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Escape to pure indulgence CAB Member Since November 2010

Are your showers ticking time bombs? Despite builders best efforts, leaking showers are consistently listed in the BSA’s top ten defects. Sadly, sometimes this is due to substandard workmanship, but most of the time it is the design of the shower itself which is creating the potential for disaster. Most contractors are at a complete loss as to why, but detailed testing has shown how, by the action of expansion and contraction, water is “pumped” along glue cavities to escape the shower enclosure, no matter how well it is water-proofed. The best way to prevent the problem is to seal the screen directly to the membrane, and NOT to the tiles. Waterstop Streamline provides: •

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As of August 2010, the Building Code of Australia contains new regulations for Bushfire prone areas, limiting the type of cladding systems that can be used in home construction. The MasterWall K Series achieves a Bushfire Attack Level of BAL 40, enabling specifiers to overcome restrictions when building lightweight insulation systems in bushfire rated areas. The panel used in the MasterWall K Series is Kooltherm K5 from Kingspan Insulation, which comprises of a thermoset insulation core and able to withstand intense heat once rendered. The MasterWall K Series has passed the stringent test required to achieve BAL 40 under the

AS1530.8.1-2007. BAL 40 being the highest rating under BAL FZ, which covers the majority of homes constructed in bushire prone areas, hence MasterWall K Series offers many solutions to the specifier. The MasterWall K5 BAL 40 System also allows for design options for BAL 12.5 & 19 when using the MasterWall polystyrene system. MasterWall K Series can provide the 400mm non-combustible plinth the base required to comply with BAL 12.5 & 19. MasterWall K Series is incorporated seamlessly into the MasterWall Polystyrene system. making it a fantastic solution. Its speed of installation over other BAL rated systems is remarkable, making it a real competitor in the industry.




The MasterWall K Series incorporating Kooltherm from Kingspan Insulation achieves the highest thermal ratings for any wall system. With almost double the thermal performance of polystyrene and eight times higher than brick veneer, the MasterWall K Series can help you achieve the high star ratings now being introduced into the building code. Achieving an incredible R 4.5 over timber frame, without the need for added batts. _MASTERWALL K5 CYCLONIC SYSTEM

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35 24 38


From the editor................................................................................12 PROFILE Debra Goostrey............................................................18 PROFILE Theo Mathews..............................................................20 PROFILE Debra Brown.................................................................22 PROFILE Credentia Construction..........................................24 PROFILE Tim Jones.........................................................................26 AND THE WINNER IS......................................................................16 COVER STORY A touch of luxury added to Burswood Entertainment Complex.......................................................... 28 World class day spa facility completed for Burswood Entertainment Complex

TRAINING & DEVELOPMENT BUILDING SKILLS WHILE BUILDING COMMUNITY.................. 32 Greater inequality has been an outcome of the failure to better manage the impact of the resources boom.

INDUSTRY NEWS & VIEWS ALKIMOS BEACH, IT’S ALL IN THE PLANNING.......................... 38 Perth’s North West Corridor, which stretches north of the city along the coast to Yanchep, is a key area in the government’s growth plans for the expanding WA population.

4 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

THE WA BUILDING ACT – MOVING FORWARD WITH LESSONS LEARNED........................................................................................... 35 Ideas for moving forward from the problems that have beset the introduction of the new WA Building Act is discussed by Australian Institute of Building Surveyors National President Terry Bush.

BEWARE THE PERSONAL PROPERTY SECURITIES ACT.........120 The Association discusses how contractors can protect their business in particular in relation to the security interests of companies.

CARBON LEVY ON REFRIGERANT TO COST INDUSTRY $300M..............................................................................................117 Air Conditioning & Mechanical Contractors Association WA Inc executive director, Alan Layton discusses the effects a carbon-equivalent levy on refrigerant gases will have to the Heating, Ventilation, Air conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC&R) industry.

on the cover A touch of luxury added to Burswood Entertainment Complex Read our cover story on page 28. Photography: Nathan Archer

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Passive Built supply a range of very energy efficient and quickly-built modular homes. The house pictured was fully-built, wired and ready to paint in two and a half days. This house has a 9 star energy rating.

Passive Built have two display homes in Spearwood that are available for your inspection. We are looking for builders and developers who are interested in benefitting from our high quality, energy efficient and quickly-built homes. These modular houses come to site with the work done. The bathrooms, kitchen, etc, are completed in the factory and assembly can be completed in a day or two on site. Wiring, plumbing, plastering and painting, are all completed very quickly. Houses can be ready for a family in a couple of weeks. Please call Bill McLarty for more information.

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A HOLISTIC MODEL FOR IMPROVING CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTIVITY..............................................................................118 Kuntal Dutta and Peter Newman from the Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute discuss how construction is the keystone for Australia’s economic development.

COMMERCIAL DINING ON THE EDGE AT THE ROYAL FRESHWATER BAY YACHT CLUB...................................................................................... 55



LOW COST EUROPEAN STYLE APARTMENT LIVING IN COCKBURN........................................................................................ 40 A $40 million federally funded project in Cockburn designed and built to be a benchmark for transport orientated development (TOD).

MINIMALIST STYLE HOME SUPPORTS WILDLIFE SANCTUARY IN THE SOUTH WEST....................................................................... 98

Upgrades to the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club have provided much needed space and amenity.

Mathews Johnston Architects has created an understated and minimal building for the owner to pursue a love of the natural environment in the south-west.



Dignitaries from across the world have been treated to Perth’s spectacular views from Kings Parks’ newest function room addition.

bucking the trend of the terrace office space squeeze............................................................................................ 84 A good location and affordable price point has made the renovation of an office tower a hit with local businesses.

ONE OF A KIND SOUND SHELL FOR NORTHAM ENTERTAINMENT PRECINCT......................................................... 80 Northam is now home to a state-of-the-art sound shell that will cater for a multitude of festivals and the Avon Descent


CONTEMPORARY HOME AN ARABIAN INSPIRED PALACE....... 50 A contemporary home that successfully infuses Indian design themes has been created as a display home and a comfortable space for its owners.

NEW W&B DISPLAY REDEFINES RURAL LIVING....................... 58 Customary design skills and creative flair have been applied by Webb & Brown-Neaves to a semi-rural setting just 20 minutes south of Perth.

STREET SMARTS AND OCEAN VIEWS IN WATERMANS BAY....... 70 A stunning jarrah staircase that seems to float in mid-air and an under croft garage are just two of the features that permeate through this stunning two storey home.


Training BHP recruits for the rigours of mine-site employment in the north of WA has been assured with the adaptation of Perth’s largest single commercial floor plate located in the heart of the CBD.

Traditional notions of home design have been turned on its head with this contemporary wonder.


ITALIAN HEART SHAPES GLAMOROUS NORTH BEACH HOME........................................................................................... 87

The combination of a hospital and consulting rooms all within the same building is a model that is set to be popular in the WA medical.

6 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

Three storeys of luxury combine with gorgeous ocean views to make a home that will be a delight for its owners and family.

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108 95



EASY GLAMOUR AND STYLE IN THREE-STOREY CITY BEACH HOME................................................................................................. 92

AVON VALLEY WEEKENDER BRINGS THE BEST IN SUSTAINABILITY...................................................................... 108

Tree top views and ocean views abound in a three storey house in City Beach.

A small weekender set in the Avon Valley is set to become a source of education for those who want to learn more about environmentally sensitive design and sustainable living.

DREAM HOME FITS BUILDER’S LIFESTYLE IN MANDURAH... 95 A Perth designer has drawn on years on experience to create a two story home with a 7m frontage in Mandurah that suits his family’s needs to a tee.

JURIEN BAY FAMILY AND HOLIDAY HOME STAYS TRUE TO ECO FRIENDLY PRINCIPALS.........................................................101 A holiday home in Jurien Bay has stayed true to the owners drive for sustainability while also being big enough to accommodate 12 people but suitably cosy for a couple.

ULTRA MODERN DESIGN MEETS OLD WORLD RAMMED EARTH TECHNIQUES.....................................................................104 Rammed earth blade wall and curved style roof generates ultra-modern eight star home in South Fremantle.

MARITIME THEME DOMINATES IN SEASIDE HOLIDAY HOME.......112 The design of this home has been inspired by its close proximity to the ocean.

COMMUNITY RESIDENTIAL DESIGN FLEXIBILITY FOR READY BUILT HOMES A NEW LIFESTYLE TREND............................................................................ 44 A development established in Yanchep promises to deliver exceptional lifestyle options.

TRAIN STATION INSPIRATION FOR NOTHERN SUBURBS ESTATE................................................................................................ 47 A transport oriented development in Clarkson makes the most of everything Perth’s northern corridor has to offer.

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

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126 ALTERNATIVE METHODS OF CONSTRUCTION SMARTER HOUSING SOLUTION WINS PRAISE FROM KARRATHA LOCAL.........................................................................114 Affordable housing for key service worker employees in the busy regional community of Karratha has been a roaring success.

WIDE ARRAY OF ‘APPS’ TOP WA STEEL DESIGN AWARDS..... 122 An awards event celebrating the application of steel has highlighted Western Australia’s increasingly diversified economy.

SOUTH HEDLAND PERFORMANCE SHELL..............................126

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 Admin/Artwork Co-ordinator Gina York Graphic Designer Pearlin Bracewell Journalist Rhonda Malkin Sales Executives Rod Saggers, Karl Nasner, Mike Thake

The beauty and flexibility of timber is on full display with the installation of a performance shell in the heart of the Pilbara.

Accounts Julie Jones

GETTING THE BUILDING YOU PAID FOR..................................131

Printer Quality Press

A summit organised by The Housing Industry Association brought to light the issues involved with product compliance with information from local and international speakers.

Distributor Northside Logistics

ENERGY EFFICIENCY THE WORLD HAS CHANGED – HAVE YOU NOTICED?...........136 The new six star standard energy rating is not the only factor that has forever changed the way energy will be used in homes.

CAB Member Since November 2010

WATER EFFICIENCY BORE WATER...................................................................................140 The Department of Water discuss the issues surrounding ground bores.

BUILDING PRODUCTS & SERVICES.................................... 142 TRADIES CORNER......................................................................... 159 DIRECTORY LISTINGS................................................................. 161

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.

APOLOGY In the June issue of The Builders Choice Magazine we printed the incorrect address for Amex Corporations’ Subiaco office. The correct address is 437 Roberts Road, Subiaco. We apologise for the error.

10 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

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

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from the editor Welcome to yet another issue of The Builders Choice Magazine. First off is our cover story featuring Probuild with the new world class Day Spa facility in the Burswood Entertainment Complex. High-end finishes feature across the entire facility, which allows one a feeling and a sense of pure luxury and relaxation. Italian hand cut glass, mosaic tiles and marble are only some of the beautiful materials, which bring this space to life. To read more turn to page 28. Another project featuring in this issue with Probuild is the striking Cockburn Central Apartments Complex, which is located only 15 minutes from the Perth CBD. The 130 apartments are also home to six commercial units and a basement car park. The low cost apartments have a European style and many features to please all tenants. To read more turn to page 40. As the winter months are soon over and summer will fast approach so too will the water restrictions being enforced. One thing that can be done for our gardens is the installation of a bore irrigation system. Sprinkler bans are already in place and although some say that spending up to $4,000 to install ground bore irrigation can be expensive, others say it would soon save the owner money in the long run. Many home and business owners would have existing sprinkler irrigation running off the mains supply water, which can in most instances now connect to new water bore system. This is done by combining stations on any existing reticulation irrigation system in order that two or more stations come in at once. This can usually occur due to the flow from a Perth bore, which is in general significantly greater than the flow from any street supply. The use of ground bore irrigation is still used in many suburbs and has been for some years. There are areas that of course cannot

use the underground bore irrigation system however; for tips or information you can read more on page 14 and visit the Department of Water website I would also like to talk a little about what is often seen as a taboo subject. I am referring to the high rate of depression and suicide in Australia within the building industry and particularly amongst men in general. One group who are working hard on trying to make a change is ‘MATES The First Step’. Turn to page 14 and read Mates Group advertorial for a little more information. More on this topic will be featured in an article in the December issue with another group working hard to support workers in the building industry and out of it. Let’s hope a solution to this debilitating and life threatening issue can be found soon. Please feel free to contact me with your article and project suggestions for future issues. Until next time…

Merelyn Demarte Managing Editor Email:

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Builder marks 5th year As Averna Homes celebrates their fifth anniversary as one of Perth’s leading Boutique builders, owner and Managing Director, Paul Serra takes a moment to reflect on the success of the last five years and consider the future direction of the company. Having already collected numerous MBA awards, including Best New Builder and Best Customer Service for Small/Medium Builder for 2011 & 2012, Averna Homes has firmly established a reputation for innovative design, personalised service and quality workmanship – all essential criteria for a successful and hassle-free build. As for the future, Averna Homes’ focus is firmly on building upon these essential elements. With the recent appointment of further experienced and specialised staff, including a General Manager who is also an award winning residential designer, and a Project Director whose primary role is to assist clients in all facets of the building process, the company has ample resources to ensure each and every client experiences the best possible design development and finished product. Averna Homes’ emphasis on innovative design is clearly evident in their highly anticipated show homes situated in Como, due to be unveiled in October 2012.

Mates Group and the Social Enterprise Builders Network The support needed to make a change in the high rate of suicide and depression in the building industry and amongst men in general is being driven in a visionary way through Mates Group Ltd. This has been achieved by establishing a Franchise of Social Enterprise Builders that focuses on sustainability of their community, their family and their business through joint venture capital from The Panel Homes building system. Workshops on business relationship building, business up skilling and education of how to recognise the signs of suicide and depression that will be supported by peek body groups with established processes and tools . A network of Facilitators is being established around Australia to support these services in a way that makes it affordable and convenient to attend. As each builder employs/engages 10 to 14 subcontractors, the flow-on potential of helping each other is enormous. The Mates Group Social Enterprise Network is targeting its “First Step” towards the most fundamental needs of us all, which is a safe place to live - affordable housing. This national network combined with a simple, safe and efficient method of building homes provides an opportunity for the community to engage in working alongside our builders with volunteers, apprentices and indigenous groups receiving skills at a rate three times faster than a brick veneer/double brick or block home construction site.

14 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

This connectedness spreads Mates Groups intentions of mentoring young and mature age people who have missed out on personal growth at no fault of their own. Mates Group will assist in addressing the shortage of apprentices and qualified trades people while building affordable homes for the disadvantaged in JV’s with socially conscious companies and affordable housing peek bodies. The ongoing recycling of human life through this industry without acknowledging the importance of their contribution to our community and the economy reflects our ignorance of what is going on at many building sites both large and small. I encourage anyone who wants to make an impact on this devastating, debilitating and life threatening issue to support our growth by not donating money but creating a network of supportive businesses that helps each other to fund our growth and allows us all to ‘take the first step’. Rob Johns CEO Mates Group Ltd 0408887381

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...and the winner is The Builders Choice Magazine would like to congratulate:

EcoFit Homes for winning the 2012 HIA Pilbara Housing Awards in the category of Small Lot Housing Project of the Year for its Padbury Central project in Karratha and the category of Affordable Housing Project of the Year for Warambie Estate in Karratha (See feature on page 114). And for winning 2012 HIA Great Southern Housing Awards in the category of Transportable/Kit Home for its Sei home. EcoFit Homes: (08) 9270 6888,

Photo by Pixel Magix

Paul Serra from Averna Homes for winning the 2012 40 under 40 award. Averna Homes: (08) 9373 3999,

Gavin Construction for winning the 2012 Australian Steel Institute WA Steel Design Award in the category of Steel Clad Structures Steel Design for the Coca Cola Amatil Distribution Centre. Gavin Construction: (08) 9330 8000,

16 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

Brian Burke Homes for winning the 2012 Master Builders-Bankwest Excellence in Construction Awards in the category of Best Contract Home over $2 million for its Neville Road home in Dalkeith and for winning the overall Top WA Home award for the same home. Brian Burke Homes: (08) 9387 7333,

Splice Projects for winning the Spec Home of the Year and Transportable/ Kit Home of the Year at the 2012 HIA WA GreenSmart Awards for its Twilight Brae home at Hoddys Well (See feature on page 108) and Excellence in Construction – Energy Efficiency Certificate of Merit from the Master Builders Association of WA. Splice Projects: (08) 9622 1333,

Econstruct for winning the GreenSmart Home of the Year and Custom Built Home of the Year at the 2012 HIA WA GreenSmart Awards for its home in Fremantle. (See feature on page 104) Econstruct: (08) 9329 9422,

Credentia Construction for winning the 2012 Master Builders-Bankwest Excellence in Construction Awards in the category of Best Building Fitout for the BHP Billiton Training Centre. (See feature on page 66) Credentia Construction: 0417 985 436,

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 17


up close + personal with

debra goostrey CEO, UDIA // interviewed by rhonda malkin

How long have you been the Chief Executive Officer of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) and what initiatives have you played a role in introducing? I started as chief executive at UDIA in May 2007, which was the peak of the boom and the property industry couldn’t keep up with demand. We had a land supply crisis which translated into rapidly escalating home prices. Over the past five years we have been chipping away at the reform agenda and trying to get more common sense into the system. Unfortunately as fast as we resolve one issue, another two crop up. From an organisational perspective UDIA has grown significantly. We are financially secure and from a governance perspective we now have very efficient structures for policy development and management of the Institute. UDIA’s profile has also grown, with high recognition in the industry and one in five people in Perth being aware of the Institute’s work. Income has risen fifty seven per cent in the last five years and given the difficult state of the market that is a very positive outcome. The Institute’s success has translated into tangible outcomes; we are now in a position to purchase our own premises, a concept that would have been unthinkable five years ago. This strength enables us to deliver more to our members and we are now focused on thought leadership through our research program. What other roles have you been involved in and how long have you been apart of the building and housing industry? I have spent much of my career working in industry associations including five years as chief executive of Transport Forum 18 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

representing the heavy vehicle industry. My family history however has been in the building industry. My grandfather and great grandfather ran a building company in South Australia, which looked at innovative ways to get around the materials shortages of World War II. They re-invented the straw bale houses, which are still around today but are a very niche market. Building is in the blood and I think I grew up with a paint brush in my hand but I have only been directly involved in the industry for the last five years. My role at the Institute is running an association so you have to be a very capable small business manager as well as being able to represent the industry. Most associations have a small business that generates revenue beyond membership fees. This means I have run businesses as diverse as a high school text book publishing company to a registered training organisation with over three hundred trainees. I have also developed structured rates for owner drivers, been an industrial representative and a trustee director of a large superannuation fund. This diverse business background means that I have a very strong understanding of operational logistics and project viability, which is the foundation of many member concerns. Any project that takes longer to complete or is more expensive to deliver impacts on the bottom line and those issues need to be passed on to the end consumer. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, that is just a basic principle of business but something that is often forgotten by policy makers.

What do you do outside of your role with the institute? After spending many years on a school council and coaching basketball while my sons were growing up, I am now taking a


Building is in the blood and I think I grew up with a paint brush in my hand but I have only been directly involved in the industry for the last five years.

bit of chill time and renovating a house. With eight children between us, my partner and I are kept fairly busy but when we get a chance we are keen travellers and have gone on multiple overseas trips over the past couple of years. Our favourite activity when we are away is to hire a motor bike and get to the places off the normal tourist beat. That can be beautiful in places like the south pacific or just plain scary when you are on Indian roads.

Is it more difficult for women to obtain these high ranking board roles or is it actually more common and is it increasing? Whilst women are still heavily underrepresented in senior roles, things are improving. The percentage of women on the boards of Fortune 500 companies has raised from 9.6 per cent in 1995 to 16.1 per cent and that trend is being seen right across businesses large and small, as well as the not-for-profit sector. I have always recognised that cultural change takes time and I am probably a bit more pragmatic than I should be about the imbalance as I have lived through a period of radical cultural change. When I was a child every female public servant was “deemed to have retired from the Commonwealth service upon her marriage.” Indeed, that culture was so engrained that when I got married I was asked by a relative if I was going to resign even though Australia lifted the ban in 1966, the last democratic country to do so. I was in high school before equal pay came through. For many young people today such institutionalised prejudice would seem ludicrous and I am sure that for future generations the current inequalities on boards will seem equally strange. Women are now better educated and have more career opportunities than previous generations. We are seeing board participation increasing as well but it has just taken time to filter through to that level. At UDIA women are still statistically under represented with a participation rate of 30 per cent on our committees and eight per cent on the Council.

Core to helping good people, regardless of gender, travel up the ranks, is to ensure that there is appropriate professional development as well as the structures to showcase people’s knowledge and skills such as speaking at events or publishing articles. This is where UDIA is focusing its efforts.

How do you assist the board in delivering their overall responsibilities? Both the Council and I are very aware that the Institute belongs to the industry and that delivering a legacy to be proud of is a fundamental motivation for being involved. In simple terms the UDIA Council sets the strategic direction for the Institute and it’s my responsibility to implement it. Whilst those roles are clear in practice it works as a partnership. Each year the UDIA Council reviews our strategic plan ensuring that it is fit for its purposes for the period ahead. Some of the tasks are then undertaken by committees and some by the team at the UDIA office, which includes research staff and people working in our business arm. Reporting against the targets in the strategic plan is taken very seriously. Fundamental to UDIA is our advocacy work. UDIA Councillors are highly experienced business people who understand the industry and it is important that I make the connections and open the doors for their views to be heard. That may be through direct meetings with senior people in government, written submissions or media comment; it is my role to get their voice heard. I also ensure good governance and operating processes are in place to keep things running smoothly whilst meeting all of our legal obligations. Financial management is also fundamental to my role and meeting or exceeding budget is critical to the long term viability of the Institute. The President has the day-to-day role of working with me to monitor progress against our goals, and Cameron Shephard is doing a fantastic job as are all the members of Council and our many committees. BC

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The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 19


up close + personal with

theo mathews

ARCHITECT, MATHEWS JOHNSTON ARCHITECTS // interviewed by rhonda malkin

What made you go into architecture - was it something you always enjoyed? My sister was at art school at the time I was considering a career and there was a strong cultural influence in our family. By nature I have always enjoyed making and fixings things. I had a practical upbringing through my father - he was an electrical engineer. I loved spending time in Dad’s workshop where I learnt a lot of practical skills from him. The combination of the artistic and the practical was my attraction to architecture. How have you seen architecture evolve over your time in the industry? I suppose the question is how it has evolved for me, because every architect approaches the craft in a different way. I moved to the Yallingup/Dunsborough area in the early 1970s where I worked ‘on the tools’ with skilled builders and tradesmen, and later as a designer/builder. Over a period of eight years I designed and built one or two houses per year, working on the sites. In the late 1970s I spent nine months in the north-west working on construction sites. In addition to my south-west experience, I learnt a great deal about construction. It gave me an understanding and respect for skilled trades, and the organisation required to co-ordinate the construction of a building. This understanding of construction has been invaluable as an architect ever since – especially on site where I always engage with the trades to discuss issues. What drew you down to the South West in the first place? It was initially surfing that drew me to Yallingup and then Margaret River in the 1970s. I had been on many surfing ‘safaris’ to the area when I was in my teens in the 1960s. It was such an adventure finding and surfing untouched surf spots and enjoying the beauty of the coastline and forests. The sequence of events leading to my move to Margaret River was an interesting confluence of events. I’d made a documentary film about a then lesser known but now famous Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi. The film was made as my thesis in architecture over two years in 1973-74, including the research, financing, filming and then post-production in Sydney. A cameraman friend and I spent six weeks in Barcelona where we filmed numerous buildings and interviewed Professor Juan Bassegoda Nonell from the University of Barcelona who is the 20 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

pre-eminent authority on Gaudi. The towers of Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia cathedral became the permanent symbol of Barcelona during the Olympic Games. After the post production work was completed in Sydney, I packed up my possessions and drove straight to Yallingup to build a house for the editor’s mother-in-law. Within days I was hard at work with a crowbar digging holes for floor stumps. The bush carpenter jibed that I knew nothing about building after all of my studies, and he was correct. Within 12 months of living in the Yallingup region I bought a stunning property bordered by the Margaret River with one and a half kilometres of river frontage. I then built a timber and glass pole house hanging out on the edge of a steep cliff overlooking the River. Margaret River had not been ‘discovered’ then, in fact many young people were leaving town for work as the region was economically depressed. There was already a group of surfers living in the area and we were part of the new wave of alternate lifestyle settlers.

You have grown your business from Margaret River. Is that where you have been based since you started the business? The practice of Theo Mathews Architect as a sole trader was based in Yallingup/Dunsborough in the 1970s, then in Margaret River from the 1980s until two years ago when Grant Johnston and I formed Mathews Johnston Architects. The original Margaret River office was established in the main street in the 1980s with a few allied professional colleagues. That was a great time, when the town was growing economically for the first time in a generation. In our current premises there is another architect and a landscape architect. It’s a rewarding way of interacting with professional colleagues. Would you say that sustainability is a driving factor in your business? These days everyone is becoming aware of energy consumption and carbon footprint. Low energy appliances, equipment and photovoltaic arrays are now commonplace. Sustainability is no longer the realm of the enthusiasts and alternative life stylers, it is mainstream. Ecologically Sustainable Design (ESD) principles underlie the design philosophy for every project that we do. That is not to say that this practice is promoted as ESD specialists. Right from the earliest days in the south-west, the alternate life stylers, of which I


was part, promoted the sustainable use of materials in buildings. The standard palette of construction materials included timber, stone, mud brick, rammed earth, corrugated steel roof sheeting along with recycled windows, doors and tiles. Passive solar design principles in the south-west of WA were part of the cultural inheritance from the US from the late 1960s to1970s. The Whole Earth Catalogue and other alternative lifestyle publications were our bibles. As owner builders, the aim was to use few manufactured materials to minimise the impact on the planet and save costs. The ESD aims are still the same – reduce the embodied energy in buildings and design to reduce energy use. In this region we are designing predominantly for the cool not the warmth. It is often difficult for clients to understand that warm balmy nights are few and far between in the south-west. We’ve just finished a project in Port Hedland where the design conditions are quite different. I have designed in Sydney, Perth, Bunbury and many far-flung locations. The first design considerations wherever the location are the site and the weather.

Are you getting a lot more interest for sustainability from your clients? The general public are much more aware of the need to save energy and there are now more financial incentives to buy energy efficient electrical appliances, hot water heaters, photovoltaic panels and new technology systems. Some clients are aware of the principles and wish to make long term investments while for others it is not a priority. With energy costs soaring, most people realise the need to apply these principles. How have you managed to tackle so many different types of projects in your career? Architects are trained to apply a methodology whatever the project. Many architects specialise in particular areas of design like residential, commercial, civic, educational, industrial and interior. Residential architecture has been the mainstay of this practice for over 30 years, however we have completed commercial, civic and educational projects, which have been challenging and rewarding. Notable challenges include the 4,500 sqm Retravision Showroom and Warehouse in Bunbury and a spectacular luxury residence in Wilyabrup. We are currently overseeing the construction of a major addition to the Margaret River Library and previously completed major additions to the Margaret River Montessori School. How do you think the GFC has affected the building industry? The GFC has been a challenge for everyone in the construction industry. Margaret River is an international brand, however the demographic that has traditionally been attracted here from all over the world has been cautious to invest and build holiday houses in recent years. This practice has had a stellar run of wonderful projects over the last 15 to 20 years, working with clients all over the world. We have established good relationships with clients, many of whom have become good friends. When clients are on the other side of the world entrusting you with substantial investments, it is critical to develop close relationships. This practice has been fortunate to attract many such clients. With residential clients, I have always enjoyed

exploring the essence of what underlies the brief. Sometimes it’s about memories of the client’s childhood – the sense of place and building. There is more to the residential design process for me than simply bricks and mortar and the latest appliances and finishes. I enjoy taking clients on the journey through the design process to handover so that they have ownership of the result – a collaboration rather than an imposition.

What do you think is the future of architecture and design? Certainly we will have less embodied energy in our building and we will use less energy. We will work smarter not bigger. We can’t go on using energy in the way we have in the past. I am confident that the general awareness of the crisis we are facing now will result in a reduction per capita of energy use. The public has been sold a dream and while financial credit is readily available the dream is easily realised. Quite obviously there has been a reality check over the last few years with profligate housing developments a major part of the economic problem. What sorts of interests do you enjoy? I swim in the ocean most mornings throughout the year, I enjoy bike riding and bush walking, canoeing. Photography is a passion of mine as are the visual arts generally. I read a lot, enjoy gardening and love cooking and the experiences of travel, especially built history. BC

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Share your design dreams with us OAKLEAF AUSTRALIA – M: 0429 885 332 Email: The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 21


up close + personal with

debra brown

DIRECTOR, HOFMAN AND BROWN ARCHITECTS // interviewed by rhonda malkin

How long have you been an architect for and how long have you had your business as Hofman and Brown Architects? I have been an architect for 25 years and 19 years in my own architectural practice. Paul Hofman and I set up Hofman and Brown Architects in 1993 and we have pretty much always focussed on single residential projects. In the early days we had a couple of reasonably big projects and quite a few smaller projects and gradually built up from there. We didn’t specifically set out to be a single residential practice but that is the way it has panned out. The jobs come from word of mouth, clients and people seeing the work that we have done, and of course, our reputation for doing a good job. How did you and Paul begin your practice together? Have you always had an interest in architecture? Paul and I knew each other from working together previously in a small practice in East Fremantle. We were both interested in having our own practice and as I was in my mid 20s and Paul was about 30, we were of an age to try and give it a go. I don’t come from an architectural family and to be honest I had always thought I would become a journalist. It’s a funny story actually, when I was at high school I was scheduled to do work experience as a journalist with The West Australian newspaper but I got sick with chicken pox. When I returned to school the only work experience vacancy was for an architectural firm, which I did and

22 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

that’s how I ended up in this career. I was always interested in this field anyway because I did art at school and history, maths and physics and architecture is a real mix of arts and sciences.

