dramatic, raked, timber-lined ceiling to give the space added volume. An abundance of windows throughout the Azumi encourage the natural flow of light and cross ventilation. The Azumi is located at 91 Grand Ocean Entrance, Burns Beach and is priced from $438,000. For more information on the Azumi by Webb & Brown-Neaves, contact (08) 9208 9017 or visit BC Webb & Brown-Neaves: (08) 9208 9017,

Ph: 9351 3400 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 73


Sustainable spirit // words john damant // images john damant

It has been said that a good building can only result when there is a meeting of minds between client, designer and builder. I would take it a step further and say another key ingredient is a clear and succinct brief. This small home project had all these ingredients, with a clear direction given to eco- designer John Damant of Arcologic, a passion for sustainability and artwork displayed by client Dr. Nan Broad, and incredible attention to detail by builder Tim Coaker of Port Denison Builders. The result is an attractive and sustainable home that has already taken out





74 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

multiple awards in the 2012 MBA Geraldton-Mid West building Excellence Awards. (Energy Efficiency, Innovation and Best New Builder) The journey started when Dr Broad breezed into my studio with her incredible energy and told me she wanted a home that felt like she was “living in a garden”. No easy request given that her block was situated in Port Denison which is subjected to some climatic extremes, including strong winds for a large part of the year. A court plan form was an early decision in the design process as it provides protection from the elements, gives all rooms a view to the outdoors, and provides security and privacy. Another early decision was the use of rammed limestone as a building material as it has a tactile and visual character that appealed to my client, and good sustainability criteria that suited the brief. Being readily sourced in the region, it also has a very low embodied energy and excellent thermal mass for natural cooling and heating. It performs less well as an insulating material, but the overall solar passive design of the home more than compensated for this and still achieves a high 7 Star Energy Rating. The rammed limestone is used as ‘blade walls’ that create ‘secret gardens’ and courts and by separating it from other materials the walls stand out as sculptural elements. Richard Jones of Murchison Rammed Earth takes great pride in his work and has created walls full of interest and beautiful to look at and touch. The home plan form is simple in concept and based around an ‘informality’ not normally associated with the suburbs. Entry is through a covered breezeway that gives private access to a guest suite that can function independently from the main home. The

Industrial functionality without sacrificing construction excellence


The journey started when Dr Broad breezed into my studio with her incredible energy and told me she wanted a home that felt like she was “living in a garden”.

front door of the home is a carved African timber pivot door with sidelight window of stained glass commissioned for the project and representing a stylised version of a ‘macrocarpa’ plant. The main living space of the home is the “garden room” with large north facing stacking sliding doors opening onto the courtyard and windows facing south onto a covered and protected ‘tropical garden’. This is the essence of the clients’ desire to ‘live as if in a garden’ – planted outdoor spaces visible from the inside with minimal disruption, blurring the distinction between in and out. Excessive heat or glare and minimisation of heat loss/gain is achieved through the use of low-E ‘Comfort Plus’ glass. The west wing of the court is made up of my clients’ bedroom, bathroom, large study and library area. A day-bed is situated off the library facing north onto a secret shaded garden. The home is floored throughout by polished concrete which is an excellent source of thermal mass while also being low maintenance and an attractive finish. Paints internally are Bauwerk low VOC lime-based paints while in the bathrooms an ancient Moroccan plastering technique called ‘tadelakt’ has been used to avoid any grout and its associated mould problems. Lights throughout the home are low energy LED recessed downlights but their use is minimised during daylight hours because of the abundance of natural light that floods the home. Cooling is through natural cross-ventilation (a strong sea breeze is a welcome visitor on hot summer days) supplemented by efficient fans to all habitable rooms. My client has found the home to be quite comfortable without air conditioning, even given the hot summer we have experienced this year. Other sustainable features include a solar hot water system, rainwater tanks (Nan enjoys the taste of rainwater over scheme water) and a 2 KW photovoltaic solar system. Given the solar passive design of the home and its energy efficient appliances, the home should be largely self-sufficient for its own energy needs. Water usage will also be minimised through water efficient fixtures and fittings and a predominantly indigenous garden with very low water needs. But what makes this house truly unique, and what makes it a ‘home’, is the energy and creativity brought to it by the client. It

is full of quirky details and artworks specifically commissioned for the home or physically built by the client herself. An example of this are the shower screens made into a translucent mosaics using chrysopase rock (Australian jade) found by Nan on her travels. These have been cut, polished and assembled into a shimmering mural that transforms a plain glass screen into a work of art. Other unique artworks commissioned for the home include the stained glass entry feature by artist Joey Martin and the wrought iron gate to the breezeway (also a stylised representation of the ‘macrocarpa’ plant) by Gus Skene. Future plans include a screen to the ‘secret garden’ made of found driftwood and a ‘boma’ fireplace from which one can watch the magnificent stars of the southern sky above. No doubt further additions are being planned as this article is written, and that is what I enjoy most about the home – that it evolves over time and becomes more and more a reflection of my client’s unique and experimental personality, and all the while making a minimal footprint on the environment. This is the essence of what sustainable design should be striving for. BC Arcologic: 0418 844 662 , Port Denison Builders: 0429 772 009,

MURCHISON RAMMED EARTH Quality Construction for Sustainable Living 25 Years Experience Attention to Detail State-wide Service Richard Jones PO Box 382 | Geraldton WA 6531 Tel/Fax: 08 9926 1196 Mob: 0408 913 478 Email:

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 75


Tuart Forest Primary School brings the outdoors in // words rocky amatulli

‌the site is in a subdivision that is still under construction and has two owners, which meant it was divided over two titles which were the responsibility of two separate developers‌





Sending the architect back to school The vision for Tuart Forest (formerly East Dalyellup) Primary School is of an educational facility which embraces The Department of Education Standard Pattern Primary School brief and templates, while improving on the overall aesthetics of a school creating an imaginative, creative and exciting environment for students. The school is to accommodate students from kindergarten through to Year 7. As such, the proposed site is to contain the standard template design buildings for an administration building, four teaching blocks (including early childhood block), library and covered assembly building. Furthermore the school accommodates a dental clinic within the administration building. Each building utilises the standard sustainable design principles to achieve natural heating and cooling through insulation, ventilation, verandas, orientation and vegetation. In addition to these elements through the course of design development and with the aid of the consultants, the design of the project incorporates such principles as solar panels, storm water collection and re-use, and sustainable landscaping. The choices of materials for the design are further considered for a sustainable outcome wherein materials specified are low maintenance and durable. Due to policy and budget constraints some of these items have not been adopted yet they have been considered and allowances made in the design for the school to integrate at a future date. The Kent Lyon Architect team for this project comprised of: Kent Lyon (project director/project architect, superintendents representative), Bonnie Mularczyk (design architect), Rebecca Martin (senior draftsperson) and Bec Mepham (interior designer). School work can be challenging The site is in a subdivision that is still under construction and has two owners which meant it was divided over two titles which were the responsibility of two separate developers. Therefore issues such as construction of the road, oval, footpaths, sewer, telephone and electrical supply and fire protection had to be considered

76 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013


prior to any design (and through construction) to ensure all were in place for start of school year. The tight timeframes for design, documentation and construction raised one of the biggest challenges as the start of the school year can’t be changed and any delays due to authority approvals, changes requested by the client, weather, etc had to be absorbed. Prior to any design proposals a risk assessment that identified methods to manage the complicated nature of the two titles, tight timeframes, delays and construction of the main road into school was carried out to avoid surprises. Throughout the project Kent Lyon Architect took a proactive role to ensure that issues which would be detrimental to the school and would have impact on the school being able to open for the start of 2013 school year where being resolved (often when these isues weren’t even their responsibility).

Colour your (children’s) world The integration of colours was discussed from the early phases with the principal for the project and were incorporated in at Schematic Design phase and allowed a school name, logo, values and mottos along with the percentage for art. A mixture of external play areas on soft (grassed and soft fall) and hard (foursquare, snakes & ladders, hopscotch, tennis, basketball, netball, etc) surfaces have been created. Kent Lyon Architect has been able to utilise the percent for art designs for providing features with laser cut motifs to the administration block plus identifcation signage to each block. Kent Lyon Architect developed the philosophy of using colour coding (Yellow Block, Red Block, Blue Block, Green Block, etc) for students to find their way around the campus instead of using numbers for teaching blocks - this integrates

style with substance


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The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 77


…making the inside link with the outsides of the spaces helps the student and teacher stay focused on the task at hand.

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9791 1299 20 Palmer Crs BUNBURY WA Email: Fax: 9791 1319 78 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

both inside and outside of buildings. This was an approach that was utilised through the graphic design of the logo, signage and percent for art work. The use of a variety of materials for finishes inside and outside of buildings was important and can be seen in the coloured concrete paths, softfalls, carpets, painted fibrous cement sheeting, pin up boards, operable walls, laminates, etc. The construction of the buildings was to suit the Standard Pattern brief for double brick, steel framed construction however Kent Lyon Architect introduced a different range of bricks and colour panels for the gables and window panels on verandas. The vision was to inject bright solid colours into the design of the school to create interest and creativity. To further strengthen the colour palette, coloured panels are placed in the bottom panels of the windows. Apart from the use of bright colours (both to the exterior and the interior), what appear to be sculptural artpieces to the exterior are also evident. These coloured and sculptural elements are intended to engage the students, parents, teachers and passer-bys. There has been research which shows that the use of colours will promote mental alertness and activity – particularly bright colours and warm hues. The project group (including the principal, client representative, project manager, architects and interior designer) felt that having bright colours would aid the students in creating their indentity as they are a newly established school, as well as enhancing the learning environments. For example, orange in a classroom creates a cheerful, sociable environment with minimal hostility and irritation. Positive classroom colors are yellow, yellow green, orange and light blue. Dull colours, white, brown and black in a classroom are not stimulating or productive – and after all, a school is essentially a place of learning. Kent expands on his philosophy: “Making the inside link with the outside spaces and creating learning environments where mental stimulation is passively promoted by the colour in a room (our outside rooms), helps the student and teacher stay focused on the task at hand.” A new school of thought So as the settling construction dust makes way for chalk dust, what (if anything) can be learnt by such an experienced architect as Kent? “Well one valuable lesson I can take from this project” shares Kent, “is that there are many parties who will put up obstacles along the life of a project. Having a dedicated group of indivuals who have a strong focus on creating the best learning environments for the students keeps the drive and motivation level up despite the tough criticism.” ...and so endeth the lesson! BC Kent Lyon Architect: (08) 9791 5404, Pindan: (08) 9463 7100,


Building on a solid foundation With the completion of a magnificent new family home in Floreat, Craig Sheiles Homes keeps ‘building’ on its reputation for designing and constructing award winning contemporary masterpieces. But the real prize for this company is ITS growing list of satisfied repeat clients. // words rocky amatulli

…what really makes this project unique is the site – and how Craig Sheiles Homes has dealt with it!





Homes built for the individual Craig Sheiles Homes is a multi award winning Western Australian residential building company who designs and builds homes from $200,000 up to $2,000,000. All homes are designed in-house with specific focus on contemporary designs that are both unique and cost-effective. It has developed a reputation for attracting clients who appreciate attention to detail in both design and construction and who want a top quality product at a cost-effective price. All of the individual designs are based on the specifications featured in its current display home and include European fittings and fixtures, and top end materials – so prospective clients can see exactly what they are getting if they build with the company! The company’s staff is made up of a small, very close-knit team of experienced industry professionals who pride themselves on offering their clients personalised service and attention. Craig Sheiles Homes only builds a selected number of homes each year, so it is not interested in high volume (where the quality can drop and clients don’t get the personal attention they deserve when building homes of this calibre). The ideology is that every client has direct contact with all relevant company staff members during the entire building process – and can therefore be kept fully informed as to the progress of their home. Craig Sheiles Homes is committed to customer satisfaction and service, and at the same time guarantees quality workmanship and attention to detail – not an easy thing to do with the design and construction of large, detailed homes. Its in–house designer Mick Rule will discuss all of a client’s options with them, offering advice on site selection, materials selection, sustainability options, solar orientation and building design. The designs are modern; uncluttered, easy-to-live

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 79


in contemporary homes designed and built to suit their clients’ lifestyle, site and budget. Direct contact with designer Mick Rule (who also holds a Bachelor of Architecture with Honours) ensures that every client’s home is given that full attention to detail. Complete communication between the ‘builder’ and ‘designer’ within the company is maintained throughout the entire construction of the client’s home. And the awards just keep on coming The company has had great recognition within the housing industry, and has been winning awards since 2008. They include Winner 2012 HIA Perth Housing Awards (Custom Built Homes $800,001–$1,200,000), Winner 2009 HIA-NAB Perth Housing Awards (Spec Home of the Year, Spec Homes $400,001 & over and Custom Built Homes $ 350,001–$475,000) and Winner 2009 HIA–Laminex Group Kitchen & Bathrooms Awards (Best Bathroom in a Display Home $325,001 & over, Best Bathroom in a Display Home of the Year and Best Bathroom Project of the Year). Craig Sheiles Homes has just completed a new build in Floreat (which was again designed by the talented Mick Rule), and what really makes this project unique is the site – and how Craig Sheiles Homes has dealt with it. Craig Sheiles Homes describes itself as ‘a boutique design-and-construct company specialising in individually designed residences which are client focused and site specific’, and never was this to be truer than in the case of this particular home. The 1000 square metre site sits on a sweeping bend in an established street in Floreat, and is not your standard block of land. This wedge-shaped block, which has an unusually large 41 metre north facing frontage (narrowing to 12 metres at the rear), and a 2 metre slope from

