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threadgold architecture
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Recently shortlisted for the 2018 Architecture Awards by the Build Magazine readership, Threadgold Architecture has been awarded Best Environmentally Sustainable Design Firm 2018 – Western Australia & Best Australian Holiday Home Design Project.
https://threadgoldarchitecture.com.au/contemporary-beach-house-design-awarded/
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Honoured to be short listed by the corporate live wire readership.
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These days, the ‘elephant-in-the-room’ when it comes to development approval applications is local authority approval timeframes. Most development approval applicants and their professional consultant team are really only prepared to discuss these protracted and prolonged timeframes in hushed tones, closed door client meetings or off-the-record phone conversations and certainly never in a public blog article or the like...

Personal development approval application experiences in south-west Western Australia give you some indication how the development approval process has evolved into a lengthy ordeal. For example, a recent development approval application in the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River was drawn-out to 200 days, a simple development approval application for a class 1 dwelling at the City of Busselton notched up a staggering 224 days and a current application at the City of Busselton is sitting at 122 days and counting. This month, an enquiry with a local authority’s Manager of Development Services on a yet to be submitted two storey building, unashamedly advised that the development approval application would take at least 90 days. The late Michael Swift, City of Busselton CEO 1997-2002, was meticulous in ensuring all applicants were delivered an expeditious response (ie within twenty-eight days) on each and every application and would no-doubt be grieved by the legacy that now exists. When canvassing south-west builders, developers, town planners and other professionals; these timeframes are certainly not anomalous – bearing in mind that most development approval applications are then followed by a building permit application – also approved by the local authority.

One may well say, “…build a bridge a get over it…” or “…start a group…” but these extensive timeframes are well beyond the Town Planning and Development Act 2005 statutory period of ninety days and have a real commercial cost to every application, every proponent, all planning and building professionals and the wider community. Afterall, are not planning officers’ salaries borne by the local authority ratepayers who ensure that the Council ‘make-ends-meet’? When faced with these exaggerated timeframes, some of the choices are:

State Administrative Tribunal (‘the Tribunal’) review after ninety days;
abusing planning staff (only for the very brave or fool-hardy)
write a letter of complaint to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO);
lobby Councillors;
contact Department of Local Government and Communities;
contact Obudsman WA;
all of the above

Baby boomers may have noticed the adjustment of attitudes amongst the public service with the evolution of JDF’s to the ‘officer’ description but this may not be so apparent to the gen-xer’s nor millennials. Unfortunately, this perceived recalcitrant behaviour falls outside the scope of the last two organisations and just another governance issue that falls between the cracks of government bureaucracies. The applicant is left with the choice of pleading for mercy to the CEO or lobbying a higher authority (Councillors) and the difficult task of finding a Councillor who cares. The applicant’s next act is to then try to motivate the Councillor to bring about accountability to the CEO and his/her sub-ordinate staff who are contracted through the CEO. When faced with this type political manoeuvring, most applicants will defer back to option (a) – a State Administrative Tribunal review after ninety days. Regrettably, taking your case to the Tribunal involves more effort, cost and longer timeframes – and local government officers know it. In fact, I have seen deliberate stalling tactics by local authority officers during Tribunal review meetings; presumably in an attempt to ‘bleed-out’ the appellant through excessive consultant time and professional fees. Thankfully, the Tribunal possibly addressed this insufficient respect towards the Tribunal in the decision DR 196 2014 Bruhn vs City of Joondalup, where the City lost the case and the Tribunal awarded the Bruhn’s costs of $14,880 – certainly a David and Goliath battle that turned the table on the Philistines.

In recent times, the Building Commission has shifted building surveyors out of local authorities to the private sector via the Building Act 2011. So should planning officers be the target of the next privatisation push of a hopeful new state government? Although the recent privatisation of building surveyors’ services by the Building Commission has it’s detractors – perhaps the expedited timeframes on building permit applications and significantly reduced fees should be observed by policy makers. Given that successive state and national governments have privatised, CBA, Qantas, Telstra, Alinta Gas alongside a plethora of other parliamentary privatisation proposals; perhaps planning departments could be the next service industry to be privatised? “…Extreme…” or “…radical…” you say; perhaps not? The Western Australian Planning Commission has actually already set-up a working group to consider the outsourcing of the arduous planning approval process to the private sector – specifically to do with sub-divisional applications. Premier Brian Burke set the ball rolling and made the first attempt on privatising the Public Works Department (PWD) with later liberal and labour regimes thereafter taking bigger bites of the PWD cherry. Equally, it will take an incredibly self-assured Minister for Transport, Planning, Lands to initiate a move of this magnitude in privatising town planning services. Would the private sector do a better job? Would the Corporations Act, ASIC et al bring greater accountability to private planning companies than we currently see at the local level? Are the local authority CEO’s prepared to relinquish their lucrative development approval fees and planning officers take a hair-cut? And finally the question on every voter’s lips; what effect would this have on rates?
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‘South West Beach House, Australia’ has been nominated for a 2018 BUILD Architecture Award which is the awards program for BUILD magazine. ‘South West Beach House, Australia’ was nominated under the category of ‘Residential Architecture’. The nomination was generated via the BUILD online voting form which was opened on the BUILD website in early 2018. The on-line BUILD voting was distributed to readers, thousands of industry professionals, and the general public – all of which have been encouraged and invited to put forward a company, individual or even a project that they feel are deserving of recognition.