Where do you get your inspiration for your home designs from? Every design is driven by it’s context, the budget and the client’s brief and aesthetic preferences. Although there are themes and people can look at our work and see a thread or a style, each job is still different and a one off design for that particular client. I like to keep up with the development of architecture and it’s so easy to do that now. There are so many design concepts on the web and daily offerings you can subscribe to and keep updated with houses that are being created around the world. In lots of ways you have to up-skill all the time, for example, with the revision to the six star energy ratings and constant updating of council policies. There’s also innovation with different materials and client’s expectations are constantly increasing. It’s always interesting to see a new concept and wonder how it was achieved and then researching it. What sort of lifestyle do you have outside of architecture? I have a little seven year old girl who keeps me busy and we are lucky enough to live in Subiaco, so we can enjoy the benefits of an inner city lifestyle. I have played netball since the age of seven so that’s one of my other hobbies. My husband is from a large


One of the nice things for us about the type of work we do is that it is quite a personal experience with your clients as opposed to other types of architecture that are more commercial or institutional.

family and we spend quite a bit of time enjoying our family pursuits. Over the years I have been involved in my old school, Iona Presentation College. I have been involved on the school’s building committee and on their board at various times. I was also on the Architects Board of Western Australian for about ten years and the Architects Institute WA chapter council for six or seven years and have been on various other professional committees.

What is it that you specifically enjoy about architecture? One of the nice things for us about the type of work we do is that it is quite a personal experience with your clients as opposed to other types of architecture that are more commercial or institutional. Those roles involve more work with a committee or a board. Instead we are dealing with people that are possibly making the biggest personal investment they will ever make in their life. That’s quite a nice thing and quite a responsibility. Just by the nature of what we do, people put quite a lot of trust in us to build their family home. It’s nice to get to know people at quite a personal, intimate level in some ways because you are designing their house. Also we work in a small office in Cottesloe where we have been for 19 years and at any one time there is only three to five people working here. We all work together in a small studio space and the people you work with are your friends. It can be a good lifestyle, working on interesting designs, with people you like to work with. I think one of the other nice things is that we often get to see

the projects through from the initial brief and concepts to built forms that could potentially be there for 50 or 100 years. What we do is not just done and thrown away the next year, it’s usually there for the long haul.

Are there any particular materials that you like to work with? With most of our projects we work with a limited palette of materials. We tend to use fairly natural palettes of stone and timber and rendered brick work. We have over the years worked quite a lot with rammed earth and limestone, which we have always enjoyed. There is a particular way of designing with that material, which is interesting. You have to start with it as a concept because there are certain limitations with heights, lengths and opening sizes in rammed earth and limestone. You can get a lot of different colours by using different base materials. It can be made with gravel or crushed limestone or crushed recycled brick and can get a lot of different shades and textures depending on the material used. I did a house for my sister about three years ago using a rammed limestone but with a warm grey colour and polished concrete floors. It had quite a few hard materials but the resulting house also has a lot of warmth to it. How would you describe yourself? I’d like to think I am a good communicator and I am professional, but still friendly and approachable. BC

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The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 23

THE BUILDERS CHOICE profile cover story

up close + personal with

credentia construction DIRECTORS: RON MCDERMOTT, WILLIE BOYLAN AND SHAUN DONOHOE // interviewed by rhonda malkin

How did you start your company? We all worked for Multiplex for many years and saw a real gap in the market when working for clients who sometimes had smaller projects that did not fit into the Multiplex model. We were very keen to start our own business so we knew there was a niche in the market that would be easy to fill with our years of experience and industry contacts. Clients would always want Multiplex to build their projects because of their excellent reputation but commercial scale would restrict this. People always prefer to have the hands on experience that Credentia Directors provide to each of their projects. That’s how we sell ourselves now, we tend not to enter the tender market we pick and choose the work we do and operate by word of mouth and reputation. How have you managed so much success in just 12 months of operation? We only take on a set amount of jobs, enough for us to handle personally. The client gets a Credentia Director involved on the job every day and that’s being realised as a real plus for delivery of the project. Willie, Shaun and Ron have managed

24 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

the construction of some of Perth’s most iconic developments, so now the client who has a smaller type development is going to have some of the most senior project managers in Western Australia delivering it to the end. Our overheads are low compared to the bigger companies and we use only sub-contractors that have an excellent track record for project completion and safety standards and also contractors who can demonstrate a real can-do attitude. We operate in a transparent manner, we make sure that our clients feel comfortable with every aspect of their project and treat them as part of the team. About 80 per cent of our work so far has been repeat business or by word of mouth.

What is the focus of your company as you continue to grow? Credentia will continue to focus on its main areas of expertise, being new commercial construction, and office interiors/refurbishments, having completed many diverse projects in our inaugural year from our Salvation Army basement car park project in


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Credentia will continue to focus on its main areas of expertise, being new commercial construction, and office interiors/refurbishments, having completed many diverse projects in our inaugural year...



Northbridge, incorporating in ground services, piling and concrete works, to our 3000sqm office fit out for BHP Billiton. It is important to us to build on and create new, strong partnerships in the market place. We really are driven to ensure that the partnering experience for all parties in any given project is enjoyable and successful. It is our aim to beak the traditional form of contracting.

How do you think your 70 years of combined building experience will impact on the success of your company? Shaun has been building for 40 years in the UK, Africa and about 20 years in Western Australia, Willie for 18 years and Ron for over 30 years. Between us we have extensive experience in all aspects of general construction and civil works, right from the first spade in the ground to switching the lights on at the end of the job. We have got broad experience right through the spectrum of the building industry instead of just a narrow field. But what we are offering now is focusing on ensuring we have complete control of jobs personally. Our intention is to always have direct hands on contact with each job and each client, which is certainly not common place in Perth at the minute. How is the GFC impacting on the building industry and on your business? The tender market appears more of a cut throat environment due to the GFC, which fortunately we do not compete in. We are slowly starting to find that clients, even in this tough market understand that the cheapest price is not always the best option, and that the contractor that properly plans and resources the project in a professional manner generally delivers a better result. BC

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Lift Gallery Pty Ltd Unit 2/152 Railway Street, Cottesloe, WA 6011 Tel: +61 (8) 9380 9033 Mobile: +61 407 758 082

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 25


up close + personal with

tim jones

MANAGING DIRECTOR, TWIN OCEAN PROPERTY // interviewed by rhonda malkin

How did you develop Twin Ocean Property and what is the main drive for the company? I worked for many years with the Macquarie Bank as an executive and we did a management buyout of some of the Clough assets and then formed the Twin Ocean Property Group in 2007. My main role is in development and providing equity and establishing deals. I have been doing this sort of role for about 20 years and originally started my career with Cape Bouvard Investments. How do you see the future of development particular in Perth with the boom? We specialise in built form projects, land subdivisions, commercial and retail. Development in Perth is booming by resources but projects are struggling because of funding shortages, bank debt shortages so you will see that there still a bit of stress out there and it’s all to do with shortage of debt and debt providers being very conservative because

26 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

of federal issues and other issues which makes construction funding difficult. I think when the European debt crisis takes a better turn and when a few more overseas players coming into the market then the main banks will probably relax their criteria because there will be more competition out there.

How do you think your role at Macquarie Bank assisted you in developing a successful company like Twin Ocean Property? I was in development funds management with Macquarie Bank and I am essentially applying those skills here with my property skills set. We are selective in the projects we take on and are currently doing between one and ten projects a year but it’s all limited by capital. We raise capital every time we do a deal so we just buy a project subject to capital-raising.


Residential & Commercial Elevators & Dumbwaiters ... we are a boutique business we are very selective in what we do and we are always on the hunt for capital for the projects.

Are there many players in the development industry like you in Australia? Yes there are a few, we are a boutique business we are very selective in what we do and we are always on the hunt for capital for the projects. What do you do outside of your business roles? I enjoy spending every moment I can with my kids and family and I also enjoy tennis, golf and travel. I have also had experience with the Australian Property Institute and Australian Security Institute and leveraging off that I worked privately for 15 years with Ralph Sarich and Cape Bouvard and then worked for Macquarie Bank. What type of business style do you prefer – public or private? Well I have worked in private and public businesses and its always good working for yourself because its your money going into things but it also has its pitfalls as well because you have to pay for everything and keep the business supported financially but by the same token it can also be very rewarding. When you do get something off the ground it does affect you individually. I am particularly proud of the project we have done on 160 St Georges, we got it up and running, made it through the global financial crisis and it was still a profitable and successful project. How would you describe yourself? Driven, opportunistic, visionary BC

More than 25 years in lift manufacturing, installing and service, enabling us to provide a wide range of imported lift solutions through to individually designed lifts for home, residential and commercial applications.

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Lifting expectations, installing confidence The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 27


A touch of luxury added to Burswood Entertainment Complex 28 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012


// images nathan archer

The brief called for high-end finishes across all the new facilities to create a sense of luxury and relaxation.





The Burswood Entertainment Complex has taken the first step towards its ambitious plans to extensively revitalise the well known precinct by incorporating a world class Day Spa facility. The project comprises replacing the existing hotel administration with Day Spa/Treatment, Gymnasium, Beauty Salon, Retail, Kids Club and Business Centre facilities. The brief called for high-end finishes across all the new facilities to create a sense of luxury and relaxation. The main reception, centrally located as the main focal point in the facility entry, features a contemporary silver travertine polished stone clad reception desk bordered by Italian porcelain floor tiling and framed by feature lit ceiling coffers. Full height glazing behind the reception desk offers an uninterrupted vista through to the luxurious resort style pool area beyond. The main reception area is flanked by an intimate lounge area which features ceiling lit coffers and porcelain mosaic clad sectional columns in a combination of polished and honed finishes.

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 29


Leading off the lounge area is the Day Spa reception. This features an oval reception desk with snow white Greek marble countertop and mother of pearl wall covering to the front façade. A delicate curtain comprising of crystal rocks sourced from Iceland forms the backdrop to the reception desk. This is complimented through the use of textured wallpaper from Europe, up-lit with white LED lights. Feature timber has been utilised throughout the Day Spa in architraves, skirting boards and for the doors to

maintain a consistent theme. On entering the main Day Spa, you are met with a 25 metre experience corridor which is cleverly articulated through the use of dropped bulkheads clad in antique mirror and framed by feature lighting coffers. An elliptical lobby is strategically located midway down the corridor which serves as the hub to the male and female treatment rooms, lavatories, locker rooms and showers, male vitality pools and Hamam’s. The lobby ceiling comprises of concentric ceiling panels

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30 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

F: 08 92950869 Email:


with cove lighting subtly mimicking references to the geography and landscape of WA. The male and female locker rooms, lavatories and showers include full height porcelain wall tiles, porcelain floor tiles, frosted glass shower partitions, Caesar stone benchtops and timber grain laminated timber cabinetwork. The vitality pools are heated and include a deluge function. They are finished with Italian hand cut glass mosaic tiles and black marble stone capping’s.

The four wet treatment rooms each include a shower, toilet and large floor to ceiling sliding door covered in textured wall paper and framed with American oak. These sliding doors cleverly disguise the full-length storage area. Feature subtle cove lighting to the bulkheads above the treatment tables create a relaxing atmosphere. Floors covered in vinyl timber-look flooring continue the earthy feel of the Day Spa. BC Probuild: (08) 9363 1400,

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Peppermint Grove Library and Community Learning Centre Burswood Hotel Complex (Atrium & Buffet Restaurant) Burswood Lobby Stage 2 Burswood Japanese Restaurant Stella Stage 2 Apartments Sky Salon (Burswood) Day Spa (Burswood)

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Phone: (08) 6278 1471 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 31

residential THE BUILDERS CHOICE training & development

Building skills while building community // words simone mcgurk – secretary, unionswa

Bricks and mortar provide more than just spaces within which people live and work. As the sector knows, good design and quality construction can contribute to a lasting improvement in people lives, even across generations. Less widely appreciated is who and how of construction matters for communities as well, often well into the long term. Right now Western Australia is experiencing the consequences of failing to adequately anticipate skill needs. Those consequences are direct, indirect and often serious. Those with skills in demand are able to attract very high incomes in turn this can contribute to rising costs of living. There are also pressures to rely more heavily on overseas labour and there can and has been community reaction to that. Greater inequality has been an outcome of the failure to better manage the impact of the resources boom. Inequality is not an abstract concept of interest only to academics and social workers, it has direct and profound economic and social implications, including for housing and construction. The Gini Coefficient is used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and internationally to measure inequality. The ABS has found that WA is the most unequal of all the states in Australia while Professor Whiteford at the University of NSW ranked WA against Gini Coefficients for countries and found WA is as unequal as the USA. In 2002 the minimum wage in WA, as a proportion of average earnings, was 51.3 per cent, the lowest paid got about half the average, and we were doing better than the national comparison. However by 2011 the lowest pay in WA was worth 41.2 per cent of average earnings and we’ve fallen below the national rate. Income is one side of the coin, but costs are just as important. The overall inflation rate in WA is low because price rises for imported electronics, luxuries and lifestyle goods, as well as overseas travel, have been modest. However essential costs, particularly for rent and electricity, have risen greatly. Between the 2006 and 2011 census West Australian household median incomes rose by 33 per cent, however rents rose by 76 per cent and mortgage repayments rose by 61 per cent. Over those same five years the census has tracked a falling proportion of West Australians who own their homes outright and a rising proportion who now rent. Having a significant minority in the community on fixed low incomes, such as those reliant on a disability pension, or in low paid insecure, casual or contract employment, has direct consequences for housing and construction. Low income households tend to cluster together in communities with poorer housing, often with limited access to services such as public transportation and in areas where there are fewer jobs locally. The gap between the incomes of women and men is another measure of inequality. On average women in WA earn $23,000 a year less than men. This is far greater than the gap nationally, where women earn $13,000 a year less. This gap in WA is getting wider. Of course financial pressures are a significant factor contributing to, and following

32 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

THE BUILDERS CHOICE training & development

Between the 2006 and 2011 census West Australian household median incomes rose by 33 per cent, however rents rose by 76 per cent and mortgage repayments rose by 61 per cent. relationship breakdown. In turn housing affordability is put under pressure, while housing needs and preferences reflect changing household types. Although there is debate about when, there is no doubt that the current resources boom will pass. Even with the labour market and other pressures, there is a very significant upside with current economic growth. For several years’ now overall inflation, unemployment and interest rates have been low. Industrial disputes are also at historically low levels. This is a good point in our economic cycle to act on key challenges. How will we address our skill and labour shortages? In doing so can we build rather than diminish community outcomes? A greater effort in training must be an important part of our response. In the non-resources construction sector, and for some occupations in the manufacturing sector, there is very real competition, particularly for skilled labour. Yet the resources sector contributes very little in the way of either funding or

access to workplaces for the training and work experience of apprentices. As the National Resources Sector Employment Taskforce noted in its 2010 report: We find that the [resource] sector employs considerably fewer apprentices than would be expected from its share of trade employment. In fact the sector would have to double its number of apprentices to be on par with other industries. (Page 38) An initiative sought by unions and supported by the Opposition in WA has led to the Skilled Jobs (Benefits from the Boom) Bill 2012. That Bill would require resource companies to account for the amount of local content in meeting their supply needs, important for measuring the impact on local manufacturing in particular, as well as their delivery on workforce training. Quotas or targets are not imposed as the aim is to get good data to improve transparency. This will enable the State Government, which is the custodian of the public resources being extracted, to manage the boom more effectively. According to recent data from the National Centre for

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 33

THE BUILDERS CHOICE training & development

Related to the need for training is the need to improve the workforce participation of women, mature people and those with a disability as well as Indigenous people.

Vocational Education and Research, compared with 2008 we now have 1,100 fewer people in training for construction jobs. Drop-out rates or decisions not to undertake training in the first place are clearly affected by low apprentice wages, especially as often young apprentices face high essential costs of living. Many therefore pursue alternative lower skilled, but often higher paid employment. That is a perverse outcome. Related to the need for training is the need to improve the workforce participation of women, mature people and those with a disability as well as Indigenous people. Of course there are many who remain unemployed. Even though WA has a low rate of unemployment overall, in the year to June 2012 teenage unemployment was at 17 per cent and that month the ABS estimated that there are 46,800 unemployed people in WA. Many will require training and support to succeed in employment.

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Unions are not opposed to migration as one of a mix of responses to skill needs. Migration often brings with it a social benefit in building a tolerant and diverse community, more likely through permanent rather than temporary migration. Migration is always a contentious area of policy and more so if driven by highly paid employment when many feel they have been left out. This is even more so regarding temporary migrant workers who are often highly dependent on their employer for continuing to remain in Australia. This inevitably has an impact on their preparedness to question pay and conditions, including occupation health and safety standards. A stronger commitment to broad-based and higher skills levels for our existing workforce, improved labour force participation, supplemented by a moderate program of permanent skilled migration, are likely to build a stronger economy and community now and into the future. BC

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34 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

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THE BUILDERS CHOICE industry news & views

The WA Building Act

– moving forward with lessons learned Australian Institute of Building Surveyors National President Terry Bush picks through the problems that followed the introduction of the new WA Building Act, investigates where it went wrong, and discusses options and ideas for moving forward by working together. // words terry bush, principal building surveyor

The Act and regulations were not prescriptive enough and far too open to misinterpretation. In some cases it required persons outside the building process to determine or form an opinion on the outcomes…

The introduction of the Building Act (the Act) has not been without consequence. The Act brought into effect two methods of getting approval, being Certified and Uncertified. It has come at a cost to all sectors in the industry, housing, commercial and local governments. Within weeks of the introduction, the government made amendments to the Building Regulations and a Ministerial Order under section 67 of the Act to enable the housing sector to get on with the job of building houses. It was unfortunate that the Building Order, like the Act, missed the mark in that builders could not legally go to site because under the Home Builders Contract an approval is required before commencement and finance can be obtained. As the Ministerial Order did not state that an approval was granted, this meant that in many cases builders could not, or were not, prepared to risk commencing building works. Of course it is very easy to sit back in hindsight and point the finger. Yet the fact is that we have all had a hand in getting to this point however the lion’s share is with the government in that during the process of development, industry groups were not listened to and after the introduction there was a lack of clarity and guidance from the government. Nevertheless there have been some milestones reached in trying to remedy the current situation, such as Ministerial intervention and Industry groups working together to provide resolution to the issues.

So what went wrong? There were situations where builders were interpreting one thing, Building Surveyor s another, and local governments another, all in regard to the same clauses. The Act and regulations were not prescriptive enough and far too open to misinterpretation. In some cases it required persons outside the building process to determine or form an opinion on the outcomes, in particular as to whether works would adversely affect adjoining land.

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The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 35

THE BUILDERS CHOICE industry news & views

Legislation needs to recognise that all parties have a role to play in the production of a building for the community. In my opinion, where the Act has missed the mark totally is that it has blurred the lines of responsibility so there is now confusion as to whose role it is to ensure certain aspects of building for the community are completed and adhered to, and to what extent. • Building Surveyors have a responsibility to the community that the minimum standards (The Building Code of Australia) (BCA) are applied to, in obtaining approvals to build and ensuring that buildings are safe. • Builders have a responsibility to build a product to a minimum standard - the BCA. • Governments and Local governments have a responsibility to ensure that all parties in the process of producing a building are abiding by their roles in the chain of events. Examples of where the Act failed and blurred the lines include the fact that it made Building Surveyor s responsible for determining if works were going to ‘Adversely Affect adjoining land’, that it also made local governments and Building Surveyor s responsible to ensure builders had obtained all other statutory approvals, and the point that in some instances these actions were outside the roles and responsibility of the local government, for example the Water Corporation. Building legislation should only deal with building issues. Where there

is other legislation, which has the scope for penalties to be enforced for non-compliance, then the responsibility to comply with the requirements of other legislation should only be with the persons undertaking the work, and not persons outside of that process. This has been the case for many years with no real adverse consequences to either the community or the persons responsible.

Where to from here? There have been calls for reverting back to the old legislation, or adopting models such as those used by Victoria or Queensland. When we examine either of those options, it’s clear that adopting these would only lead to greater confusion and/or disruption to the industry. To revert back would mean going back to a system that was archaic, and we would also have issues such as encroachments again being complex problems, whereas now under the new legislation these matters are the responsibility of the land owners - as they should be - and relatively easy to deal with. To adopt another model would mean problems in that the government’s view (not one I share), was to bring about as small a number of changes as possible. Adopting a new model would mean changes to the way we in WA operate, in that

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36 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

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THE BUILDERS CHOICE industry news & views

Like any other industry we need to ‘tool up’ to do the job. If you do not have the tools how can you be expected to do the job correctly and efficiently?

mandatory advice on commencement of works, inspections and maintenance provisions would all apply. This comes at a cost, which the consumer would pay. The Ministerial Order has now expired therefore the normal process of obtaining approvals has reverted back to the requirements of the Act. At the time of the writing of this article, an extension to the Order issued by the Minister has been granted until the 30 September 2012, however there is still no clear statement addressing the issue for the builders in obtaining finance and meeting their contractual obligations. In addition to an extension or new Order under section 67 of the Act, there are a number of initiatives that can be and have been worked on to assist. For example, but not limited to, a clear understanding as to what the legislation means in relation to; • Who is able to sign on behalf of the owner, • Why the owner is tied to signing the application, • What is meant by ‘Adversely Affecting Land’ Another initiative that has been implemented is the use of a standard checklist for both industry and local government to use as the acceptable requirement for making an application. Taking into account that there will always be ‘exceptions to the rule’, this checklist gives the industry certainty as to what are the minimum documents required to determine an acceptable application. One of the critical issues in the process of developing the legislation was the fact that each local government had their own minimum standard, which was generally based on what information the local government thought was useful to collect at the point of a building application. This now ensures that all parties to the process of approvals now have the benchmark as to what is an acceptable level of application.

How do we improve? Like any other industry we need to ‘tool up’ to do the job. If you do not have the tools how can you be expected to do the job correctly and efficiently? As it has been noted the roles of each of the parties throughout the process of getting a building completed are very different, and therefore require different ‘tools’.

State Government: Publish clear advice on the interpretation of the Act. Reliance on individual interpretation and or legal opinion will only achieve further confusion and misunderstanding. • Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each party in the process of building, • Make private sector certification competitive. Raise regulated fees for uncertified applications so the private sector can compete or remove all regulated fees for certification and make all certification market-driven. Local governments: • Apply consistent and reasonable interpretation in line with government advice. • Revise and change processes so as to have an efficient process for assessing and issuing approvals. In many cases, there have been no changes to structure or staffing levels to cater for the increase in processing and issuing approvals. Building Surveyors: • Provide efficient and effective service to your clients. • Work with industry to achieve the desired outcomes. Builders: • Ensure checklists and processes are in line with the acceptable standards. • Use the private sector of certification for the benefits it is designed to deliver. When we all have the ‘tools’, we can all work together to the benefit of the community. As it is shown in the sales environment, the more you engage with the client the better the result in achieving the sale or promotion of your product. Apply the same principles to the construction industry and it becomes clear that if you engage the correct consultants at the right time the result is often better and delivered faster. Building Surveying is a profession that was raised from the ashes of the great fire of London so the community would always benefit through being at the forefront of building safety. In many cases builders engaging a Building Surveyor earlier rather than later can save money and time, and deliver a better product for their clients, so that everybody benefits. BC •

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No job too small! M: 0417 960 921 PO Box 275 Osborne Park WA 6917 E: The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 37

THE BUILDERS CHOICE industry news & views

Alkimos Beach – its all in the planning

Critical to the vision at Alkimos Beach is the provision of affordable living options.

38 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

Alkimos Beach will be somewhere people can go back to the most important values in life – like living a quality family life, feeling part of a community, knowing your neighbors and caring for the environment. With Western Australia’s population growing at more than 1,000 people a week, Perth’s surrounding suburbs are expanding along the ocean as more and more people look for affordable housing options offering the benefits of living close to the ocean. Perth’s North West Corridor, which stretches north of the city along the coast to Yanchep, is a key area in the government’s growth plans for the expanding WA population. The Alkimos Beach development is located 41km north of the city and is one of many developments that are springing up along this coastal stretch. Alkimos Beach is a fully master planned community, designed to ultimately accommodate more than 15,000 residents in a lively coastal community that will include schools, a regional beach village, a regional sized city centre and sport and recreation facilities covering a 710 hectare area. Created in partnership between LandCorp and Lend Lease, Alkimos Beach is set to become a leading example of sustainability and self-sufficient living for WA residents. Lend Lease has a long and successful track record in creating master planned communities around Australia that deliver environmental, educational, business and community components, which are the foundations of any strong, sustainable and self-contained community. Importantly, the partnership between LandCorp and Lend Lease is ensuring the North West Corridor does not perpetuate a series of dormitory housing estates, but rather becomes a dynamic and livable regional coastal community. Alkimos Beach will provide the best in residential, commercial, community, education and environmental facilities, providing residents with a selection of world-class services available at their doorstep. Martin Gaedke, project director at Lend Lease Communities said the Alkimos City Centre will comprise a number of public and private facilities to support a vibrant economy, and benefit people of all income levels and backgrounds. “More and more people and young families in particular, are looking for affordable home ownership options that suit their needs, provide the

THE BUILDERS CHOICE industry news & views

Alkimos Beach is a fully master planned community, designed to ultimately accommodate more than 15,000 residents in a lively coastal community that will include schools, a regional beach village, a regional sized city centre and sport and recreation facilities...

amenities and services for a full and convenient lifestyle while enjoying the benefits the Western Australian coastline provides,” Mr Gaedke said. “The real benefit of master planned communities is the facilitation of local job creation activities and the matching of housing options to varying job opportunities.” Under the development framework established by LandCorp and Lend Lease, the project will concentrate on aspiring to national best practice in community development and integration, planning and urban design, economic development, sustainability and environment. The Alkimos Beach master plan identifies compact ‘suburbs’ within the development that are pedestrian friendly and support mixed-uses. Areas will be designed to encourage links between a wide range of services and job opportunities, avoiding isolated and remote commercial centres. Proposed transport corridors will link Alkimos to the Perth CBD, employment centres and beaches. These will be supported by a framework of local transport options within Alkimos Beach, including pedestrian and cycle networks to maximise access and mobility throughout the region while reducing dependence on cars. Schools will be located appropriately to enable students to walk or ride their bike. A range of parks and playing fields will be spread throughout Alkimos Beach, and conservation areas will be used to frame the city centre and neighbourhood districts. “Streets and squares will be safe and engaging places for residents and visitors. Properly configured, they will encourage walking and enable interaction between residents for a stronger community environment,” Mr Gaedke said. “LandCorp and Lend Lease are committed to providing a real choice of housing by delivering a range of addresses with distinct character to meet the diverse aspirations and needs of individuals and households of all ages, backgrounds and budgets,” LandCorp general manager metropolitan Luke Willcock said. Critical to the vision at Alkimos Beach is the provision of affordable living options. To achieve this, indicative home and land packages range from just under $400,000 with ten per cent of home and land packages targeting a price at 75 per cent of the catchment median price, currently that means 220 homes at or below $349,000. The development will consist of a number of local neighbourhood villages, each containing a mixture of housing options including traditional suburban, medium and high-density lots and retirement living. The architectural and landscape design will be inspired by the local climate, topography, history, and building practice and will complement the coastal setting, natural terrain and vegetation. The principles of sustainability are a key driver for LandCorp and Lend Lease communities, not only creating environments that place a high value on people and surroundings, but also looking to the future, and supporting responsible economic growth for the region.