Ph: 9351 3400 80 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

front to back, presented interesting challenges to Mick. This was the second home that Craig Sheiles Homes has designed and built for the same clients (their previous home being two doors down in the same street). The brief gave a clear insight into the family’s outgrowing of the original home designed for young children, to their updated need for a home suited to the active lives of teenage girls - and their desire to have separate private zones, as well as communal family spaces. The owners wanted Mick to design them a large suburban home consisting of multiple separate areas for the specific activities of the family, including gymnasium, home theatre, 4-car garage, a homework room (directly accessible from the main living area), parents suite in private quarters, and a teenagers’ wing on the upper floor consisting of a multi media room, large bedrooms with ensuite facilities….and guest rooms. With the driving factors for site planning being the very large frontage and the northern orientation towards the street, along with the established streetscape rhythms, the design ultimately evolved into a ‘u’ shaped plan which enabled maximum exposure to winter sun penetration. To maximise the large frontage, the main living areas of the home face the street and have a protected ‘verandah’ like connection to the front garden and swimming pool. Privacy is maintained via a screen wall with louvre inserts. An enclosable alfresco area is located on the southern side of the living area and sits within a central courtyard zone which allows for overflow space and an alternative outdoor living environment. The courtyard spaces are connected via large glass sliding and bi-fold doors (which open up the entire area into a space capable of accommodating large gatherings) and blurs the usual line between indoor and outdoor spaces. The two wings of the ground floor are divided by an open timber-clad staircase and glazed corridor which leads on to a gymnasium and theatre room. The parents’ bedroom wing takes advantage of the ‘u’ shaped plan by having a large sliding door facing north into the central court. This wing gives takes on a ‘resort’ feel with a large ensuite which incorporates a walk in shower and a separate dressing room. Large sliding glass doors open up to the central court and visual links are extended through the court and the living wing towards the front garden.


This was the second home that Craig Sheiles Homes has designed and built for the same clients (their previous home being two doors down in the same street).

The ‘u’ shape also allows maximum glazing areas to three sides of the court and brings the outdoors in to the indoor environment. Upstairs is dedicated to the teenage girls who can now enjoy their own ‘apartment style’ accommodation inclusive of television viewing room, kitchenette, a music room, bedrooms with ensuites and guest rooms. Fitting a new home into an established suburb The design of the home aimed to integrate a new build into a well established neighbourhood with minimal intrusion to the balance of the existing streetscape. The palette of materials (which includes timber, stone, acrylic render and glass) and the colours used are deliberately minimalist and the home achieves a timeless feel with no gimmicky or trendy architectural features which could date. Externally for example, the home takes on a muted palette of greys and whites as a contrast to the landscaped greenery of the sweeping frontage and established streetscape. The theme was intended to concentrate on the quality of indoor space and how it interacts with the outdoors - and most importantly, how light enters the home. This is often difficult to achieve in such a large home, but with the ‘u’ shaped plan all passageways in the home receive natural lighting. Internal materials were selected for durability and quality, and to minimise maintenance and cleaning – making it a home to live in, entertain in, and enjoy with family and friends. Craig Sheiles Homes has also recently completed another new home in North Beach, and has a new display home nearing completion in Floreat. BC Craig Sheiles Homes: (08) 9345 4744,

“Bringing modern architectural concepts to life in prestigious buildings and commercial projects.”

balustrading staircases pool fencing fencing gates screening BAYSWATER 138 Beechboro Road South 9208 2900 SUBIACO [Display Only] Home Base Expo 55 Salvado Rd E: The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 81



Building a new life Edward Brewer Homes Director David Brewer doesn’t just believe in building homes. He believes in building people’s lives. // words rocky amatulli // images stephen – digital hq

“Clients should build better quality homes which not only set them apart from others - it ensures less maintenance and is better for resale.”





It all started at high school David Brewer loved working with timber and unlike many people his age left high school knowing exactly what he wanted to be – a carpenter, and eventually a builder. He won numerous awards for his workmanship and hard work during his apprenticeship. David became a contractor after his apprenticeship finished and worked on all areas of building homes from floor & wall framing, roof framing and roof plumbing. He built many single and two-storey homes all from timber, steel and alternative claddings. He also built staircases and completed interior fitouts. David went on to become a building supervisor, and eventually realised his goal of becoming a Builder. Fast forward to the present and David is a director of Edward Brewer Homes - a custom builder with a difference. The company builds homes varying in value from $120,000 - $1,500,000. The difference is that they can build custom designs for the same price as the big Perth builders and still maintain their high quality. This project at Morfontaine Parade, Port Kennedy was designed as a custom display home with the specific intention of showcasing the company’s work in single-storey home design. Edward Brewer Homes designed and built the entire home, as it does for most of its clients. Unfortunately the block had poor orientation, so the roof design became paramount in order to maximise the 5kW solar system without it becoming intrusive or visible from the road. One of the other main design influences was to achieve a completely low maintenance rear for the property, with easy care gardens to the front and plenty of parking for that sized property. The alfresco area was designed to be shielded from the strong south westerly winds. Remember the old saying – large. large. large. The home has a big open plan layout to allow for a large family, and an office which is separate from the main living areas. It

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“….we recognise that looking after our clientele is paramount to our success.”

has large bedrooms, a large kitchen and huge alfresco for entertaining, along with a computer nook so parents can keep an eye on the kids. It also boasts a large Ensuite with spa, walk in pantry with cupboards, intelligent home smart wiring to the theatre, living room and alfresco, the (unobtrusive) 5kW solar power, a 300 litre solar hot water system, full wall cavity insulation and Anticon layering for noise reduction and insulation properties. This keeps the house cosy warm in winter and cool in summer without the need for continually running of electricity. The iPad connectivity and the smart wiring allows the occupants simplicity and flexibility when using multiple forms

of entertainment and the fibre optics included in ceiling enhance the overall experience by providing a great lighting effect at night. The laundry is cleverly situated in the garage to reduce noise in the home. The construction is simple but effective - brick with a tin roof, two tone decorative concrete for the driveway, and timber decking in the alfresco area. There is a beautiful Merbau timber front entry door, welcoming front porch with jarrah decking and cedar-lined roof and the benchtops are in Essastone. It’s packed with lots of extra features and it is.…well….large in size. The local bank valuer commented that it is the best home she had ever viewed in Port Kennedy. When quizzed about

DEKKER CARPENTRY You design it we build it.

JH & JG DEKKER Jack of all trades and mastered them all

186 Tuart Dr, Baldivis WA 6171 Mobile: 0418 811 626 Fax: (08) 9524 1140 Email: The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 83


whether there were any difficulties or challenges in the construction of the home, David confidently responded by saying, “Nothing to report here, as my team are very experienced and find this type of build a breeze.” That is very reassuring to hear from a Builder. The company believes in taking ‘complete’ responsibility and management of the entire building process – which includes waste, so it recycles 80 per cent of all waste material generated on its sites. Edward Brewer Homes is also very active in other areas outside of home building – community. The company has assisted with the Rockingham Salvation Army Low Cost Food Centre renovation and is active in a local children’s church. It also sponsors a local cricket club and a local football club. Building your future Edward Brewer Homes is now in the final stages of finishing a $700,000 home for a repeat client in Marmion, north of Perth, and the company has just signed a $1,000,000 home to build south of

Dawesville in Herron. It will also have a couple of new projects in Spyglass Hill in Secret Harbour soon. This clearly reflects the fact that it is a HIA and Master Builders Association award winners having won three awards and being a four times finalist in various categories over the last 3 years. “Most of our clients come from referrals from people who have already built with Edward Brewer Homes, so we recognise that looking after our clientele is paramount to our success,” David says. When asked what advice he would give people who are considering building a home, David replies, “Clients should build better quality homes which not only set them apart from others – it ensures less maintenance and is better for resale.” Sounds like great advice from someone who knows. BC Edward Brewer Homes: (08) 6364 0248,


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Steven Protzman 0408 844 554 84 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

53 Kurrajong Rd SAFETY BAY WA 6169


Stars align Three innovative new home designs, under the moniker of Project Star, have been introduced to the National Lifestyle Villages portfolio and the first home, the Pegasus (named after the night-sky’s brightest constellation) was officially launched last month at an exclusive preview event in Baldivis. // words nlv

National Lifestyle Villages builds gated communities for the baby-boomer demographic and is noted for delivering its modular homes, built by partnering company, EcoFit Homes, fully finished and ready to move into, within a 12-week turnkey. What separates the limited edition home range is the elimination and often time consuming task of choosing fittings, fixtures, finishes and upgrades during the pre-start process. Instead, the Pegasus home was designed to include the most




highly sought-after elements the NLV residents have sought during the company’s 10-year history in building homes for its clients. And with this comes a substantial cost saving. “Project Star homes will be built in exclusive batches of 10, which means that customers can have a high quality home with these additional features and fittings included at a particularly low price. NLV’s aim with Project Star is to save our clients up to $30,000 and the homes will feature in most of our 10 village


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The Pegasus home was designed to include the most highly sought-after elements the NLV residents have sought during the company’s 10-year history in building homes. locations,” says NLV chief executive and founding director, John Wood. “Years of experience customising homes for our clients means the finishes are well thought-out and we’re confident our clients will be more than happy with the results. By pre-selecting the layout, specifications and finishes, home owners don’t need to worry about making these choices. “That aside, we appreciate some of our clients want the choice to adapt layouts and be able to choose a level of finish within their home and that service will still be available across all of the villages with a number of our other homes. “However, growing demand from clients who simply want to choose a home and move into it without having to worry about whether they’ve made the right choices with finishes etcetera, is one of the underlying reasons for creating Project Star,” says Mr Wood.

Ph: 9351 3400 86 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

The pre-designed Pegasus, two-bedroom-with-study residence will become a flagship model and be one of the first homes in NLV’s range of over 30 designs which has been developed by NLV’s architect, Richard Hammond. Mr Hammond says the home, with a floor area of just 82.2 sqm, has five elevations to suit several village aesthetics and landscapes, clever storage, abundant natural light and spacious bedrooms. “We listened to critical feedback from residents and pulled together a home-design based on the most commonly desired features,” says Mr Hammond. The Pegasus has been designed with a large, open-plan living and dining area with each bedroom large enough to accommodate a queen-sized bed. There are also two toilets, including a powder room with a basin, and a generously-sized shower. “We’ve designed the kitchen with much more bench and storage space and a nice outlook over the living and dining areas. The living room is a direct extension of the outdoor area adding to a feeling of abundant space in the home,” says Mr Hammond. Another common feature desired by previous buyers according to Mr Hammond, has been a separate entry statement or alcove that leads into the living and kitchen areas.


The Pegasus has been designed with a large, open-plan living and dining area with each bedroom large enough to accommodate a queen-sized bed.

“We’ve found in the past that our buyers don’t necessarily like their kitchen and living areas to be the first thing guests see when they enter their home or from the front door, so we’ve intentionally cordoned those areas off via a set-back entry area. “From this, we’ve also included a small study nook at the front of the home which can double as a computer or sewing room.” The kitchen is also located in the front quadrant of the home, providing residents with good visual lines to the street frontage. The front porch is wide enough to use as an additional entertaining area and is set back from the garden to allow good visual lines into it.