Typically Architecture Award nominations are made by three main channels:

Third party nomination – this is the most common channel, and is usually put forward by a customer or client
BUILD nomination – our publication occasionally puts forward parties if they have worked with us previously or been profiled by our editorial team.
Self-nomination – we accept nominations from companies or individuals looking to put themselves forward for consideration

THREADGOLD ARCHITECTURE is grateful to the BUILD readership for recognizing the dedication of the project team to realize the project outcomes; through the nomination of the south west beach house in the 2018 BUILD Architecture Award's program.

The 2018 BUILD Architecture Awards are judged by the BUILD panel, consisting of a highly experienced collection of international multi-lingual individuals with backgrounds from a myriad of fields such as architecture, business, media, journalism, history and European languages.

https://threadgoldarchitecture.com.au/portfolio/south-west-beach-house-design/
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Houzz, the leading platform for home renovation and design in Australia and overseas, today announced the community’s picks for Best Of Houzz 2018.

Threadgold Architecture has been awarded ‘Best of Houzz 2018’ for Customer Service by houzz.com.au, the leading platform for home renovation and design. The award winning architectural company was chosen by the more than 40 million users that make up the Houzz community (with over 1 million in Australia).

Houzz Industry Marketing Vice President stated, “Best of Houzz winners represent some of the most talented and customer-focused professionals in our industry, and we are extremely pleased to give them both this recognition and a platform on which to showcase their expertise."

The Best of Houzz awards fall under two categories: ‘Design’ and ‘Customer Satisfaction’. Design awards are granted to home professionals whose work was the most popular among the millions of monthly users on Houzz - affectionately known as ‘Houzzers’. Customer satisfaction honours are determined by a large variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews received by a professional.

Threadgold Architecture is a design focused team committed to creating architecture that is a delight for client's to inhabit through clever selection of materials and treatment of form, space and light. Thanks to the Houzz Team and community for recognizing our dedication and commitment to delivering great outcomes for our clients' projects.
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Busselton's tired building fabric is set for refurbishment with a centrally located mixed use building proposed for 2018. The mixed use building will deliver seven ground floor commercial spaces of varying size and six first floor apartments over-looking green open space into the local real estate market for business owners or residents looking for a sea change.
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A sustainable margaret river house design with a small budget and compact site.

A Margaret River owner of this small block knew there was going to be some challenges from the outset trying to create a margaret river house design with two distinct living spaces on a 360 square metre site so engaged Margaret River architect Threadgold Architecture to bring her vision to life. With a small budget and even smaller space to work in, the Margaret River architect required fresh thinking and passion for this margaret river house design. The owner's desire to capitalise on the rise in airbnb accommodation and create two separate living spaces without an additional storey required a fresh approach by the Margaret River architect.

The margaret river house design by Margaret River architect Threadgold Architecture responds to the natural beauty of it's Margaret River setting with the surrounding landscape providing a palette of natural materials of rammed limestone, locally sourced Australian hardwood timbers, corrugated steel waterfall roof and weatherboard-look cladding. A long rammed limestone spine wall extends from the front entry pivot door through the margaret river house design to the first light-filled interior living space. The rammed limestone wall provides a sense of solidity and strength and also provides pragmatic benefits of thermal mass for the passive solar margaret river house design. The central gallery-style hallway in the heart of the home with highlight windows connects the entry and juxtaposed living spaces. The hallway highlight windows generate an ever-changing play of light in the margaret river house design throughout the day. Cut-outs in the floor plans and raking ceilings ensure that this margaret river house design conforms to passive solar design principles with each living space having the potential for solar heat gain during the cooler winter months.
The owner's brief provided to the Margaret River architect placed significant importance on the design principles of sustainability and energy-efficiency due to the margaret river house's latitude and location. This margaret river house design cleverly achieves passive solar principles and a difficult north-to-south orientated site. Each juxtaposed living space catches the winter heat gain, when the sun is at lower azimuth, and eliminates the worst of the summer heat gain. The Margaret River architect also incorporated hallway highlight windows maximise natural light through the daylight hours and vent stale hot air along the rammed limestone spine through 'stack effect' ventilation. The Margaret River architect also strategically located fenestration to maximise cross-ventilation and the adjustable Vergola roof cover to the court ensures that the owner can enjoy indoor-outdoor living throughout the wet season.
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The recent building tender result of a building tender process by Dunsborough architect Threadgold Architecture for a beachfront Dunsborough house design clearly illustrates the building cost savings when property owners create a competitive building market. The clients of Dunsborough architect Threadgold Architecture have shed new light on the old idiom "...if first you don't succeed, try and try again..." after their two previous aborted attempts using south west building designers delivered a costed contract sum of the Dunsborough house design 50% over the client's building budget.

