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Feature article

Institute News

2014 Summer

Victorian Chapter Council

By the time members read this edition of Architect Victoria we will know who has been successful in their bid to sit on Chapter Council in 2014. With a stellar cast of 13 contenders for six positions Council is confident that 2014 will see an injection of new energy and ideas in to the Chapter. Retiring Council members, Tom Jordan and Wojciech Pluta are to be thanked and acknowledged for their input and commitment to Chapter Council over the last four plus years. As well as being a member of Chapter Council, Tom chaired the State Practice Committee for the last two years, representing the Chapter at a National level and was instrumental in the establishment of the Acumen Review Committee among other things. Wojciech chaired the Member Services Committee over the last 12 or so months, and oversaw the successful World Architecture Day events that the Victorian Chapter held in 2012 and 2013.

In December the Chapter submitted a response to the highly publicised Melbourne Planning Strategy. In collaboration with MGS Architects, we ran a consultation process with interested members and pulled together a detailed submission identifying both pros and cons of the proposed plan. We anticipate the engagement in this process to continue well into 2014. To view the submission go to

Looking to the year ahead, Chapter Council will be continuing to engage with the Government on issues such as: Melbourne’s Planning Framework (Metropolitan Planning Strategy); the integration of the ARBV in to the Victorian Building Authority; the introduction of mandatory continuing professional development (CPD); registration of project managers and the introduction of planning regulations similar to the NSW SEPP 65. Having begun a conversation in 2013 on the nature of architectural competitions (reported briefly in the last edition of Architect Victoria), Chapter Council looks forward to a national review of the existing competition guidelines and potential alternative models that could be developed.

And finally, Chapter Council were both relieved and elated to be able to celebrate the end of 2013 with the Chapter End-of-Year party being held on Level 21 of 41 Exhibition St.  There are many plans afoot about ways to use the new building to better engage with the public on the value and contribution of architecture to the city. Stay tuned for more information about how you can be involved in the range of activities coming up across 2014 centered on the new building.



member services committee


by Clare Cousins_CHAIR

The Member Services Committee (MSC) will resume shortly after the summer break with a list of member services and events for 2014.

The calendar of the MSC program includes: BLOCKS for Little Architects, held at Fed Square; the Perimeter Networking Series; World Architecture Day Celebration and the SONA Event Night, which initiates students into the architectural profession. We are seeking an interested large architecture firm with a suitable gathering space to host the event. If you would like to be involved and host the SONA event night, please contact Thuy Le-Butt at

After a year absent, the Melbourne Architecture Annual (MA|A) is happening in 2014. This is exciting news for the Member Services Committee who has regained the responsibility of curating the 2014 MA|A from 29 October – 2 November. We will be sending out EOIs, so watch this space.



heritage committee


by Anne-Marie Treweeke_CHAIR

The Heritage Committee has been a work in progress in 2013 with the final meeting, which occurred in November, approving the Terms of Reference. These will be put forward to Chapter Council for approval early this year. The objectives of the committee are to:

            • Encourage design solutions compatible with conservation principles
            • Promote awareness of cultural heritage and conservation
            • Support registers of heritage buildings and places in Victoria.

These objectives recognise that the Institute has an important role to play in being part of the current debate on cultural heritage and conservation, and should do so in an informed manner.  Some of our activities will include: identifying buildings at risk, actively promoting the proper conservation of heritage buildings and their surrounds, educating and encouraging members working on buildings of architectural significance to preserve and enhance the original buildings in their designs.

All of us work within an environment where the realities of heritage overlays and issues of cultural significance impact on what we do on a regular basis, in a myriad of ways. Our work occurs within the continuum and context of over 160 years of post-contact built history, layer upon layer of development and change, and also increasingly engages with Aboriginal cultural heritage as we gain a better understanding of our collective history.

How we engage with this history and produce design excellence without being destructive or unsympathetic is of primary interest to the work of this new committee. We are concerned with encouraging a reflective and intelligent built legacy, as well as maintaining a historical legacy through recognition and promotion of registers and architectural collections. We look forward to the ongoing debate and discussion that we will be having among ourselves and with you all in 2014.



practice of architecture committee



As 2013 came to a close, the Practice of Architecture Committee (PoAC) continued to work through a series of practice items at its monthly meetings. Successfully complete and now available through the Acumen website is a new guide prepared to assist members when considering an appointment under the terms of the Australia Standards Consultant Agreement AS4122-2010.

Other 2013 projects in progress have been sent in the form of briefing documents to National Practice Committee for comment and consideration for further action. These include a Consultant Agreement for use by architects in the engagement of consultants and the scope of these consultant services; electronic filing of documents; working drawing checklists; OH+S requirements for architectural firms; email communication in documents and a User Guide for AS2124. The new year will see the PoAC tackle the issue of BIM and the issues of copyright, fee structure and the risk of liability and exposure related to a BIM model. This discussion is becoming more relevant as BIM is being demanded by clients for design and documentation.

We thank members for their suggestions on current practice issues that require consideration into some form of documented advice.



awards committee


by James Staughton_CHAIR

The 2014 Awards program is now up and running with the expressions of interest for jury members opening late last year. An information session for first-time Awards entrants was held on 27 November 2013 and the 2014 online Awards entries opened on 2 December.

Filtering down from the National Awards program, some significant changes have been made to the Awards categories for 2014. Residential – Houses will now be split into two distinct categories: Residential – Houses (New) and Residential – Houses (Alterations and Additions), each with their own Named Award. Both categories will also be redefined to include projects with up to two self-contained dwellings while the Residential – Multiple Housing category has been correspondingly redefined to include projects with more than two self-contained dwellings. Although only judged at a National level it is also worth noting that five sub-categories – Small Project, Commercial, Interior, Residential and Public – have been introduced to the International Architecture category.

With expressions of interest for jury members closing on 31 January and the online Awards entries closing on 14 February, we look forward to another exciting year.