ArchiTeam was very pleased to hold its first workshop on Friday 27th May. About 100 members came to be kept up to date with regulations and network with colleagues . The session began with an overview of the NCC, and in particular, Performance vs Prescriptive requirements. Mr Peter Zargorski, of the VBA, encouraged architects to use performance requirements, using a four step process of brief, analysis, results and report. An expert appropriate for the situation can be used to justify the proposed performance level, and this justification is included in the report. This report can then be given to the building surveyor, for their approval. ArchiTeam hopes that, as a consequence of this session, a few more architects will have the confidence to use the performance criteria more often.
After this first session, three concurrent sessions were run, on the topics of regulations and bushfire, regulations and hospitality, and regulations and disability. A brief summary of each of these sessions is as follows:
Regulations and bushfire, presented by Marika Neustupny of NMBW, and Barbara Moje of Barbara Moje Architects
Barbara provided an overview of the categories of Bushfire Attack Levels (BALs) and touched on some of the requirements and Standards, with a case study of one of her remote projects constructed in a Flame Zone. Marika presented an NMBW project built in a seaside community to discuss the overlap between public and private infrastructure and regulations with regard to bushfire prevention, and the many interested authorities involved in the approvals process. All of Victoria has some level of Bushfire classification, and while both Architects noted it is a very complex and regulated field, they encouraged other Architects not to be daunted when commencing a project in a BAL zone.
Regulations and Disability, presented by Mary Ann Jackson of Visionary Design Development and Vincent McDonald, of Vincent MacDonald Architects. Mary Ann gave us a broad overview of disability within the built environment, whilst Vincent showed us a case study of the successful integration of disabled access into the Sovereign Hill Museum in Ballarat. The key learning from this session was that complying with the regulations is a minimum requirement, and that good design should embrace a far greater level of access for all.
Regulations and Hospitality, presented by Michael Frazzetto of Six Degrees.
Michael presented a set case studies drawn from 6 degrees’ hospitality portfolio. While each project was necessarily unique, all shared the high pressure time lines and complex regulatory negotiations typical of this sort of work. These projects demand experienced consultants who keep the client close and their “enemies” closer still to maintain the pace of decision making crucial for design integrity as well as deadlines.
We wrapped up with a lunch and discussion about the events of the morning. We hope that this will be the first of many similar sessions, offering 3 rather than 2 CPD formal points. We think we achieved our goals, of having a better understanding of some applicable codes and regulations, as well as inspiring attendees to embrace regulations to produce better design outcomes.
And remember, as Pablo Picasso said:
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist”
Rosemary Ross is a Director of Rosstang Architects and on the ArchiTeam board of Directors