There are two additional homes in the Project Star range; the one-bedroom Apollo (much like an apartment-style home) and the two-bedroom Orion which are due to be available in May. The Project Star Pegasus home starts at $289,000 depending on the village where it is located. The Pegasus display is located at National Lifestyle Villages - Vibe Baldivis, 124 Sixty Eight Road, Baldivis. Call 1300 45 55 65 or email for more information. BC NLV: 1300 455 565, Eco-fit Homes: (08) 9270 6888,


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From A to Zazen 88 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 88 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013






// words rocky amatulli // images zazen building design


Neighbourly love Dino Colica (Managing Director of Zazen Building & Design) commenced his apprenticeship with his father approximately 18 years ago and then steadily progressed to scheduling, estimating, project management and supervising for major project and custom home builders until 2009. He then founded Zazen in 2009 – around the ideal of genuinely providing clients with a level of personal service rarely found these days, matched with delivering homes of exceptional quality. The clients for the Albert Street project were referred to Zazen by their neighbour for whom Zazen had built a house for 6 months prior. The clients appointed an architect (Chindarsi Architects) to design the home for them. Zazen was appointed as the principal building contractor for the project, with John Simunovich (Dino’s business partner) acting as the construction manager and Dino as project manager. Individually, John and Dino are very experienced and reliable, but together, they make for a formidable team. Zazen worked very closely with


SRF Earthmoving is proud to be associated with this project, having worked in conjunction with Zazen Homes. Providing reliable services in all aspects of site preparation, clearing and supply.



mobile 0417 938 413 I fax 9325 4626 I The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 89


Joe Chindarsi (proprietor) and his team, in order to deliver their clients the home of their dreams. From the initial contact with Joe Chindarsi until handover, Zazen’s strong rapport with their client ensured that any issues which arose were handled quickly, and diplomatically and professionally, in order to achieve the best outcome for the client. Always the builder, but sometimes (also) the diplomat Traffic management for crane use (in order to complete the 1st floor cantilevered steel work) was one aspect of where that diplomacy came into play. Then there was also the odd complaint

from local residents, although council permission had been granted. The excavation and shoring required for the 15 metre long pool and its proximity to the neighbouring property became a little testing at times, especially when that neighbour was friends with the local mayor, which meant that the construction site became very popular with the local rangers. Effective and diplomatic communication kept things at bay most of the time. Dino tells us that “it was imperative that at all times, programming and communication of construction work, was up to scratch.” Being a professional couple, the clients wanted a home which was highly functional, yet low in maintenance. One very important design aspect was the entertainment factor. For example, the mezzanine overlooks the ground floor living area and the concrete pool, which is built on the eastern side of the home. The entry needed to make a big statement, so a custom-made timber pivot entry door, measuring 2600mm high x 1,400mm wide was created to achieve this. The home has also has cantilevered open stair treads leading to the upper floor,


RALPH BREGLIA 0413 154 831 90 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

Ph: 9351 3400


“….it was imperative that at all times, programming and communication of construction work, was up to scratch…” which creates a grand statement to the entry and void above, on the inside of the home. The master bedroom has access to a balcony, and boasts a massive ensuite (almost 8 metres wide) which is nestled against the eastern boundary. The second bedroom and the study/guest room also have their own private ensuites, so there’s nothing compact or compromised about this home. What is really striking (and would no doubt have been challenging) about the construction of this home, is the scale of the roof/wall overhang at the rear of the home which is north facing. This structure extends out beyond the underlying supporting steelwork on the upper level by some 2.5 metres deep (and is nearly 6 metres wide) which doesn’t sound like much at all – except for the size of this cantilevered structure. It is then able to provide some shelter to the ground floor alfresco/ barbeque area below. The client’s also wanted an ultra-modern, almost industrial look and feel to the home. From a design perspective, this was achieved with the ‘cube’ design which is very evident on the front elevation. From a materials point of view, polished concrete floors and commercial grade doors and windows were used. Other complementary finishes also included stained jarrah flooring to first floor, Limewash Marmorino feature walls, Pacific Teak timber wall lining, Colorbond Trimdeck wall cladding and Versilux lining. Lighting was also very important, so most of the lighting was imported from Italy. The clients wanted to be able to change the ambience of the home, with minimal fuss. Apart from the entertaining requirements of the home, a Chazelles Cheminees open fire place sets the mood for the living areas. Building character There were many specified items which were not available locally and so had to be imported. For example, the door furniture (imported from USA), the lighting and tiles (imported from Italy), the fireplace (imported from France) all add to the individual quality of this home. Other items which also enhance the character and individuality of the home are the custom made front entry door, the pool (which is twice the size of most pools), all internal doors (which are 2400mm high), the timber flooring (which is stained black – a rarely seen or used colour for flooring), and Limewash Marmorino to various internal and external walls. Dino felt that there wasn’t much on this project which Zazen hadn’t encountered previously – except for the fact that one neighbour was friends with the local mayor! That was a first for the company. Zazen Building & Design builds homes up to $1,250,000, with most around the $500,000 - $600,000 mark. Dino finds that his clientele usually know exactly what they want, and have generally built several times before but have often had a lessthan-satisfactory building experience. Fortunately for them, some good things do start with ‘Z’. BC Zazen Building & Design: (08) 9414 8779, Chindarsi Architects Pty Ltd: (08) 9328 7238,



(08) 9337 9996 Unit 8, 97 Garling Street, O’Connor WA 6163

“WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED” The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 91


Breathing new life

into Bunbury Primary School // words rocky amatulli





92 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

Schoolyard talk This project started when a previous principal started talking with a political candidate for the seat of Bunbury and they came up with the concept of creating a unique project titled the “Lighthouse” which would be a template for converting an out of date 1960’s school into a contemporary campus for approximately 1/3 cost to the Government. After years of lobbying the school community secured financing through the State Government to carry out the project, coincidentally at the same time the Federal Government provided money under the Building the Education (BER) to assist with two buildings (the Covered Assembly/Music/Arts & Craft and Pre-Primary). Kent Lyon Architect assembled the same team as for Tuart Forest Primary School project, with the inclusion of Kandace Bowles (senior draftsperson) Through consultation with the school, the Department of Education and BMW a brief was established for the requirements and standards which were to be achieved through the use of the various funding sources. The brief ultimately reflected the overall master planning of the school with consideration of the existing network of buildings and their functions. The overall goal was to unify the existing buildings together with the new through the arrangement of larger and more intimate courtyards and pathways, increasing accessibility and functionality. All buildings were assessed against the current standards within the Department of Education as well as BCA compliance, whereby each existing classroom and the existing administration building was then extended, upgraded and refurbished to comply. The new library building was designed in accordance with the same


Turning an under-utilised corner of the campus into a shared learning precinct was a positive outcome on the project.

current standards and requirements along with the existing site conditions and ultimate relationship with other buildings. “Working on an occupied site meant the project (which is a mixture of new buildings and alterations) had to be staged to allow for the staff and students to be moved around the campus. Therefore the time to complete the project was longer than a standard building program; 2 years and 3 months to be exact. This meant communications between all parties had to be maintained to ensure there were no delays in getting information between architect and the builder, builder and school, builder and sub-contractors, etc,” Kent says. Pushing the (classroom) envelope The existing classrooms were approximately 12 square metres smaller than the current classrooms so by ‘pushing’ the southern walls to the outside of the existing steel portal structure allowed the classrooms to extend and gain better lighting into the classrooms. The new library building was designed to take maximum advantage of its location and allow for the Standard Pattern Covered Assembly/Music/Arts & Crafts Block to fit onto a ‘cramped for space’ campus by utilising the steep bank to the north to cut this large structure into. According to Kent, “Turning an under-utilised corner of the campus into a shared learning precinct was a positive outcome on the project.” Once again, each building utilises sustainable design principles to achieve natural heating and cooling via methods such as solar panels, storm water collection and re-use, and sustainable landscaping. The design principals of orientation, shading, passive heating and cooling, insulation and rainwater storage were integrated into the design not just for the environmental rating of the overall school but for building comfort and contribution towards sustainability of the future built environment. Unfortunately, again due to policy and budget constraints, some of these items have not yet been adopted. The choices of materials for the design are further considered

for a sustainable outcome via the use of materials which are low maintenance and durable. The materials were chosen not only to integrate with the language of the existing buildings but to further enhance and update the overall aesthetics of the school. The embodied energy and waste minimisation of all materials were carefully considered to contribute to the sustainable aspect of the design. This school was designed prior to Tuart Forest Primary School and in many ways was an experimental ground for testing some of the research that had been identified. The original school was a mixture of brown and cream bricks with dull finishes inside the classrooms. Kent Lyon Architects utilised every square metre of the tight campus which included building into a very steep bank, creating a unique layout for the library which in turn creates a positive outdoor environment that connects to existing classrooms and new covered Assembly/Music/Arts & Crafts Block. The library allows the natural light to be filtered through when entering the main space, with screens fitted to the steel structure of the northern and eastern ‘bullnosed’ shaped verandah and narrow coloured glass apertures on the west wall. Schools out, but the lessons continue A very tight budget is difficult to manage when there is a very long construction period, and when making alterations to existing buildings which can often present unknown surprises and challenges. Good architecture involves a process of applying established and proven systems, whilst being open-minded to possibilities and opportunities. Good architecture also involves pushing those established boundaries for the benefit of those who will use, maintain, and enjoy the architecture in its built form. “Occasionally every architect should consider themselves a student, as well as a teacher,” says Kent. BC Kent Lyon Architect: (08) 9791 5404, Pindan: (08) 9463 7100,

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 93


Developer, designer and builder create unique rental solutions // words rocky amatulli





94 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

From the developer’s perspective Based in South Perth, Yaran Property Group has been established since the early 1990s. Its founders are two brothers, Faryar and Shahyar, who both have a strong engineering background, but who had a very keen eye for developing in the housing industry. They started their business from the ‘kitchen table’ and have progressed steadily into one of Perth’s most reputable developers, selling hundreds of successful projects. Yaran has always focused on WA, never investing interstate or overseas as it believes that ‘diamonds are in our own back yard’. Yaran develops both affordable house and land packages for the astute investor building their portfolio but also caters for owner occupiers who want to purchase affordable properties in the more prestigious areas of Perth such as their newest projects in Victoria Park, Applecross and Ardross to name just a few. Yaran applied for the NRAS (National Rental Affordability Scheme) allocations late 2010 and was proud to have been awarded the largest allocation at that time, making Yaran the premier supplier of NRAS in WA. At this time Yaran developed the new concept for one and two-bedroom affordable housing with low entry prices. Yaran always looks to develop in well-established areas with good infrastructure nearby for the investors’ and the tenants’ benefit. Aubin Grove is an excellent location for those people looking for affordable housing with the NRAS incentive which offers the investor a good positive cash flow property coupled with negative gearing and depreciation opportunities (depending on their salary). Location! Location! Location! is paramount and Aubin Grove sits within a easy access of the freeway, train station, shops and schools, and is a highly desirable


area. Yaran focuses on producing small projects, which means there will be a lower number of tenants in a good owner occupied area, which again is desirable for the astute investor. Selling these properties was a dream for the Yaran Sales Team, the worst part of the whole process being that there are still people calling today asking if Yaran can supply them with NRAS Properties in Aubin Grove. Sadly, their allocation has just about finished. Yaran were so successful in selling their NRAS properties that there are only a few left in specific areas of WA. From the designer’s perspective Mikasa Designs was started by Mikel Sesma and Drew Lamperd around 7 years ago. They decided they could do things better by providing a higher level of quality and customer service, and by using the latest in technology. This project was one of a series of projects completed for Yaran, and these projects were all aimed at providing a new affordable product to the housing market. The aim was to provide compact, affordable housing options for 1 to 2 person households in the bottom end of the cost market. The homes were designed for investors to provide more affordable rentals and to help ease the rental crisis. “Mikasa Designs was initially employed to design and document these projects however as the need arose we became much more involved in handling the feasibility and project management side of things as well,” Drew explains. The most critical design requirement was affordability, which came down to maximising yield on the site in order to reduce the overall cost of each unit - without detriment to the build quality and overall design aesthetic. This meant that the cost of construction was a major influence on design. The challenge was to design a single bedroom dwelling with a carport and storeroom and outdoor living area that would fit onto a site that was only 107m². The only way to overcome this problem was to create a single bedroom dwelling that was a double-storey design (to reduce the footprint). This created its own challenge trying to fit a staircase into the limited floor space. The inclusion of a double height void area over the main living area helps to create a greater feeling of space. A benefit of the innovative design was the open loft-style bedroom upstairs which creates great cross-flow ventilation and an open light space. The projects were designed to be investor friendly and low maintenance, with face brick external walls to the lower floor and timber framed upper floor walls with Colorbond cladding which are ideal because they didn’t require painting and were quick and simple to fix. The construction is further simplified by the use of a timber framed Colorbond-clad roof and aluminium window frames. Internally the floors are tiled and the kitchens have granite benchtops, which is not what one would expect in these smaller

and cost effective dwellings. “Timber or steel framed walls are ideal for these kinds of projects as they consume much less floor space with their slender wall profile. That can make as much as 5 square metres differences to a 60 square metres dwelling which is significant,” says Drew. From the builder’s perspective In 2008, Chris Lillis (director of construction) and Cliff Kearns started Cachet Homes with two staff, a couple of homes under construction and a small office. Cliff has always loved building and the challenges that he faces daily. Cliff started his career in the building design business and is now the director of sales and marketing. Cachet Homes now has a purpose-built office in Mandurah with its own prestart facility, full plumbing display and working kitchen. It also now has 17 staff members and over 150 homes in construction. Cachet Homes has a section of its business which takes care of unit developments like Aubin Grove. It has everything from a two-unit site to a 42 unit site under construction at the moment and when the Yaran contacted Cachet about this project, they were in a strong position to tender on the work. Cachet had previously worked with the developer, and had developed a good relationship. This particular project required Cachet to undertake all of the civil works and construction. The sites were tightly packed with a lot of units to be built, so deliveries and onsite scheduling was difficult. Cachet managed the challenge by a process of constant review of site conditions and requirements. Also with these particular units, Cachet were required to upgrade certain glazing to reach the required acoustic requirements. This development is an NRAS approved project and Cachet were required to construct the homes in accordance with those guidelines. They needed to look modern and be affordable to attract investors to purchase the homes. The upper floor was timber framed and insulated with Colorbond cladding to the upper floor external walls. The project also needed to deliver a turnkey product with all the internal finishing (except furniture) installed – so that they were ready to move in to when completed. “Having the NRAS qualifications and requirements, the units provide an overall ‘win-win’ situation,” Cliff says. “The purchaser buys an investment property and receives a good tax break, and the market receives many more rental properties at below market value - which helps people who could not normally afford a clean new rental home, actually have one.” BC Yaran Property Group: (08) 9354 1917, Mikasa Designs: (08) 9535 2999, Cachet Homes: 0410 696 006,