Troy Daly, environmental sustainability manager at Lend Lease Communities said the team is committed to resource efficiency and providing sustainable living environments. “Rather than shying away from the need for strong environmental management, we welcome it as an opportunity to innovate, evolve and improve. Alkimos Beach will be at the forefront of sustainable living, setting new standards for environmentally active communities,” Mr Daly said. “Improved environmental benchmarks for Alkimos Beach will be achieved through simple and clever methods to reduce energy and water consumption, and recycling waste, without compromising lifestyle. Innovation will also be championed with each subsequent stage of Alkimos Beach intended to be more innovative than the last.” “LandCorp and Lend Lease will be going to great lengths to ensure Alkimos Beach residents are aware of the benefits of sustainable living and can help each other realise all the opportunities available to enhance the environmental quality of the community,” he said. All residents at Alkimos Beach will have the opportunity to install a developer-funded smart living pack. The pack focuses on energy efficiency and includes upgrades to energy efficient appliances and lights, solar power and hot water system rebates and in home electricity monitors, as well as a range of other environmentally friendly initiatives totaling about $7,500. The total package is estimated to reduce ongoing household carbon emissions and energy costs by over 50 per cent. The measures will go towards creating smart cost of living homes, which will allow residents to target savings of up to $1,200 to $1,800 every year. Talks are also underway to ensure that homes that are correctly oriented will achieve a seven star NatHERS rating for thermal comfort. The first development phase of Alkimos Beach covers an area of 224 hectares, includes approximately 2,200 lots and will provide housing options for around 6,000 residents, as well as established areas for sport and recreation, business and retail, community education and employment National civil infrastructure, building construction and property development company, Georgiou, has recently been awarded the earthwork and subdivision works contract and will begin work September 2012 with the first lots due for completion early in 2013. The first residential land is expected to be released for sale later this year. True to form for both organisations, LandCorp and Lend Lease are adopting a partnership approach to the building works and invite interest in initiatives including; display villages and contract homes; spec construction; house and land packaging; group housing sites and additional product development opportunities. The first display village is scheduled to commence construction in 2013 and open in 2014. BC Landcorp: (08)9482 7499,

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 39


// words rhonda malkin // images nathan archer

Low cost European style apartment living in Cockburn





40 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

Imagine living in a low cost modern apartment complex located 150m from a train station, 100m from a shopping complex, complete with a centralised European-style courtyard. Well this lifestyle is now available, located in Cockburn Central, 15 minutes from the Perth CBD, this striking apartment complex built by Probuild Constructions (Aust) in collaboration with Landcorp, The City of Cockburn and the Department of Housing Pty Ltd. Probuild Commercial Manager, David Dodds said the basement and podium level above were critical to the success of its original tender for the project. “It was quite a unique delivery model that the Department of Housing undertook. They acquired a piece of land and then approached industry for a design and construct delivery solution,” Mr Dodds said. “The basement was a design feature most developments of this type would produce a typical donut shape and everyone would park in the middle to try and get them off the street. But what we decided to do was investigate a basement option…it’s expensive to put a basement in but it creates the opportunity to do something better architecturally at that plaza level.” “I think we put more pressure on the design team to investigate that opportunity where the other parties we were in competition with simply dismissed it. They would have considered it too cost prohibitive to do it so didn’t even consider that as an option. “We worked the design team pretty hard to get that solution on the table and at the end of the day it worked. The building is not straight forward…it’s got a lot of angles and is something quite different, it’s not your typical apartment development.” He said the company faced stiff competition as the tendering process was in the middle of the global financial crisis. The $40 million federally funded project was designed and built to be a benchmark for transport orientated development (TOD). The complex incorporates five separate apartment blocks, with two buildings of five


levels, one building of two levels and two buildings of three levels. This arrangement enabled the Department of Housing to deliver six ground floor apartments that have been fitted out and designed specifically for disabled tenants. There are eight apartments to street level which can be adapted into commercial space. Probuild project manager Michael Harvey reinforced the importance of the basement to the overall build. “The basement columns and podium slab was a complex task, as it required post-tensioned cabling, multiple beams and reinforcement from n8 to n24 bar all tied and laced on site with mesh. “We had to do 30 major pours that required streets to be closed off. The basement was quite critical from a structural point of view. All the buildings came off the podium slab and all the weight was transferred down into the pad footings in the basement.” The basement level covers the entire footprint of the



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...six ground floor apartments have been fitted out and designed specifically for disabled tenants... eight apartments to street level which can be adapted into commercial space.

project and bounds Linkage Avenue, Points Way, Stockton Bend and Signal Terrace. The structure is predominantly constructed with AFS Logicwall, which is a permanent formwork structural concrete walling system. It consists of shop-drawn light-weight panels created by bonding hard-wearing, reinforced fibre cement sheets to galvanised steel stud frames. The panels are hand erected on site then braced, reinforced and services placed in the walls. They are then core-filled with concrete and finished with joint setting, skim coat and/or painting systems directly onto the fibre cement sheeting. “Because you are actually lifting light hollow panel instead of lifting seven or eight tonne tilt up concrete you don’t need caster panels on site…the panels basically come in packs that our workers can manually lift into place,” he said. “Some of the four or five metre panels were brought in by

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42 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

crane, whilst the smaller ones two workers can just pick them up and screw the joints and then pour the concrete in.” Externally the apartment blocks have been completed with a textured render, lime green squares and stainless steel pylons turned on to the side to create an aesthetic feature on the side of two of the buildings. As the building is not a traditional square shape the builder took on the challenge of forming the structure to accommodate the different shapes and cut outs. Internally there is a mixture of apartment sizes and layouts. Each apartment has been finished with carpet and tile floor treatments, powder coated balustrade on the balconies, single vanities, wardrobes, stainless steel ovens, hobs and range hoods and space for a double fridge and a washing machine space in the bathroom cupboard. Apartment combinations include one bedroom and one bathroom, two

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bedrooms and one or two bathrooms, three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The apartments include standard lounge, meals and kitchen areas. The larger apartments are located on the top floor and include substantial balcony areas and views across Cockburn Central. Probuild incorporated a variety of energy efficient technologies like rain water harvesting through the basement and solar panels on the roof that service the gas heating system. Each apartment has been built to enable disabled access with every door opening in the building allowing wheelchair access. Tenants have the added security of swipe cards to enter the complex or the basement car park. One of the standout features of the complex is its open courtyard and walkway system that

provides a welcome shortcut from the train station through to the Gateway Shopping Centre. The walkway was constructed from reclaimed telegraph poles and timber struts and Colorbond sheeting and lights underneath, and provides additional cover for pedestrians. The podium level courtyard incorporates coloured concrete while the landscaping includes planter boxes with bamboo and gum tree plantings. This European style of living is becoming more popular as Perth grows and attempts to deal with the growing population due to the mining boom. BC Probuild: (08) 9363 1400,



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The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 43

THE BUILDERS CHOICE commercial residential

Design flexibility for ready built homes a new lifestyle trend // words rhonda malkin // images rob johnson

Santorini Square also carries with it the title of being the first ready built home development in the beach side location of Yanchep.





44 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

One glance at a new low maintenance estate in Yanchep and it’s obvious keeping all building requirements like in house design, tradespeople and construction expertise is a winning combination. That’s the mantra for renowned development company Australand that has completed Santorini Square in Jindowie estate and its one they are proud to stick to. Australand General Manager, Tony Perrin said the company’s newest built form development Santorini Square demonstrated how collective intelligence has enabled the company to utilise some of the most flexible designs that cater for just about every lifestyle. The development comprises 17 single storey and 22 double storey sustainable homes located adjacent to Jindowie’s feature park, a 1.5ha fully landscaped open space. The single and double storey homes’ internal living areas range in size from 132sqm to 167sqm. Santorini Square also carries with it the title of being the first ready built home development in the beach side location of Yanchep. And when it comes to design, the double storey product ticks all the boxes. With many of the homes situated on 180sqm lots, the design is tailored to maximise land use. The floor plates

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...collective intelligence has enabled the company to utilise some of the most flexible designs that cater for just about every lifestyle. offer a high degree of flexibility, and ensure all land is functional rather than a place for weeds to grow. An example of this is ‘The Paddington’ floor plan, which has a downstairs study to allow those operating a business from home to set up the room as an office. A door across the passageway that feeds into the main section of the home can be installed to close off the rest of the home. Changes in lifestyle and a reduction in land availability have seen a shift in the way people are living. Gone is the standard four bedroom, two bathroom combination that was once a template for any new homeowner. Savvy buyers are now looking beyond that concept to projects that are more compact, lower maintenance and have a lower entry price point, and most importantly suit their lifestyle as opposed to that of their parents lifestyle. “The difference with Santorini is they also have the option of having a functional three bedroom, two bathroom home with a double garage, large usable outdoor area overlooking a park for $349,000,” Mr Perrin said. “There are some people who have been renting for a long time and think they will never be able to own a house.” The development offers a choice of ready-built contemporary homes appointed with sleek finishes, reflecting a relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle and featuring solar passive design. In fact, the homes achieve an

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The estate demonstrates that energy efficient homes do not have to compromise the stylish design and functionality of a home.

average 7.5 green star rating with nine achieving an 8.5 star rating, which will help reduce energy costs and keep living costs low. Mr Perrin said the estate demonstrated that energy efficient homes did not have to compromise the stylish design and functionality of a home and could be delivered at an affordable price point. All the homes have floor coverings throughout, European stainless steel appliances, generous storage space, a double garage, and fully paved, fenced and landscaped gardens. With the estate just one kilometre in a direct line to the ocean front, the external treatments on the home have been applied sympathetically to ensure longevity and endure weathering from a constant salty breeze. Externally there are no balconies or balustrading and Colourbond slotted guttering was used to limit the amount of exposure and weathering inherent in any coastal location. The estate is tied together with a fencing system that incorporates limestone look brick piers that have been finished with black infill panels. BC Australand: (08) 9214 7900, or

EC8091 P: (08) 6258 5142 RESIDENTIAL I COMMERCIAL I LIGHT INDUSTRIAL 23/51 Lancaster Road, WANGAR A WA 6065 P (08) 9408 0448 | F (08) 9408 0449 Paul 0424 838 449 / Mite 0417 309 115 E admin@pelmac |

46 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

F: (08) 6258 5147 E:

14A Baile Road Canning Vale WA 6155


Train station inspiration for northern suburbs estate // words rhonda malkin // images wayne rochat





It’s a fact that Perth is struggling to meet demand for accommodation to house the massive influx of interstate and overseas workers who keep the wheels turning in the state’s mining industry. And with this problem comes the march of urban sprawl and demand for new facilities. But a new master planned residential development in Somerly brings with it a new way of tackling this problem by using existing facilities. Leading property group Australand has developed a $116 million integrated community called Metro in the Somerly estate, which has utilised the local Clarkson train station as the focal point. And while it is perfect for fly-in-fly-out workers it also suits small families and those looking to downsize. At the time the area was bushland and Somerly and the adjacent Clarkson Train Station were a vital element of the State Government’s plan to develop the next economic and community centre beyond Joondalup City. A forerunner to today’s State Government priority projects aimed at reducing urban sprawl by facilitating medium density urban infill developments, Somerly was born from a comprehensive Structure Plan developed by DoH and UPL in conjunction with the City of Wanneroo. In early 2005 Australand strategically purchased 10.54ha on which to create the integrated community, which forms the final instalment of the broader Somerly estate. Located next to the Clarkson Train Station and positioned adjacent to each other the

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 47


lots created a good foundation for a master planned urban village. Regular liaison with the City of Wanneroo and UPL ensured Metro reflected the overarching vision for Somerly as a practical application of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) that was still emerging in Western Australia. Australand took the notion of mixing a vast array of housing options and combined it with close proximity to the train station to establish a transport oriented development (TOD). So popular is the concept that the entire Metro Rise estate, which is the final stage in the development, has already been sold and in fact demonstrates a high demand for this new TOD lifestyle. With land at a premium, Australand general manager Tony Perrin said the company focused on delivering a variety of product to cater to a broad range of market demand. “That’s the advantage in producing a fully built outcome, we use the land more efficiently and that translates to having a more efficient product because we are designing the product for the land and the land is at its optimum size,” Mr Perrin said.

P: (08) 6258 5142 F: (08) 6258 5147 E:

14A Baile Road Canning Vale WA 6155

“The land is always maximised with our product and we craft a range of designs in an integrated, creative and harmonised manner, thereby ensuring a desirable street address and enduring quality living experience.” The estate includes apartments, terraces, villas, townhouses, convertible townhouses and a range of double storey residences with lofts, study’s and undercroft garages all within walking distance of the Clarkson train station. The Metro Rise development forms part of the overall community plan by providing an array of one, two and three bedroom, two storey townhouses that have been designed to deliver a multitude of lifestyle options. Offering internal and external space, courtyards and light airy open plan living areas the development is ideal for those looking for a low maintenance home. Each townhouse includes spacious master bedrooms with an ensuite bathroom and built in robes while the one bedroom townhouses have additional living space upstairs. Externally, each home has been built with brick and finished with a textured render. Some townhouses offer a pitched roof while others incorporate a skillion roof, again offering flexibility in architectural style.

87 Crocker Drive, Malaga WA 6090 PO Box 2087, Malaga WA 6944 Telephone (08) 9249 8111 Facsimile (08) 9249 8222 Email 48 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012


The designs reflect sandy hues with natural and timber elements and painted pastel accents to reduce solar heat absorption in the harsh summer months.

All buildings were constructed on passive solar design principles to deliver maximum energy efficiency. Metro Rise’s external structures and finishes were guided by a series of carefully developed building and design standards. The designs reflect sandy hues with natural and timber elements and painted pastel accents to reduce solar heat absorption in the harsh summer months. Roofs were a critical consideration with the building and design standards requiring consistency of form and a pitch of between 30 degrees and 40 degrees to encourage cooling circulation of air within the roof space. Corrugated Colourbond finishes were chosen in a range of natural colours as were slate-style roofing tiles in light grey to complement Metro Rise’s proximity to the coast. The lighter coloured materials assist with passive solar resistance in the summer and also deliver an attractive and unified rooftop vista. The gardens are also complemented by wall materials like face and rendered or painted brickwork, stone-cladding, clear glazing, painted or natural finish weatherboard and corrugated sheet metal cladding. In addition, the gardens feature an array of water-wise principles including the use of native vegetation and organic ground cover to suit the harsh coastal climate, soil and reduce the need for irrigation. Metro residents rely less on private cars for transportation due to the network of landscaped pedestrian paths that provide easy access to public transport buses and trains. BC Australand: (08) 9214 7900, Cameron Chisholm Nicol : (08) 9322 1566,

(08) 9331 7684

Design I Sales I Service I Installation The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 49


Contemporary home an Arabian inspired palace

The cultural influences are evident from the façade of the 500sqm home with a large Arabian feature coffee pot at the top of the front garden that has been designed as part of a wadi landscape.

50 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012


// words rhonda malkin






Building a home that can inspire and guide home buyers as well as providing a comfortable family space for its owner has been effortlessly achieved by boutique builder Jumeirah Luxury Homes. Every corner of the luxury two story home, called The Majlis, situated at 4 Dampier Avenue in City Beach has been meticulously considered and planned to deliver a house that combines contemporary modern living with an Indian twist. The home rests on an angled 809sqm block that has a 4m fall from street level to the rear of the property. This unique configuration has been cleverly utilised by Jumeirah Luxury Homes owner and operator Heath Davies to create a home that is certainly one of a kind. The cultural influences are evident from the façade of the 500sqm home with a large Arabian feature coffee pot at the top of the front garden that has been designed as part of a wadi landscape. This landscape mimics the look of a dry creek bed that curves like a stream through a tiered landscaping to create the idea of a desert oasis. A 250kg Indian rosewood pivot door greets visitors and owners alike and is one of many nods to cultural influences that permeate throughout the home. It was designed by Mr Davies’ wife, Sangeetha and hand carved in India. A large entry foyer includes a seating area and views onto the streetscape via floor to ceiling windows either side of the front door. Along with affording ample viewing, this elevation allows natural light to flood the front of the home and reduce the ongoing lighting costs. This is where the design of the home really comes into its own and where convention has been left behind. Stepping further into the home from the front foyer many of the clever design elements come into focus. The second floor, which is actually at street level because of the unusual 4m fall of the block, delivers four bedrooms along with the master bathroom suite and second bathroom. A stunning Marmorino polished plaster feature wall that flows from the ceiling of the first floor down to ground level of the lower floor is situated to the left of the entry foyer and according to Mr Davies is the centre piece of the home. The wall has been finished with a rounded edge and pink trough lighting overhead and forms part of a passageway that provides access to three minor bedrooms and a bathroom. A clear epoxy resin with added aluminium pigment has been applied over the lightly sanded concrete floors, providing a unique gloss finish which cannot be stained, is eco-friendly, non-slip and smooth under foot. The three bedrooms incorporate built in robes and double windows that are repeated in the lower floors

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 51


to give a sense of cohesion to the front façade. This level also includes a large laser-cut panel that reveals a pattern derived from an Indian sari. A small foyer area adjoins a large master bedroom and bathroom. The bathroom features floor to ceiling timber look porcelain tiles, a frameless shower screen, bath and a floating vanity with an oversized basin. Contrasting colours feature in the bathroom and bedroom cabinetry and a distinctive dark wood has been used for shutters that fill half a wall in the small entrance area before the master bedroom. Mr Davies said the shutters added another dimension and also established a connection to other dark timber features within the home. Large floor to ceiling glazed windows in the corner of the main bedroom offer a view down to the rear pool and courtyard, as well as the northern elevation across into The Boulevard.

Exposed aggregate has been used for the alfresco area which is serviced by bi-fold doors that can be slid across to open the internal living space up to the external areas. There is also a water fall feature in the pool area that has been finished with a desert sand tile and palm trees that also contributes to the overall feeling of being in a desert oasis. This is further highlighted by coloured lights in the pool, which have also been repeated at the front entry. Access to the lower floor is via a staircase that includes a contrasting rounded black walnut handrail. The staircase flows directly into a central living space that includes a fireplace, a feature niche wall and another Indian rosewood door used as artwork on the wall. Mr Davies said it was important to have a home without a series of steps internally. “The home could have been designed as single storey in order

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to reduce costs and follow the natural contours however this would have meant a series of many step downs throughout the home which is non-kid friendly,” he said. “It is also a disturbance in the general flow of a home and by designing the home in such a way, we have created both ease of flow and a spectacular void which opens the home and allows natural light and a sense of grandeur that otherwise would not have been available.” This concept has delivered a living space that is bathed in winter sun with the aid of floor to ceiling glazing and sliding doors that also offer views to a pool, courtyard and landscaped garden area. This natural light also helps heat up the concrete floor in

the central living space, eliminating the need for substantial mechanical heating in winter. The sun in summer moves over to the front of the home and therefore the heat entry through the northern elevation is eliminated. Behind the living space is a large kitchen, laundry and a walk in pantry. Solid granite bench tops feature in the kitchen along with gloss lacquered cabinetry, double dishwasher, a steam oven, a double oven, hob and glass splashback. There is ample cupboard space and large draw systems. The laser cut panel found in the upstairs hallway has been repeated on the fascia of the kitchen cabinet and illuminated with pink LED lights. The laundry sits behind the kitchen as does a walk-in pantry on the opposite side.

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The laser cut panel found in the upstairs hallway has been repeated on the fascia of the kitchen cabinet and illuminated with pink LED lights.

The Majlis is a Middle Eastern concept for having a room in the home that is specifically for entertaining guests. Mr Davies has achieved this in a large room that is adjacent to the dining room. Complimented with American walnut double doors and bronze handles, the room reflects a distinct Arabian theme. Next door there is a large kid’s playroom and television room complete with double glazed doors. The large Marmorino plaster feature walls again acts as a passageway to a guest bedroom that affords wall to ceiling windows. This bedroom enjoys a good sized bathroom and a large study sit neatly next to it. The study also takes in views of the pool and includes a floor to ceiling window that takes in the warmth of the winter sun. BC Jumeirah Luxury Homes: (08) 9386 3466,

54 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

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Dining on the edge at the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club // words rhonda malkin // images darren smith – acorn photography

The Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club has recently undergone an overhaul of its well-known club rooms and is now well served to cater for its members for many years to come. While the original rooms served the club well for more than 40 years, the new additions and upgrades including a new function room, kitchen and verandah and renovation of the existing dining room has provided much needed space and amenity. One of the most outstanding upgrades to the facility is an extension to the alfresco space that includes a stunning timber decked area. All of the work undertaken at the club was designed by McDonald Jones Architects. Company director Alan Ross said the new timber decking and alfresco space would be enjoyed by its members. “The location is amazing as it looks out over Claremont Bay and to the north east and it was an enormous privilege to deal




with the challenge of upgrading the club,” Mr Ross said. “The timber deck is made from a jarrah material that came from Western Australia and is wide and high quality select boards… it will be rare to see that quality of work again. “We had a great builder in RJC Constructions. Rod Cooper comes from a carpentry background and his capacities in managing trades and finish were really great, he was very skilful at delivering the very high end finish that the clients wanted.” The building itself was a follow on to the thinking that the company has applied to a number of projects like the Rottnest Hotel and future hospitality venues that are being worked on at the moment. The idea is to emphasise the junction between the interior and the outside alfresco experience and providing a very open edge around that enclosed space so that people are lured out and the outside space is lured back in. Steel columns clad with timber reaching outwards on the


The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 55


side carry the shade sails that lift the view upwards. Mr Ross said the reasoning behind raking the shade sales upwards was to ensure the engagement with the outside space was brought in to the building. “We reinforced the view through the connection from the club and lifted the view up with the sales shade and followed the alignment around,” Mr Ross said. “The club rests on a dramatic limestone cliff that drops about 7m to the Swan River and looking out from the corner of the club is a very dramatic experience because it feels like you are actually a part of the view.” A lot of the structure for the new verandah was cut into small footings that are located on the limestone cliff face. Folding aluminium framed stackable glass doors flow the entire length of the new timber decking alfresco area enabling the whole perimeter to be opened up to get a sense of being out in the air. There is also a stackable dividing operable wall so that

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56 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

the function spaces can be separated into two different function areas or so that club members can use the space for a bar while another function is happening. A timber dance floor was also created as part of the function rooms and contained inside the folding glass screen alignment. The work involved a complete rebuild of the function and kitchen spaces. An existing kitchen area to the rear was extended forward and a goods lift was fitted to move materials and furniture supplies up from a new lower area delivery entrance. A significant proportion of the existing building was retained as a way of economically recycling what was reusable. An upper level structure was established for future work that will serve the upper level of the existing old clubhouse. McDonald Jones Architects also completed additional fit out works in the existing café dining area that involved refitting the bar and dining space to bring it into a more contemporary presentation. As part of the dining works the dining area bar was

…looking out from the corner of the club is a very dramatic experience because it feels like you are actually a part of the view.


Architectural Umbrellas

Custom Tensile Membrane Structures reclad in a Wenge timber veneer, a wine storage presentation cabinet was built and new furniture was organised. The original jarrah timber floor was refinished and special acoustic treatments applied. The verandah outside the dining area was also refitted to match with the larger function room alfresco along with areas of exposed aggregate and polished coloured concrete paving. A frameless glass balustrade and a powder coated aluminium hand rail were also fitted to the space which again tied in with the larger alfresco area of the function rooms. An old basement level was extended to the rear to provide a new service space, which includes delivery, bin store, storage areas, an office for catering staff and a meeting space for the club. Exposed aggregate has also been added to a path around the existing club and followed through down around a new lower alfresco bar. The stainless steel bar incorporates stone counters and large umbrellas that provide shade over the top. The bar was particularly intended to add to the club experience for large gatherings, twilight racing and big functions. Mr Ross said McDonald Jones Architects undertook extensive consultation and negotiations with the local Indigenous communities, the Swan River Trust and other associated groups and agencies. “The Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht club can now have stand up functions for 650 people and offer an extraordinary view of Perth,” Mr Ross said. “We have found that people enjoy being on the edge and when you open the space up and you have people sitting inside and outside it’s a great experience, it’s what Perth is about.” BC McDonald Jones Architects: (08) 9388 0333, RJC Construction Pty Ltd: 0418 957 551

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WA FREECALL: 1800 658 733 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 57


New W&B display redefines rural living

images joel barbitta – d-max photography





Webb & Brown-Neaves has redefined rural living with its latest display home, the Brindabella, which opened on Saturday, July 28, in the Honeywood Estate in Wandi. It’s a landmark home for Webb & Brown-Neaves as the company has taken its customary design skills and creative flair and applied them to a semi-rural setting just 20 minutes south of Perth. Webb & Brown-Neaves sales manager, Rob Crawford said the result is a home that is beautifully refined yet still comfortably rustic. “We have redefined rural living with the Brindabella, demonstrating that rustic can be gracious and sophisticated and suitable for both urban and rural settings,” Mr Crawford said. “Not only is the Brindabella a spacious two-storey home that really works, it’s innovative, stylish and packed with detail… this is refined rural living.” Designed for a 15m wide block and with versions available to suit narrower sites, the Brindabella offers 377.32sqm of accommodation, including four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a voluminous open-plan kitchen and living area, two sitting rooms, an alfresco and a balcony. “It’s a generous family home with plenty of features sure to inspire buyers wherever they’re planning to build,” Mr Crawford said. Webb & Brown-Neaves has highlighted rustic elegance throughout the Brindabella, cleverly using render to create the impression of rammed earth to the front elevation and master suite. The warmth of timber has been used extensively, with timber-look tiles in the bathrooms and powder room, spotted gum floors upstairs, a chunky handrail to the timber staircase and a unique feature wall made from timber blocks in the dining room.

58 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012


“We have redefined rural living with the Brindabella, demonstrating that rustic can be gracious and sophisticated and suitable for both urban and rural settings,”

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 59


The warmth of timber has been used extensively, with timber-look tiles in the bathrooms and powder room, spotted gum floors upstairs...

The dining room overlooks a vertical garden creating a beautiful green wall backdrop. There are also timber arbours to underline the rural styling and a backyard conversation pit for evenings under the stars. An innovative two-way fireplace creates warmth and ambience for both the sunken lounge and the dining room, which adjoins a fabulous contemporary kitchen. Highlights of the kitchen include a 900mm freestanding oven perfect for Sunday roasts with family and friends, a sleek stainless splashback, ample storage and a built-in breakfast table adjoining the stone-topped island bench. A glazed door leads directly from the kitchen to the garden, giving quick and easy access to a herb garden. The Brindabella has an extensive indoor/outdoor living area, with two sets of stacker doors opening up the alfresco to both the kitchen and family room. Putting the master suite on the ground floor and the three minor bedrooms upstairs offers families the sense of separation they often look for. The master suite features a large dressing room, plus an

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ensuite bathroom with a separate toilet, double vanities, a bath and a shower. Completing the downstairs accommodation are a sunken sitting room, a powder room, linen cupboard and laundry. Upstairs, Webb & Brown-Neaves has built an optional kitchenette into the second sitting room and added a washer/ dryer to the bathroom to create a self-contained wing. “This second floor layout is perfect for buyers with adult offspring living at home or who have guests regularly coming to stay,” Mr Crawford said. One of the three minor bedrooms has raking ceilings and


Velux skylights, giving it loft-style appeal, while another has a built-in study desk. All three have built-in wardrobes. The Brindabella is priced from $529,000, representing exceptional value for money. Webb & Brown-Neaves has been awarded Western Australia’s and Australia’s Finest and Most Professional Builder more than any other builder in Australia. For more information on the Brindabella by Webb & Brown Neaves’, visit or call (08) 6365 2936. BC Webb & Brown Neaves: (08) 6365 2936,



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State Reception Centre a triumph for CHOGM // words rhonda malkin // images joshua dawe & james thompson

Wandoo timber seats from Perry Lakes Stadium were recycled into the timber deck of the balcony for the State Reception Centre.





