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Feature article

Institute news

Summer 2016


Alison Cleary

The Victorian 2015 Emerging Architect Prize was awarded at the End of Year Party in December. Amy Muir is this year’s well deserved winner and she is now in contention for the National Emerging Architect of the Year, which will be announced later in this quarter.

The 2015 Constructive Mentoring Program continued to run successfully throughout the year with an event for mentees and mentors held in August on transitioning between small, medium and large practices and its impact on the work-life balance, and an alumni event happening early in the new year. The 2016 Constructive Mentoring Program will be launched at this year’s International Women’s Day event, so keep your eyes out for more information in Vmail.

A sold out event on Apartment Design Standards was held in July last year in collaboration with the Planning Institute of Australia and the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects. The event looked at the issues to consider in developing a new framework for Apartment Design in Victoria and provided the opportunity for some serious networking and brainstorming across professions. The event was so successful that we have decided to run a series of cross-industry networking events with PIA and AILA this year, with the first of these happening in March. Again, keep an eye out for further details in Vmail.

Our submission to the Department of Planning on the Better Apartments Discussion Paper at the end of July furthered our support of the Victorian Government to introduce mechanisms that promote sustainable, high quality apartment living opportunities. Since then we have been involved in a number of small workshops and meetings to further explain our position and look forward to continuing to be involved in the shaping of the future of high and medium density living in Victoria.

In addition to the apartment design standards work they are undertaking, the State Government has also introduced an interim CBD development control and plot ratios (C262) in Melbourne, which the Institute has welcomed to control excessive and speculative development of some parts of the city.

The Plan Melbourne refresh discussion paper and consultation process was launched in October and we are well underway in providing comment and feedback on this. We will engage in the consultation processes around this and are in the process of developing a formal response on this – again keep an eye on Vmail for more information.

Following issues with product compliance and product substitution over the last 18 months or so, we continue to engage in this space both through our involvement in a number of VBA industry subcommittees and the development and delivery of a number of CPD events on these issues. In September last year we ran a sold out CPD event on product non-compliance in association with the VBA, and a sold out ArchiTECH on Fire Rated Internal Wall Systems in association with Knauf. Look out for more of this type of event this year.



Kim Irons

At the conclusion of 2015, the Practice of Architecture Committee (POAC) sadly farewelled our two most senior members, Peter Quigley and Bryan Miller, who have decided to stand down due other commitments. This gave me a moment to reflect on the POAC and its critical role for our members in practice. The Committee is a well experienced, passionate and tenacious group, critically aware of our professional obligations and the pitfalls that can occur.

Victoria’s POAC provides the most briefs to the Acumen Content Review Panel (ACRP). Over the course of the last two years they have identified the need for notes on social media ethics, client supply items, sub-consultant agreements, further guide letters, and practice manuals and checklists. While the ACRP may be at times resource challenged to meet these requests, they are appreciative of the Vic POAC contribution.

A recent analysis of Acumen Practice notes, identified that this resource is accessed over 45,000 times in one year, with 5000 repeat users. The Vic POAC may be a small group unknown to many members, but through their efforts they are regularly contributing to our members’ needs.

We extend our thanks to Peter and Bryan, their mammoth efforts, wise words and critical banter, and wish them well in their respective futures.



Terence Nott

2015 Year in Review

The key achievements and activities of SAF in 2015 included:


During 2015 SAF met on the third Wednesday of each month at Vic Chapter, 41 Exhibition Street. Numbers in attendance at meetings ranged from 6-9 persons.

Regular meetings were chaired by Terence Nott and Rory Martin. Special thanks to Belinda Strickland and to Jodie Mitchell, Vic Chapter Professional Development and Policy Coordinators, for arranging the venue, minutes distribution and for other assistance throughout 2015.

The next meeting of SAF is Wednesday 17 February 2016 at 6pm at 41X.

Graduate Prize in Sustainable Architecture

The 2015 Graduate Prize in Sustainable Architecture was presented to the winners at Monash University as part of the Institute Awards program. NOWarchitecture sponsored the prize of $2,000.

The unanimous winner, selected from eight entries across the four Schools of Architecture, was Emily Von Moger of Deakin University. Thank you to the jury of Institute members Nadine Samaha, Michael Adams, Adam Hancock and Neville Cowland. The 2016 Graduate Prize in Sustainable Architecture will be announced in March 2016.

Raising the Green Bar events.

(SAF organised and co-ordinated events.) “Measuring up – Understanding Rating Tools”. 30 April, 2015 Likened by the media to Speed Dating, 5 Sustainability Rating Tools was a popular event.

Moderated by Scott Willey, SAF member. Each presenter was allocated 10 minutes.

Thanks to David Power on First Rate, Euan Williamson on STEPS and BESS, Dominique Hes on Living Building Challenge, Ania Hampton on NABERS and Jack Manning on Green Star.

“Sustainable Apartments. Trapped Inside the Bubble”.

12 June, 2015. The first in a series of three events dealing with multiresidential design.

A well attended event chaired by Rory Martin, SAF member.

Panellists Karen Alcock, MA Architects, Gus Dalheimer, Neometro and Munir Vahanvati, Moreland City Council.

BESS, Built Environment Sustainability Scoreboard.

 BESS is the initiative of a group of committed Victorian Councils. SAF members attended the launch of this important program in May.


Special thanks to our sponsor Bank MECU for supporting Raising the Green Bar events in 2015.



James Staughton

With online Award entries closing on February 14th and applications for jury members now closed, the 2016 Awards Program is well underway. We wish all entrants well and look forward to another exciting year. Of note for 2016 is the change of venue for two of the key events in the Victorian Program. After several successful years hosted by Monash Art, Design & Architecture the Presentation to Juries event will return to Melbourne University, at the award winning Melbourne School of Design. We’d like to extend our thanks to Monash and their staff for their fantastic support hosting the event over the years. The Exhibition of Entries is also being revamped as we move to a new venue, No Vacancy Gallery at QV. While maintaining the showcase of the entire field of entries, there will be additional components with an emphasis on the occupation and use of buildings as well as the design and construction process, along with increased social media engagement. This change is in line with the Institute’s mission in displaying and advocating for exemplary architecture and we look forward to seeing this unfold.



Entries close: Sunday 14 February

Additional material due: Tuesday 1 March

Presentation to Juries: Saturday 19 March Melbourne School of Design, Melbourne University

Exhibition of Entries: 7 – 19 June No Vacancy Gallery, QV

Presentation Dinner: Friday 24 June, 7pm Peninsula at Central Pier, Docklands