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 95


Helping shape Albany A tetrahedron is the smallest creatable area, and its shape is considered one of the basic building blocks of life. The choice of a tetrahedron for their logo matches commercial and residential builder Tectonics Construction Group’s fundamentals expressed in their company’s name the concept that great things are created by simple, small components of magnificent and precise beauty working together to create a result that is greater than the sum of the parts. // words rocky amatulli





96 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

The art and science of building combining beauty with utility Tectonics Construction Group was established in 1987 in Albany. The company was the vision of its founder, Geoff Holmes, who has been an integral part of the construction industry both as a builder, and as an architect, for 41 years. For the past 35 years Geoff has also been a Senior Director for the architectural practice Hobbs Smith Holmes Architects which he now runs with his daughter Ros Holmes. In 2005, Geoff’s son Andrew returned home to join Tectonics after acquiring experience working for large building companies in Perth and London, and in 2007 Adam Wheeler an experienced carpenter and construction manager from Sydney joined Tectonics. Tectonics & Hobbs Smith Holmes have completed several joint projects and have a successful track record for clients wanting design and construct services. One of Tectonics recently completed projects designed by Ros Holmes is located on the west facing upper slope of Mt Clarence, Albany. The Hill Street residence is a 1970’s home renovation with spectacular views across the city, harbour and the new Albany Entertainment Centre. The project was built in strong collaboration with the owner, engineer John Phillips who also administered the building contract. John and his wife Paula have built and renovated many homes over the years. Construction Manager Adam Wheeler said, “John and Paula have contributed greatly to the success of the build from its foundations through to their interior and landscape design. I have been constantly impressed with their selections and any unforeseen problems have been met clear and decisive solutions.”


“The outcome is a direct response to the design brief and achieves all of the client’s first and second priority items” Rooms with a view The main emphasis on the design was to maximise the views from the property. The existing residence was a gable roofed rectangular structure built boundary to boundary, with views to the west from the rear rooms. The aim with the addition was to maintain the views from the existing rooms while adding new living areas on the west side of the residence. This was achieved by rotating the addition by 15 degrees, thus allowing existing views to be maintained and new picture windows to be formed in the addition facing the view. The rotation also opened up an area to the north side of the addition for an outdoor area and allowed northern sun into the house. The new entry was also rotated on the same angle to provide a connection between the front and back. When you enter the residence you have a glimpse of the view that waits beyond. From a construction viewpoint, the existing building and retaining walls had settled with some cracking but were generally in good order and worth retaining. Great care was taken with the new additions to not place any further load on the existing structure, and the structure was stabilised utilising grout injected pier and concrete beam foundations. The former rendered brick front façade of the house was completely removed to allow for

the addition of a new Scyon clad garage and entry statement. The internal timber frame layout of house was reconfigured, re-using as much of the existing framing as possible, to create a central corridor to lead through to the 5m wide x 2.4 high windows in the living room which frame the view across the city. Upper floor construction was lightweight steel with timber framing, coupled with Sycon cladding and Trimdeck metal roofing. The project had some significant influences, namely the view, working with the existing structure, site and retaining walls, and achieving a northern aspect. Understandably then, the extension is designed specifically for the site, the views and the client. “It is unique to the site (due to the topography), to the location (due to the views) and to the client (due to their unique requirements). The outcome is a direct response to the design brief and achieves all of the client’s first and second priority items”, Ros proudly shares. Due to Albany’s hilly topography and coastal location Tectonics has found itself in a somewhat niche market, building and renovating architecturally designed homes on steep sites to accommodate the views. As a result, it is currently building a home on Torbay Hill overlooking Mutton Bird Island. Projects like Hill Street are not without their challenges – in this


MCB CONSTRUCTION PTY LTD I Michael Stephen M. 0427 322 269 P: (08) 9842 6271

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 97


case being the engineering, council approval, and getting the garage approved with a minimal setback on the front boundary – to name a few. The client, an engineer himself, appointed his preferred engineer Ferlyn Geiles who normally works on mining projects. He came up with the solution which involved concrete pier footings and a lot of structural steel combined with lightweight walls and roof structure. Hobbs Smith Holmes Architects submitted reports to the Council in regards to complying with the performance criteria of the design codes and studying the existing streetscape to get the project across the line with planning approval. Marrying the old to the new is also a challenge on any addition, and the steep site made it difficult for access and given the two-storey addition required substantial scaffolding. Furthermore, most of the brick lintels were badly corroded. Construction manager Adam Wheeler had his work cut out for him stitching up any cracked brickwork with stainless steel heli bars, replacing corroded lintels, and correcting the alignment of the existing jarrah stud wall frames to achieve perfect alignment with the old and the new. More notably, the project includes distinguishing features which include the double height entry space, the telescopic shape of the addition (focusing attention on the stunning view), and the slit window between the master bedroom and the living room giving a perfect view from the master bed out across the

The Professional Service > Electrical > Data Phone: 08 9842 6296 / 0427 426 086 > Phone > TV Email: > Audio Visual PO Box 1203, Albany DC 6331 Fax: 08 9847 4850 98 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

harbour whilst still providing privacy from the living space. And there are other clever details such as deep reveals to the west facing cantilevered extension, which whilst creating a fantastic visual effect, enable a deepening of the frame to conceal services (notably stormwater) and providing privacy to the spa room. And the award goes to...Tectonics Construction Group! Tectonics is always aiming to introduce into its projects ‘green’ design concepts, construction processes and recycling initiatives that respect the pristine natural environment and help create a sustainable future. Its commitment to the environment is reflected in the company’s recycling program. Tectonics recycles as much waste produced on site as possible, including timber, cardboard, concrete, packaging, plastics and steel. Ros also incorporates a number of environmentally friendly practices in her designs including grey water recycling, storm water retention, solar heating and cooling, and site orientation to maximise natural heating and light. In 2010, the Master Builders Association (Great Southern Branch) awarded Geoff Holmes the Harold Smith Award. This award had not been given since 2006 and only been given to two other MBA members to recognise their efforts and accomplishments in the Albany building industry. The MBA also awarded Geoff the title of Regional Member of the Year for 2010 in recognition of his work in the building industry. “We work in partnership with our subcontractors and suppliers to deliver the best possible outcomes for our clients through mutually beneficial and respectful relationships,” Geoff says. “Our many building awards are testament to our high standards. We provide ongoing training to all our team and encourage the pursuit of extra education, qualifications and traineeships, as well as offering apprenticeship programs. We value experience and logical problem solving skills, and pride ourselves on being up-to-date with the latest technology and changes in building regulations and standards.” Geoff’s vision for a multi-disciplinary approach has laid a strong ‘foundation’ for both companies well into the future – and Albany is the better off as a result. BC Tectonics Construction Group: (08) 9841 2466, Hobbs Smith Holmes Architects – Office of Local Architecture: (08) 9841 2466


Good things come in threes As we have all been told before, good things come in threes. Pace Projects and Construction Management (PPCM) was formed in 2002, by Charles Pace, WHO HAS 40 years experience in the building industry. To provide a cross section of the work that PPCM now carries out, we feature three recently completed projects. // words rocky amatulli





PROJECT 1 - GLENFERN PLACE HILLARYS Alfresco, spa, pool and feature wall addition to the rear of the home. This commenced as a small project, where PPCM was only going to build an alfresco entertaining area at the back of the house. The existing area was a poor use of space, and of high (garden) maintenance. During the preliminary work close to commencement of the project, the owners approached Charles and asked him to add a below ground pool – something that the owner was planning to do some time in the future. For most owners and their builder, this could have been a massive problem and presented a difficulty given a main sewer running along the rear boundary on one side of the proposed pool, and a nearly completed covered alfresco area on the other side. Fortunately for the owner, Charles had already pre-empted potential problems with retaining, inaccuracy of the available sewer plans, and diminished access. Charles had already made the piers supporting the alfresco roof structure much deeper than required should the pool eventually go in. This was done prior to PPCM even being awarded the extra work, and simply because it was a benefit for the owners’ (and also for any future contractors). That one decision by Charles saved the owners a substantial future cost, and in hindsight it seemed only fitting that PPCM was awarded the additional work given the care it showed above and beyond their own interests.

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 99


Glenfern Place, Hillarys

‌in hindsight it seemed only fitting that PPCM was awarded the additional work given the care it showed above and beyond their own interests.

Your desire, our passion

Given the actual sewer location, PPCM also created access for any future repairs or maintenance which might be required to the sewer line. Again, this demonstrates a clear willingness to benefit the property owners. The main materials considered and specified on the covered alfresco included polished Western Red Cedar lining (to the underside of vaulted ceilings and eave linings), acrylic rendered masonry walls and piers (for the structure), stainless steel (for the appliances, barbeque and cabinet inserts), polished cedar (for cabinet doors and drawers), and white crystal stone feature creating a natural earthy feel (for the kitchen splash back). The pool fountain has a water-wall feature that has a black/grey stone feature incorporating a white recessed apron on either side, finishing the water feature and blending in with the new pool beautifully. The lighting creates a wonderful ambience in the evening via uplights, downlights and recessed lights to the vaulted ceiling - all on dimmers to control the mood. The background pool lights and spa light glow a beautiful blue hue that ties the whole area and the materials and finishes in together. PPCM designed and built the alfresco, feature areas, pool and spa, water feature with the vision to capture, enhance and bring together elements of the existing home. Now the reality not only makes it more user-friendly but creates a wonderful and serene environment giving a feeling of paradise.

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...the owners have commented that their friends and others all think that it is a new home. Sweeting Street, Woodlands

PROJECT 2 - SWEETING STREET WOODLANDS An existing 1940’s cottage-style home which was completely refurbished, including rendering and re-roofing, with a new entry portico, decking area and double garage added. This client had previously renovated homes themselves. Through a referral from a friend across the park, they were introduced to PPCM. What ensued was a great working relationship and the client using a builder to renovate - for their first time. PPCM took the time to work through the various options available with the owners and it became clear to all that demolition (which is what the owners were expecting) could be avoided in lieu of renovating the existing house.

According to Charles: “It was more cost-effective than demolishing and building new. The owners ended up with a great home and are very happy with the outcome with our design which optimises the beautiful park vistas from the front of the home.” They felt that Charles had listened to their needs and had done more than renovated their home – he had given them a ‘Lifestyle Package’. This experience is further enhanced by the removal of an external wall which allows views from a previously enclosed back room (which now forms part of the living area opening onto the new decking at the front). The owners and passing community are amazed at the transformation that enhanced the structure and the environment;

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Glen Iris Drive, Jandakot

The design has a somewhat Balinese/Asian flavour (of which Charles is a fond student), and includes full cooking facilities, wine bar, fridge, dishwasher and seating. the owners have commented that their friends and others all think that it is a new home. This is a very proud moment for PPCM and clearly tells a story in itself - a story of the benefits of RENOVATION verses NEW, and of an example of what can be achieved and created by trusting an expert and experienced builder. A builder who comes from a long trade history background, and who has worked with solving problems over many years to become aware of what is required before the issues arise. PROJECT 3 - GLEN IRIS DRIVE JANDAKOT This existing modern home was built in the 1995 but just lacked something, so a rear undercover alfresco, kitchen, and lounge/living area were added. The home now combines the indoor and outdoor areas with a spa to be enjoyed all year round This renovation is all about outdoor living. The enjoyment of family, friends, facilities, fun and food. The design has a somewhat Balinese/Asian flavour (of which Charles is a fond student), and includes full cooking facilities, wine bar, fridge, dishwasher and seating. “Given our temperate climate, there is no reason that we can’t cook and eat and enjoy the outdoor lifestyle for up to 9 months of the year – and this