It’s not every day that Perth gets to showcase Kings Parks’ magnificent views to a multitude of world leaders and the Queen but that is exactly what happened last year thanks to some clever ingenuity by a Perth architectural firm. The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) took place at what is now called the State Reception Centre, which was custom built on top of the iconic Frasers Restaurant. Members from 53 nations gathered in October 2011 to discuss global and Commonwealth issues at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre with a leader’s retreat at the State Reception Centre. McDonald Jones Architects were charged with the responsibility of creating the venue, which took just six months to complete and now operates as function rooms for Frasers Restaurant. Although there were a couple of sites considered for the venue, Kings Park was eventually chosen because of its views but also for security as the roads can be easily closed or sealed off. The views afforded at the venue are due to the clever use of a large stackable sliding glass door system that covers the entire front façade. McDonald Jones Architects director James Thompson said the system was a key component to the success of the steel and glass pavilion structure. “There were a number of criteria we had to fulfil in

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 63


order to deliver an appropriate sliding glass door system. Functionality and practicality were equally paramount in determining a door selection that would reinforce the architecture of the pavilion,” Mr Thompson said. “Once we decided upon a tracking system to carry the doors we worked extensively with the manufacturer to achieve a suitable stacking arrangement and co-ordination of a perimeter curtain track...loading requirements and deflections were determined to ensure the three metre high doors would operate as expected. “With multiple doors per bay and a total of 40 doors along the elevation it took weeks of precise work by the installers to fit the doors, the measurements had to be perfect down to the last millimetre.” The doors also had to be weather proof and have an appropriate wind loading. McDonald Jones Architects utilised 10mm toughened glass to ensure the highest possible protection from the winds that constantly blow through the elevated position of Kings Park. The sliding glass doors give way to a glamorous and very generously sized balcony area, which includes a timber decking that has links with another of the state’s premier events – the 1962 Commonwealth Games. According to Mr

64 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

Thompson, Wandoo timber seats from Perry Lakes Stadium were recycled into the timber deck of the balcony for the State Reception Centre. “Two of the Perth’s most prominent events, the Commonwealth Games, which were held at Perry Lakes Stadium and CHOGM are now forever linked by recycling the old timber seats from the stadium and using it for the timber decking of the balcony,” he said. The use of the timber is also in keeping with the clients desire to source as many materials as possible from Western Australia. The balcony can also be accessed via a couple of hinged doors and offer the opportunity for city views without having to open the entire door system. A sheer glass curved balustrade and stainless steel tube handrail completes the balcony area and continues the uninterrupted views of the Swan River, the Perth city and the Hills. Constructing the upgrades over an existing concrete roof that was never designed to have anything heavy on it was another challenge that McDonald Jones Architects tackled head on. According to Mr Thompson once the top soil was removed it was a matter of taking a softly, softly approach. “We had to use small bobcats and every time we used a


...its 6.5m high white fabric tensile roof...creates a spectacular soaring ceiling that creates a grand sense of space and occasion.

crane it had to be a suitable load for the roof…and as the existing structure had a post tensioned roof we put in a separate frame underneath to support the weight of the roof before we could start cutting holes in it for all of the essential services that were required,” Mr Thompson said. The function space can be split into two function areas with the aid of an operable sound proof wall and incorporates about 600sqm of floor area and another 600sqm of kitchens and utility space. The kitchen floors were covered with a waterproof membrane before being tiled with a ceramic tile and finished with an epoxy grout. Marble sourced from the Kimberley’s has been used with effect for the countertops in the bathrooms. A dumb waiter and lift was also fitted as part of the upgrades, along with new toilet facilities and a loading bay on the northern side. Those utilising the function room are privy to a number of luxurious finishes including curved jarrah veneered walls with a book-matched grain that were created using Western Australian sourced timbers. A high gloss red door also closes off a substantial bar area. Another interesting aspect to the State Reception Centre is its 6.5m high white fabric tensile roof. It creates a spectacular soaring ceiling that creates a grand sense of space and occasion. Externally the venue features a number of walls clad in copper that will develop a patina with age and is well known for its durability and low maintenance properties. There has been extensive landscaping to enable outdoor parties and events along with a series of level changes at the front of the restaurant. Limestone paving was used extensively and is complemented by terraced garden beds that have been planted out with a series of native plants. BC McDonald Jones Architects: (08) 9388 0333,

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 65


BHP training room set to extend mining boom // words rhonda malkin

Designing and refurbishing Perth’s largest single commercial floor plate in 12 weeks is a feat that would send shivers down the spine of many experienced building companies. But local building company Credentia Constructions has taken the opportunity to resolve time constraints, noise issues, limited accessibility and working within an existing building to create a modern and functional training centre. The BHP Billiton Training Centre (BHPB) is located on level three of an existing retail development, above City Central shopping mall, which includes Woolworths and several other specialty stores. The 3,000sqm training centre located at 166 Murray Street, Perth now accommodates about 70 full time staff and has the facility to train 300 people on a daily basis. The fit-out has established a four-person reception desk, a myriad of training rooms like; two risk-based training rooms, three computer





66 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

training rooms, three mining simulator training rooms, seven large induction training rooms and four six-person meeting rooms. Along with the meeting rooms are three kitchen zones, new toilets and showers, two atrium break-out zones and 67 workstations for permanent staff. Given the 3,000sqm floor plate was handed to Credentia Construction as an empty shell makes the extent of the works even more incredible. The company recognised from tender time that the existing building presented some major acoustic challenges. This coupled with BHP Billiton’s stringent acoustic separation requirements for meeting rooms meant the company had to come up with specific design solutions. In particular the leased space was on the top floor of the building and the roof had a Colorbond metal deck with little insulation and a 2.5m ceiling void. The roof also had large areas devoted to heavy duty plant serving the shopping centre. To overcome this potentially enormous problem the company wrapped existing metal ductwork runs in the ceiling void, which serves equipment like the kitchen exhaust systems for Woolworths, with an acoustic material. About 75 per cent of the existing ceiling tiles were replaced with top grade acoustically rated ceiling tiles. In addition, all the existing plant equipment was serviced to replace any noisy bearings and the entire ceiling space was insulated. The existing floor plate included two large atriums, which were hot, noisy and very industrial. These unusable areas were incorporated into the design and now function as a relaxing


The 3,000sqm training accommodates about 70 full time staff and has the facility to train 300 people on a daily basis.

break out zone with furnishings, floor finishes, fully automatic fabric blinds and an air conditioning system that makes the space not only serviceable but a popular go-to space for staff. As a final attack on the acoustic problems new walls were extended up through the existing ceilings to ensure acoustic separation between all the rooms. This was essential in the training centre to minimise any noise distraction. With deliveries occurring about 18 hours a day for Woolworths and other tenancies in the building, the conditions for access to the floor plate were very stringent. As the existing tenants always had priority, this required logistical planning on an hourly basis. But this was another criterion that Credentia Constructions handled effortlessly by co-ordinating very closely with the centre managers and major tenancies on a daily basis. Credentia Construction director, Shaun Donohoe said the ability to work closely with its clients was a major point of difference for the company. “Our clients have direct access to three hands on directors during all phases of any project. This offers peace of mind that the project is under the steady eye of people with years of experience,� Mr Donohoe said. Working within an existing structure also proved more difficult than usual as there were no built drawings available. To rectify this problem, Credential Constructions used ground penetrating radar on the existing slab as well as post detail the original reinforcing to allow an independent engineer to certify the loads. This allowed BHPB to utilise heavy industrial training equipment that had intensive point loads. The existing services above the ceiling and on the roof also had limited built information as the building had functioned as a retail premises for the past 15 years. In addition, the unusually high ceiling void and myriad of services prevented use of a traditional structure for Dorma

68 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

operable walls and other acoustic treatments, which led to major structural steel work design and fabrication. Internally, the training centre was completed in a range of finishes and materials like recycled Jarrah, Regupol rubber floor finishes, and bespoke pendant lighting. In fact two of the bespoke pendants that feature in the atrium areas reflect an art deco feel and with dimensions reaching 1.8m in height and about 1.4m in diameter certainly dominate the space but are in keeping with the high ceilings. The ambience in the hub areas and break out zones was created using bright soft furnishings and dark coloured wall finishes. The four-person reception desk was created with recycled Western Australian jarrah that was rescued from piers and jetties throughout the state and measures about 5m by 4m. The use of recycled timbers in the main reception areas contributes to the sense of warmth, style and functionality that has been achieved throughout the space. InterfaceFlor carpeting has been used for the flooring in most areas while recycled rubber has been utilised with effect to reduce noise and antistatic vinyl makes up the remaining floor treatments. Despite the fact that the project did not have to meet any green star ratings, the client was still committed to installing a significant number of sustainability products like the recycled jarrah and rubber flooring as well as low emission formaldehyde timbers for the workstation cabinetry. Credentia also as part of their contract with BHPB carried out the actual office relocation of the 70 staff members from three other buildings in Perth, this was carried out as part of the 12 week programme. BC Credentia Construction: 0417 985 436,


A & E Projects are proud to be associated with Credentia Construction and would like to congratulate Shaun, Willie and Ron on their magnificent achievement: Winner Best Building Fitout – BHP Billiton Training Centre, Perth. A & E Projects is fully Western Australian owned and operated, employing more than fifty staff and specialising in large commercial furniture fitouts. All our specialised joinery products, be it solid timber, flat panel or our upholstery products are manufactured locally from our two factories by our highly qualified tradespeople. A & E Projects are fully conversant with all aspects of Green Star Accreditaion and Quality Assurance. For enquiries please contact Tony Baeli on 0418 907 387.

TONY BAELI – 0418 907 387 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 69


Street smarts and ocean views in Watermans Bay // words rhonda malkin // images samuel klopper

What we tried to do is stagger the building so that every bedroom and all of the living spaces get views of the ocean





70 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

Sitting neatly one house back from West Coast Highway sits this very contemporary two storey home that packs more than a few surprises. The four bedroom two bathroom home takes in stunning views of the ocean from the west and north and was designed with functionality and street style in mind. Designers of the home, Klopper & Davis Architects have designed a home that takes advantage of its position, location and block size. Company director, Sam Klopper said the prime location was critical to the design of the home. “The nice thing about being slightly set back is that you can look directly into the neighbour’s yard across the street and still get full views to the north,” Mr Klopper said. “The whole idea of the home is the ability to sit upstairs and feel like you are the last house on the street because you can’t see the last house as it is blocked by a wall upstairs but still get all of the beautiful ocean views.” With the existing home demolished as part of the building works, Mr Klopper said the block had a lot of potential. “It has a little bit of a fall in the land and what we tried to do is stagger the building so that every bedroom and all of the living spaces get views of the ocean…its quite unique,” Mr Klopper said. “From the inside, the living space steps down and you can look either side of it and above and below it, which means views are available behind the house to the west or in front of the house to the west.” Another feature of the home is it’s under croft double garage that is tucked away discreetly behind a wall. Mr Klopper said he wanted to remove the look of a garage from the front façade. “We didn’t want to have that look where you drive up off the street and see a massive garage as the first thing you see… instead you


drive in on the right hand side of the block and you tuck in underneath the house,” he said. Zinc cladding has been used extensively on the front façade and is complemented by a solid balustrade for the upstairs balcony. The balustrade was constructed with blue board and then finished with a textured render and a stainless steel handrail. It’s this type of attention to detail that has injected a freshness and intensity to both and interior and exterior of the home. The entry foyer includes a stunning jarrah staircase that was cantilevered out of the wall to make the steps appear as though they are floating. The space also incorporates a rendered glass finish plaster wall that acts as a divider between the living and bedroom areas. The ground floor offers two bedrooms and a laundry and the option to convert one of the bedrooms into a cinema or theatre room and the laundry into a kitchenette. Mr Klopper said this option was an important aspect of the home as it gave the owners the option of moving downstairs as they got older and allow their children to inhabit the upstairs rooms. Upstairs is the main living area and includes two bedrooms, one of which is the master bedroom, an ensuite, the kitchen, dining, living and balcony areas. The bathrooms have stone throughout with vitrified tiles, freestanding baths and shower recesses. The best ocean views are available in the living spaces, which incorporate very high ceilings that range from 3.6m to 4.2m. Completed in 2009 the 320sq home took 15 months to build. A large kitchen island complete with a Caesar stone

countertop features in the space as does an additional bench top area that pushes out to the back of the building and housed kitchen machinery like the sink, oven and hotplates. Timber veneer cabinetry complements the natural earthy tones of the kitchen. The living area enjoys a fireplace making the space cosy and inviting while the stellar ocean views are further enhanced to the north by floor to ceiling double glazed sliding glass doors. There is also a courtyard at the front of the home, which is accessed via the third bedroom or theatre room and is secure from the street. The door system for this room is repeated above in the upstairs master bedroom, which leads out to a small balcony. The outdoor areas to the rear of the home have been given the same attention to detail as the rest of the home. Concrete blocks were used to form the balustrading in the rear courtyard area, which is quite unusual as it is usually used only as a construction material. But Mr Klopper said the blocks lent a pleasant aesthetic to the area and also maintained the ocean views. “We wanted to emphasise the shadows that occur through the holes in the blocks and because the courtyard faces west it was easy to achieve that,” Mr Klopper said. Exposed aggregate has been used for the driveway which can be closed off by an automatic gate. Low maintenance landscaping has been utilised throughout the gardens and there is a pond at the entrance to the main courtyard and planter boxes on the southern boundary. BC Klopper and Davis Architects: (08) 9381 4731,

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 71


Dalkeith representing new lifestyle options

72 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012


This zoned home design caters beautifully for the needs of the growing family and will also serve the owners well in years to come.






// words rhonda malkin // images andrew pritchard photography

As land availability continues to dwindle more people are looking to turn traditional notions of home design on their head and to explore alternative strategies to make the most of large blocks and big home designs. That concept has been adopted with grace and style in a luxury two storey project in Dalkeith. Gone is the standard block style proportions and instead a zoned plan has emerged to accommodate a couple and their two children. It’s a trend that is growing in popularity and according to designer of the property Debra Brown from Hofman and Brown Architects, many clients are actively looking at ways to maximise their home investments. “It makes a lot of sense to have intergenerational families living together particularly because of the perceived shortage of inner city land here…there needs to be more density and people making the most of their big blocks and big houses,” Ms Brown said. “Our codes and zonings have never really encouraged that but I think that’s the way of the future.” This zoned home design caters beautifully for the needs of the growing family and will also serve the owners well in years to come. The home is set amongst an eclectic mix of old and new housing stock that is typical of this suburb. Ms Brown said the three distinctive zones being a front main bedroom and study space, a living and dining zone and children’s activity and bedroom zone was a key aspect of the client’s requirements. “It was essential to provide separate children’s and parents zones in addition to the main family spaces to accommodate the two growing children and their friends,” Ms Brown said.

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 73


“The fundamental design intent was to create a contemporary, liveable family home with a casual but sophisticated feel.” She said the home could easily adapt to cater for the needs of the clients as they got older. “The house is quite suitable for an older couple to have a live in carer because of the zoning…there is an external door from one of the link rooms between the laundry and children’s zone that allows access for those rear living areas without having to come through the front door. “This will service the needs of the children as they grow up but could also offer a live in carer with an independent living zone if needed,” she said. The three zones are connected by flat roofed links and decks that provide an overall connection with the outdoors. Ms Brown said she designed the lot from boundary to boundary so that the outdoor spaces acted as linking rooms rather than just leftover spaces. “We have a general design philosophy of not just looking at the house but the whole lot,” she said. “The lot boundaries become the boundaries of the house because designing outdoor space is just as important as designing the indoor space. Built by Jumeriah Luxury Homes, the house is essentially a four block configuration with two blocks evident from the street. The front façade has been designed with a two storey block, which houses the garage and upstairs study area and a one storey block that operates as the main bedroom and ensuite. Each block includes an angled skillion roof, which was a specific

74 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

preference from the client. “The client wanted to stay away from the traditional pitched roof form…the images they presented to us were associated with a skillion roof and it suited the idea that we would design the house as a series of pavilions,” she said. Both the skillion roofed living room zone and the children’s zone at the rear of the property are linked together with the flat roofed forms in between. Timber decking on both sides of the link, along with an attractive water feature, pond, stone wall and window seat gives the effect of walking through an outdoor setting inside the home. Access into the living room with its soaring skillion roof up to the north is another stunning feature. The living room opens up on both sides to the pond deck to the south, outdoor eating area to the north and a long lap pool. This configuration maintains a generous flow between outside and inside living. Soft dappled light fills the middle core of the home that includes dining, kitchen and lounge spaces. A grand floor to ceiling random stone wall features in the living space and adds to the warm soft tones of the Blackbutt timber flooring and Caesarstone bench tops in the kitchen. The textured finish of the stonework flows through to the adjoining alfresco area and each side of the wall also houses its own fireplace. This feature stone work is repeated in the stone wall to the pond adjacent to the glazed link. This type of material repetition lends a consistency to the home. Another example of this is the use of cedar cladding externally for


“The fundamental design intent was to create a contemporary, liveable family home with a casual but sophisticated feel.”

the sectional garage door, the front door, the window seat area and children’s alcove. In the main living and bedroom areas cedar sashes have been used in aluminium frames for external bi fold doors and french doors. The downstairs living space also includes a bulkhead that runs along the south side of the living area and extends west above a generously sized kitchen. The bulkhead has a dual function keeping artificial lighting closer to work surfaces and allowing for an air conditioning grill to run along two sides of the living room. High level windows above bi fold doors in the living room allow the northern winter sun to penetrate the room. This assists with heating and cooling the space which is a central zone for living and entertaining. A very large 5m long kitchen island topped with Caesarstone is complemented by satin lacquered cabinetry and is complete with a soft-close drawer system and overhead cupboards. Behind is a large scullery that includes an additional dishwasher, a wine fridge, sink, space for small appliances and a large walk in pantry. With the addition of the scullery the kitchen was essentially designed as a two-part space as the scullery is almost the size of another kitchen. A children’s zone forms the second two storey block, which is at the rear of the property and includes kid’s activity and gym and two bedrooms with separate bathrooms and study nooks. The cedar clad study nook alcoves protrude from the main face of the building to form a verandah underneath close to the lap pool.

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Each of the children’s bedrooms has a bathroom with a shower, toilet and basin with similar cabinet work and treatments to the main bathroom. The main bedroom at the front of the property includes an ensuite with floating cabinetry and custom designed integrated basins that were designed by Hofman and Brown Architects. The vanities are complemented by walnut veneer cabinets, large fully rectified limestone floor tiles and a nib wall of horizontal dark brown feature tiles between the shower and toilet. A large adjoining dressing room incorporates the rich tones of walnut veneer cabinets that were used in the ensuite. At the top of the first staircase above the garage is a substantial gallery area that leads into a parents study room. The staircase balustrade features opaque glass infill panels inside black steel framework and a Tasmanian oak circular handrail. Walnut has again been used for a floor to ceiling cabinet that displays artwork and glass sculptures inside alcoves that have

been recessed into the cabinetry. It also serves as a wall that separates the study from the stairwell. Large floor to ceiling double doors slide away into the cavity of the cabinetry wall and on the other side is a study and a full wall of cabinets. The front façade features two crossovers at street level and is enclosed with a fence and remote control gates on both driveways. It also includes landscaping screens of rusted steel that provide privacy for glazed double doors to the ensuite adjoining the main bedroom. With a gross floor area of 570sqm and raked ceilings ranging in height from 3.5m to 5m this is certainly an imposing home that should stand the test of time for many generations. BC Hofman and Brown Architects: (08) 9385 4021, Jumeirah Luxury Homes: (08) 9386 3466,

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76 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

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More than just a nip and tuck in Subiaco // words rhonda malkin // images darren smith – acorn photography





As the only day surgery of its kind in Western Australia to combine consulting rooms and a specialised hospital in one practice this strikingly modern building is set to be a model for other specialist rooms throughout the state. The Perth Cosmetic Surgery Centre is operated by well-respected Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, Dr Tuan Pham. Dr Pham noticed a specific trend for medical buildings that accommodated the two parts of a surgeons business during extensive travels abroad. On his return to Australia Dr Pham had a clear intention to translate this model for this own practice in Subiaco. The day surgery is situated on a parcel of land that has a narrow 10m frontage and an area of 335sqm. The site was already purchased when the client approached the designers of the building, McDonald Jones Architects. Company director and Project Architect, Mark Ciesielski said he normally suggested clients consult with their architect prior to purchasing a site they intend on developing. “An architect’s time can be well spent within a due diligence period…in this case it just added to the challenge,” Mr Ciesielski said.

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 77


The combined consulting rooms and day surgery facility qualifies as a B-Class license private hospital under the Health Department of Western Australia’s (HDWA) guidelines. The hospital features a single procedure room and three bay recovery area. The licence to the facility enables a range of day procedures to be performed in a specialised facility adjacent the consulting rooms where the initial consultations occur. As well as local authority approvals it also had to meet the strict requirements of the HDWA and be approved by the HDWA during design, documentation and occupying stages. “A large amount of time was invested in obtaining approvals from the HDWA to satisfy day surgery guidelines and the local authorities to meet planning requirements,” he said. “When faced with the possibility of approval by one and refusal by another it requires significant communication with all authorities to ensure approvals are obtained from all sides.” As part of the local planning requirements the building had to accommodate a minimum of nine parking bays plus disabled parking. An ambulance bay was also fitted as part of the HDWA requirements. According to Mr Ciesielski, the ROW access was valued as a concealed point of entry for vehicles. “The 10m wide site appeared a limitation when working with a standard parking module and isle,” he said. “The requirement for ambulance parking further added to the limitation…introducing a car stacking system into

78 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

the design was the point when we became confident in accommodating the clients and HDWA’s layout requirements.” McDonald Jones Architects worked closely with Bob Candler of Car parking Solutions to tailor a system that could accommodate the parking needs of the facility. The system is spread over three levels and accommodates all the required bays. Mr Ciesielski said the success of moving the project forward was very reliant on the parking system installed. “We have accomplished an outcome that would be unachievable on a small block without the use of this technology,” he said. Once the layout issues were resolved a considerable amount of time was spent in crafting a building with a visual presence suited to its occupant. “As the client is a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon there was a conscious effort to create a building that is an expression of his character and precision,” he said. The building is built boundary to boundary and the principle elevation and expression occurs to the front facade. Mark Ciesielski described the front elevation as a study of simple rectilinear forms. “In the composition colour delineates the separate forms and is exclusive to its own plane…a tension exists where forms provide grounding, cantilever, punctuation and animation to the buildings entrance,” he said. Aluminium cladding was selected as part of the final finish over the predominantly precast concrete enclosure as a


“As the client is a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon there was a conscious effort to create a building that is an expression of his character and precision.”

lightweight option to face the concrete panel walls. Mr Ciesielski said the builder of the project, Fred Giaimo Builder was flexible in this aspect of the project and allowed a provisional sum for the aluminium cladding treatments. “Committing to products and colours during the design and documentation stage can present problems when stock availability, small sheet sizes and labour shortages become issues during construction,” he said. Ongoing conversations and regular updates of colours and sheets with cladding suppliers occurred on a regular basis. Many of the final selections are non-stock colours and were made available as left over stock ordered from larger projects throughout Australia. “We managed to achieve an exterior colour palette that is related to the early traditions of the street,” he said. “Orange aluminium wall panels complement the existing tiled terracotta roofs found on the street and the whites and greys mimic painted roughcasts and highlight trims from century old

neighbouring properties”. The two story 522sqm building has a modern internal layout with the second floor devoted to Dr Pham’s business and day surgery requirements. Dr Pham’s love of marri is evident throughout the entrance lobby, reception area and consulting rooms in the doors, cabinetry and reception desk. The space has essentially been split into two with the day surgery and reception space located at one end and the hospital and recovery room located at the other end behind specialised doors. The hospital incorporates a specialised air conditioning and filtration system that is part of the requirement to keep the space sterile. A recovery room, clean up room, procedure room, nurse’s station, patient change area, and sterile store make up the hospital area, which also accommodates three nurses. BC McDonald Jones Architects: (08) 9388 0333, Fred Giaimo Builder: (08) 9344 6247 / 0401 154 613


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Tel: (08) 9362 2582 Mob: 0412 007 667 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 79


One of a kind sound shell for Northam entertainment precinct // words rhonda malkin

The design ensures simple, elegant and clean lines of the shell that seemingly hovers over the stage.





80 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

Scores of music festivals and the Avon Descent have made Northam a premier entertainment district for years but that status is set to go up yet another notch with the completion of a sound shell that is a feat of steel construction. The Northam Sound Shell is now offering a state-of-the-art venue for all the well loved entertainment activities that abound in the small regional town during the year. It has been built in Bernard Park, which has been a long standing recreational heart of the town alongside the Avon River. Despite a tight budget, the sound shell was created through innovative design work by Paradigm Architects to meet growing demand for a public entertainment venue in Northam. Paradigm Architects director Fiona Hogg said the project was inspiring and one of a kind. “The fact that the Northam Shire built a sound shell is quite unusual…I can’t think of any other project like this in the state so I think it was quite brave of them,” Ms Hogg said. “It’s heartening to think they would build something that was different to everyone else…and what was achieved for the budget was quite extraordinary.” The shell structure consists of curved steel beams supporting steel rafters that cantilever to the edge of a concrete stage below. The design ensures simple, elegant and clean lines of the shell that seemingly hovers over the stage. The grassed site slopes up to the stage level, embedding the structure into the parkland and anchoring the floating roof element. Ms Hogg said it was important to ensure the sound shell would work seamlessly with the surrounding park and river system. “The colours and finishes have been carefully selected to suit


“We wanted to create something quite unique and something that had a sculptural element…we had this idea that we wanted to connect it back into the earth and that is where the shape evolved from.”

surrounding colours and provide a unique backdrop to the park and its events,” she said. “The shell represents an innovative approach to outdoor stage areas and provides for a durable outdoor structure, which engages with its landscape in a simple but elegantly appropriate manner. “The shell was conceived as a sculptural element to the park, to complement landscaped areas along the Avon River and is set into the existing river embankment. “It serves to emphasise the link between the parkland and the river and its associated public walkways and it is intended that the structure would encourage the community to utilise this part of the river throughout the year.” This sound shell was built to last and was certainly a unique undertaking for local builder and steel fabrication specialist Splice Projects. Although a project of this kind did not faze Splice Projects director Simon Dempster. “We used 3D modelling extensively to create shop detailed drawings and that allowed us to analyse how it was going to interact with the levels on site,” Mr Dempster said. “Steel offers many benefits but one of its most valuable assets is its durability and low maintenance requirements.” According to Mr Dempster, one of the biggest design challenges he faced was ensuring the steel did not vibrate inside the arch during a performance. “I investigated how I could isolate each steel member from the member adjacent so it became a resilient pad,” Mr Dempster said. “The solution involved using self adhesive rubber stripping and some heavier natural rubber pads. “Each metal component including the cladding is isolated from the component it is fixed to with a resilient mount and that goes right the way through the entire structure…this made sure that the building did not turn into a massive vibrating noise force.” Ms Hogg said the architectural and structural design of the shell was integral to the shell structure.

“We wanted to create something quite unique and something that had a sculptural element…we had this idea that we wanted to connect it back into the earth and that is where the shape evolved from, she said. “We worked with an engineer to find a way to build the structure in the simplest way possible so the builder and the engineer were instrumental in how the final structure was constructed. “The architect, engineer and builder derived a simple and efficient form that is elegant and cost effective.” A concrete base stage accommodates larger musical productions while the shell over-head provides shelter and accommodates lighting and sound rigs. An area resembling a container has been incorporated at the rear of the stage area to provide storage for equipment and small change rooms for productions when required. A simple approach was applied to the overall layout of the stage area to ensure the back stage area could be opened to the stage or closed to suit the requirements of the function. When not in use the back stage area will be left open to ensure a strong visual connection to community paths and the river beyond. Externally the structure has been clad with Colorbond corrugated iron while the underside is clad with another Colorbond product called Low-line that gives a minor ripple effect. Ms Hogg said projects that required attention to detail such as this could only be achieved with close collaboration. “We collaborated closely between the architect, the engineer and the builder and that’s the way you get a successful project like this,” she said. “We thought the final result was a beautiful structure and even after 20 years in the industry it’s still exciting to see things you design come to life like this.” BC Paradigm Architects, (08) 9388 1644, Splice Projects: (08) 9622 1333,

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 81


82 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012


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The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 83

THE BUILDERS CHOICE redevelopment – commercial

Bucking the trend of the Terrace office space squeeze // words rhonda malkin

It’s full steam ahead for development in the Perth CBD and with it space and parking are at a premium. Couple that with ever increasing rents and competition between owner occupiers and private investors means many businesses are struggling to find affordable office space. So it’s no wonder why so much interest was received after the final touches of a refurbishment for a nine level building at 160 St Georges Terrace. Developers Twin Ocean Property took only 12 months to complete strata titling of 58 office and retail units as well as significant refurbishment of the entire internal space. RJP Project Management undertook the project management for the venture and director Richard Potts said the majority of units had already been modernised which resulted in them being purchased. “Although competition is increasing, these buyers are very discerning, seeking to keep


84 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012




THE BUILDERS CHOICE redevelopment – commercial

employees satisfied while at the same time demanding that the accommodation represents long-term value without compromising on quality,” Mr Potts said Buyers at 160 St Georges Terrace included financial service companies and accounting firms, mining and resources related companies, surveyors and private investors seeking secure investments. Mr Potts said inquiry levels had risen three-fold over the last six to12 months as a consequence of severe office space shortages. “Perth has experienced significant demand for office space within the last two years with record levels of office take up. “As rents increase, as they have done by some 20 per cent over the last 12 months, more and more CBD tenants and an

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The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 85

THE BUILDERS CHOICE redevelopment – commercial

“Each floor is split into four strata lots so it gives somebody who wouldn’t be able to afford a building the opportunity to buy into St Georges Terrace.”

increasing number of investors are seeing strata acquisition as a means of managing fixed costs while at the same time securing a long term home along Perth’s premier business avenue. Along with the significant internal upgrades, Mr Potts said the success of the venture could also be attributed to Twin Ocean Property’s focus on exceptional car parking ratios and its location in the heart of St Georges Terrace. “Each floor is split into four strata lots this gives somebody who wouldn’t necessarily be able to afford a building the opportunity to buy into St Georges Terrace,” Mr Potts said. “With the modernisation completed the new strata owner has a minimal capital spend to maximise the net return on investment”

86 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

The building was purchased in 2008 for about $37 million and initial works involved refitting the original ground floor lobby and common area space throughout the building. The renovation also involved upgrading the elevator interior and mechanism to incorporate a new gearless technology and air conditioning upgrade and replacement of the redundant building management system. A complete replacement and relocation of the building fire hydrant system was also achieved allowing for a new fire panel and EWIS system to comply AS 1851. Shower and changing facilities have also been upgraded for the tenants of the building. BC Twin Ocean Property: (08) 6316 6011,


Italian heart shapes glamorous North Beach home // words rhonda malkin // images rob mcatee





When it comes to finishing touches this home set in one of Perth’s most prestigious coastal strips has certainly been given the royal treatment. Every wall and floor has been lovingly covered in luxurious materials and finishes that change depending on the demands and purpose of each room but mostly to reflect the lifelong passions of its owner who has a rich Italian heritage. The three storey, five bedroom, four bathroom home also incorporates a gigantic six – car basement garage and was built on a 400sqm subdividable block that is surrounded by existing residences. Externally, the double brick home incorporates a concealed roof and has been finished with a textured render. Toodyay stone has been used extensively for the front façade and the natural warmth of the stone complements the crisp white finishes. An aluminium composite material called Alucobond has been used externally to limit the amount of maintenance required on the home which is subject to a salty breeze every day. It’s the type of material normally seen

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on commercial buildings but in this case has a copper finish to complement the extensive use of Toodyay Stone feature walls for the front facade. The home was built by Weststyle Design & Development and company director, Tony Ricciardello said the front elevation incorporated some very predominant sections of stonework. “It’s not just cladding but structural columns to the building with steel columns inside… six stone masons worked on site for months due to the intensity of the work and built about one square metre a day to create the intricate layering of full boulders ,” Mr Ricciardello said. The extent of materials used is evident from the front door with a double volume floor to ceiling wallpapered wall and the natural warmth of Blackbutt timber flooring that has been used extensively throughout the home. Directly to the left of the front double door is a large living space that opens out to a generous but private courtyard space at the front of the home. Large sliding glass doors and bi-folds allow easy access from this living space to the front courtyard as well as the rear alfresco area. This level of detail is a hallmark of the home and enables outstanding functionality and ease of use particularly for entertaining. The front entry also houses a central staircase with Blackbutt timber steps and frameless glass balustrading.