The Dunsborough architect Threadgold Architecture received four building tender submissions at clost of tender after initially having eight south west builders tendering for the construction of the Dunsborough house design. The most expensive building tender submission was $404,010 greater than the lowest tender price; which represents a 27.4% variance in building the very same Dunsborough house design. The tender result generated a cost saving in the same magnitude for the Dunsborough architect's clients and clearly illustrated the discrepancies in different builder's margins, trade labour costs, material supply costs and profits; and how creating a competitive cost environment can generate generous cost savings for property owners . Furthermore, one could conclude that procuring house design through a south west design and construct builder may be the most expensive mistake a property owner could ever make. Afterall, once that design and construct contract is signed, competitive pricing forces are completely lost and the idiom "...client always pays..." becomes the unenviable standard.

Unfortunately many property owners get sucked into thin, lightweight and loosely worded building contracts that favour the builder's commercial interest and profit outcomes rather than the client's interest in a fair, cost-effective and quality house design. Even worse still, some property owners are suckered into a cost plus contracts where the south west design and construct builder has convinced the clients that an Architect has superfluous skills and is an unwarranted cost. At this point, the best idiom to apply to the property owner's circumstance would be, "...like a fox guarding the hen house...". There is obviously very little incentive for a south west design and construct builder or a south west design and construct builder's tradesmen to keep a Dunsborough house design to a low budget for a client and a budget blow-out is the odds-on outcome. Since managing building contracts since 1995, the 'pea-in-the-shell game' when it comes to building budgets is often too complex for a client to succeed in and particularly if the contract lacks the clauses/triggers for builder accountability via a third-party superintendent.

Generally speaking, trust is a relational attribute that is built over a long period of time through consistent, dependable and demonstrable behaviour displayed through social and business interactions but is becoming increasingly harder to find in society. Although I am not saying all south west design and construct builders are untrustworthy or dishonest but how many of us are perfect judges of an individual's character and integrity within the first beer, the first handshake or the first sketch design meeting at a south west design and construct builder's office? Rather than leaving the design and construct process to trust; a more cost effective outcome to property owners is to engage a Dunsborough architect to oversee/superintend the construction of your Dunsborough house design using a robust building contract incorporating retention monies, liquidated damages and a practical completion dates (contractual clauses that will never be presented at any south west design and construct builder design meeting). Many south west design and construct builders like to sell themselves to property owners as avoiding an architect to save money but the exact opposite is true as the majority of south west design and construct builder clients pay through the nose by the lack of a competitive market and having no contractual security of a third-party assessor (the Architect).

At this point in the discussion, the most appropriate idiom might be, "...hindsight is a beautiful thing..." as I've met far too many people, after the fact, who rue and regret their choices in the procurement of (arguably) their biggest investment. Property owners are far better served by engaging a Dunsborough architect who is governed by the Architect Act 2004 and Architects Regulations 2005 and will generate a cost effective competitive market result through a tender process followed by superintendence during construction of the project through a robust, equitable and fair contract (AS2124-1992 for example) AS2124-1992 provides for a third party superintend role, allowing the Architect to assess any monetary variations of the builder with a pre-agreed rate for builder's margin. South west design and construct builders do not have to adhere to the same strict legislative controls as a Registered Architect; who is governed by the Architects Board of WA. Afterall, the State Government of Western Australia has been procuring buildings using architects through the Public Works Department/Building Management Authority/Housing and Works/Building Management Works and achieving competitive, cost effective, value-for-money quality building outcomes in Western Australia via the competitive building tender process since 1 January 1901. Would not 116 years would be sufficient time to determine if the building tender process doesn't work?

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