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home now proves it!” The floor finish incorporates the clever use of polished stone and in-situ concrete with black pebbles embedded in between them. Whilst most might think that this was just done for aesthetic reasons, there is a practical aspect to everything that PPCM does for its clients – it limits and controls the cracking on a large outdoor expanse of flooring. PPCM managed the project and ensured that the owners could live in their home uninterrupted during construction. What resulted was an area that completely redefined how the family interacts and lives. Again, it is like a brand new home. Charles tells us that the owners often have up to 10 neighbours over at a time, and that they all sit around the island bench. Those neighbours are often heard saying that “…it’s like going to a bar, but only better! You would think you were in a luxury resort.” “You see in the days of the early settlers, that our architecture blended to suit front and rear styles and designs in living. Now we can capitalise on a cosmopolitan climate to incorporate outdoor living areas that complement and flow with indoor and outdoor areas,” Charles says. BC Pace Projects Construction Management: (08) 9382 8511, Email:

up close + personal with

charles pace DIRECTOR, PACE PROJECTS CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT (PPCM) // interviewed by the builders choice magazine

How do you manage to match the ideas of your clients into a workable house design that is both functional and practical? In recent years we have been able to completely overhaul the way we do business. Gone are the days where clients were trying to interpret construction documents and changes to those documents were costly. Today our design department is in-house and we are able to present concept drawings and a photo-realistic 3D image of the final construction. As a boutique builder we are able to focus on our clients’ specific needs and that involves a lot of negotiation and discussion. By discussion I mean listening to the client and really getting the sense and feel for their needs and requirements. After a meeting with a client I sketch my interpretation of our conversation and submit that to our drawing department. Inevitably I will be interrogated as my sketch is being converted to a concept drawing. When the concept drawings match my interpretation it’s back to the client for another meeting and the concept is thoroughly discussed and explained. This is a critical meeting because this is the first time clients will see their ideas committed to dimensioned scale drawings. We focus on the floor plan. Is it workable? Are the room sizes acceptable? Is the relationship of rooms to outside living right? Does this floor plan fit the clients’ envisaged lifestyle? Ceiling height, room sizes and storage all have to be considered. This is not a process we rush. We encourage our clients to examine the concept with a view to matching it into their own vision and will wait for our clients’ changes or I will take some changes back to the drawing office. When we have a floor plan that truly matches our clients’ requirements we are able to produce a photorealistic 3D image of the design. How do you use 3D technology to give your clients more information about their dream home? Whilst the technology is impressive, it’s the confidence, instant appreciation and understanding that our clients have when they see a photo that represents their vision. For many of our clients we have more. We can show them their vision on the computer where we are able to manipulate and rotate the construction with shadows at any time of the day and any day of the year. This is important as we all consider climate change and what we can do about passive heating and cooling. Up to this point we have been working with the clients’ vision and intended budget. When the client is satisfied with the concept we are able to present a more accurate budget. The design from the initial presentation to the final construction image is then the reality. What is your career background? I began in the residential market place in 1972 working part time assisting and working doing odd jobs around homes and places

for people requiring services and maintenance. In 1976 I began to build my career in the building industry began as a carpentry and joinery with Trident Constructions. During my apprenticeship I learnt a great deal of experience and skill in both the residential and commercial building industry. This also included experience in areas of cabinetmaking and joinery, formwork, roofing, second fixing, renovations and maintenance work. In my final years as an apprentice I become a foreman at the Thornlie Technical College site. In 1979 I left Trident Constructions to form my own company carrying out all aspects of carpentry, maintenance and building services. In 1984 I was joined by a business partner and formed Pace and Brine Master Builders. The company went through a restructuring and emerged in 2002 as Pace Projects and Construction Management (PPCM).

Where do you see the future of the company? We are building designers, registered master builders and interior designers. PPCM provides a complete service from design concept and working drawings, construction, and engineering to interior decorating and landscaping. The company has hands-on experience in the trades, which give it insight into building techniques, process, procedures and requirements. Over many years we have successfully completed many projects of the greatest complexity and detail. We have experience in underpinning, piling roadwork’s, lifts, swimming pools, tennis courts, retaining walls and indeed almost every facet of the building industry. With new building technology we have managed to introduce different ideas into the market place and have gained the support and recognition for the uses of building products from larger companies such as Midland Brick, Metro Brick, BHP and Boral industries. With a number of small suppliers we have assisted and worked together to continually provide creative and innovation in the market place. All of our work comes from recommendations from satisfied clients. We always return to a project at any time to correct any defect of our own causing. Our experience also can provide you with design advice, design documentation to suit a particular budget and in most cases successfully negotiate contract with clients. BC The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 103


Borrowing to invest with your SELF MANAGED SUPERFUND

// words sterling taxation

Many investors borrow to invest. However, did you know that Self Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) are also able to borrow for investment purposes? This means that your SMSF can borrow to acquire assets that it may not otherwise be able to afford, such as commercial and residential property.

Colin Simcock CPA & Financial Adviser – Sterling Taxation & Sterling Financial Planners


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What are the advantages of borrowing through your SMSF? • Provides the ability to invest in high cost assets such as commercial and residential property. • Increases the amount you’re able to invest and maximises your potential investment return. However, borrowing also increases any potential losses and may not be appropriate depending on your circumstances and risk profile. Please speak to your adviser for more information on whether a gearing strategy is appropriate for you. • If a commercial property is purchased the property can be leased back to members of the fund (at market rate) to use in their business. • You may have the ability to payback the loan sooner as superannuation contributions (which are used to pay off the loan) have a lower rate of tax than the tax paid on your income. • Any income or capital gains earned from the asset will be taxed at the SMSF’s concessional tax rate. If the asset is used to pay a pension, any income or capital gains will be tax-free. Are there any disadvantages? Lower tax rates inside super means a fund will generally get less value for its interest deductions than if the members borrow personally. Due to additional legal structures required, the cost of setting up a loan in your SMSF is generally more than the cost of establishing a loan in your own name. The cost to establish a super borrowing arrangement can vary depending on the fund’s circumstances, the asset’s characteristics and the amount of advice required. These additional costs should be factored in, as well as the usual


... borrowing can be used to acquire any single asset that a trustee is not otherwise prohibited from purchasing.

transaction costs such as legal fees and state government stamp duty, when assessing whether it is better to borrow in your SMSF or in your own name. Criteria for Borrowing in a Self Managed Superfund For the trustee of an SMSF to be permitted to borrow for investment purposes the borrowing must be set up under an arrangement that satisfies certain criteria. These include that: • the loan is used to purchase an allowable asset under the super investment rules • the loan is set up on a limited recourse basis so that the lender’s recourse is limited to the asset acquired with the borrowing • the legal title of the asset is held on trust for the SMSF until the loan is repaid • the SMSF is the beneficial owner of the asset and can request legal ownership of the asset be transferred back to the fund once the loan has been repaid Under this type of arrangement the SMSF is generally entitled to any income generated by the asset, which could then be used to help repay the loan. The SMSF will also get the benefit of any change in value of the asset. What Assets can be Purchased? In general, borrowing can be used to acquire any single asset that a trustee is not otherwise prohibited from purchasing. The only requirement is that the asset must be a single asset, such as: • a block of land on a single title • a collection of shares of the same class in the same company • a collection of units in a unit trust Where the asset consists of multiple assets, such as a portfolio of different shares or a number of properties on multiple titles, a separate borrowing arrangement will generally be required for each separate asset. For more information on what assets can be purchased with a borrowing arrangement, please speak to your financial adviser.

RISK OF A BORROWING STRATEGY Investment risk Borrowing to invest increases potential losses as well as gains. Therefore, the trustee could totally lose the asset acquired with the borrowing. Depending on the level of debt this could then have a significant impact on your ability to fund a comfortable retirement. Trustees should therefore ensure that a gearing strategy is appropriate given the fund’s circumstances and risk profile. Legislative risk The Government has committed to review the use and take up of superannuation borrowing rules. Therefore, there is always the risk that the Government could amend the rules to restrict the ability of trustees to undertake certain borrowing activities in the future. How we can Help You If you’re interested in borrowing to invest within your SMSF, contact Colin Simcock of STERLING TAXATION & FINANCIAL PLANNERS on 08 9325 9332. He can help in a number of ways including: • providing advice on the suitability of setting up a borrowing arrangement in a SMSF and the types of assets that can be acquired under a borrowing arrangement, • reviewing and updating the fund’s existing investment strategy, • facilitating the review of the fund’s trust deed and establishment of the required trust structures and arrangements, and • reviewing the fund’s insurance needs, given that it now has outstanding liabilities that may need to be insured to protect against loss in the event of the death or disablement of a member. BC Sterling Taxation: (08) 9325 9332,

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STERLING TAXATION The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 105


Kitchen and bathroom renovations One person’s pain is another person’s pleasure // words rocky amatulli

Why do them, where to start, and what materials to use There comes a time in most people’s lives when they decide to renovate their kitchen or bathroom – or both! Consider that if you were to buy an established home that has already been renovated, then very likely the seller is hoping to have added value to that home, and will very likely want to get a dollar return for their efforts and expense. If on the other hand you were to buy an older or more rundown home, then you have a home that you can add value to. So having saved money by not paying someone else for that new kitchen or bathroom, you find yourself with a ‘project’. And I expect that unless you have worked in the field of construction or design, or are familiar with renovating these types of rooms, you may also find yourself confused. Whilst this article is not a comprehensive guide on how to renovate your kitchen or bathroom, it will hopefully provide a simple and practical outline on how to go about it. Every journey has a beginning The starting point for renovating your kitchen or bathroom is to empower yourself with knowledge and information before you start. Whilst the enthusiasm and excitement may overtake you, pause for a moment and start learning about what you don’t know. This holds true whether you decide to tackle the entire project yourself, or contract it out completely to a renovator. Understand that there are two distinct phases – design and construction – not unlike the way that your house was built in the first place.

106 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

Design involves a: • Brief (what do you want to change/improve/achieve?) • Budget (what do you want to spend?) • Layout Plan (where do you want things to go and how do you want the room to function?) • Design (what do you want it to look like/what materials do you want to use/how do you want things to work?) • Costing (what will what you want cost?) • Timeline (how long will it take/what will happen when/what wont you have functioning whilst you do it?) • Approvals (what are you legally allowed to do without advising the local council of?) The consequences of choices We are now spoilt for choice as far as these go. That’s the good news! The not-so-good news is that the choice of materials and finishes that you make for your renovation will not only affect the look of the room, but also its performance. It makes sense that you select materials that are fit for the purpose. This ensures that they will last and keep performing, will require minimal or no maintenance and be easy to clean. In other words, if you are renovating to enjoy the rooms, then you don’t want to create more work or incur more cost later if you can avoid it. The whole aim is to maximise enjoyment and reduce inconvenience, isn’t it? So if that’s the case, then surely the most important finishes are the ones which will take the most wear and tear. Whilst it may only be your home and not a commercial application, surfaces can still take a lot of punishment from daily use, children, cleaning


... the other consideration is quality. With access to worldwide manufacturers and products, our choice increases and prices decrease. But beware - quality and performance of materials can also vary enormously.

chemicals, direct sunlight, heat, water……and so on. And of all these surfaces, the ones which you need to consider foremost are the horizontal surfaces - floors and benchtops. Floors are particularly important, simply because they are so inconvenient and disruptive to replace later. And in wet environments, water adds another consideration – slipperiness. Typically, suitable flooring materials are tiles, timber or other impervious materials (sealed concrete, sheet vinyl, etc.). Textured finishes improve slip safety, but also trap dirt and are harder to clean. Lighter colours make the room look bigger but show dirt more. Larger tiles reduce joins which can trap dirt, but make it harder to get suitable falls to drains. Timber floors look natural but require sealing and maintenance. So you can see, with every decision relating to flooring alone, come implications from a number of aspects; Design. Performance. Cost. Timing. The same goes with benchtops. Laminates are affordable and quick to install but can scratch and wear, and joins can be visible. Timber again adds warmth but required sealing and maintenance. Natural stone adds luxury to the look but can vary in pattern and be absorbent to oils and stains. Reconstituted stone can look natural but can cost as much as natural stone or more. Again there is compromise, but that is not to say that any of these materials are not right for your situation. With that in mind, then we move to other finishes on the vertical surfaces. I refer to cupboards and cabinets, and walls. Cabinetwork doesn’t necessarily take as much punishment, but again with continual use and the addition of chemicals, water or steam, sunlight and time itself, surfaces can degrade. Some laminate manufacturers make different grades of laminates for use on horizontal surfaces as opposed to vertical surfaces. There are also different ‘substrates’ (the backing material which the laminate board is pressed on to). These range from chipboard to MDF (which in itself varies from standard to HMR – Highly Moisture Resistant), so again choices and consequences. Another option for cupboard doors is lacquered finish. This essentially is a highly durable painted finish. The benefit is that it allows for a more extensive range of colours, but again can be susceptible to scratching and those scratches cannot be repaired on site. So the key is really not only about the material itself, but also about you! How do you want it to look? How do you want it to perform? How long do you want to wait for it to be installed? What are you prepared to pay for it? What timeframe do you want it to last? You don’t always get what you pay for Nowadays, the other consideration is quality. With access to worldwide manufacturers and products, our choice increases and prices decrease. But beware - quality and performance of materials can also vary enormously. Many countries simply do not have the same standards, processes or quality control that

we benefit from here in Australia, meaning that you can end up with a great looking material which is actually inferior. Painting is possibly the least of our problems, and though relatively low cost to apply per square metre and easy to change, its performance is again affected by the same principles of making the right choice considering water splashing and steam, marking due to rubbing, colour and how it will hide or show stains, etc. Bathrooms in particular require mould-resistant paints which also provide some resistance to water seeping into (and damaging) the wall surfaces behind. Add to the above list sanitaryware, tapware, fixtures, hardware and appliances and you can see how that kitchen or bathroom renovation may not be as simple as it first seemed. And so what about getting that sledge hammer out and starting to knock things down? Well perhaps that’s a topic for another time. BC Rocky Amatulli is a qualified Civil/Structural Engineer, Registered Builder, and Managing Director of NRG INTERIORS.