At the top of the staircase is a dramatic and very glamorous feature pendant light, which is reminiscent of large raindrops. Crisp white embossed ceramic tiles that line the walls from floor to ceiling lend additional luxuriousness to the staircase. A passageway provides access points to a lift, the downstairs kitchen, three bedrooms and the laundry. Each room in the home enjoys exceptional ocean views including the bedrooms. A very large alfresco area forms one of the main focus points of the home and is where the owner’s Italian heritage begins to take shape. This is where a spectacular glass splashback has been installed as part of the outdoor cabinetry and has been embossed with graphics that are reminiscent of Italy like the Leaning Tower of Pisa and the Fiat car. The space opens out completely and features an abundance of appliances and cooking equipment that caters for every cooking requirement. A spectacular floor to ceiling, frameless bi-fold glass door system sits directly behind a commercial sized barbecue and range hood, which has been incorporated as part of the internal kitchen. Each glass door can be unlocked and slid back on a tracking system and out of the way to the left of the barbecue and opens up the outdoor and indoor kitchen and alfresco area. The barbecue has been housed inside modern cabinetry to create an island effect. Two double cavity sliding doors with

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88 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

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glass panel inserts have been treated with frosted pin stripe graphic and slide away into wall cavities behind the ground floor kitchen cabinetry. These doors provide two entry points into the ground floor kitchen from the passageway and also offer the ability to close the space when required. The alfresco also includes built in seating areas and adjustable louvers overhead while small slits have been created in the floor tile to allow water to flow through into a channel underneath the stone flooring maintaining the modern look and minimal design intent of the space. The basement floor plan includes the six-car garage and gymnasium or theatre room, which also houses a small hairdressing salon. It is accessed via the lift or staircase and the two areas are separated by a small foyer area and bathroom. Mr Ricciardello said the basement garage required an intensive amount of chemical injection to stabilise the soil, contiguous piling and waterproofing and has already received interest from prospective clients to do similar works on other larger scale residential projects. In particular Weststyle Design & Development spent a considerable amount of time to find the best water proofing methods for the job, including using a product from America that is similar to a waterproof blanket that is put up against the piling and filling the space between the blanket and the brickwork with 120m thick of concrete. The builder then added

Zypex, which crystallises and solidifies moisture and fills up any hairline cracking that may occur due to movement. “Essentially we completed a triple treatment to ensure that even if that home remained there for 100 years it would never have any damp problems because that is the biggest concern when you are building a basement underground,” he said. A commercial exhaust ventilation system was also installed into the garage and switches on automatically every time the garage door is opened. The garage floor has been finished with a painted epoxy finish and resembles the look of a car show room. Upstairs, the second floor is essentially the main living space with an enormous 30sqm kitchen that is complete with a 3m kitchen island and Caesar stone countertop complete with a one metre overhang. The kitchen includes a multitude of stainless steel appliances, two built in pantries, another glass splashback with graphics that reflect Italy, three ovens, two integrated range hoods, wine fridges and a recessed fridge freezer. A timber veneer has been applied to the walls on the edge of the kitchen in a dark colour. A powder room is also located next to the lift and includes a wallpapered wall, a floating bench, an above-mounted basin and a fully rectified porcelain floor. And while the kitchen is a triumph in size and space, it’s the second floor family and dining space that holds the trump card with spectacular uninterrupted ocean views through floor

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 89


to ceiling glass bi-fold doors that run the length of the wall. An architecturally distinct, low lying two metre wide fireplace creates a warm and cosy atmosphere to the living area. The master bedroom and guest bedroom are located on the second floor with each having its own bathroom. The master bedroom is particularly large and with its own private balcony to take in the ocean views it is certainly a room that will be well used. The space includes a built in robe with a cavity sliding door and the hanging space can be pulled down to waist height with the use of a rod. The ensuite in the master bedroom is expansive and features floor to ceiling tiling, recessed niches and a feature wall of mosaic tiling. A smaller passageway that links the remaining guest room has been finished with a wall of timber veneer panelling in the same dark colour as the kitchen. BC Weststyle Design & Development: (08) 9345 1565, Studio Di Architetettura: (08) 9325 2911

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90 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

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up close + personal with

tony ricciardello DIRECTOR, WESTSTYLE DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT // interviewed by rhonda malkin

How did you create your business? After finishing at school my first job was working for Belcrest homes as a junior estimator. In the 1980’s Belcrest was a large project building company. After six months I moved on. I needed more for myself and owning my own business was what I was aspiring for. My father, being a registered builder, at that time owned and operated a retail store. I put forward the idea for the both of us coming together to start our own building company. In 1985, at the age of 19, Weststyle was created. From a very young age I was exposed to my parents running a building company so going into partnership with my father seemed a natural progression and felt right for both us. As you were fairly young when you started the company, what was your role in the early days of the business? I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Dad was a hard task master. He wanted me to learn all facets about building from the ground up. So my initial duties were keeping the site clean, digging trenches, labouring as daytime duties and then at night I would spend hours in our home office doing quantities, call-ups to trades with no mobiles phones back then and general paperwork. Soon I was spending time working with each tradesperson on site getting an understanding of their craft. Night time studies eventually allowed me to achieve my qualification as a registered builder in 1991. This allowed me to create another building company doing my own personal unit developments. What would you say is your company’s point of difference? Weststyle excels in all construction types from residential to commercial but our strength in building custom high-end homes symbolises who we are as company. Our design and build service that my team provides is exceptional. We work in tandem with some of Perth’s best architects who continually come to us to bring their designs to life. The Weststyle team

believes anything is possible and you can see this in our work that we display, creating intricate architectural features and building homes on extremely difficult sites. A client approached us recently to build their home on a block of land, which other builders simply walked away from. Access was extremely difficult with the block having a dramatic slope of 15m. We provided the client a complete one stop service from designing their custom home to the construction and also provided an interior design service. The home, which is almost complete, is a superb example of what is achievable when the client and the Weststyle team come together.

What is your lifestyle like away from the business? I embrace my family time. I’m married with two young boys, a nine and three year old. We love our overseas trips. We also spend time in our holiday home down South where hours are spent fishing, boating and camping. Sport has also been a big interest for me. I coach football at an amateur level and also help coach my nine year old son. What’s your priority in the building process? You need to be constantly up to speed and knowledgeable about the use of the many different building materials available and the constant new building construction methods that get introduced into the industry. Of course this all ties in with the constant questioning of making our homes far more sustainable and energy efficient to suit our climate and environmental conditions. We are now more frequently than ever being constantly challenged by our clients to take our mindset away from the use of the traditional double brick construction of a home and to use these new and innovative building methods. So finding the balance is crucial because these new building methods and materials directly affect the appearance of a home, building costs and construction times. And ensuring the new product will maintain its integrity and not be compromised for the lifetime of the home. BC

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Easy glamour and style in three-storey City Beach home // words rhonda malkin





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Making the most of an original home during a rebuild is a great way of saving money and being ecologically friendly but is often unfeasible with many large scale building projects. But that was not the case with a property in City Beach that has utilised the bones of an existing home to produce a spectacular five bedroom, four bathroom entertainer, which also takes in some lovely ocean views. This three-storey home has been lovingly reshaped by builder Premier League Constructions to offer every modern convenience. The ground floor offers four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a theatre room, a billiards room, large kitchen and dining space. There is also ample access to a multitude of courtyards, a pool area and a large alfresco. The rear garden space includes a rockery and waterfall that cascades into the refurbished pool. On the second floor lies a giant master bedroom with an adjoining living and study area that all link to two grand balconies. This is all capped off with a semi-circular study space that makes up the third floor and makes the most of ocean views and a tree top vista that is a well known aspect of the leafy suburb of City Beach. The study space roof top also houses photovoltaic panels and a solar hot water system. A glamorous travertine-tiled double staircase features in the front hallway on entry to the home and is complete with a frameless glass balustrade. The very large sunken theatre room is also located at the front of the property as is the adjoining sunken billiards room.


Both the scale and design of the front and rear façades lends a sense of drama and modern glamour.

These areas offer quiet, secluded spaces for entertainment, while the billiards room also offers views out to the alfresco and pool areas at the rear of the property. A large guest bedroom is located at the front of the home and includes an ensuite and double doors that lead out onto a private courtyard. The crisp clean lines flowing through the home are complemented by the warm tones of Meranti timber used in the architraves and window, and door-frames. Both the scale and design of the front and rear façades lends a sense of drama and modern glamour. Premier League Constructions owner Tino Vissers said utilising skillion roofs assisted with this sense of drama and also produced a home with soaring ceilings. “The skillion roof is north facing and shades the house well but in the winter time the angle of the sun comes through


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A glamorous travertine-tiled double staircase features in the front hallway on entry to the home and is complete with a frameless glass balustrade.

and warms up the house,” Mr Vissers said. “At the front of the house the ceiling height is 2.8m but on the other side, which is north facing, with the skillion roof the ceiling is about 4.5m.” The exceptionally large living and sleeping floor spaces and high ceilings generates a feeling of space and grandeur that is usually the domain of much larger homes. Three bedrooms, a large laundry and the main downstairs bathroom are located off a long passageway at the rear of the home. Each bedroom includes built in wardrobes and one of the bedrooms also has its own ensuite. This rear bedroom features double doors that feed out onto one of the courtyards. The kitchen area has been completed with an island range hood, a six burner hob, glass splashbacks on each wall, overhead cupboards and draw system. Although the second floor does not have kitchen facilities, it is so large that it essentially has the look and feel of another home. The ceiling in the master bedroom features three levels with the most dominant being a semi circular bulkhead that is actually part of the floor in the upstairs study. Furthermore, the main bedroom is so expansive that while it is west facing it also includes a huge north facing window that offers lovely tree top views. A switching glass door for the ensuite bathroom converts from clear to opaque glass at the flick of a switch offers a unique feature in the master bedroom. The second floor ensuite also includes a toilet, a corner spa bath, a massive clear glass shower screen, raised bathroom sinks

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and Caesar stone bench tops. Caesar stone was utilised for all bench tops throughout the home including the kitchen, balcony and alfresco barbecue nooks. The extent of the upstairs floor spaces is also evident with the living and study areas that are accessed via double doors that feed off a landing area at the top of the staircase. The second floor forms part of one of the home’s key features being a large balcony space that includes a skylight in the balcony roof. This balcony space is completed with non-slip ceramic tiles and a marine ply finish features on the eaves. Mr Vissers said the balcony roof provided a significant amount of protection in all weather. “The roof overhangs the floor of the balcony to a point where it eliminates almost all the rain fall on the space and offers ample protection in the summer,” he said. In addition, the top floor is a reverse brick veneer, which is a thin membrane on the exterior walls that reduces the amount of the sun’s heat transferred into the home in summer time. The home is complemented by a double garage as well as a double carport that can effectively house four cars. The double garage has stairs that give access to the alfresco area. Frameless glass panels with textured render brick piers form a secure fence and gate system at the front of the property. BC Premier League Constructions: 0412 093 972, Architect Gerard Siero: (08) 9361 4097,


Dream home fits builder’s lifestyle in Mandurah // words rhonda malkin // images be productions





Building a home that easily accommodates two families in style, stunning views and easy access to beach activities has been a labour of love for one Perth builder. Viva Developments owner and designer Mel Letizia has built his dream two storey home in Mandurah where he had been keen to build for some time. “I saw this block of land come up about four years ago and was interested in buying it but I missed out so when it came up again for sale recently I bought it straight away...I knew exactly how I could transform it,” Mr Letizia said. As one of the directors of Viva Developments, Mr Letizia has been designing and building homes for many years with his friend and co-director of the company, Daniel Scafetta.

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 95


Drawing on his years of building and design experience, Mr Letizia has created a home that exudes style, warmth and comfort. The home is constructed on a narrow lot with a frontage of only 7.65m and total block size of 220sqm. The design takes full advantage of its beach side location with a substantial terrace area located above the second floor balcony. The home incorporates many clever design elements that are evident upon entry to the luxury property. On the ground floor a stunning timber staircase with frameless glass balustrade greets any visitor to the home. A triumph in space and function, the ground floor section easily accommodates a large family room and activity room that can be converted into a guest bedroom. Having an option like this gives the owners complete flexibility in the use of the downstairs section. The guest bedroom includes built in robes and links to a bathroom that has been finished with vitrified porcelain tiles on the floors and ceramic tiles on the walls. A single shower recess with a frameless screen and Caesar stone tops for the vanities completes the features in the bathroom. “The way I use the house is that the family area is basically a kid’s area but can be set up as a theatre room so when we have people over we go upstairs and the kids go downstairs,” he said. Another standout feature of the downstairs section is the alfresco area. Stained marine-ply has been used with dramatic effect for the ceiling in the alfresco area. Gloss white vinyl cabinetry compliments the stainless steel kitchen-style oven, hob and range hood. The alfresco is completed with a pizza oven while a separate barbecue is located outside. The additional kitchen space means that entertaining can be done upstairs or downstairs. A textured render has been applied to a brick fence that

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bounds a small backyard that is about two metres wide. From the top of the marri staircase is direct access into the second floor family area and dining area while the kitchen is located around the corner. The cosy family area includes an entertainment cabinet that contains a home theatre and DVD storage. A gas fireplace creates ambience and warmth and sits flush inside a framed stud wall. Mr Letizia said a series of small windows allow light to fill the entire area and is assisted with raking ceilings that flow in opposing directions. “The ceilings rake one way in the family room and in the kitchen it is the opposite way… which gives it that beach sort of feel. It looks like a couple of sails on a boat and takes advantage of the natural light” he said. Two sets of electric blinds have been utilised in the upstairs section; one that is a sunshade for the afternoon as the windows face west and the other is a full block out blind for privacy at night time. The home was designed with a large breakfast bar that features blue LED lighting underneath. Caesar stone has been used on all the kitchen counter tops although the island bench top was designed slightly wider to make it a feature of the area. The kitchen also includes a glass splashback and the cabinetry has been finished in gloss white vinyl with recessed finger grips on the draws at lower level and additional storage cupboards at eye level. A servery window is located at the end of an island bench so that meals can be delivered directly into the balcony area located on the second level. The balcony area also incorporates large stacking doors that introduce another entertaining element to the home. The eating area is further complimented by Smeg appliances like an induction hotplate, double range hood and an inbuilt coffee machine. The family room provides access to three of the four


bedrooms in the home. A small passageway acts as a frame to service entry into the main bedroom and two other bedrooms, and a bathroom. The main bedroom has an open ensuite with a spa, a single vanity and a shower to the left. Two frameless doors enclose the shower and the toilet while a frameless mirror, and suspended vanity is complemented by mosaic tiling up to 1.2m high on the back wall. The second floor balcony also provides access to a substantial terrace area on the third floor via a checker plate staircase that is complete with a stainless steel handrail and cable wire balustrade. The terrace offers views of both the ocean and the bridge to the Mandurah marina. Mr Letizia said the beach side location of the property dictated the use of particular external materials and finishes that could withstand constant weathering and coastal conditions. “There are no exposed downpipes and I used a lot of glass,

while the balustrade handrail and light fixtures are all marine grade stainless steel,” he said. A brick balustrade and stainless steel handrail completes the terrace area. Externally, the brick and Colorbond home has been finished with render and a texture finish. The front of the home incorporates some very modern design concepts including a separate bricked pier with stainless steel columns that runs vertically from the ground and provides support for the terrace. It has been finished in a contrasting colour to the rest of the home and provides a grand statement for the front of the home. Although the home took 12 months to build, Mr Letizia said he enjoyed the process. “It was tricky driving from Perth to Mandurah every day for 12 months but I enjoyed seeing the project getting built knowing it was my own house,” he said. BC Viva Developments: (08) 9414 9011,

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The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 97

THE BUILDERS CHOICE residential mixed-use

Minimalist style home supports wildlife sanctuary in the south west // images be productions





98 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

This elegant home perched on the edge of a lake in Margaret River is much more than a place to enjoy a beautiful property. The owner, a zoologist from overseas is passionate about the flora and fauna of the region and has been visiting Margaret River for more than 20 years. The owner’s vision for this 140 acre property is to create a flora and fauna sanctuary and accommodate people who share a passion for conservation. Theo Mathews of Margaret River-based practice Mathews Johnston Architects has created an understated and minimal building for the owner to pursue a love of the natural environment in the south-west. Mr Mathews said the construction and finishing details were quite basic. “This is a functional building and through this I believe it has developed a strong identity,” Mr Mathews said. “There is a generosity of space created by wide passage ways, curved ceilings, oblique shapes and the depth of the straw bale southern walls. “This has created a calm balanced feeling, which is what was intended for the owner.” The house will be a base for the owner, visiting colleagues and like minded individuals to monitor, record and foster native flora and fauna on the property. In addition to accommodating visitors, there is a separate treatment room that will support the rehabilitation of injured animal and bird life.


This home is the second project the owner has undertaken with Mr Mathews. Fifteen years ago Mr Mathews designed a rammed earth home for the owner on an adjoining property. “The owner has been monitoring the health of the original property over 15 years and planting native species to rehabilitate degraded bush as a place of beauty to enjoy,” he said. “She knows the country really well and is very passionate about the Australian bush. “The bush on this sanctuary property was degraded over decades by cattle left to run freely by former owners and others keeping their stock on the property. “In addition, healthy jarrah trees were indiscriminately felled for fencing and fire wood.” The owner’s aim is to reinstate the native vegetation on the property without grazing animals and create a habitat for native animal and birdlife. “Already there are families of emus on the property,” he said. “Animal and plant life are flourishing now without the stock and there is an abundance of birdlife that has been attracted to the lake and surrounding bush.” The house consists of two oblique wings opening up to the east to allow winter sun to penetrate into the entry courtyard between.

Mr Mathews said he had used the oblique wing configuration on several other projects to maximise winter sun penetration. “While the over-riding reason for the oblique wings is functional solar design, the angles create some interesting interior spaces,” he said. “In this case, the approach through the courtyard leads the eye directly to the lake beyond…a calming and evocative sense of arrival.” The strong forms of the building are highlighted by its location on the edge of the lake, curved steel vaulted roofs, dark stained plywood cladding and grey sand-cement rendered straw bale walls. The structure consists of a galvanised steel post and beam carcass with infill timber framing and plywood external cladding. The southern walls of each wing have been constructed with 410mm thick straw bale using ladder frames set at the length of each bale. The interior and exterior straw bale surfaces have been coated with a 30mm thick sand-cement render with the aid of wire mesh that was fixed to the bales. The bales were trimmed with a garden whipper snipper and the edges of door and window openings were generously curved. The combination of air trapped within the thick straw bale walls plus the thermal mass of the combined sand-cement

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EC 5979 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 99


rendering provides a stable temperature within the house and a comfortable feeling within the spaces. “The other benefit of straw bale walls are the deep reveals between wall surfaces and windows/doors,” he said. “The edges have been generously curved…nice to touch and they shed soft, graduated light. “This depth and mass contrast with the large areas of glazing and light weight walls elsewhere.” There are two generous covered timber decks that overhang the dam on the west end of each wing. One is off the living room and the other is off the main bedroom. These decks are designed to exclude the hot summer sun and allow the low winter sun to penetrate and warm the spaces. A timber jetty is planned to extend into the lake adjacent to the living room and existing timber deck. “The grey cement rendered straw bale walls in combination with dark-stained plywood cladding create a simplicity and honesty that instantly conveys that this is not an ostentatious building,” he said. “The project was conceived to compliment the owner’s aspirations for the entire property. “It was designed and built to be a functional home, elegant for the owner but definitely not to impress others. “The fixtures and fittings within are good quality utilitarian. “The house was originally meant to be connected to the Western Power electricity grid; however the prohibitive connection cost made off-grid generation a simpler choice… for cost reasons, as well as complimenting the philosophy of the owner for this property.” Energy usage within the home was assessed with the owner to generate an off-the-grid photo-voltaic generation system. Some modifications were made to appliances and equipment to allow the photo voltaic supplier to accurately design the system. The overall energy design uses LPG at a bulk cost rate for instantaneous gas water heaters, the oven, the cook top and a heat exchanger for underfloor heating. A combination of LED

and low voltage incandescent lights has been used throughout the home. The electricity system also operates pumps that supply water from the lake throughout the house, rainwater to the kitchen and ATU waste system pumps. The photo-voltaic system generates 6.5 to 7.5kw of AC electricity per day from a panel array. The electricity is then stored in a bank of batteries. If the batteries are drained to a specified level, a small generator is automatically activated to provide for immediate needs. Mr Mathews said the house operated easily, without austerity, however the batteries would be drained if certain appliances were left on for too long. “That is a house management issue where time will tell,” he said. “There is capacity to increase the number of generating panels if necessary.” The bedroom wing includes a separate bathroom and lounge area for visitors to enjoy some privacy and to work independently if required away from the activity of the rest of the house. Water to most of the house is supplied from the lake via a sophisticated pumping and filtration system. Two small tanks supply drinking water to the kitchen sink. “This project was challenging for the most part because of the technical aspects of designing a totally off-grid electricity system,” he said. “Next time it will be a lot simpler and cheaper as component prices reduce.” The project was a collaboration with builders Paradigm Construction. BC Mathews Johnston Architects: (08) 9757 2338, Paradigm Construction: 0439 771 169,

“The project was conceived to compliment the owner’s aspirations for the entire property. 100 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012


Jurien Bay family and holiday home stays true to eco friendly principals // words rhonda malkin // images michael yurisich





A large holiday home in Jurien Bay has been custom built to maximise the sandy beaches and relaxed lifestyle that the small fishing town has to offer. Located just two and a half hours north of Perth, the small fishing town is a popular tourist destination with its close proximity to The Pinnacles and being the gateway to Western Australia’s coral coast. The owners of the new home in the idyllic location wanted to take advantage of these elements by building a home, which could be used as a comfortable family home during the year and could also be rented for short term holiday accommodation. What has been created by Yuro Building Design owner, Michael Yurisich is a home big enough to accommodate 12 people but suitably cosy for a couple while also staying true to the owners drive for housing sustainability. Located within Beach Ridge estate, the home is situated on 1200sqm and includes four bedrooms, a large kitchen, dining and living area as well as two ensuite bathrooms and a double carport. The idea of having two ensuite bathrooms instead of one bathroom to service three of the bedrooms and one ensuite to service the master bedroom was to provide better access to large groups or families during high demand periods. Two of the bedrooms incorporate two double beds while the other two bedrooms have four adult-sized bunk beds. The floor plan is simple and quite symmetrical with an open plan style living, dining and kitchen area suited to accommodating a group of families or just a couple of people. Built by Building Developments WA, the living area has large raking ceilings producing a light, bright and spacious interior.

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 101


The use of these solar passive design principals, sustainable construction methods and energy efficient practices has delivered a low maintenance, energy efficient and environmentally responsible house both for now and in the future.

A common hallway running down the centre of the house gives access to the sleeping and bathroom areas. The sleeping area can be closed off to reduce noise, whilst still letting light into the main hallway. The alfresco is situated directly outside the living and dining area and features a cedar lined raking ceiling and sliding stacker doors. These create an indoor/outdoor space between the two, which is perfect for entertaining. The timber frame and weatherboard-style external cladding not only complies with estate guidelines but is also perfectly suited to the local climate and conditions. One of the most important climatic conditions that needed to be considered was the constant and often strong winds that are typical for the area. Protection from these strong winds was delivered via the verandah that surrounds the home and the large alfresco area and porch section at either end of the home. An outdoor shower recess doubles as a barbecue recess, as well as providing wind protection to the alfresco area. The elevation has a rural Australian feel but also incorporates bold contemporary colours and finishes. A combination of deep blue/grey Hardies Scyon Linea weatherboards, crisp white roof and verandahs broken up with cool, grey feature walls exhibit the familiar characteristics of the coastal landscape. Oiled Kapur decking surrounds the entire house to add a nautical feel and to provide a connection between the building and the native landscaping on the site. In addition, the home boasts a large shed that could easily house a boat. Built by Building Developments WA, the home incorporates a range of environmentally friendly and sustainable options. The use of these solar passive design principals, sustainable construction methods and energy efficient practices has delivered a low maintenance, energy efficient and environmentally responsible house both for now and in the future. These principals were easy to apply to this development as the longest side of the block faces due north. Generous glazing to living areas and bedrooms on the northern facade provide

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ample solar access throughout winter and wide covered verandahs around the entire house provide protection for the full height glazing, from high-angled summer sun. Skylights to the centre passageway and bathrooms reduce the need for artificial lighting during the day. Compact fluorescent lights have been used throughout the bed rooms and low voltage halogen lights with adjustable dimmers have been used in the living areas. The clients have commented that through the use of compact fluorescent floor lamps in the living areas, the low voltage down lights are rarely used, which saves on power consumption. Block out blinds and curtains have been used to reduce heat loss and gain through windows and sliding doors on the western, eastern and southern facades. Low E glazing was used on the eastern facade to further improve the heat loss and gain through the glass. Sliding doors and windows with flyscreens have been used in all of the bedrooms and living rooms in a way that can take full advantage of breezes from any direction, which assists in cooling the home. Ceiling fans were included in all bedrooms and living rooms to further assist air circulation and cooling in summer if required. An instantaneous gas hot water system was chosen for both reliability and energy efficiency, as well as being cost effective in the long term as opposed to solar or electric options. Heat lamps were included in the bathrooms to give the occupants the option of providing more comfort through extra heating, on the couple of very cold mornings during winter whilst still providing compact fluorescent lighting as standard. The stormwater plumbing has been designed to have the ability to harvest rainwater from the roof of the house, carport and shed. Water saving fixtures and fittings were used with WELS four star rated toilet suites, WELS three star rated shower heads and WELS five star rated mixer taps. All landscaping irrigation is connected to timers with rain sensors. The irrigation was only required initially to establish the young plants and since has


been used in a much reduced capacity. R5.0 foam insulation was used throughout the house in both the walls and ceiling to gain as high an R-value as possible. The house was completed in the summer of 2010/2011, so it has experienced both the heat of summer and the cold of winter. The owners have reported that the house stays at a comfortable temperature inside, regardless of the outside temperature. The home is about eight degrees cooler than the outside temperature in summer and about eight degrees warmer than the outside temperature in winter, and has not required any artificial heating or cooling apart from the ceiling fans. Mr Yurisich said the timber framing along with the fibre cement weatherboard external cladding has about 80 per cent less embodied energy than standard cavity brick construction. Furthermore, when used with insulation batts the home has a substantially higher R-value than standard cavity brick. “Due to the timber framed construction, Building Developments WA were able to erect all of the verandahs, alfresco, double carport as well as the complete house and shed to lock-up stage in 28 working days,� he said. Although aluminium window frames have a higher embodied energy than timber, it was chosen to protect the home against corrosion and its low maintenance properties. In the same way, steel roof sheeting has a higher embodied energy than clay or concrete roof tiles, but was chosen both to comply with the estate guidelines and for its hard wearing properties. As a result of the chosen materials and construction methods, Yuro Building Design was able to minimise wastage to a point where only two skip bins were used throughout the entire

construction process. According to Building Developments WA director Henny Reker, building the same house in cavity brickwork would have used about 14 skip bins throughout the construction. In addition, the only water used in the construction was for the concrete slab and footings and for tiling of the wet areas, which was substantially less than what is required in standard cavity brick construction. Native and drought resistant plant species as well as water saving ground covers, like gravel, blue metal and recycled mulch were used as an alternative to paving, lawn and other high maintenance plants. It also assisted with low water usage of the property, as well as giving a modern, Australian look and feel to the property. The home offers generous spaces for large or small families to spend holidays in comfort, either in summer and winter, both inside and out. BC Yuro Building Design: 0417 965 653, Building Developments WA: 0418 954 851

Ph: 9351 3400 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 103


Ultra modern design meets old world rammed earth techniques // words rhonda malkin





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Recent changes to the building act have heralded mandatory six star green star ratings on every residential home but that figure is only a starting point according to a forward thinking Perth builder. As the winner of the HIA Greensmart Home of the Year 2012 for its eight star rated home for 10 McLaren St in South Fremantle, builder Econstruct has raised the bar in sustainability. Econstruct general manager Geoff Britton said sustainability and eco-friendly features were often the first things to go in initial design drawings. “Usually when it comes down to final budget the first things to get knocked out are the rainwater tanks, the grey water systems, the LED lights and the photovoltaic panels…they are easy things to strike a red pen through but the client was pretty insistent that they wanted all those features in the home,” Mr Britton said. “The client wanted the house to be as eco friendly as they could so they chose not to compromise on anything, which is really nice. “So we were allowed to work with our principles from a builder’s point of view all the way through.” Designed by the Evoke Design Group, who won the Greensmart Design Concept Award in 2010, Mr Britton said it wasn’t difficult to achieve an eight star rated home for any design if a few relatively simple concepts were followed. “It’s not that difficult to achieve eight stars because it’s mostly about orientation. If you can cool and heat the home that way then it’s not that hard,” he said. The ultra modern look of the home has been achieved with a dynamic, two-toned rammed earth blade wall that runs through the spine of the home and an industrial style curved main roof. Another rammed earth wall runs at right angles to the blade wall on the inside the house through the living area and across the back of the fireplace.


