Home' Commercial : Commercial Designs 2010 Contents WA's Best Commercial Designs 25
today, but well into the future. ey must
be adaptable and they must minimise their
Good design means putting the binoculars
on and looking ahead. It means understanding
the long-term impact of every building, every
space and every street we create.
e construction cost of a building represents
less than 15 percent of the lifelong cost of that
building. Every $1 capital cost decision we make
produces a lifetime cost of $15 to $20 in energy,
maintenance and staffing. If the building is poorly
conceived, the cost will be even greater.
For governments who spend on behalf of a
community, this is a critical issue -- the decisions
taken today have enormous downstream liabilities
or benefits to a society. Short-term, ill-considered
decision-making generally leads to cancerous
e international evidence for the value of
design is compelling.
Well-designed schools have been shown
to improve student attention, interaction and
Pupils' test scores in well-designed buildings
were up to 11 percent higher than in poorly
designed buildings in studies undertaken by
In the health arena, research has shown that
high quality spaces facilitate a reduction in the
use of analgesics, improve patient recovery times
and increase staff efficiency.
One study in the psychiatric area showed
patients in a new building had an average stay
reduction of 14 percent. In the workplace, there
is widespread evidence of the positive effects
of well-designed built environments
on staff performance, quality staff attraction
and retention, and reduction in absenteeism.
One UK study showed an increased staff
performance of five percent for individuals
and 11 percent for teams. Staff turnover fell 11
percent. is is all compelling research and points
toward significant savings to the community via
good design. e cumulative benefits socially,
economically, environmentally and culturally are
enormous. Conversely, the price of apathy and
careless design is frightening.
And then there's fuel efficiency -- buildings
can be hungry beasts, both in embodied and
consumable energy. If we can design an office
building that creates 55kg/sqm of CO2 per annum
(and we can without much cost or effort) instead
of the current average of 115kg/sqm, shouldn't we
be doing just that?
e benefits aren't just for the air and the trees
-- the benefits of thoughtful "green" buildings are
"people-healthier" environments with increased
fresh air and an ambience of wellbeing.
Access to natural light and real air (without the
incessant hum of air conditioners) has been shown
to increase performance, while reducing tiredness
THE ROLE OF THE
To provide strategic advice to the whole of
government on all matters regarding the design
of the built environment.
The government architect reports directly to
the Premier and Treasurer as required on a range
of project, policy and advocacy issues.
The task entails direct involvement in high profile
government projects, including current CBD
initiatives such as the Perth Waterfront, the Perth
Cultural Centre, the transit hub and Northbridge
Link. It also encompasses a state-wide role including
the development of our regions.
The role provides strategic policy advice to
government on maintaining design quality and
project procurement systems.
Entrance to Perth Underground Station
Image courtesy of HASSELL, photography Adrian Lambert, Acorn Photo Agency
Image courtesy of HASSELL, photography
Adrian Lambert, Acorn Photo Agency
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