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In the swim

Make the most of our sunny climate with a pool AND spa that suits your needs.

// words merelyn demarte – editor, bpa

Summer water restrictions and limited water resources in Perth have led many homeowners to believe that installing a backyard swimming pool or spa is environmentally irresponsible. But research has shown that swimming pools do not use up the huge amount of water many believe they do. Modern swimming pools are much smaller than they used to be because of the reduced size of building blocks and some only need 12 kilolitres to fill. This is less than 10 per cent of the average annual household water usage. Unlike water used in other areas of the home, swimming pool water is filtered, sanitised and used again and again. Pool and spa associations around Australia have lobbied state and territory governments to change legislation and taken other measures to ensure pools do not waste water that could be used for drinking. There is no doubt a pool goes a long way to taking the heat out of the West Australian climate, but it’s an expensive investment so it is important to do your homework to avoid disaster. Most states have a swimming pool and spa association, the members of which agree to maintain high standards of skill, workmanship and ethics. Designs, shapes and sizes of pools are limited only by a person’s imagination. Pools can vary in construction techniques but are all sound and the choice of fibreglass, concrete, vinyl lined, above or below ground is up to the individual. Fibreglass pools became popular in the early 1970s. In those days they were built by hand and were only available in basic blue. They now come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colours. Concrete pools can be installed almost anywhere on any site, including indoors or with an indoor/ outdoor combination. They are usually designed to fit a property’s shape so they complement the architecture and blend with landscaping. Concrete pools can have shallow ends, children’s paddling pools, deeper sections for diving, seats, decks or vanishing edges where the water flows over a feature edge. A cheaper alternative to fibreglass or concrete pools is the vinyl-lined pool. These pools are structurally strong

108 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

and the thick liner reduces the chance of puncturing. When the brick or concrete shell is installed, the liner can be tailor-made for the pool and is vacuum fitted so it moulds perfectly to the pool’s shape. Another alternative is an above ground pool. One of its biggest advantages is that an owner can install the pool and disassemble it and relocate it when moving house. Above ground pools can now be installed partly or fully in ground and with clever landscaping, it is hard to differentiate between them and below ground pools. Smaller block sizes have led to the advent of the plunge pool or swim spa. Because these pools are not as big as traditional pools, their installation time is shorter, their operational and maintenance costs are reduced and there is a lower chemical level in the water. Their sizes average about 6m x 3m and have a range of options depending on requirements. They make ideal training pools and when they have swim jets installed, can be used as continuous swimming pools, enabling year-round exercise in the privacy of your own home. The health benefits of regular swimming are well known. Just 30 minutes of swimming three times a week can improve cardiovascular fitness, as well as muscle strength, flexibility and posture, and build endurance. It became law on September 1, 2007 for all swimming pools to be fitted with a pool cover to conserve water, making a pool blanket an essential accessory. Not only do they help save water, the blankets also extend the swimming season by keeping in the heat, and reducing the amount of leafy debris entering the pool. With work keeping most people out of the pool on week days, some well-placed lighting will invite a refreshing dip in the warm evenings. Pool lighting also transforms the look of the entire outdoor area after dark. Carefully planned landscaping adds the finishing touch to any swimming pool area. The right plant selection is a key element in the creation of an attractive, manageable and sustainable poolside garden. Natural stone surrounding the pool has almost


Designs, shapes and sizes of pools are limited only by a person’s imagination. Pools can vary in construction techniques but are all sound and the choice of fibreglass, concrete, vinyl lined, above or below ground is up to the individual.

become a necessary part of landscaping. Stone’s thermal properties, durability, grip and affordability make individual stone pavers a top choice for any new pool area’s flooring needs. Water features are also a popular way of creating a lasting impression that reflects a pool owner’s personal style. Mosaic tile features added to the pool’s waterline, water feature or pool floor add an extra touch of charm and beauty. A waterfall can instantly change the character of a pool or spa, bringing new life and interest to the area. Adding fibre optic lighting to a waterfall will also create a stunning display of colour to enhance the look of a water feature in any pool. Pool fencing is a legal requirement for all types of pool and is the paramount safety feature. Many stylish options are now available from traditional aluminium, to stainless steel and


glass. Semi frameless glass has become very popular to enclose a pool area. And nothing complements a backyard pool like an overlooking alfresco area - an outdoor room that can be enjoyed year round. All this with the use of the right materials and finishes, a seamless flow from inside to outside can be created. The addition of lighting, a ceiling, a ceiling fan, decking and even an outdoor kitchen in a steel or timber patio or pergola can create an exceptional outdoor room. The alfresco area can be designed to be an open space when the weather is good or closed off to block the winter winds and rain. They can also be lined with pre-finished timber lining or plywood and clear, tinted or shade view blinds can be included for added protection or privacy. BC



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The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 109


Smartwall panels – a new approach to building ECOSTRUCT HOMES’ innovative and tested insulated panel construction system is the future of building. The ECOSTRUCT E-PANEL building system respects the environment and at the same time ensures a quality finished home that is quicker to build, is cyclone rated and energy efficient, and is cost effective to build and maintain. With over 7 years development and experience, ECOSTRUCT HOMES manufactures and supplies the E-PANEL building system, and also designs and installs panels to build your residential and small commercial structures. The building system utilises recognised quality Australian products and technology that have stood the test of time. That’s why our E-PANEL Building System is leading the way in insulated thermal panel design and construction in Australia. ECOSTRUCT E-PANEL building system is meeting the growing demand for energy efficient homes, and coupled with our E-SOLAR PV systems, E-LED lighting package and E-GLAZED double window option, your energy bills will be dramatically reduced…..if not eliminated completely! Visit our new website, or feel free to call Managing Director David Lovell on 9493 1110 or 0407 990 617 to learn how ECOSTRUCT HOMES can save you money on your next project. (Please refer to full page advert on page 11) ADVERTORIAL SUPPLIED BY CLIENT

BGC Fibre Cement launches Stratum™ and Durafloor™ BGC Fibre Cement’s stunning range of facade and flooring products, Innova™ will move you to reassess your concept of excellence in façades and flooring systems. Durable and dynamic, fresh and contemporary, Innova™ is already turning industry heads. Now let Innova™ breathe new life into your creativity and project specification. BGC Fibre Cement is proud to announce the launch of 2 new products Stratum™ and Durafloor™ into its Innova product range. A building’s exterior look is every inch as important as its interior. Yet while customers go to great lengths to get the inside just right, the exterior is too often the poor relation. But first impressions count. A vibrant, innovative alternative to traditional weatherboards, Stratum™ is an endlessly adaptable trio of plank products. Choose one Stratum™ profile as a standalone, or mix’n’match two or three to create eye-catching and original exterior cladding. Stratum™ 300mm is a wide plank with a 16mm horizontal joint; Stratum™ Duo 300mm is a wide plank with a 16mm centre groove and the look of two slimmer planks; Stratum™ Contour

170mm is a slimmer plank with a 2mm indentation at the top. The substrate on which your final floor sits is crucial to a perfect finish. Because while everyone notices what they’re walking on, few know what it takes to get it looking so good. With good looks, easy application and total durability, our Durafloor™ will ensure your every surface gets the best start to a perfect finish. Your ultimate flooring product, Durafloor™ is superb for interior wet areas such as bathrooms and laundries. You can also specify Durafloor™ for a variety of exterior uses. Choose Durafloor™ for balconies, verandas and sundecks. Alternatively, and where premium quality is your main concern, insist on Durafloor™ as a total floor solution Choose Durafloor™ for balconies, verandas and sundecks. Alternatively, and where premium quality is your main concern, insist on Durafloor™ as a total floor solution For further information on all BGC Fibre Cement products, please visit www. (Please refer to full page advert on p13)

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Fibre Cement


THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

Designstone, bringing a quality masonary walling system to the northwest Designstone is a unique masonry building system; a layered combination of mold un-reinforced concrete cladding panels, hung on a light gauge steel framework that is reinforced by concrete-filling, backed up by internal linings and foil insulation. The panels are consistently coloured throughout, fade resistant and maintenance free. Fast, dry and clean erection, reduced scaffold hire, early lock-up and finishing, all reinforce major economies in hoisting and handling. This can mean substantial savings of interest on bridging finance, of rent for temporary accommodation, as well as through earlier commencement of income flow from investment properties. The entire wall system is of non-combustible materials. There is a very high resistance to burning, spread of heat and flames, and resistance to collapse during fires. This means safety for fire-fighters, and reduction of risk to life and property. Designstone’s wall thicknesses is considerably less than in comparable masonry systems. Designstone delivers more internal space with less wall and roof area. The thin (but solid) masonry cladding stores only limited heat, that dissipates quickly as the day cools. Insulation values can be tailored to suit demanding polar, desert and tropical climates. Energy for heating and cooling is much reduced because of these thermal design factors. Construction water use is minimal and un-polluted. There is virtually no site waste and therefore little contribution to landfill. (Please refer to full page advert on p9)


A smarter way to insulate that won’t cost the Earth Foilboard Insulation Panel is the future of residential and commerical insulation. Lightweight and safe to handle with no hazardous fibres, it’s the new cost-effective, slimline alternative to traditional bulk insulation methods. More Flexible Superior flexibility of use makes Foilboard perfect for a wide range of applications, including under floor, walls cathedral ceilings and more. More Energy Efficient Foilboard’s unique, energy-efficient design features rigid reflective sheets that eliminate thermal bridging. They create a thermal break that maintains a consistent R-Value for the life of your building, reducing energy bills while keeping you thermally comfortable all year round. Safe for you and the environment Free from toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde or volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), Foilboard is also kind to you and our environment. There are no harmful fibres to worry about and it’s non-allergenic which means no protective clothing is needed during installation.

Phone: 1800 354 717 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 111


Design value of structural steel can be more than just skin deep // words david ryan – national marketing manager, australian steel institute

The use of steelwork as decorative elements doesn’t have to be an afterthought as close communication early in the design process for buildings can extend the value of structural sections. Engineers strive to design efficient, safe structures in which loads are understood and supported so a building is stable and durable. But creating an aesthetically pleasing structure is not part of their curriculum, let alone conceiving elegance in the design, which is the role of the architect. Architecturally exposed structural steelwork (AESS) has significantly higher requirements for the form, fit and finish for fabrication, erection and coatings than regular structural steel so these must be taken into account throughout the development process. Structural engineers therefore become part of a triangle of communication in their documentation with the architect and the fabricator and this interactive design process is very different from the more linear process associated with ‘standard’ structural steel that is hidden from view and where the architect often steps back from detailed involvement. With AESS, the architect sees the exposed connections as part of the design expression of the project. It is also important that designers have some insight into how the choice of steel and finishes will perform in-situ. Appreciating this, the Australian Steel Institute (ASI) sponsored a national presentation series on AESS development in late 2012 through the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) and co-published with Steel Construction New Zealand (SCNZ) a local version of the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction’s (CISC) Guide for Specifying Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel. The presentations were co-presented by the guide’s author and architect,

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THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

With AESS, the architect sees the exposed connections as part of the design expression of the project. It is also important that designers have some insight into how the choice of steel and finishes will perform in-situ.