Both walls act as a thermal mass with the internal rammed wall in particular being heated by the flue from the fireplace and then reflecting that heat back into the home. The rammed earth wall requires no manufacturing and the materials are sourced locally. Mr Britton said the two toned effect was created by layering a red sand mix and a limestone mix in a random pattern. “We built the form work and mixed up the different mixes with a bobcat…and they pour it into the form work and compact it with a hydraulic rammer, with a small amount of cement added, which stabilises the mix,” he said. He said the stunning curved roof provided the home with an


West Coast Rammed Earth specialises in all aspects of rammed earth and limestone construction. Perth & Statewide Lloyd Scott tel (08) 9398 6562 mob 0428 555 606

architectural point of difference. “It gives the home a wow factor…having the curve on one side and the square on the other made it different to a conventional style home,” he said. Four curved steel frames form the skeleton of the curved roof and are bolted into the main spine of the wall. The builder then followed the curve in the wall with timber purlins all the way around. Colorbond sheet sections were rolled in the factory to curl round and underneath to give a wrap around effect. The façade of the home is capped with a Trimdek skillion style roof behind a parapet wall.


The Heat Shops Unit 3/42-44 Farrall Road, Midvale WA 6056 Ph: (08) 9250 1322 Fax: (08) 9250 1302 Email: The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 105


Angled blades allow sun in during winter and blocks out the sun in summer‌

Liquid Limestone Exposed Aggregate Concrete Sealers Pool Capping Synthetic Turf Retaining Walls

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It makes quite a change from the original 1950s two bedroom fibro, brick and tile home that once stood on the property. Upstairs the floor layout includes three bedrooms, one bathroom and an ensuite while the downstairs space includes a guest bedroom, a powder room and a study along with a large kitchen, dining and massive library or living space. This very large space on the lower floor melds all of the main living spaces together. The rammed earth wall acts as a divider between the kitchen and the living areas, which creates the feel of open space. Polished concrete floors throughout the entire home act as additional thermal mass particularly in the downstairs living area, which features large bifold doors that feed out to a pergola and patio area. The pergola incorporates a solar awning with a polycarbonate roof over the top. Angled blades allow sun in during winter and blocks out the sun in summer while a ceiling fan also assists with airflow. The bifold doors allow the winter sun to penetrate the home and warm the concrete floors.



The doors form part of a natural heating and cooling system including louver windows on the western side and awning windows above the bifold doors to assist airflow. Mr Britton said the glazing and louvre doors impacted greatly on the temperature levels of the home year round. “Generally you would have them open during the summer because where that house is in Fremantle they pretty much get constant sea breeze everyday so it’s a nice location for it,” he said. “There are full height louver windows on the western side that you open…those windows draw the air in and also pick up hot air in the house and vent it out of the awning windows. “So even on a 40 degree day the air still flows through and cools the home.” Along with high end finishes like a large walk in pantry with shelving, stainless steel appliances and glass splash backs, the large kitchen features an island bench that was created with recycled wandoo sourced from an old local sheep yard. This same wood was used for the internal staircase. The wandoo was fixed as treads onto a concrete form staircase. The face of the stairs are polished concrete which matches the polished concrete on the upper and lower floors and also all the wet areas. He said delivering polished concrete in the bathrooms was one of two techniques the company achieved with no prior experience. “The polished concrete in the bathrooms was something we had never done before so that was a bit of innovation for us, a little learning curve, which went really well,” he said. “The curved roof was always going to be technically difficult to achieve but we managed to do it in the end to that high standard.” A two car carport features a motorised gate system and the driveway extends into the back garden and into a shed in the backyard. The 350sqm home is also serviced by an innovative grey water system. It is designed to filter out all of the bacteria from a standard grey water system and feeds the treated water back into the toilets and the laundry. This system is complemented by a solar hot water system and a 6,000 litre rainwater tank. BC Econstruct: (08) 9329 9422, Evoke Design Group: (08) 9467 7942,

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The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 107


Avon Valley weekender brings the best in sustainability // words rhonda malkin

The peak building association has given its stamp of approval by acknowledging the spec home with two HIA GreenSmart Awards…





108 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

A small prefabricated weekender set in the hills of the Avon Valley near Toodyay is setting new benchmarks in sustainability and peak practice for passive solar design principles. Set in the middle of a secluded 14 acre battle-axe property that is surrounded by natural wandoo bushland, rocky outcrops and hidden ravines The Twilight Brae project was a labour of love for its designer and builder Splice Projects. With a floor area of just 98.8sqm internally and a total area with decking of 145.2sqm Twilight Brae is a sustainable retreat for weekends and short stays that connects with and embraces its surroundings. Despite its relatively small footprint, the designers of Twilight Brae have packed hundreds of sustainability initiatives into the home. The list is so impressive that it has also caught the eye of the Housing Industry Association. The peak building association has given its stamp of approval by acknowledging the spec home with two HIA GreenSmart Awards, being Spec Home of the Year and Transportable/Kit Home of the Year. Splice Projects Business Manager Simone Dempster said a key motivation for the project was designing a home that could be a benchmark for environmental sensitivity while also being visually pleasing, comfortable and completely liveable. “Twilight Brae is in a unique situation and has the opportunity to be a source of education for people who want to learn more about environmentally sensitive design and sustainable living,” Ms Dempster said. “An information booklet is provided for short stay guests to learn more about the features of the home. “Twilight Brae also participated in the Sustainable House Day on Sept 11, 2011 and had over 100 visitors on the day.” Twilight Brae was designed as two modules, one living and bedroom on the northern side and one module on the southern side including bathroom,


Despite its relatively small footprint, the designers of Twilight Brae have packed hundreds of sustainability initiatives into the home.

kitchen and laundry. The modules were prefabricated and placed in situ, with the joining passageway erected on site. The southern module was designed to contain services close to water heating and plumbing fixtures on the rear service deck. The home is north-facing, situated centrally on the property, overlooking bush to the north and pasture and a dam to the east. The innovative internal and external storage spaces make the home comfortable and liveable. With this small footprint, there are additional environmental, energy and water savings, less usage of materials, and less energy and water requirements. Large window banks to the north allow full solar access to the living and dining areas. To a lesser extent solar access is also achieved via narrow windows to the bedrooms. Heat is absorbed during the day by the insulated concrete floor, which is then radiated out in the evening into the internal building. The thermally-broken double glazed doors and windows prevent heat transfer at night. An airlock entry through the laundry creates a separate zone and minimises heat transfer when the back door is

opened. The bathroom also has a self-closing door and creates an additional zone in the building. In summer, the home is cooled by overnight drops in temperature and south westerly breezes. Liquid amber trees are planted externally to shade, cool and funnel the breezes through the three timber-blade louvre banks on both the west and eastern walls. The cooling breezes strip the heat from the floor and cool internal temperatures for the following day. The full height louvre banks are fitted with stainless steel security screens to ensure occupants feel safe and secure enough to keep windows open overnight. Large sliding doors to the northern face open to the vista, down the gentle slope to the natural vegetation. The eye is guided to the east, along open pasture to farmland hills in the distance. The view is extended further when the cedar louvres are open on the east and west face. The natural light enhances internal features and colours while the low horizontal windows in the bedrooms balance the large central bank of glazing on the northern face. Wooden bifold doors are fitted internally to the east/west

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 109


cedar louvre banks – adding another level of insulation and draught sealing. Added protection on the western face is provided by a second steel skin fitted with an air gap to circulate air movement and act as a radiant barrier. Wooden slats have been fitted on this face to provide aesthetic appeal and a frame for a deciduous grapevine to grow and provide additional summer shading. Exhaust fans are fitted with baffles to prevent unwanted heat exchange. Both modules contain a structural steel framed base supporting corrugated iron, 50mm polystyrene insulation and 60 per cent recycled fly ash concrete floor. The floor acts as a highly efficient thermal mass that covers a large area and provides appropriate insulation and blends easily into the natural palette of the home. High carbon footprint and carbon miles were inherent in the double glazing used in this home but was considered to be a relevant choice with many benefits. It was also a major cost however it added significantly to the liveability and long term energy efficiency of the home, and eliminated the need for window coverings. Imported from Belgium, the high quality, thermally broken, aluminium framed glazing with low e glass to surface 3 is suited for extremes in temperature. It buffers the home from the regular near zero temperatures in winter and above 40 degree days in summer. The glazing also prevents ambient heat gain in summer, allows solar gain in winter and minimises any unwanted heat transfer. The uncovered windows provide maximum access to views in all directions. Externally, the elevated parasol roof allows the eye to

110 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

continue past the dwelling and capture the farming hills in the distance. The unique parasol roof provides shading over both modules, and eliminates the opportunity for build-up of heat in roof spaces. A 2700mm overhang was calculated to maximise solar gain in required months and minimise heat gain in warmer months through the north facing windows. The mix of corrugated iron, glazing and timber balances the use of external materials, for both aesthetic and functional purposes. An organic colour palette was chosen for external and internal features, so the home complements and connects, rather than imposes on the landscape. Splice Projects have incorporated a substantial array of energy and water management techniques that have minimised the need for artificial heating, cooling, lighting and appliance use. As a weekender, this property has the potential to generate excess energy from photovoltaic cells and saves up to $550 a year on electricity costs. All energy use and running costs are monitored by a meter that is positioned centrally, while an evacuated tube hot water system with an electric booster provides efficient hot water throughout the home. A portable ethanol fuelled fireplace utilises fuel from a renewable source to provide additional internal heating. Ceiling fans are fitted in the living and bed rooms to maximise comfort on warm days. Compact fluorescent lights and LEDs are fitted throughout, with solar lights included in some external fittings. Energy efficient appliances have been fitted throughout and are complemented by a hand wash spinning tub and an outdoor


Given the mix of open pasture and natural bush, the property offers a number of development opportunities. There is space for future food crops like vegetables, fruit and nut trees, as well as water harvesting like road catchments for the dam, aquaculture and livestock.

barbecue to eliminate heating inside the home during the summer months. Twilight Brae is not connected to the main water supplies and relies on rainwater harvesting and water saving fittings and behaviours in the home. An average of 520mm of rain falls during the year which is collected from the house, carport and shed and stored in four large galvanised tanks. The tanks are galvanised internally to maintain the integrity of water quality. Drinking water is provided through a filtration system fitted under the kitchen sink. The storage capacity of the tanks also meets the requirements set by the Shire of Toodyay for bush fire management purposes. Given the mix of open pasture and natural bush, the property offers a number of development opportunities. There is space for future food crops like vegetables, fruit and nut trees, as well as water harvesting like road catchments for the dam, aquaculture and livestock. A Biolytix system has been installed and subsurface irrigation pipes exist around the dwelling to water the various fruit trees and exotic plantings. This could be modified and extended. All water and drain lines are terminated at isolation points under the rear service deck. This deck is installed in panels which can easily be removed to enable easy access for future alterations, allowing for unlimited future combinations of grey/lack water harvesting and reuse. A permaculture concept plan for the property was developed early in the design process by renowned permaculturalist Josh Byrne. This plan provides an opportunity to develop the property alongside permaculture principals if required. The natural bush has not been disturbed and offers nature lovers the opportunity to develop the wildlife corridor further to encourage local flora and fauna. The property is registered as a Land for Wildlife property through the Department for Environment and Conservation. BC Splice Projects: (08) 9622 1333,

flooring decking custom milling




Bringing old timber back to life 30 Jackson St Bayswater WA 6053 P: 08 9279 4377 | F: 08 9279 4388 E: Specialising in WA hardwoods – Jarrah, Karri, Marri, Wandoo and Blackbutt The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 111


Maritime theme dominates in seaside holiday home // words rhonda malkin





112 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

The old fibro beach shacks that at one time dominated the seaside enclaves scattered down the south west of Western Australia are now inspiration for modern comfortable home designs. Twenty years ago living 500m or less from the ocean was commonplace and even holidays were taken in neat double story holiday homes that were spitting distance to well loved WA beaches. Subiaco-based architectural firm Paradigm Architects have relied on this premise to create a very relaxed and functional two story home in Binningup. Paradigm Architects director Fiona Hogg said the home represented innovative ways of using space in a modern but connected way. “We tied the idea of living by the sea, the ocean and ships to how people use their houses… we wanted to create spaces that are not only comfortable to live in but are uplifting so they are more than just a living area, it’s something that makes you feel good to be in,” Ms Hogg said. The small Binningup Township, located 30km north of Bunbury is still somewhat of a well kept secret. With a reef running parallel to the beach making water sports ideal and long sandy beaches and abundant fishing its no wonder it is a popular fishing and holiday spot. Positioned to take maximum advantage of a westerly view to the ocean, prevailing breezes and good solar access this three bedroom two bathroom home was designed with a maritime theme. Living areas to the north-west and sleeping and utilitarian areas to the south east are separated by a walkway and pods that accommodate the kitchen and storage functions. A translucent box forms the walkway or spine that provides connection between functional areas and upper and lower levels. This spine provides natural light to the centre of the house throughout


“We tied the idea of living by the sea, the ocean and ships to how people use their houses…

the day while at night the illuminated box acts as a large scale luminary highlighting the entry to the house. Ms Hogg said the light concept provided an exciting aspect to the home. “The idea was that you were introducing natural day light into the house,” Ms Hogg said. “It would also be a beacon and show where the entry was, announced the house and operate as a light fixture, similar to a lighthouse. “When you are inside it gives a really lovely feel and the light filters through the open stair case.” The home accommodates family members and friends over two levels but also delivers privacy and separation. The lower level living area spills out onto covered terraces to the south-west or northwest, which allows for functional external living spaces throughout the year. An open timber stair case connects from the entry to the upper level, providing access to the main living and kitchen areas and also to a more private master bedroom area to the eastern corner of the residence. The kitchen ceiling is on the same angle as the slope of the roof while a feature drop bulkhead forms part of the kitchen cabinet works. Mini-orb cladding has been used with effect across the ceiling of the upstairs dining, kitchen and living areas. The main living area again opens up to separate external living areas with the larger more public deck to the western corner of the residence taking advantage of a connection to the street and views beyond to the ocean. The kitchen also continues out on to this main deck area with the bench continuing in to a preparation and barbecue area. A rear deck to the northern corner of the house is more sheltered and offers private external living space that takes advantage of the northerly aspect and views over sand dunes. The main bedroom is also connected to this smaller and more private deck that is partially enclosed by a slatted timber screen and connected to the garden via external steel and timber stairs.

Two bedrooms down stairs incorporate large sliding doors that slide back inside the walls opening the bedrooms into the walkways. The bedroom upstairs is also completely open but there is a door at the start of the central walkway, which can be closed off. Cabinetry inside the upstairs ensuite includes wall hung vanities with a laminate top on a very thick veneered timber. Downstairs all the floors are polished concrete with a salt and pepper finish while the upper walk way and stairs have been finished with an LVL timber. Being 500 m from the ocean certainly made creating a durable and low maintenance home a challenge. But use of multi-celled translucent Danpalon sheeting has provided insulation and a durable finish to the glowing connective spine through the middle of the home. The container-style storage spine adjacent to the walkway is clad in Colorbond Ultra mini-orb cladding, which is a specific oblique reference to the shipping containers that inspired the blade element slicing through the building. Ms Hogg said the ocean inspired every aspect of the home. “We were thinking about the ocean and the inspiration for the house…I think we were interested in the idea of a shipping container and a contained box and what you could do inside that box,” Ms Hogg said. According to builder Linton & Rose Builders, the entire home is quite minimal in appearance. Linton & Rose Builders director Steve Linton said extensive use of recessed joins and shadow lines gave a clean, simplistic external finish. “It looks simple but it was quite involved to achieve that finish,” Mr Linton said. “It all starts with the set out of the 10mm stud framing that puts all the lines in the right places…it gives it a commercial look, which is a formed look in the squares and horizontal lines.” BC Paradigm Architects, (08) 9388 1644,

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 113

Smarter housing solution wins praise from Karratha locals There’s no escaping the rising rental costs of Karratha where the mining industry continues to prosper. But for those not directly employed within the resources sector or earning the high wages that generally go with it, the thought of renting in the popular northwest city has become a crippling prospect. // words berlinda conti

With the introduction of the State Government’s Royalties for Regions program, the benefits of providing affordable housing where it’s needed most, among key service worker employees in regional communities, are significant. In 2009, the NLV Group, together with its subsidiary modular housing arm, EcoFit Homes, won a competitive tender to build and manage the first subsidised service workers accommodation project in the Shire of Roebourne called Warambie Estate. Rental rates at the development fall anywhere between $300 and $500 per week – a marked difference compared to the average $1400+ weekly rate of a suburban three bedroom Karratha home.





114 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

Issued by LandCorp, the EOI’s prerequisite was to complete the project within budget and on time, offering a high level of amenity in a managed, safe and friendly community that residents could proudly call home. The community also needed to be affordable by way of sustainable, low maintenance living. Civil work commenced in June 2010 and the $30million project delivered on its promise, within budget and well on time to see its first residents move in before the Easter of 2011. Industry recognition followed, with EcoFit Homes winning the 2012 HIA Pilbara Housing Awards’ - Affordable Housing Project of the Year and the 2011 Special Housing Project of the

THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

The development’s public open space...has become a popular meeting place for the greater Karratha community who enjoy the shaded solace of a leafy and peaceful sanctuary.

Year awards. One of the many home designs was also awarded Transportable/Kit Home under $300,000 in the same year. The NLV Group was in familiar territory, drawing from its experience in building sustainable communities for the aging population as part of its National Lifestyle Villages network. The architecturally designed homes present excellent passive solar attributes with an average energy rating of seven stars (some achieve 8.5 stars) across the 100-home development. Much of this was the result of good solar orientation, narrow floor plans and a state government pre-requisite to ensure every home was fitted with a 2kilowatt photovoltaic system and environmentally friendly heat pump hot water systems to help offset energy costs by up to 50 per cent per household. Key to the project’s overall master-plan was consideration of Karratha’s arid and tropical climate, where cyclones are common and heavy rains, when mixed with the region’s red, clayey Pindan soil, create an unfavourable muddy landscape. Site work preparation included a comprehensive flood study which resulted in ground levels being elevated by 1,200mm. This ensured every home was positioned above water levels and any excess would be drained towards a central public open space leading out to a wet base at Nickol Bay. Similarly, pathways were laid to slant away from homes in aiding the issue of mud and water stagnation. EcoFit Homes’ general manager, Geoff Wilson said homes were built progressively from the company’s Malaga-based factory in line with the civil works schedule, each built over eight week increments within the 12 month timeline. “The benefit of off-site modular construction is not only the build efficiencies to scale, but also the minimal site waste and environmental impact incurred to the development. When complete, homes simply arrive via semi-trailer, are loaded into place, fully completed and ready to move into,” said Mr Wilson. Each home has been designed to optimise natural light and breeze way efficiencies with open plan layouts created to seamlessly link internal and external entertaining areas. Much


89mm 140mm steel wall frames trusses roof panels double glazed windows & doors fabricated colour flashings aluminium composite panels 10 Mcintyre Wy Kenwick WA 6107 P 08 9452 7004 M 0418 922 008 F 08 9448 5058 E

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 115

THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

...adopting this design methodology was intended to foster a feeling of social interaction with fellow residents.

of the project’s focus was to provide an interactive environment with living areas intentionally placed at the front quadrant of homes accompanied by semi-private and appropriately shaded outdoor entertaining areas. Consulting architect Richard Hammond says adopting this design methodology was intended to foster a feeling of social interaction with fellow residents…“but without obligation or pressure to do so. This makes the environment extremely comfortable psychologically, whilst also encouraging the growth of community,” Mr Hammond said. Mr Hammond recognised the importance of these spatial characteristics, which he says are both nurturing and provide residents with view lines to the outside world and it’s a philosophy the Group has adopted across each of its community developments. Home styles are diverse enough to accommodate a range of tenant types and individual circumstances with one, two and three bedroom configurations to choose from. Two of the homes have also been earmarked for child care facilities. A harmonious roof-form and a complimentary cool colour palette were also intentionally chosen to ensure homes had a unique facade to their neighbouring properties. Structurally, the homes are designed to withstand extreme cyclonic conditions, built with strong 89mm steel-framing, pre-stressed concrete floors and insulation to walls, ceiling and roof areas. Car ports and surrounding fencing are also built to tolerate Region D, category 4 cyclonic conditions. Homes are also fitted with a specialty imported product from New Zealand called Cavibat. Cavibat protects the integrity of the homes by providing a cavity batten that acts as a moisture barrier between the external cladding and the framework. The unique design allows for both horizontal and vertical air

116 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

ventilation through the batten itself, as well as providing an unobstructed path for any water droplets to drain from the wall cavity. EcoFit Homes intentionally applied fibre cement external cladding to ensure homes took on the resemblance of contemporary residential housing with high standard finishes applied throughout to foster low maintenance and durable living. Living spaces are furnished with non-slip floor tiles, kitchens are fitted with modern bench tops and vertical blinds are fitted to windows. The larger homes have en suite bathrooms with carpeted bedroom floors and built-in-robes are standard in all the homes as are ceiling fans, split system air conditioners and double car ports. At the core of the estate is an attractive community ‘central park’ equipped with children’s play equipment and a sand pit, lawn coverings, a gazebo with electric barbecue facilities, in addition to trees for shade and timber park benches. The development’s public open space is not only a recreational extension for residents but Warambie Estate’s village manager, Troy Tolhurst says the park has become a popular meeting place for the greater Karratha community who enjoy the shaded solace of a leafy and peaceful sanctuary. NLV Group chief executive, Mike Hollett, says Warambie Estate has set the benchmark for similar community projects in the region. “It’s a development we planned with enormous care and consideration to the presenting environment, and I think the end product is proof of what can be achieved within budget and tight time restraints for this growing market sector,” Mr Hollett said. BC NLV Group: (08) 9221 9099, EcoFit Homes: (08) 9270 6888,

THE BUILDERS CHOICE industry news & views

Carbon Levy on Refrigerant to Cost Industry $300m // words alan layton, executive director – amca

In a major submission to the Gillard Government, the Heating, Ventilation, Air conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC&R) industry pointed out that government’s decision to impose a carbon-equivalent levy on refrigerant gases will result in payments under the levy of almost $300m. Furthermore, the submission highlighted, the levy’s imposition is expected to cause serious adjustment shock and transition pressures to the industry and to the many Australian businesses that it serves and supports. The industry called on the government for: • The urgent formation of an interdepartmental committee with representatives from government, industry and end-user associations. • Provision of funds to industry to develop materials and run forums to drive communication with industry. • The development of an ongoing information campaign to create and provide government endorsed materials for industry associations to distribute to their members. • Seed funding to extend the current refrigerant handling licensing scheme to include all refrigerants and improve industry awareness about compliance and enforcement. • A fair allocation of a proportion of the carbon-equivalent levy on refrigerant gases to be reinvested in the future of this essential industry. When explaining in the submission the importance of the HVAC&R industry to the Australian economy, the industry

highlighted the following facts: The industry in Australia is estimated to directly employ at least 160,000 people and is estimated to be worth approximately $16 billion. • The industry is essential to the daily production and preservation of hundreds of thousands of tonnes of fresh, hygienic food, the maintenance of comfort conditions in all major public and private buildings, and is a cross-cutting technology in every sector of the economy. • The industry is committed to improving the energy efficiency of equipment, with as much as 21.9 per cent of all distributed electricity in Australia used to power HVAC&R equipment. • HVAC&R equipment has been estimated to result in as much as seven per cent of all greenhouse gas emission in Australia. When the industry’s concerns were raised in Federal Parliament by Opposition members the industry’s views were dismissed out of hand. Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Treasurer Wayne Swan, and the Climate Change Minister, Greg Combet, described the industry’s concerns with respect to the cost impact on refrigerants as “outrageous”, “exaggerated”, “misleading” and “inaccurate”. This was despite the fact that the industry’s communiqué stating that if no action was taken to remedy the situation the rapid inflation in refrigerant gas values, without any immediate change in supply or demand, will create strong incentives for avoiding the carbon-equivalent levy on refrigerants and encourage the formation of a black market. Government representatives have informed the industry that all funds raised by the levy will be going to consolidated revenue, and there is no allocation for reinvestment in the industry in any form to aid the transition to a low carbon emission HVAC&R industry. The industry submission recommended that a fair allocation of a proportion of the levy on refrigerated gases be reinvested in the future of the HVAC&R industry given its essential nature. The industry suggested that the amount of reinvestment be in the order of $50 to $60 million, which is about 20 per cent of the $300m the levy will extract out of the industry. BC •

AMCA: (08) 9362 5977,

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 117

THE BUILDERS CHOICE industry news & views water efficiency

A holistic model for improving construction productivity // words kuntal dutta and peter newman, curtin university sustainability policy (cusp) institute

Construction is a keystone for the economic development of Australia. Stoeckel and Quirke(1992) indicate that in Australia a 10 per cent increase in productivity in various sectors would require that construction was the major contributor with an impact of 2.8 per cent on the Gross National Product and an additional 1.2per cent with an inclusion of domestic housing (cited in Bertelsen 2004)1 .To deal with challenges like climate change, the global economic crisis and increase in population the construction industry has to come up with cost effective, quality-based and time-efficient practices. Is it possible to break out of the traditional cottage industry approaches so common in the Australian construction industry? Is it possible to learn anything from other industries like services, manufacturing and automobile construction? Here we will highlight some elements which can be used to form a holistic model to improve productivity and performance of construction and make a more efficient contribution towards sustainability. These elements have all been developed in other industries but there is no reason why they should not be applied to housing and construction. Sustainability Professor Peter Newman Photo:

To deal with challenges like climate change, the global economic crisis and increase in population the construction industry has to come up with cost effective, quality-based and time-efficient practices.

Lean Lean has come from the automobile industry, it was first used by Womack et al (1990) to explain the ideas in the Toyota Production System (cited in Bertelsen and Koskela, 2004)2. It is fundamentally a flow based process dedicated to continuous improvement by focusing on reducing waste and eliminating “non-value-adding-activities� from the production process. As construction is highly intricate, fragmented and volatile in nature, therefore effective implementation of Lean strategies could help remove the factors impeding the productivity of this industry. JIT(Just in time) Time is a key element defining the success of any kind of industry. Likewise in construction, time is a critical factor. But an increase in inventory cost, working capital, disintegrated material management and communication gaps effect the project partners externally and employees internally; subsequently handicapping the industry to meet deadlines and client expectations. JIT has come from Japan as a set of principles to make a quality-driven and efficient production; it is generally accepted that this tool enhances employee motivation and involvement, quality, commitment, preventive maintenance and reduces costs, lead time, set-up times, inventory level and defects (Akintoye,1995)3. Hence, incorporating JIT in construction will help to give a competitve edge, attain schedules on time and futher increase the market share and profitability in a consistent way. Six Sigma Deregulation and globalisation have increased competition in the domestic construction market and to sustain this contest the industry has to strive towards a defect free and precision-driven strategy. Six Sigma was introduced at Motorola with the main objective of reducing the defects of the manufactured electronic products, since then it has been adopted by companies like Allied signal and General Electric (Hahn et

118 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

THE BUILDERS CHOICE industry news & views

By further improving and effectively utilizing eco-efficient and productive design software ...resource consumption and waste can be greatly reduced.

Figure 1. A Holistic Model for Improving Construction Productivity

al,2000)4. It is an important way of establishing a stronger grip on the pre-determined business goals and objectives of the construction industry by removing uncertainty caused mainly due to product and process imprecision and flaws. Six Sigma is a deployment strategy which uses different tools to envisage the futuristic outcome of a project by mainly focusing on carving out variation and defects to solve business problems (Nave, 2002)5.

UMS (Unified Management System) Quality management is well known across all production systems. A Unified Management System (UMS) comprises: ISO 9001 as a “quality management system” working to facilitate people participation, improve customer focus and to make quality products and services by strong decision making and leadership; ISO 14001 as an “environmental management system” to reduce the impact of different construction and building activities on the environment; and ISO18001 as an Occupation Health & Safety (OHS) management system to reduce accidents during the course of work. The most worthwhile benefit of using an integrated system is improving the comprehension of the differences and similarities between these three systems and also to make sure that conformance to more rigorous requirements can be achieved mutually (Pheng and Kwang,2005)6.