David Ryan – National marketing manager, ASI

Terri Meyer Boake along with Sylvie Boulanger who coordinated development of the AESS Guide as well as the CISC’s Engineers Sample Specification and the Fabricator Code of Practice. Consider the following tips to improve communication right from the specification and maximise value from the design process. 1. Have an AESS section in your specification, preferably as a subdivision of the Structural Steel Division. The AESS section will provide separate requirements for the exposed steel from what is normally included for concealed structural steel. However, all the standard structural steel requirements apply. 2. Adopt a category approach. A four-category system (AESS1 through to AESS4) as referenced in the ‘matrix’ developed as part of the CISC and Australian and New Zealand AESS suite of documents as a useful guide. 3. Moderate discussions with the architect and fabricator in the early stages. It is essential to have face-to-face meetings with them to discuss expectations of form, fit and finish of the steel. 4. Be clear in your specification about what you will accept as a substitution. Once the loads are met, limits need to be placed on the range of members used in the structure. 5. Make stitch welds continuous. For longer distances, the same visual effect may be achieved by using caulking. 6. Reduce the number of pieces used in connections, including stiffeners. For example, consider using a shear tab or single plate instead of double angles or several plates. 7. Modify the elements in or near the connection with rounded, tapered or curved edges. For instance, apply a taper on the top and bottom flanges of an ‘I’ shape, or round the corners on a shear tab or other plate element. 8. Minimise the gaps between the pieces and make sure they are consistent. Large gaps and inconsistency result in a messy appearance. 9. Redesign obtrusive spliced bolted connections and complex field welded connections into more discreet bolted connections. As one example of this, the splice plates between RHS/CHS members could be designed in the longitudinal direction rather than the transverse direction and bolted all around. 10. Hide as many burdensome details as possible. In a large truss, one may be able to do this by turning the RHS/CHS longitudinal weld away from view or choosing RHS/CHS members that will connect nicely together by avoiding large

eccentricities or requiring additional plate reinforcements. 11. Consider using an aesthetically pleasing casting as a connecting element. This option may be economically feasible when the cost of fabrication exceeds four times the cost of the steel in the connection, when you have high stress concentrations or seismic requirements at a node and when there is repetition to amortize the cost of developing the mould. 12. Specify a minimum surface preparation of AS1627 Sa2/ Class 2. Insufficient surface preparation has often translated through the finishes and impaired the final product resulting in additional cost. 13. Consider final coating, fire or corrosion protection before specifying surface treatments. There is no need to fuss over details to be covered by thick fire insulation for instance. Conversely if a high gloss finish is desired, minimise surface imperfections. 14. Avoid excessive grinding and other surface treatment in remote or less visible locations. If you can’t see it, such remedial surface treatment is unnecessary. 15. Avoid specifying expensive samples. Be reasonable and detailed on the kind of sample truly needed. Indicate whether it’s a 3D rendering, a small physical sample of steel with the finish applied, a ‘first-off’ inspection, a scaled down mock-up of a detail or assembly, or a full-scale mock-up that remains for the entire job. 16. Check for availability, especially if large round tubes are used. This can delay the project and add cost for specialty work. 17. Don’t over-specify. Many stunning AESS projects comprise just standard shapes, attentively designed details and simple coating systems. An excellent series of videos from the 2012 AESS presentations can be viewed via the ASI website at http://steel. The Australia/New Zealand Guide for Specifying Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel is available for purchase from the ASI Bookshop at And completing the set supporting the Guide are the Sample Specification (for Engineers) and Code of Practice for Fabricators, both available for free download from key-issues/steel-in-architecture/supporting-documents/. BC Australian Steel Institute: (02) 9931 6666,

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Light gauge steel rises to the challenge // words nash // images simpson strong-tie

Steel in its many manufactured forms has a long history in building construction in all parts of the world. From steel columns, channels and beams used in high-rise structures, through concrete reinforcement, light gauge structures and partitioning to protective and architectural claddings – the right steel in the right place imparts strength, longevity and aesthetic qualities to the built environment. In many types of building, alternative materials provide structural and architectural choices for designers, with selections dependent on functionality, appearance, economics and familiarity. Structural steel and reinforced concrete are more commonly seen in larger buildings while light gauge steel, timber and masonry construction are more common alternatives in smaller scale structures.

Masterwall achieves highest accreditation on the market Remaining at the forefront of the insulated cladding industry, both the MasterWall and MasterWall K Series systems have now achieved CodeMark Certification. The CodeMark Certificate of Conformity is the most comprehensive and complete form of Accreditation that a building system can achieve in Australia and is accepted by all building authorities throughout the Australian building industry. Orchestrated by the Australian Building Code Board, CodeMark certification gives surveyors and building inspectors the absolute assurance that MasterWall systems comply with Building Code of Australia. For clients who choose either the MasterWall or MasterWall K Series, you can be assured that stringent testing has been completed to demonstrate the suitability to the relative

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performance requirements within both volumes the Building Code of Australia as a premium lightweight insulative cladding system. Testing endured by the MasterWall systems ranges from high wind load, cyclonic fatigue Impacts, weather penetration and bushfire attack. In depth evaluation is undertaken into the specifications and detailing of the systems before the CodeMark certification is approved. With years of proven success in the Australian building industry, more builders are choosing the peace of mind and advantages of a CodeMark Certified MasterWall system fully installed by trained, accredited installers. (Please refer to full page advert on page 3) ADVERTORIAL SUPPLIED BY CLIENT

THE BUILDERS CHOICE THE alternative BUILDERS CHOICE methodsWater of construction efficiency

...the right steel in the right place imparts strength, longevity and aesthetic qualities to the built environment.

PHOTO: (Left) Precise, low-profile services access; (Above) Hotel in California

an innovation theme. Guest speaker Tim Waite from the Hawaii office of Simpson Strong-Tie Company provided an informative update on the increasing use of cold-formed light gauge steel in mid-rise construction in the USA. As in Australia, land use pressures in urban areas of the US are creating more demand for higher rise structures, especially in the 4 to 9 storey range that includes hotels, retirement












The National Association of Steel-framed Housing represents fabricators, steel manufacturers, component and accessory suppliers and builders operating in low-rise steel framed construction in Australia. NASH recently conducted a two day seminar on developments in steel framed construction, with delegates from around Australia participating in presentations, workshops and forums around



The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 115

THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

Henrob Self Pierce Riveting System Enduro Homes in Karratha has new larger premises. Ivan Traeger has doubled the fabrication area to increase capacity for steel frames, trusses and floor beams. Ivan uses the Henrob Self Pierce Riveting System (HSPR) to allow him; with the press of a button, to place two rivets simultaneously; within 1.5 secs, on opposing sides of a C-Channel without trade qualified operators. “We think that rivet fixing (HSPR) in the steel industry is the future just waiting for some of the old ways to die out and let today’s technology arrive” says Ivan. “The big positives are; the time saving on the making of frames versus the screws, welding and even the old blind rivet method and secondly, the strength of the rivet joint, being suitable for cyclonic rating”. The HSPR small mobile tool with automatically belt fed rivets can achieve consistent quality day after day; there are no post finishing operations, no swarf or waste to clean up. This process does not require the frames to be rotated as is the case with other systems, offering a real efficiency gain of at least 50%. For Henrob Self Pierce Riveting Information please call Tech Sales on: 0411 602 818

Light gauge steel offers some significant benefits in mid-rise construction.


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


116 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

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

THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction


PHOTO: (Left-Right) Precise, low-profile services access; Apartments in Washington

living, apartments, student and military accommodation. Light gauge steel offers some significant benefits in mid-rise construction. Low mass provides lighter foundation loads and more convenient materials movement during construction. High precision and dimensional stability enable accurate modular building. Lower mass, panelised modules and fewer wet processes allow fast construction that is less dependent on weather. As building height increases, steel framed construction enables precise bracing design to resist wind and earthquake loads. Steel framed construction is easily fitted out, modified, renovated, deconstructed and recycled. Very low site wastage rates reduce site costs and enhance sustainability. Building Information Modelling or “BIM” is an emerging concept in both the USA and Australia, more common in larger buildings and yet to capture the imagination of smaller project developers. BIM provides a universal framework for the collection and interchange of information at every stage of a project from conception through design and construction to post-construction operation and maintenance of the building. Every provider of materials and services to the project uses inter-operable software and systems, reducing wastage and errors in projects involving multiple sources and suppliers. Precise, accurate steel framing with high levels of automated, off-site manufacture fits smoothly with BIM principles, and concealed services access in tight spaces without “clashes” are easily implemented with steel-framed construction. Tim concluded his presentation with a sample of contemporary projects covering commercial, institutional, residential and hospitality projects throughout the USA, plus the athletes’ village at the 2011 Pan-African Games in Mozambique. These projects highlighted the adaptability of cold-formed light gauge steel to many different structural challenges, plus speed of construction essential in some colder and harsher building climates. BC

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

Supported by

The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 117


Energy. We can’t live without it, but we can live with less! // words rocky amatulli

Biggest isn’t always better Australians live in the biggest houses in the world - even bigger than Americans. To provide some perspective, the average new Australian home is 248 sqm. In Britain in 2009, the average new home was 76 sqm. Denmark has the largest new homes in Europe, and at 137 sqm, they are still just over half the size of ours. Our big houses are part of the reason Australians have among the least environmentally sustainable lifestyles in the world, according to the Australian Conservation Foundation‘s ‘Sustainable Cities Index’. It’s not just that our houses are big, but fewer people now live in them and they’re on smaller blocks. More house - less yard - fewer occupants. In 1986, the average home was 167sqm. That means houses have almost 50 per cent bigger in 25 years. In 1911, the average house was home to 4.5 people. In 1986, that figure was down to three people. Now the average house is home to about 2.5 people. In WA, the typical 1940s home was set on a quarter acre (1,040sqm). 118 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

This financial year, 60 per cent of the blocks approved in Perth and Mandurah were less than 500sqm. Today’s homebuilders are demanding more rooms – in particular, more living areas, bathrooms and home theatres – and those rooms have to be furnished, heated, cooled, and often fitted out with electronics - even though they are (statistically) usually empty. The cost of electricity is set to more than double by 2020, and the reality is that many of our big new houses are incredibly energy hungry. The big house-on-a-small-block trend also means less garden and vegetation. Of course a small garden may correlate with lower water consumption, which is a good thing, but plants and trees are critical to the environment’s ability to clean itself. There are some faint signs that we may have reached the apex of the ‘house-size curve’ in Australia. Our population is growing and with it, urban sprawl. This in turn is driving an increased demand for more compact homes close to amenities such as public transport. According to The West Australian: “Trends among first-time buyers have also changed with new entrants opting for location over size.” Simply building smaller houses would be a big step in living a more sustainable life. Creating a green house, not a greenhouse There are a wide range of variables which impact on a building’s thermal performance such as building design, window size and aspect, external cladding colours, floor coverings, and positioning and size of shading. The choice and the effect are dependent on climate and orientation. A study and subsequent report commissioned by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency in 2012 identified how dwellings could be redesigned with minimal changes and cost (rather than just

THE BUILDERS CHOICE energy efficiency

Rather than considering energy efficiency once a house design has been selected, higher energy efficiency performance and reduced construction costs could be achieved if energy efficiency was considered at the design stage.

increasing the specifications of building elements like adding extra insulation or better quality glazing) to increase their thermal performance. The primary aim of this study was to identify cost effective redesign options, and not consider the most energy efficient changes independent of cost. Rather than considering energy efficiency once a house design has been selected, higher energy efficiency performance and reduced construction costs could be achieved if energy efficiency was considered at the design stage. The report found that all dwellings studied were able to reach six stars by modifying the building design, in most cases at a lower cost than the house costed at the original five star thermal performance level. Additional costs from the redesign were able to be offset by cost savings in other building elements.

original design. The housing industry is making significant progress in the delivery of energy efficient housing by incorporating energy efficient designs and technology innovations into new homes. The benefit of energy efficiency regulations aimed at the building fabric vary greatly due to the local climate, the common methods of construction in each state, the selected fittings and fixtures in a home and the practices of the home owners. A single energy efficiency target for new homes is not necessarily the most sensible approach across Australia. It is interesting to note that other industry sectors (including transport and manufacturing) produce more greenhouse gasses than the residential building sector, but are not subject to similar regulation. BC

Remember the golden rule: Orientation. Orientation. Orientation. Project home builders seem to prefer to have designs that can be used in any orientation but the study highlights the potential cost savings if dwellings are optimised for different orientations and good design principles are applied. Ideally volume home builders could provide a series of choices of suitable designs for a specific site location and orientation. At a minimum, builders could develop two variants of their designs (i.e. for north-south and east-west orientations) and still achieve good cost savings similar to those presented in the study. Consequently more consideration of energy efficiency also needs to be undertaken at the land sub-division stage. Builder survey results also highlighted the lack of knowledge among both the home buying public and the builder’s sales staff about the impact of choice on the thermal performance of the building. If volume home builders were more aware of how dwelling designs perform in different orientations and climatic conditions, they could recommend suitable designs to home buyers, and steer them away from unsuitable designs. Actual energy efficiency of dwellings could be further improved by educating home owners about how to operate their home efficiently – for example if new home owners were given a manual about how to operate their homes in an energy efficient manner, in the same way as commercial buildings are given a user manual when rated via the Greenstar program. The HIA believes that Federal and State governments should also focus on the energy efficiency of some nine million existing homes constructed prior to 2004 in an effort to achieve improved energy efficiency outcomes across the whole community. Current popular designs as constructed by Australia’s largest volume builders can meet the 6 Star Energy Efficiency standard with reduced construction cost if the design is modified to best suit the climate and orientation rather than increasing the building specifications. Results of this study show an average increase in energy efficiency of 1 star, and an average decrease in total construction cost of nearly 2 per cent, compared to the

Sustainable Energy Association of Australia: (08) 9228 1292, Commonwealth of Australia (Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency): (02) 6159 7000,

EC 8171


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Sustainable construction for Low cost, low carbon buildings: Looking for help? // words professor peter newman and kuntal dutta – curtin university sustainability policy (cusp) institute

PHOTO: (Left to Right) Kuntal Dutta and Professor Peter Newman

A report by world watch stated that “one-tenth of the global economy is dedicated to constructing, operating and equipping homes and offices”.

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Sustainable construction is receiving increased attention as the world faces the need to reduce carbon dramatically and at the same time reduce costs. As cities are the most rapidly growing part of the global economy the focus for achieving these outcomes is increasingly on urban construction. Many reports have been published worldwide emphasizing different ways of improving the construction processes and products to reduce its overall carbon footprint and lower its cost. A report by world watch stated that “one-tenth of the global economy is dedicated to constructing, operating and equipping homes and offices”.1 This means not only operation costs but also embodied energy consumed throughout the complete life cycle of a project. The challenge of innovation for more sustainable construction is obviously underway in Australia as the pages in this journal demonstrate. This is especially in the off-site construction industry where a range of new materials and new precision-building techniques are constantly being released. However, these new approaches to construction are still only a small part of the industry where cottage building approaches have remained stagnant in their carbon and cost outcomes (probably only getting worse) and continue to be dominant in the market. In an industry that must be very conservative to ensure that on-going financing is not upset, the challenges remain to ensure that low cost/low carbon construction options are easily available. If something cannot be done to break through the barriers then we will not only remain highly unproductive with increasingly uncompetitive buildings for investment (the Federal Government are about to begin an Inquiry into construction costs), but we will not be preparing for a future where carbon costs will blow out. So, what can be done? One of the problems is the lack of certainty about the relative ability of innovations in construction to provide low cost/low carbon outcomes. A research project at Curtin is attempting to help document construction innovation and we are looking for firms that would be willing to participate in this work. We are looking at products, materials, processes and projects. We would be keen to look at prefabrication. It would seem to be important to convert from the lingering culture of on-site construction emphasizing heavily on product-oriented strategy to off-site which underlines process-oriented tactics; by doing this more control on value chain and reduction in variability due to repetitive work can be achieved.2 We would like to be able to prove it works here. We would like to examine any part of the construction process where innovation appears to be promising reductions in cost and carbon together.

THE BUILDERS CHOICE energy efficiency

Figure 1, GHG Emissions by Material Type of an On-Site Construction House, Source: Stockholm Environment Institute, Resources and Energy Analysis Programme, UK

Figure2, GHG Emissions of an OSM House of 10 m2, Source: Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York and ISAUK Research and Consulting, Durham, UK

In an industry that must be very conservative to ensure that on-going financing is not upset, the challenges remain to ensure that low cost/low carbon construction options are easily available. The research seeks to work on a holistic model by investigating case studies of both conventional and modern leading edge projects; the analyses will use the e-Tool as a means of demonstrating the cost and carbon advantages. Evaluation of the life cycle assessment and life cycle costing of the complete life cycle of a project will most importantly give a clear picture of the environmental impact (in terms of greenhouse gases) of a particular project. The use of eTool in our research work will assist to evaluate different products and their carbon outputs over the full life cycle of the building product and building life. A study on carbon footprint analysis of the material types of an on-site construction house and an off-site manufactured house clearly depicts a significant decrease in the greenhouse gas emissions. (as shown in figure 1 and figure 2)3 The analysis just involves the material use but if we consider the benefits from process driven off-site manufacturing principles in addition then the results can be expected to be outstanding in terms of cost and carbon advantages. However, to achieve this, the academic world and industry have to work hand-in-hand by

performing detailed case studies supported by empirical analysis and ‘data supported intelligence’ to corroborate the long-term benefits of the research outcomes in Australian construction. Knowledge acquisition is an important component of the project, henceforth, the project aims to deliver a ‘low-carbonlifecycle building’ model which will not only reduce the environmental impact, but will also encourage the construction industry participants such as property developers, designers, building managers, architects, owners, users, NGOs to work as a close-knit community to make more informed decisions for the development of sustainable infrastructure in Australia. The research study will be the first in Australia to comprehensively evaluate the cost and carbon challenges and benefits of adopting innovative approaches like prefabrication as a mainstream approach to construction. Please email us if you are interested in assisting: p.newman@; BC Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute: Email: or

1. HILL, R. C. & BOWEN, P. A. (1997). Sustainable construction: principles and a framework for attainment. Construction Management & Economics, 15, 223-239 2. Höök, M. (2006). Customer value in lean prefabrication of housing considering both construction and manufacturing. In Proceedings of the 14th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction, Santiago de Chile. 3. Barrett and Wiedmann, (2007), ‘A Comparative Carbon Footprint Analysis of On-site Construction and an Off-site Manufactured House’, Stockholm Environment Institute, University of York and ISAUK Research and Consulting, Durham, United Kingdom,, accessed on 15th of January 2013.

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Plumbing then and now 1973 - 2013

Has plumbing really changed that much in 40 years? // words mpa

Plumbing is the system of water service pipes, drain fittings, valves, valve assemblies and devices installed in buildings, ships, trains, planes, caravans, etc for the safe and efficient distribution of water for washing and the removal of water-borne wastes. The word ‘plumbing’ comes from the Latin word ”plumbum’ meaning lead, as pipes were once made from lead. In modern days, as in the past, plumbers must be skilled and licensed to practice these disciplines and undertake the skilled trade of working with pipes, tubing and plumbing fixtures in such systems. The plumber is someone who can efficiently install or compliantly repair piping systems, plumbing fixtures and all plumbing associated equipment. Complex regulatory requirements determine strict outcomes for the installation and repair of all plumbing work, including but not limited to: water heaters, backflow preventers, taps and valves. All plumbing work must be maintained in accordance with Australian Standards as well as specific state and territory legislative and regulatory requirements, including plumbing related codes. PHOTO: (Above) The roman aquaduct, who knew plumbing could be so beautiful? (Top Right) Roman lead pipe with a folded seam, at the Roman Baths in Bath, England

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THE BUILDERS CHOICE water efficiency

The plumbing industry is a vital component of every developed economy through out the world, due to the human population’s need for clean drinking water and the proper collection and transport of wastes for treatment.

The plumbing industry is a vital component of every developed economy through out the world, due to the human population’s need for clean drinking water and the proper collection and transport of wastes for treatment. So has there really been any change since 1973? Essentially no, nothing has really changed about the practical aspects of the industry. Water still has to be treated to a level fit for human consumption. Waterborne wastes require transport, treatment and compliance with numerous state and federal regulations. Water service providers still have the same obligations to adhere to bylaws and regulatory requirements. These rules and regulations still exist today and are still in force under the control of complex legislation administered by high level government agencies. The plumbing performances outcomes of hydraulic designs are still ever present and demand for product innovation and design now push the boundaries of all compliance monitoring jurisdictions, as the plumbing industry is expected to develop and change with efficiency requirements, driven from population growth and public perceptions. These same outcomes are expected of the plumbing systems we are so fond of in the modern world. We all expect the toilet to flush our waste away, the taps still deliver the same water and the treatment of waste hasn’t changed much at all. To coin an old phrase so familiar to the working plumber ’pay day is Thursday, it all goes down hill and don’t chew your finger nails.’ Plumbing has not only a distinguished past, but a bright future. Anyone engaged in its pursuit can be justifiably proud to be called a plumber. So is there anything wrong with the word ‘plumbing’? Many associated industry specialists engaged in the plumbing profession have consistently bemoaned the low

esteem in which they are held by the public and the engineering community. They seem to think all their woes stem from the word ’plumbing’ itself and thus are constantly proposing that we dream up some new exciting and exotic word as a replacement. Plumbing is an ancient and honoured profession. It was in full bloom long before most of the present-day engineering disciplines were even born. It was plumbing engineers who conceived and built the great aquaducts that permitted Rome to flourish in all its ancient power and glory. The hot baths of Greece and Italy were the accomplishment of plumbing engineers. All the world renowned fountains are testimonials to the plumbing engineers of the time. The streets in the world’s first cities, owed their night-time illumination to the plumbing engineers who designed the systems to provide gas for the lamplights. BC Master Plumbers & Gasfitters Association of WA: (08) 9471 6661,

M: 0418 590 221 PH: 9444 9914

Renovations Commercial Blocked Drains Burst Pipes

Jesus was a carpenter... but Moses parted the waters

Storm Water - Soak Wells Roof Leaks & Repair Gas Repairs & Installation Hot Water System Install & Repair Leaks & General Plumbing Backflow Installations & Maintenance

PL 7223 GF 012797

William Southon M. 0404 505 476 E.

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From waster to water…

// words rocky amatulli

Water. It is one of the most basic of all resources, but perhaps the most precious. Water supports life, and water controls our weather. But water also provides us with another fundamental human need – shelter, or at least the construction of it. And while many of us may not give too much thought to the water used in the construction of our homes or commercial buildings, there is never a better time to stop and think about the implications. Just add water The sustainability of water supply and use is one of the most challenging issues that Australia faces, and while the supply may seem abundant, water is not an infinite resource - particularly fresh potable water necessary to our survival. We are constantly reminded via the media that we should minimise wastage, and rightfully so. It is important to educate users about water scarcity issues and the positive impact of water management practices. Many campaigns are aimed at the residential and commercial property consumer, highlighting the enormous amounts of water wasted by leaking taps, taking extended showers and not using pool blankets. Ironically, it is also the manufacturing of the components and subsequent construction of these very buildings that utilises and can waste water. And whilst we are not necessary able to influence or directly affect the manufacturing processes, we can all take responsible steps towards reducing use and managing water source contamination on our building sites. Two rules about water management: Conservation and quality management Fundamentally, there are two main issues when concerned with site water management. The first is conservation – the reduction of water used and wasted. There are many facets of the construction process on a building site where water is utilised: dust control during demolition or on a vacant lot, as part of a chemical reaction (for example, the mixing of mortar or tile glue), or for washing and cleaning of completed work, equipment or tools. The second issue concerns itself with quality management – the reduction of pollutants and contaminants entering our water sources. When discussing this issue, we need to not only consider the water itself, but also all the other materials on a building site that it comes into contact with. In addition to pollutants like sediment there are a number of other potential sources of construction pollution, such as washing concrete tools and painting equipment, washing cement residue, cutting of bricks and tiles, tipping out of liquid admixtures and other chemicals. Other potential pollutants like fuel and oils (used in machinery) and fertilisers and herbicides (used for landscaping) need to be managed properly. Additionally, chemicals leaching out from solid waste building materials can be carried by site waste water and rain into storm drains, or leach down through the soil into the water table.

124 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

Where to from here? Perhaps the best way to tackle the problems of water conservation and quality management is for developers, architects, designers and builders to adopt a similar attitude as they do for other aspects of their projects – that is, to research and incorporate best practice procedure into aspects of the planning, design and construction of our buildings. Many of us are aware of well documented and implemented OH&S Policies and Safety Management Plans (as two examples) on building sites. By developing and enforcing similar sensible practices relating to water management, perhaps it we can increase the amount we conserve, and maintain its source quality. Below are some suggestions on positive water management measures that can be taken on our building sites: • Stay up-to-date with the latest information on water management • Establish water management as a project key objective and ensure that everyone involved is aware of their responsibilities • Make sure you include water management at every stage of your project (design/planning/construction) • Ensure that water management is included in all tender and contractual documentation • Prepare a Water Management Plan for your project, keep it on the site and ensure that all contractors are aware • Provide training for contractors • Keep track of achievements and promote successes with press releases to media and industry associations • Use buckets of water to clean tools instead of running water, and clean equipment in a designated area • Do not allow water and waste from concrete, plaster, paint or brickwork to wash into gutters or the street • Cover or filter stormwater inlets and drains • Stockpile and cover building materials away from drains or roads • Where possible sweep and collect excess waste • If water use is necessary, use high pressure hoses which are more water efficient • Chemicals need to be bundled and locked in storage • Undertake site rehabilitation quickly With businesses, industry and economies always seeking to grow, surely the problems we might be experiencing (or creating) will worsen, when we consider that this level of growth will always outstrip the rate at which our supply of water will grow – which is zero. Pollution from a single block of land may not seem like a lot but when all construction sites are combined it can have a dramatic impact on water quality. BC Water Corporation: 131 039 (Helpline),


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THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services


JDS is committed to only introducing 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 now 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. 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. For information on any of our products please do not hesitate to contact one of our friendly sales team.

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126 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013




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Phone: (+61) 08 6363 5953 Fax: (+61) 08 9331 3384 Email: 130 The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013

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We cater for all types of occasions. If you’re having a work function or a party, call us! The Builders Choice Magazine – March 2013 135

THE BUILDERS CHOICE tradies corner


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Profile for The Builders Choice

Builders choice magazine march 2013  

Builders choice magazine march 2013