BIM (Building Information Modeling) BIM has been developed in the construction industry and is an example of how productivity can be significantly improved through smart systems. It can be used throughout the complete life cycle of a project for information sharing between design and construction players and for precision in delivery. By further improving and effectively utilizing eco-efficient and productive design software like BIM at all the phases of a building project, resource consumption and waste can be greatly reduced. Bank et al (2010)7 indicate that for sustainable design a Building Information Modelling (BIM) system can be used along with other decision making tools and sustainability practices to improve data utilisation in terms of design, maintenance, operation, user behaviour and their effect on creating sustainable buildings that are very tight. Hence, by using an amalgamated model encompassing Lean, JIT, Six Sigma, UMS and BIM, the cardinal commandments like cost, time and quality of the construction industry can work in cohesion for its performance and productivity improvement. The five systems are obviously overlapping as shown in Figure 1 above. We are hoping to find some good examples already at work in the construction industry that can illustrate our model for better practice and to allow us to estimate the productivity and sustainability gains in such work. BC AMCA: (08) 9362 5977,

S. Bertelsen, “Lean Construction: Where Are We and How to Proceed,” Lean Construction Journal 1, no. 1 (2004). S. Bertelsen and L. Koskela, “Construction Beyond Lean: A New Understanding of Construction Management” (2004). 3 A. Akintoye, “Just-in-Time Application and Implementation for Building Material Management,” Construction Management and Economics 13, no. 2 (1995). 4 Gerald J. Hahn, Necip Doganaksoy, and Roger Hoerl, “The Evolution of Six Sigma,” Quality Engineering 12, no. 3 (2000). 5 D. Nave, “How to Compare Six Sigma, Lean and the Theory of Constraints,” Quality Progress 35, no. 3 (2002). 6 L.S. Pheng and G.K. Kwang, “Iso 9001, Iso 14001 and Ohsas 18001 Management Systems: Integration, Costs and Benefits for Construction Companies,” Architectural Science Review 48, no. 2 (2005). 7 L.C. Bank et al., “Integrating Bim with System Dynamics as a Decision-Making Framework for Sustainable Building Design and Operation”. 1 2

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 119

THE BUILDERS CHOICE industry news & views

Beware the Personal Property Securities Act // words alan layton, executive director – a.w.i.c

Under the new Australian legislation, a retention of title clause is effectively worthless against a customer’s liquidator, receiver or administrator unless the contractor has registered their “security interest” in the contract with their customer on the PPSA register.

120 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

Association members have become increasingly aware that the Personal Property Securities Act (PPSA) poses considerable risks if they don’t take steps to review and, if necessary, amend their terms and conditions of business. This new federal legislation came into effect on January 30, 2012. Similar legislation has been operating in New Zealand for some years. The “Portaloo Case” in New Zealand highlighted the risks for contractors. In this case, a plumbing company leased five portaloos to another company for use on a construction site. The company they leased it to had given security to a bank to secure a loan. The bank registered their ‘security interest’ in that company’s property on the national register under the equivalent of our PPSA. The plumbing company did not. When the company, which the plumbers had leased the portaloos to went into receivership, the plumbers demanded that the receivers return the portaloos. The receivers refused to do so, sold the portaloos and took the money. The plumbers then demanded that the receiver hand over to them the proceeds of the sale. The receiver refused. The matter went to court and ultimately the plumbing company was found to have no right to receive the proceeds of sale or to have prevented the receiver from selling the portaloos in the first place. In effect, the plumbers lost their property which they had leased out to a third party because the third party went broke and they had no right to recover that property or the proceeds of its sale. However, had the plumbers registered a ‘security interest’ in their agreement with the company, which went under, the receiver would not have been entitled to retain the portaloos and if the receiver had sold the portaloos, he would have had to hand over the proceeds to the plumbers. A second New Zealand legal case, which sends a clear warning

THE BUILDERS CHOICE industry news & views

Have a proper system for identification and registration of ‘security interests’ (this means you will need to learn how to identify what a ‘security interest’ is.

to Australian contractors, is as follows. Contractors usually have in their terms and conditions of trade (the contract they have with their customers) a ‘retention of title’ clause. This type of clause has the effect that they retain ownership of the plant and equipment they are going to install on the site until they are actually paid. In this case a company supplied approximately $200,000.00 worth of pipes to a customer, which were then stacked at the customer’s premises. The pipes had not been paid for. The customer went broke and the receiver was appointed. The supplier was not initially overly concerned because he knew that his terms and conditions contained a retention of title clause and he expected to be able to go back on to the site and simply take away his pipes. When he sought to do so, the receiver refused him access to the site. Not only that, the receiver them proceeded to sell the pipes. The supplier then demanded that the receiver hand over the proceeds of sales. The receiver refused. The supplier took the receiver to court and lost. The court held that as the supplier had not registered his ‘security interest’ in his own property, being the pipes stacked at the customer’s premises, the receiver had “priority” over the supplier, was entitled to the pipes, to sell them and keep the proceeds. The supplier lost the whole of his $200,000.00 and spent a very considerable sum on legal fees. Under the new Australian legislation, a retention of title clause is effectively worthless against a customer’s liquidator, receiver or administrator unless the contractor has registered their “security interest” in the contract with their customer on the PPSA register. In the Association’s view a contractor needs to do the following to protect his business: • Have your terms and conditions and contract documents updated in relation to:• retention of title clauses; • charging clauses; • personal guarantees; • other security interests.

Have your business’ governing documents (such as Company Constitutions, Shareholders’ Agreements, Business Succession Agreements, Partnership Agreements, etc) reviewed and updated and have any ‘security interests’ created under them, registered on the PPSA register; • Have your asset protection structures updated and have any ‘security interests’ created under them, registered on the PPSA register; • Register all ‘security interests’ in contracts with clients created as a result of retention of title clauses and/or charging clauses on the PPSA register; • Register all ‘security interest’ created in any personal guarantees on the PPSA register; • Have a proper system for identification and registration of ‘security interests’ (this means you will need to learn how to identify what a ‘security interest’ is. You will probably need legal advice to do this, at least at the outset); • Implement the system; • Train your staff how to use the system; and • Follow the system Contractors beware, the experience in New Zealand when similar legislation was introduced was that: • Many contractors did nothing and lost a lot of money; • Many contractors failed to keep following their procedures, forgot all about registering their interests and ended up losing lots of money. BC AWCI: (07) 3846 5688,

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 121

THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

Wide array of ‘apps’ top WA steel design awards // words asi

The winning projects in the latest Steel Design Awards for Western Australia presented on August 10 in Perth reflect the State’s increasingly diversified economy, spanning a ‘top end of town’ commercial tower, an open air entertainment venue, a mega logistics centre and a massive rotary ore loader. The awards are organised every two years by the nation’s peak body representing the complete local steel supply chain, the Australian Steel Institute (ASI) with the winners going on to vie for national honours to be announced in Canberra this September. A steel framed approach to developing a premier commercial office tower that eased site disruption and sped up construction on a busy CBD site won in the Buildings – Large Projects category for City Square in Perth. The entry was submitted by Pacific Industrial Company. The judges commented that it was “a most efficient and well managed large-scale building structure benefitting significantly from the advantages of a rational framework and considered construction processes”. The entry from Paradigm Architects on the Northam Soundshell facility alongside the Avon River topped the Buildings – Small Projects category, the project being considered by the judges to be an “outstandingly elegant and efficient achievement, particularly given the minimal available budget”. The entry on the mega new Coca Cola Amatil Distribution Centre in Hazelmere from Gavin Constructions was the clear winner in the Steel Clad Structures category as “representing a major application of current cladding and purlin detailing,” according to the award judges. And the design and fabrication of a unique single cell tandem rotary rail car dumper for Hamersley Iron’s Cape Lambert Port B Iron Ore Upgrade in northern WA won in the Engineering Project stakes. The entry was submitted by Metso Minerals and Civmec Construction & Engineering. The judges remarked that “fabrication of a state-of-the-art precision undertaking of this scale confirms the Australian steel industry’s sometimes overlooked latent capability to competitively produce significant heavy engineering projects”. ASI State Manager – WA, James England said the range of entries clearly testified to how Australian steel helped enrich both business and the WA community at large. “Whether it’s making giant heavy duty components for mining, supporting high level executive operations or creating iconic forms as public centrepieces, our local steel supply chain has demonstrated ample capability,” he said. BC Australian Steel Institute: Jamers England – 0423 614 860,

122 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

Rmax ThermaWallPlus® – innovative new cladding product increases energy efficiency A light weight rendered system exclusively distributed by BuilditEco is performing exceptionally well as a building material in the residential market. The Rmax ThermaWallPlus®system is an innovative new cladding product with outstanding insulation qualities that increase energy efficiency and reduce running costs. It’s a very simple system to install and offers extensive weathering capabilities and as it combines insulation properties and cladding material at the same time is also one of a kind. BuilditEco is currently offering a complete thermal cladding system that can be easily used by a builder for residential construction and can be used from the ground floor up or for second storey builds or additions and renovations. As the product is easy to use, BuilditEco can supply almost a house onsite to lock up stage in a very timely manner. The Rmax ThermaWallPlus® system will be a key factor in supporting Western Australia’s burgeoning mining industry as a product that is appropriate for the cyclone category D up to C4 wind load ratings in the north of the state. It’s capacity to significantly reduce construction time will also significantly reduce costs. For further information check out the company’s website at or call 1300 088 165.

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1300 088 165 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 123

! W E N

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The Builders Choice Magazine now offers a new comprehensive A-Z directory. It is designed primarily to allow Builders, Architects, Interior Designers, Engineers and Schedulers to access all building product and service providers in WA. This handy resource offers a quick reference arranged alphabetically for ease of use and can be accessed by scrolling the bar from A-Z. Click on A-Z Directory

THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

Smartwall panels – a new approach to building Quickloc Building Systems (QBS) has combined modern technology with resilient lightweight readily available materials to develop an incomparable building system called Smartwall panels, which maintains quality, cost effectiveness and simplicity. Johns Building Supplies is the only authorised supplier of the QBS Smartwall Pty panels. The panelling system has been in use in Australia for about 30 years, long before sustainability or green star ratings were ever a consideration in the construction industry. Quickloc Building Systems has modern, dust free and clean manufacturing premises to assure all products are constructed under controlled and continuously monitored conditions from material supply to product dispatch. Quickloc Building Systems offers the discerning buyer an aesthetically appealing modular building that is constructed quickly, employing minimal tradesmen and semi-skilled manpower for easy erection and assembly. Together with the James Hardie fibre cement panels the system has high insulation values and is one of the only panelling systems to comply with Building Codes Australia. Used by leading Perth builders for single and double storey projects the panelling system comprises a 90mm high density fire proof insulating core. Structural high tensile aluminium extruded

sections are bonded to the panel to enhance its structural strength. QBS Smartwall Pty panels feature an interlocking building system that not only allows easy site construction but includes its own thermal break. The QBS system enables quick assembly with the panels simply standing up and then clipped together, also eliminating joint cracking. This also means that walls can usually be erected in as little as two days and are suitable for category - d cyclonic rated houses. Many homes in Port Hedland, Broome and Newman have already been constructed with QBS Smartwall panels. The home-buying public also seems to be ready for the QBS Smartwall Pty panels with almost 50 homes already built for the State Government housing department in Girrawheen and Bertram. The WA designed and manufactured system is expected to become a mainstream product for the building industry. Johns Building Supplies is very excited by the product as it ticks all the boxes for building construction into the future. The simple system provides a building structure that secures a lightweight wall and roof structure through to the foundation. The product is nationally and internally recognised and has Government approvals in the ACT, WA, NSW, SA and Qld. (Please refer to full page advert on page 11)

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The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 125

THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

Timber design appeal on South Hedland Performance Shell E TH



// words patrick beale // images advanced timber concepts

In this project three things are of particular note. Firstly the close collaboration between the architectural design and engineering design teams, which was particularly rewarding and has resulted in a unique, ground-breaking project. The second is the effective implementation of the design to manufacture sequence using CAD/CAM processes and sophisticated CNC machining of elements enabling accurate and efficient prefabrication and assembly. Finally the on-site construction by a well-coordinated and skilful workforce has delivered a project that meets our high expectations This project for a performance shell and outdoor theatre is located in the newly-developed urban centre of the West Australian town of South Hedland. Officially opened by the Hon Brendon Grylls MLA (Minister for Regional Development & Lands) in December 2011, the ‘town square’ is the

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126 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

first major piece of new infrastructure in the town. It includes revisions to the storm water system, the road network and community facilities. The project was developed by LandCorp with urban and landscape design by UDLA [Greg Grabash Urban Design Landscape Architecture, Fremantle]. Set against a background of native tree planting are new recreational and community facilities, a shaded market walk with spray misters to ameliorate the effects of the extreme heat, a water play area with shade pavilion and public artworks. ATC [Advanced Timber Concepts Research Centre of UWA] was appointed to design the Performance Shell and associated facilities along with the adjacent water pavilion. The completed facility will be managed by the Town of Port Hedland and the Matt Dann Cultural Centre in South Hedland and will be used to host a variety of concerts and community events. The shell is structured as a segmented curvilinear lattice or ‘gridshell’, which is constructed from WA-grown and manufactured Laminated Veneer Lumber [LVL]. The LVL is produced by Wesbeam from Pinasta Pine sourced from coastal plantations in the southern region of Western Australia. LVL is manufactured by laminating multiple layers of rotary peeled timber veneer to make a structurally uniform material with predictable properties and behaviour. The Pinasta pine is dense softwood and in LVL form it provides a uniform and strong material well suited to the structurally demanding applications exemplified in this project. In the South Hedland project, it

is used as a finished material in its own right rather than as a hidden structural element. The Performance Shell structure is located in wind Region D and is thus required to resist severe cyclonic wind loadings. The structural design comprises a series of eight curvilinear segmented arch frames, which are bound into a cellular ‘shell’ by a series of transverse members and crossed tension braces in each cell. The arch frames spring from buttress supports to a maximum height of over 6 metres and span over 15 metres. The frames, each differently shaped, lean outwards from their support points with the plane of the rearmost frame angled at 36 degrees to the horizontal. The engineering design involves splicing 2.5m sections of LVL in three layers to make up the segmented arches, which are routed to a continuous curve on the top surface and left straight and interwoven on the undersides. The gridshell comprises 15cu.m. of LVL timber in 2.5m lengths making a total of 233 components. The design differs from recent European timber gridshell projects because it is a semi-rigid rather than a flexible structure. This structural configuration allows for the maximum amount of prefabrication and pre-assembly, which facilitates an efficient construction process on site. The structure was initially designed as an undifferentiated lattice, but evolved into the final form through extensive modelling using advanced generative computational design tools in an iterative process between the architectural design

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The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 127

THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

The Pinasta pine is dense softwood and in LVL form it provides a uniform and strong material well suited to the structurally demanding applications exemplified in this project. team and the engineering design team. Close collaboration between all members of the engineering and architectural design teams from early in the design and fabrication process delivered an innovative project efficiently. With the design teams, the fabrication teams and the construction site all located in different states in Australia [Western Australia, Victoria, Queensland] the project was nevertheless delivered to the remote north west of Western Australia on time and on budget. Architectural concept models were developed by ATC [Patrick Beale, Tristan Morgan and Domenic Trimboli] with engineering load parameters and design participation from Bill Smalley of the Scott Smalley Partnership. The gridshell form was modelled in ‘Rhinoceros’ software through the application of computational design methods within the ‘Grasshopper’ scripting environment, which allowed for material properties to be embedded within the design process at an early stage. The model was then exported to Timberbuilt Solutions ‘Cadwork’ Swiss authored CAD/CAM software where the model was further refined under Bruce Hutchings’ direction to meet the structural and aesthetic parameters agreed for the project. The final step in the process was the preparation of machine files for export to the Timberbuilt ‘Hundegger’ CNC carpentry centre for fabrication.

T w i s T

Finishing and partial pre-assembly of the main arch elements was also carried out in Melbourne by Timberbuilt Solutions as well as the detail design and manufacture of the complex faceted formwork for the concrete plinths. The pre-assembly included the mounting of each main frame in half segments including the steel end brackets being fixed to the feet of the arches ready for fixing directly to the concrete plinths on site. The remaining components – each element is repeated only twice as the structure is symmetrical – were loaded onto a flatbed in Melbourne and trucked to Port Hedland via Perth by Keys Bros transport [Perth]. The main arch frames were jointed at the apex on site by bolting through pre-bored holes, lifted into place and the base welded in situ to the baseplates attached to the concrete buttresses. All transverse blocking pieces were supplied accurately shaped and fitted with the connections ready for attachment to the arch frames. The performance shell structure was erected on site in three days, with a further two days for the installation of the specialized PTFE - (polytetrafluroethlyene] coated opaque fiberglass membrane, which is tensioned above the upper curvature of the shell form. The membrane, which was fabricated

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128 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012


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With 26 years of established reputation within the building & construction industry, DenMac Industries is now a leader in its field, with high respect for its quality & service. The diversity of DenMac Industries within the industry is its best asset, capable of taking on a variety of works within the same project. The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 129

THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

The finished project has already become something of a magnet in the South Hedland community.


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130 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

and installed by the MakMax/Taiyo Membrane Corporation [Brisbane and Tokyo] protects potentially vulnerable horizontal surfaces of the timber and the stage area from sun and rain. A T Brine and Sons were the main contractors for the project, Tony Brine having been involved with discussions about the project from an early stage, and Denmac [Perth] provided the rigging skills for the assembly of the shell on site as well as the steelwork in the ablutions building. The stage ‘flats’ and the exterior walls of the back stage facilities are constructed from locally sourced rammed earth while the interiors are lightweight and prefabricated to minimize site construction time and ensure a high standard of finish. The Exceloo ablutions facilities, another high quality prefabricated and part pre-assembled installation, were supplied and installed by WC Innovations [Melbourne]. The rammed earth expertly carried out by Ramtec of Perth [Steve Dobson], contrasts with the precision finish of the Alucobond façade to the ablution facilities and compliments the locally sourced landscape materials, which feature a gently sloping grassed amphitheatre that subtly forms the seating area for the stage, native shade trees and robust grasses. The finished project has already become something of a magnet in the South Hedland community. Groups of young people pass time there in the evenings and kids enjoy the water play during the hot days. The first major event was staged there in mid-June this year and over 4000 people attended at various times during the day and evening. The performance shell has already been ‘field tested’ through a cyclone, several severe storms and other trials and has come through with flying colours. To stand under the shade of the membrane offers an apparent 10 degree difference in the hot summer temperatures, and at night the floodlit luminance of the white shell is a beacon in the area. We hope that such shelter will continue to be available to the citizenry of South Hedland for a long time to come. BC Advanced Timber Concepts Research Centre/ACT2: Patrick Beale: AA Dipl. [London] RAIA – Director Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts The University of Western Australia (08) 6488 1562, A.T Brine & Sons Pty Ltd: (08) 6380 1888,

THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

Getting the building you paid for // words nash

As part of its Building Better Cities initiative, the Housing Industry Association (HIA) recently convened a summit meeting of building industry stakeholders in Melbourne, to discuss the subject of product compliance. Entitled HIA Building Products: a compliance free zone?, the summit brought together manufacturers, builders, designers, certifiers and regulators to hear various perspectives on the topic from local and international speakers. The summit heard that conformity assessment systems are in place in many parts of Europe and North America, requiring marking of certain products and disallowing the use of unmarked products. Where a strong culture of conformity exists in particular jurisdictions, conformity assessment systems are better developed and the detection of non-conforming product is a more routine part of the construction process. The central concern of the HIA is that materials and components that do not conform to the National Construction Code (NCC) are finding their way into Australian residential construction projects. With the process of building increasingly conducted in a global product supply market, products and services are now sourced via channels unknown at the time that most regulatory procedures were devised. Products are

not always accompanied by credible evidence of conformance to relevant material standards, and sub-standard and even counterfeit products may reach building sites without undergoing any form of conformity assessment. Builders and other practitioners may in some cases be held responsible for the inadequate performance of structures when they have had little control over the sourcing or assessment of the products from which they are constructed. Much of the HIA’s concern relates to electrical and plumbing products, but the wider principles apply to every material and product in the finished building that is covered by building, plumbing or electrical regulation. Customers deserve to receive what they paid for, and in the case of building materials this means products that are fit-for-purpose, perform satisfactorily in service and meet all regulatory requirements. Demonstrating the conformity of a finished product – a single component or a complete building does not come without an investment of effort, requiring good systems and processes throughout manufacture and installation. These systems need to capture evidence of conformity of all material inputs to the product irrespective of their origin, and the end customer needs to be confident that the systems are robust and reliable. The National Association of Steel-framed Housing Inc (NASH) represents businesses that design, manufacture and supply light gauge steel framing and related components and services. For building frame manufacturers, the most basic compliance questions might be: • Design: Is the design in accordance with referenced design standards in the NCC? • Material: Does the material used in frame manufacture conform to the relevant material standards on which the design standards are based? • Software: Does the frame design software meet the requirements of the NCC Protocol for Structural Software?

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 131

THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

Steel framing industry members operate within the same compliance framework as other industry participants, and experience the same issues, risks and obligations. NASH promotes and requires of its members a responsible and legally compliant approach to business, and is actively involved in standards preparation and regulatory influence in areas of building design and component manufacture.

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

Steel framing design A number of different steel products are regularly used in steel framed housing and more generally in low-rise construction. The National Construction Code (NCC) Volumes one and two reference the NASH Standard Residential and Low-rise Steel Framing Part One: Design Criteria as suitable for the design of steel framing. The NASH Standard in turn references the following design standards: • AS 4100 Steel structures • AS/NZS 4600 Cold-formed steel structures These design standards stipulate appropriate material standards for the steel and other components used in the design. Correct steel It is fundamental that the properties of the steel used to manufacture frames meet the performance assumed in the framing design. The most common types of steel used in


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

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132 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

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

THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

residential and low-rise construction are: • Metallic coated steel to AS 1397 • Structural steel hollow sections to AS/NZS 1163 • Hot rolled channels (PFC) and universal beams (UB) to AS/ NZS 3679.1 Metallic coated steel to AS 1397 is the most common steel used in the residential and low-rise steel framing industry. The most important step in getting the specified steel for frame fabrication is to buy the steel from a reputable supplier. The order stipulates the relevant standard (eg AS 1397), steel grade, metallic coating, strip thickness and supply dimensions, and may be accompanied by test certificates as further assurance of supplied properties. Appropriate product marking relating the supplied steel to the order specifications provides assistance during manufacture of the frames ensuring the correct steel is used in the right place. It also provides assurance on site to the building inspectors that the correct steel has been used on the project.

Design software Regardless of the materials used, builders should be able to rely on soundly engineered, well manufactured structural components in projects they build. Not all components and assemblies are produced under the direct design and supervision of a professional engineer, with an increasing reliance on expert system software operated by


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.


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And if you want more hands-on experience, you can take advantage of our free skills training programs, both online and in person. You even have the advantage of industry-leading innovations like our free rondo app for iPhone and iPad, that puts all the power of the Rondo Wizards at your fingertips and lets you find and order the products you need from your nearest Rondo distributor. It’s a complete package. So don’t settle for less. Visit and see just how much more you can get.

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The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 133

THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

technical staff. In building structures, sophisticated software is increasingly relied on to analyse and design both steel and timber frames and trusses under the direction of trained operators who are usually not structural engineers. The ABCB’s new Protocol for Structural Software (PFSS) defines the minimum requirements for structural software used without engineering supervision to be suitable for designing in compliance with the Deemed-to-Satisfy Provisions of the NCC. [Refer article Builders Choice Magazine June 2012]. From May 1, 2012, output from PFSS-compliant software can be considered as evidence of suitability under NCC Volume One – Building Code of Australia A2.2(b) and Volume Two – Housing Provisions 1.2.2(b) when designing residential and low-rise buildings. Where software falls outside the scope of the Protocol or has not been appraised in accordance with the Protocol, individual engineering certification of each job is required.

The steel framing industry has a record of responsible product supply and is committed to maintaining and improving the high standards.

Cutting edge design increases buildings’ energy efficiency

The finished result The correct design standards, use of conforming steel and appropriate frame and truss design software set the scene for a satisfactorily performing framing system. The steel framing industry has a record of responsible product supply and is committed to maintaining and improving the high standards on which builders and homeowners can rely. BC

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

Nash: (03) 9809 1333,


Steel stud framed walls and roof trusses for all types of homes – supplying to owner builders and project home builders all across WA. We offer the full package of engineering design, detailing, fabrication and erection to any size home at a very competitive price. For a comprehensive and obligation free quote please call our office in Geraldton on (08) 9965 4011 or 0422 160 957, alternatively email Midwest Steel Stud Construction Pty Ltd A.C.N. 149 912 685 T/A Metwest Steel Framing A.B.N. 19 149 912 685 5 Bradford Street, Wonthella, Western Australia 6530 – PO Box 5139, Wonthella, Western Australia 6530

134 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

THE BUILDERS CHOICE alternative methods of construction

Pod system set to fast track two storey building construction

This means that the house can be built in record time, providing a huge saving in time and money for the home owner not to mention the benefits of living in a Masterwall home. One of the main components of this type of building is the Masterwall Cladding system, which is supplied and installed by Iron Design Cladding, the sole distributors in WA. Iron Design Cladding is the leader in light-weight eco construction in WA and builds homes from Esperance to Karratha. Iron Design Cladding also provides a unique lock-up service to builders and the general public. The Company has recently introduced its K Series to the WA market. This innovative product is powered by Kooltherm, which is made by Kingspan.

Both the Masterwall and K Series provide high thermal efficiencies that go a long way in achieving six star energy ratings and above. Iron Design Cladding has come a long way in its short history from their initial introduction to the market of second story inserts for builders such as Summit Home Improvements to cladding entire houses. Cachet Homes, with the Association of Masterwall, won The Master Builders Timber Frame Home of the Year 2011 and took on the first polystyrene-cladding development in WA for the Frazers Landing residential subdivision. Iron Design Cladding looks set to become the benchmark for the lightweight construction industry in WA with its first multi-storey commercial development using the K Series. (Please refer to full page advert on page 3) ADVERTORIAL SUPPLIED BY CLIENT










As soon as the second storey walls and roof is completed at WA Spantruss in Rockingham, it is then loaded onto trucks and taken to site, and craned into position.

Iron Design Cladding is able to draw from its experience in bringing the product to WA. This product is fire rated with a BAL 40 rating making it an ideal wall cladding system for commercial multi-story developments and residential dwellings situated in fire prone areas.



One WA builder, Residential 101 have taken this philosophy to a new level by turning two story home building practices upside down and creating the states first pod system. The system allows the company to build the second floor component of a two storey home at the same time as the ground floor is being built.

Kingspan is one of Europe’s dominant forces in the insulation business with more than 20 years of history behind it.


Building homes that are eco friendly and sustainable is leading innovation in the Western Australian construction industry as many builders seek the latest energy efficient technology.



The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 135

THE BUILDERS CHOICE energy efficiency

The world has changed – have you noticed?

// words professor ray wills, sea

The regulation of six star housing standard in Western Australia is only one reason why energy consumption of homes will be reversed from this point forward. 136 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

The seemingly unstoppable march of growing energy consumption of homes witnessed over previous decades is coming to an end. The regulation of six star housing standard in Western Australia is only one reason why energy consumption of homes will be reversed from this point forward. As readers will know, the six star standard has been included in the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and increases the minimum energy efficiency standards for all new buildings. Various features of a house design such as orientation of the house, shading, window placement and size, climate, ventilation, insulation, materials used and roof colour, all impact on the heating and cooling requirements of a given house design, and six star standards will regulate these features. In addition to the six star rating for heating and cooling, the BCA requires all houses to meet new lighting efficiency standards. Existing homes will not have the advantage of improved design, and short of planned renovation and retrofitting, established homes will have to rely on changes in appliance energy use in the home to make reductions in energy consumption. Energy costs can also be managed by adding a solar photovoltaic system and adding one to an existing home can reduce or eliminate electricity bills from a retailer, as it’s possible that homes can generate all the energy it uses. But that’s not necessarily through energy efficiency, but rather by making use of solar panels as a cheaper source of electricity than from the grid. Lots of homes around Australia now do this - the latest data from the Australian Clean Energy Regulator showed that, by 30 June 2012, more than 750, 000 homes in Australia are now equipped with solar PV panels totalling almost 1.7 GW of installed capacity. With eight million homes in Australia and existing growth trends, it’s likely more than 10 per cent of homes in Australia have installed solar panels by the time you’re reading this. Western Australia now has more than 104, 000 rooftops with solar installed, adding a total of 218 MW of solar capacity to the electricity grid in the south-west, which is the equivalent of a reasonably sized

THE BUILDERS CHOICE energy efficiency

With eight million homes in Australia and existing growth trends, it’s likely more than 10 per cent of homes in Australia have installed solar panels by the time you’re reading this.

coal-fired power station. Reflecting the success of their local governments promoting sustainability, residents of Mandurah have installed enough solar panels on their homes to make them collectively among the largest installations of solar in Australia. If you are building in Mandurah expect your client to install solar panels! And as solar panels continue to get cheaper and cheaper, I would suggest that from 2013 almost all builders will offer new homes with solar fitted as standard, representing at least 100 000 new homes per year around Australia. By 2015 solar will be so cheap, we won’t just be putting it on north facing roofs for optimized generation, we will be applying it generously on east and west facing roof spaces too, and generating much of our electricity more cheaply on any roof with a hint of north, and this will be delivering most of the electricity to power the appliances we are filling our homes with. But there is another part missing from the equation, while we are building homes more suited to the climate they are built in, surely all those new televisions and computer gaming stations are going to work against efficiency and reduced electricity use? My answer is a resounding no. Everyone knows through the last decade we’ve added bigger new air-conditioners, new enormous television screens, gaming boxes and entertainment systems to name a few – surely all of these will add to consumption? The answer is yes, that’s what used to happen, but that’s all about to change. It will change not because we won’t be doing similar things, but because the new gizmo, the latest widget, the next model, the next upgrade are all going to use less energy and be far more efficient than the old device it replaces. There are already large falls in the electricity consumption of appliances coming to market right now and as these are taken up over the next few years, electricity consumption in the home will start to fall. And its not me dreaming, these changes are already recorded in the electricity markets around


For accredited training: Certificate IV in Home Sustainability Assessment* RPL available1300 ASSESS Short Course in BuildingM.Thermal 0418 778 615 Performance (Residential)** E. BERS Pro V4.2 – 4 day & 2 day courses 186 Irene Street Cairns QLD 4870 Certificate IV in NatHERS Assessment

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Australia, which are reporting consistent downward trends in electricity sales trends that have now been in place as far back as 2008! Declines in the amount of electricity needed for lighting is leading the way and the arrival of cheaper and more reliable LEDs over the next year or so will consign old style lighting to the museum and the history books. In the same way that when you see an old style big-tube 26inch television now you wonder how we ever managed to put up with it. Conventional forecasts from energy agencies across Australia and across the world are predicting change in the same direction, but not to the scale of my predictions. For example, the US Energy Information Agency suggests falls in consumption of electricity at home in the range of 25 to 40 per cent, but over the space of 20 years. There is another challenge, because it’s not only the new electronic gadgetry, it’s the fact we own multiple items. An analysis of energy intensity in household appliances in Australia by the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) shows the number of appliances in the house has

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The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 137

THE BUILDERS CHOICE energy efficiency

Building standards will continue to be improved in coming years and we will add more renewable energy on homes, energy saving features in homes, and energy efficient appliances equipping homes. increased at an average growth rate of 3.5 per cent per year, much higher than the growth in the Australian population. So why am I right and these agencies wrong? The energy agencies make their predictions on simple linear growth models, and not on the basis of what I argue are more realistic technology diffusion curves that explains the adoption of technology over the past century. Australia’s economy for the last 20 years has witnessed rapid technological transitions. Examine the arrival of any new successful technology in the past two decades; computers, iPods, smartphones, iPads, and they all come in with a bang, not a whimper. If the technology works and does what we want, we buy it, and not in half measures. Televisions are replaced on desire for new technology, not because the old one is worn out, but because the new one is demanded, and that means by default we adopt the new technology and its new energy efficiency more rapidly than the linear logic of forecasters would have us believe. There is a certainty for homes that building standards will continue to be improved in coming years and we will add more renewable energy on homes, energy saving features in homes, and energy efficient appliances equipping homes. Builders’ innovation in this space will lead the market as more stars are added to deliver savings to the owners over the life of the home. One closing point, this will impact on precinct construction with a decrease in electricity consumption per household, and a decrease in total delivered electricity use in the residential sector. We should expect the growing head works charges for ever-larger substations in new subdivisions witnessed last decade will also reverse, and the growth of distribution systems will peak as both local power production increases from renewables, and power consumption off the grid falls. Professor Ray Wills is a Director and joint owner of the advisory firm Duda&Wills, chief adviser to and Board Member of the energy chamber, the Sustainable Energy Association of Australia, and Adjunct Professor at The University of Western Australia. Ray was recognised as one of the Top 100 Global Leaders in Sustainability in 2011. BC

WA’S MOST SUSTAINABLE CITY The City of Cockburn has been recognised by Keep Australia Beautiful as Western Australia’s most Sustainable City for 2012. The Keep Australia Beautiful Sustainable Cities awards program recognises metropolitan local governments that are active in their communities and making valuable contributions towards environmental sustainability. Environment Minister Bill Marmion revealed the City of Cockburn as the winner in an awards ceremony held in Perth on 30 July 2012. Cockburn also received the Highly Commended award for Community Action and Partnership and Heritage and Culture and was the Category Winner for Environmental Innovation and protection and Young Legends. “With leadership from the Mayor and Council, the City is strategically tackling sustainability and addressing the challenges of climate change and environmental protection, and is a deserving winner of WA’s most Sustainable City for 2012,” Prof Wills said who was the State Judge for the awards.

Join the green revolution with GreenHOUS GreenHOUS is a proudly owned Australian company dedicated to reducing energy costs, carbon dioxide emissions, water consumption and being an active contributor to the green revolution. GreenHOUS products are sourced from all over the world and are subject to vigorous testing and require the highest standards of production and longevity. The GreenHOUS range grows everyday and includes products such as: • Variable Speed Drives to assist in motor and pump control and a substantial reduction in electricity costs. • Instant Off water savers that allow complete control of dripping taps in your home or business, with an extensive product range for both commercial and domestic applications. • Sol Air Solar Hybrid Air conditioners that reduce electricity costs and are far more efficient than current inverter systems.

138 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

LED Lighting for all commercial and industrial applications. From flood lights to down lights, their extensive range will handle any requirement you may have. • The NRG roof mounted wind turbine is a wind generation device that can deliver up to 2.1kw of power to your home or business. The NRG Turbine has the added advantage of providing year round air extraction from roof cavities or buildings. The generator has a 20-year life, and its installation can provide independence from grid supplied electricity. GreenHOUS has assisted in the substantial reduction of energy consumption for clients in the Government sector, large private companies and many small domestic applications. Electricity prices are on the rise and now with the Carbon Tax, further increases will follow. Pay now, save now – the choice is yours.


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10% Watts clever energy saving sockets/auto power board. By automatically switching off peripheral equipment to save on standby power, you have the power to save energy and money.

Our energy efficient range of air conditioners gives you the power to save up to 40% compared to the cost of running a standard inverter air conditioner*. *Based on independent research from Curtin University

Up to


Energy efficient pump controls. By controlling motor speed, our range of energy efficient pump control systems give you the power to reduce C02 emissions and make energy savings of up to 75% on domestic and commercial pump applications on just about all motors*. With summer just around the corner, it’s a great way of significantly reducing the cost of running your pool. *Based on internal and independent research.

With the carbon tax in place and electricity prices rising dramatically over the past two years, it’s no wonder people are feeling helpless when it comes to managing their power bills. GreenHOUS offer an exclusive range of state-of-the-art energy saving products that give you the power to save and take control of rising energy costs. To find out more about the above products and the rest of the GreenHOUS range visit or call 1800 014 687. The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 139

THE BUILDERS CHOICE water efficiency

Considerations required before using bore water Garden bores are a popular choice by many homeowners to use less scheme water in maintaining a lawn and garden. Because the bores reduce use of scheme water for home irrigation purposes, they have been supported in Western Australia as a non-drinking water source. A garden bore draws on groundwater from the shallow aquifers and when used purely for household purposes, generally does not require a licence. In some situations, several neighbouring properties may share one domestic garden bore to irrigate their gardens. This is not considered to be a community bore, and is therefore in general also exempt from licensing for that reason, but may not automatically be allowed. “Multiple domestic gardens serviced from one draw point (or one bore) are not automatically allowed because they have the potential to affect local groundwater-dependent ecosystems, or wetlands, and other nearby domestic users,� Department of Water Recycling and Efficiency manager Adrian Parker said.

140 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

THE BUILDERS CHOICE water efficiency

A garden bore draws on groundwater from the shallow aquifers and when used purely for household purposes, generally does not require a licence.

“For this reason, the Department of Water’s licensing officers need to assess shared bore proposals on a case-by-case basis.” All domestic garden bores are subject to statewide efficiency measures which can vary in different regions of the state. “In the case of shared domestic garden bores each property should only irrigate on their roster day, in areas where such restrictions apply, determined by the last digit of their house number, or lot number if no house number is allocated,” Adrian said. “If the property shares a domestic garden bore with another property and is unable to isolate the irrigation to their allocated sprinkler roster days, then each property can then only irrigate on the scheduled watering days where the bore is located. “In such cases the Department of Water recommends that you register the details with us to avoid the issuing of a warning notice or fine, by calling 1800 508 885 or, email the details to” Not all suburban areas are suitable for garden bores for a number of reasons. “While domestic garden bores are generally a better alternative to scheme water as a fit-for-purpose source, some parts of the Perth to Mandurah area are unsuitable for the establishment of new domestic garden bores,” Adrian says. “Some common reasons are salinity levels making the water unsuitable for garden irrigation, or the potential for acid sulphate soils to be exposed to the air and increase groundwater acidity. “To help establish if a bore is suitable an on-line map has been developed by the department to show areas that are both suitable and unsuitable.” A community bore is a centralised bore or number of bores supplying groundwater to several properties for irrigation of public open space and/or domestic gardens through a third pipe scheme. The community bore can be managed by a developer, local government or a water service provider such as the Water Corporation, with the appropriate approvals. Establishing a community bore is a more complex process than a domestic garden bore. If a developer or community wishes to install a community bore, they need to go through an approvals process with the department. This process starts by establishing if there is any groundwater available for licensing in the area in which the community or developer wishes to establish the bore. “We will not support an application for additional groundwater use in a fully allocated area. Anyone wishing to establish a community bore in a fully allocated area should consider water trading through purchasing an entitlement from a groundwater licence holder,” Adrian said. If there is no water available for licensing then there is no chance for a licence to be granted. If there is water available and there are no other site specific

constraints, two licences are required from the Department of Water. The first licence is to construct a bore and another to take groundwater from an area that is proclaimed under the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914. “We cannot guarantee that a licence will be granted as all applications must meet the department’s assessment criteria,” Adrian said. As part of the licensing assessment process, the department requires an operating strategy which describes commitments to monitoring, addressing environmental impacts, contingency plans and water use efficiency. The department will also require the proponent to substantiate the quantity of water required and to prove that they have legal access to the land where the water is to be taken from. “The department may also require you to undertake further investigations to demonstrate the benefits in terms of the total water cycle for the site, prove that water is available, determine the impact on ecosystems and prove that the water quality is suitable for irrigation. Given that a community bore is a non-standard water supply, the Department of Health should be contacted to see whether an approval will be required. A proponent must apply duty of care and ensure that the system does not cause any harm or risk to public health. Risks to human health are considered low given the general quality of groundwater and the intended end use for irrigation. However, there is some potential for community bores to be cross-connected with drinking supplies, used for unintended end-uses and/or affected by contaminated land or water. Therefore water quality needs to be tested to confirm it is suitable for the intended use. Proponents of a community bore also need to consider who will own, operate and maintain the system. Operators providing groundwater from a community bore through a third pipe scheme to multiple users are considered water service providers and may require a water services operating licence from the Economic Regulation Authority. Again, the developer can discuss the particular scheme with the Department of Water who will advise whether such a licence is required or whether an exemption from licensing can be granted. Examples of groundwater community bores supplying water for irrigation of public open space and residential gardens are in place at ‘The Green’ in Brighton, a northern suburb of Perth, and in Evermore Heights, Baldivis. For more information about bore water and links to resources and contacts mentioned in this article, go to the Department of Water’s Waterwise Community Toolkit. BC Government of Western Australia – Department of Water:

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 141

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services

Superior quality architectdesigned retractable insect screens


Provide colour prints to your clients requirements For printing solutions contact Kimberley: or Robin: (08) 9470 1300

Freedom Retractable Screens is Australia’s most respected designer, manufacturer and installation company and offers innovative solutions in its superior quality architect-designed retractable insect screens. Only Freedom Retractable Screens can screen large openings up to an amazing 10m. The Freedom Infinity range will cover up to 7.2m and is perfect for the Australian lifestyle. The company offers screening for French doors, bi-fold doors and stacker doors that are perfect for outdoor entertaining areas and garages, which are often used as entertainment areas in the warmer months. Freedom Retractable Screens block out flies, insects, mosquitoes, and all the other annoying bugs with its superior range of colourful screens and blinds to enable all sorts of lifestyle activities possible. With the addition of remote controlled motorized options, the possibilities are endless. A very unique and stylish range of screens is available, including pleated screens, magnetic screens, single door screens, double door screens and screens for bi-fold doors, stacker doors and French doors. A unique bonus feature offered by Freedom Retractable Screens is the unique and patented brake locking system that enables the screen to stop in any position. The simple friction brake locks the screen in any position stopping it from retracting uncontrolled into the housing even if accidentally bumped or released. Visit to learn more, or email ADVERTORIAL SUPPLIED BY CLIENT

FREEDOM RETRACTABLE INSECT SCREENS Unique Design with patented braking system for: • • • • •

French doors • Bi folds Stacking doors • Servery windows Alfresco areas Up to 3.6m in a Single Screen Up to 7.2m in a Double Screen

Pleated Screen up to 10m

Three Retractable Screens to choose from We also make: • Magnetic screens for windows • Motorised roll down screens These innovative retractable screens are custom built to suit a variety of difficult to screen areas.

Phone: 9244 7436

Unit 5, 18 Hector Street, Osborne Park Email: Web:

142 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

PRE BOOK YOUR TOUR. By contacting Jake Hickey on 9379 2111, or by email

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services

If you are wanting the best service and workmanship available, it is just a phone call away.... Not so very long ago, 90% of business was familyowned and operated. In those times, customers enjoyed good product and great service with expert workmanship. Today, we see 90% of business is not family-operated and customers are receiving less than satisfactory service and workmanship.



...simply call US... COMFORT la




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Air conditioned comfort supplied with expertise Comfort Zone is a long term provider of airconditioning systems in Western Australia. The business concentrates on close contact with clients and strives to meet the requirements of every individual installation. Comfort Zone proprietor Don Hayes said the company did not provide package or bulk kit style work, but were widely known for competitive pricing and real product performance. “What we are is an experienced team with some of the best brands in the market available to us,” Mr Hayes said. “We work in well with our clients schedules and supply our products on time, every time.” The bulk of the work is completed within the family by Don and his sons as experience and proper practise is the only way to a happy result and this is what Comfort Zone offers. If you have a project large or small and you want a quality completion with best product and best cost, call us at Comfort Zone on 9401 3477. ADVERTORIAL SUPPLIED BY CLIENT


Polyseal Waterproofing (WA) Pty Ltd P: 08 9418 1079 F: 08 9434 6753 Unit 1, 45 Howson Way, Bibra Lake. WA 6163

w w w.p 144 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012


The Landscape

The most efficient panoramic fire Our Landscape fireplaces feature a range of stylish finishes and a full width glass viewing area to maximize the brilliant flame pattern’s impact. Not just a stunning centerpiece for your room, the Landscape also creates a cozy environment. It not only looks great, the Landscape also impresses with its high-energy efficient star rating. Plus, with a full remote as standard, you have complete control over the room’s temperature.

RealFlame FlameWA WA Real 47-53 McDonald Street East East 47-53 McDonald Steet Osborne Park Osborne Park T 9444 9900 TE 9444 9900

Leaders in Gas Fireplace Technology

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services


ITEM 110

Suppliers of custom designed:



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

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email: PHONE 08 9303 2782

Planter Boxes Wall Mount Planters Letterboxes House Numbers

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146 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

One Company ... Three Services

P: 9258 4355 E: E: Unit 3, 51 Division Street Welshpool, WA 6106



PH: (08) 9571 1247

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THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services

No mess with Smart Mesh AWA Smart Gutter Mesh is a proudly Western Australian owned and operated company that has manufactured a new and improved Smart Mesh gutter guard system. The system is designed to direct a greater volume of rainwater into a home’s gutters. Smart Mesh gutter guard system ensures leaves and debris slide off the roof leaving debris free gutters and a new angled design also directs the flow of rainwater into the gutters. The product has been manufactured with HDPE Plastic (high density polyethylene) with the highest UV stabilizer that meets Australian standards and has been Australian Water Quality tested and approved.

10 Year Guarantee


Obligation free measure and quote Free gutter cleaning prior to installation Fits all roof types A one-application sealing, hardening, dustproofing and curing treatment for concrete.

1300 399 145 Smart Mesh…the smart gutter guard system

VALBLAST PTY LTD T/A CONCRETE FLOOR SEALING SYSTEMS WA Ph: 08 9359 1589 Steve Valentine – 0417 176 700 John Grigson – 0414 715 435 Email:

Specialising in all types of quality cedar, aluminium and colorbond garage doors Over 10 years experience in the garage door industry PH:

(08) 9754 4976 FAX: (08) 97514362 65-69 Strelly St, Busselton WA 6280


148 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services

VALET BUILDERS’ CHOICE SOLUTIONS FOR BETTER LIVING Right now, as a builder, you have the extraordinary opportunity to recommend Valet products to your clients, making their home a much healthier, safer place for them and their family. YOU have the chance of helping them enjoy a more comfortable and easier lifestyle as well as adding value to their home. VALET DUCTED VACUUM SYSTEMS The quiet, powerful operation of a Valet Ducted Vacuum System makes cleaning a home easier than imaginable. And installation in any new home is simple. With Valet, suction is up to four times stronger than portable machines, for faster, more thorough cleaning. The Ducted Vacuum System effectively removes abrasive dirt particles lodged deep in the carpet pile. And, because the air from your Valet is vented outside, fine particles of dust are removed providing enormous health benefits. VALET INTERCOM MUSIC & VIDEO SYSTEMS Valet Intercom, Music and Video Systems keep families safe and secure. Their many functions keep you in

touch, making everyday living easier and more enjoyable. The Intercom system can be used to talk to family members wherever they are in the home. Music can be played in any room, a watchful eye can be kept on children as they play and sleep or the video system can confirm a visitor’s identity. Valet has a system to suit any requirements. VALET SECURITY ALARM SYSTEMS Valet can design a powerful network of sophisticated sensors, detectors, wireless transmitters, and other devices to protect families from every angle. Smoke detectors can also be linked to the system. Reliable, flexible and user-friendly, there’s no better protection than Valet for your clients’ home and family. Make it your choice too! VALET “Valet” is the generic name associated with ducted vacuum and home radio intercom systems for good reasons, some we list below:-

1.) No other company in our industry has our long history or experience to draw on to assist us in planning your system. 2.) Many companies have come and gone in our industry. Valet now services and maintain these systems. 3.) We are competitive but not always the cheapest, because we will not compromise standard for price. 4.) Valet uses only genuine Imported American Lambe and Factory supplied motors designed specifically for vacuum in their units and for service. 5.) Valet’s range of factory accessories is extensive and second to none. 6.) Valet use only their own full time staff not contractors, for installation and service.

FREECALL 1800 050 333 BRANCHES Booragoon - East Victoria Park Osborne Park - Mandurah

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 149

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services

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

Domestic Commercial Solar Industrial

phone 0433 064 550 150 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services



Specialising in:


P: 0422 130 313 E:

SOLID SCAFFOLD Owner Operated Total Scaffold Solutions Material hoists

500kg COMPACTOR HIRE per day


700kg COMPACTOR HIRE per day




per day



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Delivery and pick-up to site available All equipment can be supplied conforming to mine site regulations.

0400 076 543


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or email The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 151

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services

Attic Access Ladders Attic Flooring Dust Proof Attic Storage Rooms • We have Attic Ladders to suit every situation and budget. • Timber, Aluminium, Steel, Concertinas – the choice is yours. • Over 400 Ladders in stock ranging from the entry level Economy Attic Ladder up to the Italian manufactured “Estfeller” range which have proved time and again to be one of the

best Attic Ladders in the World!! • We can supply only or supply and fit, the choice is yours. • We will beat any written quotation for an Attic Ladder of the same quality. • Call us today to get expert and friendly advice and unbeatable prices on our range of Ladders.

Tel: (08) 9523 4860 / 0400 448 814 I Email: I



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



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




FEATURES • • • • • • • •

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

P: 9472 1148 F: 9362 2005 E:

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

152 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services

P 9454 9809 F 9454 7521 Matt: 0488 775 388 – Michael: 0488 778 155 - Mark: 0400 121 285- PO Box 2416, High Wycombe WA 6057

Ph o t o gr a p her

Stephen Nicholls Pty Ltd


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

0421 740 077 Quality flooring requires quality preparation. Contact us to prepare your business for the future. FLOOR REMOVAL


• • • •

• Grinding • Coating & Contamination Removal • Levelling • Honing

Tile Timber Carpet Vinyl

DE-FITS • • • •

Kitchens Bathrooms Offices Brick Walls

FINISHING • Polishing • Staining


Cedar Shutters I Basswood Shutters Aluminium Shutters & Privacy Screens Venetian Blinds Outdoor Blinds I Roller Blinds




t (08) 9399 9619 f (08) 9399 9135 m 0422 819 887 e The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 153

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services


P: (08) 9752 3735 F: (08) 9751 3735 Lot 30 Molloy Street, Busselton WA 6280

SAVE UP TO $3600 PEr yEAr start recycling today >>>>>>>>>


We will help you reduce your carbon footprint

We have The soluTion for Your WasTe conTrol issue at an affordable price!

» Choose from our large range of Vertical Balers, Drum Crushers & Glass Crushers » Compacting, baling & crushing recyclable material means less volume - less costs - less landfill » No more messy overflowing waste skips outside your business giving a bad impression » Help the environment by starting the process of re-using our valuable resources. » Units are Fully CE and WORKSAFE approved

call TodaY for an obligaTion free WasTe audiT

1300 889 867 154 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services

Our unique 47mm-high Roman Briks help your building stand out and your courses fit in. All Brikmakers 47mm-high Lloyd Wright Collection bricks line-up perfectly with conventional single and two-course brick construction. DOMESTIC & COMMERCIAL HIRE • Modular, Frame, Tube & Fitting Scaffold and Aluminium Mobiles • Erect & Dismantle • Supply & Install Edge Protection • Servicing the Great Southern of WA • Suppliers to Award-Winning Builders

47 290



P: 08 9404 7333 F: 08 9404 7555 E:

Lloyd Wright Collection | 1300 360 344. The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 155

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services

M0NUF0CTURER 0ND IM00RTER 0F l0m00000 fl00000g | v00yl fl00000g | 0l0m0000m 000m0 0c0ti0 | 0cc00000000

08 9446 1010



Wall and floor tiles Porcelain



Natural Stone


0430 334 020 156 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

• • • • • • •

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

9417 9437

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

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services

Showcasing the largest range of window, door and glass options in WA. This fantastic resource for builders, designers and home owners offers the perfect place to select windows and doors that provide exceptional security, comfort from the elements and an alfresco lifestyle.

31 Sheffield Road (cnr Dampier Road) Welshpool Ph: 9351 3400 Opening Hours - Mon to Fri 8:00am - 5:00pm Sat 9:00am - 12:00pm

Open to th public and e tr Monday-Fri ade d …and Satu ay rday ‘till noon!

6 Brolo Court, O’Connor, WA 6163 PO Box 2065, Palmyra DC, WA 6961 abn: 87 712 338 613

Phone: (+61) 08 6363 5953 Fax: (+61) 08 9331 3384 Email:


The first door you should choose is the entrance to WA’s largest Showroom and Selection Centre

OUR RANGE HOME LIFTS from 250kg - 1000kg DUMBWAITERS from 5kg - 450kg GOODS HOISTS from 500kg - 3000kg PANORAMA Lifts from 450kg - 4500kg MRL Passenger Lifts from 300kg - 3500kg HANDICAPPED Access Lifts from 225kg - 400kg HYDRAULIC Passenger Lifts from 250kg - 4500kg

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 157

THE BUILDERS CHOICE building products & services

Quick assembly and construction making home ownership a breeze Passive Built are looking for developers and builders who may be interested in the benefits to be gained from the Passive Built housing system. Passive Built have developed a range of highly energy efficient, quickly built homes that come with a high standard of finish and fit out. Granite bench tops, high quality plywood cupboards with German made ‘Blum’ hardware, baked enamel cupboard doors, uPVC double glazing and high energy ratings are standard. Passive Built homes can be erected in one or two days easily and fully completed in two weeks, ready for the buyers to move in. Passive Built homes are available now in a range of single storey and double storey designs. Granny flats and multiple dwelling apartments are also available.

Passive Built homes are built with a series of factory made modules that leave the factory complete and ready for installation. The modules are simply placed on site and bolted into the building structure. The heaviest module is about two tonne and so a small 10 tonne crane can be used for installation. Transport to remote areas can be done with standard semitrailers and so offers large savings over the cost of overwidth transport. For further information, please contact Bill McLarty on 0411 131 637. Alternatively, you are welcome to visit the company’s Spearwood display houses. (Please refer to full page advert on page 5)

painting service pty ltd

Reg 2128

M: 0418 958 680 A/HOURS Ph/Fax: 08 9398 3011 E:

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

STUART VOSS M: 0411 158 832 E:

EC9110 158 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012



Photo: wasp paintball

tradies corner

ive Tandem sk ydthe ver from 14 ,0 0 0ft o lton & e ss Bu r spectacula Regions Margaret River southernskydiv




TE A R O P R CO IAL BUCKS C O S S Y BIRTHDA TODAY T, CALL SEIZE THE MOMEN 55 6357 0418 912 795 or 94 www.wasppaintba ppaintball

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 159

THE BUILDERS CHOICE water tradies corner efficiency

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





We cater for all types of occasions. If you’re having a work function or a party, call us! We offer you the thrill of learning to shoot a variety of rifles, shotguns, revolvers and semi auto pistols in the security of our indoor complex. We cater for Corporate, Groups, Bucks and Hens Parties.

107-109 Robinson Ave BELMONT WA 6014 TEL (+618) 9277 9200 FAX (+618) 9277 9211 160 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

Do you know a business that would be great for our Tradies Corner? Then call Mike on (08) 9409 5143 or email


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





9242 1298

9274 3235





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


Terry Brown Managing Director Mobile: 0407 733 822 Email:



For all your crane hire needs 24 Hour Services

For all crane bookings, please contact Michael on:

Call today, Use Tomorrow

F. 08 9279 7742

Marcus 1300 734 858

PO Box 122, Glen Forrest WA 6071

Call 1800 888 114

P. 08 9279 7762



Consultations Business & Corporate Residential & Private Courses Seminars Cures & Products Interior Design Colour Consultations For a FREE ‘8 Simple Ways to Feng Shui Your Life’ visit Michele Castle Master of Feng Shui M: 0421 116 799 E:




We offer a complete range of doors & operators, architectural & custom designs including:


M. 0414 411 084 F. 08 9405 2188


• • • • • •

Sectional Doors Tilt Doors Rolling Doors Timber Doors Mesh Doors Tilting Gates Cedar, and Aluminium

Garage Door Industries are a WA owned family company with over 45 years experience.

CALL NOW! 9272 2907 37 Raymond Ave, Bayswater WA

F. 9272 2946 E. Free Quotes • Service & Repairs Servicing All Areas

• New Door Sales & Installation • Professionally Trained Installers • Sales & Service to All Brands • Roller Doors, Sectional Doors, Custom Doors & Timber Doors • Automatic Openers Installed to Existing Doors • Emergency Call Out • All Work Guaranteed Over 4000 Installations Experience

CENTRE PARK Suite19,755Albany Hwy East Victoria Park WA 6101 PARTNER



SME IT Consultants Managed and Helpdesk Service Providers TurnKey IT Solution Provision (Hardware/Software/Integration)

The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012 161





MD Painting Services



• For clean & reliable workmanship • 25 years experience

Tia Franchina

ALFRESCO’S / OUTDOOR KITCHENS We feature state-of-the-art stainless steel appliances with accenting ceramic tile, granite, and stainless steel designs. Featuring quality brands such as Beef Eater, Bosch, Siemens, Electrolux, plus more. Design your own or we can suggest ideas to help you get to the desired finish.

P: 9249 7011

45 Irvine Drive, Malaga WA 6090


Mobile Makeup Artist


Ph 0423 405 418

• Fully insured • Police cleared

Special Occasions Weddings School Balls

MARK – 0406 091 804 DEBBIE – 0414 279 379 F: (08) 9378 9845 E:

Trained at Napoleon Perdis Makeup Academy Uses Napoleon Perdis Products


• Free quote • REGO: 7412


• Specialising in all domestic & commercial painting



Metal Roofing Specialist

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




t. (08) 9200 6275 e. studio. 255 Newcastle Street Northbridge WA 6003

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



New Roof Re Roof Re Gutter Colour Bond Gutter Guard Downpipes Replaced A Range of Colours

JARROD COOTE 0411 759 313

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



Window Tinting Service • Value • Peace of Mind

HOME & COMMERCIAL SECURITY Electronic Internal & Perimeter Alarm Systems CCTV Camera Systems Comprehensive Monitoring Guard Patrols Intercoms (audio & visual) Digital Video Recording 24 Hour Service

1300 139 386 Email:

Car, Home + Office

Solar Film Benefits Reject Heat by up to 75% Save Energy by up to 30% Reduce Glare Increase Privacy Block Damaging UV Rays Reduce Fading

ENERLOGIC WINDOW INSULATION FILM SOLACE tel: (08) 9330 1015 fax: (08) 9330 4044

162 The Builders Choice Magazine – September 2012

20% OFF

• • • •

Solar Films Security Films Decorative Films Architectural Films

our extensive range or local and imported lawns* *Excludes already reduced lawns. For a limited time.

We only supply the best varieties at the best prices... what are you waiting for?

Ph 9446 1616


(08) 9443 7281 (08) 9443 7730 24 Drake St, Osborne Park, WA 6017

Specialising in

film application

In the dark? Choose a company with experience...

Metro and all areas.


REGS PLUMBING & GAS  Commercial  Residential


 Industrial  Maintenance  Free quotes Luca Dumitru

Phone 0406 100 353 email

Profile for The Builders Choice

Builders choice magazine september 2012  

Builders choice magazine september 2012