Planning & Development Amendment Act 2020 – Responding to Covid-19


Passed by the WA Parliament at the end of June, the Planning & Development Amendment Act 2020 just this week received assent. This amendment to the Planning & Development Act 2005 is a part of a suite of planning reforms which include measures that respond to the significant impact that Covid-19 has had on WA’s development. The main aims of the Act are to help facilitate significant projects for the state, reduce red tape, and refocus which planning areas are prioritised. The most significant change is the new Development Application process for significant developments – that is decisions are to temporarily be made by the WA Planning Commission in order to streamline and fast-track the process.


This will be followed up in the future by a second act, part of a general review of the planning system to improve the system, facilitate the creation of better places, to make the process easier to understand and navigate, and to improve consistency and efficiency throughout the planning system.


What impact do you think these changes will have to development in WA?

State Infrastructure Strategy Discussion Paper Released

Last Friday, Infrastructure WA released the State Infrastructure Strategy Discussion Paper, the first step in the development of a 20 year plan that will outline the direction of cross industry state developments to create a stronger Western Australia. This release marks the beginning of an eight week public consultation period, which will consist of workshops run by Infrastructure WA and the opportunity to provide online feedback by the 21st of August. The workshops will be run across the state, with the Perth metropolitan workshop held on the 23rd of July.


The discussion paper outlines the key challenges and opportunities facing our state, proposes a variety of approaches, and poses questions on how to address current and projected concerns, to create a better WA for all. The paper raises the different challenges facing different industries, and the complexity of these challenges in the regions compared to the metropolitan area. The key sectors that are addressed are transport, energy, water, waste, digital connectivity and telecommunications, education and training, social and affordable housing, health, justice and public safety, and arts, culture, sport and recreation.


Future projecting and planning for the state’s infrastructure is essential to guide our development in the best possible direction, with key targets ensuring outcomes are measurable and attainable. For the building and construction industry, this paper highlights important areas where future built form is likely to be required. In particular, we see this informing developments in areas such as education facilities, adaptable community facilities, additional and refurbished social and affordable housing, supportive accommodation for those with mental health issues, aged care facilities, and accommodation for those supported by the NDIS as select examples. There are many facilities across the different sectors that have been identified as requiring maintenance and upgrade works to make them fit for their current purpose.


Read the discussion paper here: It is anticipated that a draft Infrastructure Strategy will be published mid 2021, with the Strategy finalised by the end of 2021.


A complementary paper that addresses the different sectors has been published here:

Bindoon Bakehouse Makes Perth Urban List

Urban List Perth has nominated one of our early projects, the Bindoon Bakehouse, as one of WA’s best country bakeries. We couldn’t agree more – the excuse to ‘check out the project’ has been given many times when we are near the area to stop in and sample some more of their goods! As the article points out – they have even had a visit from Prince Harry back in 2016. Have a look at the project here:

$25k Home Grant Announced by Federal Government

We welcome the Australian Government’s new HomeBuilder $25,000 grant offered to Australians looking to build a new home or start a major renovation, as a lifeline to the home construction industry.

The government announced the $688 million HomeBuilder program today, which presents a fantastic opportunity for people considering renovations or a new home between $150,000 to $750,000. We can assist with meeting required timeframes for the grant in regards to new designs or projects.

Call us on (08) 9328 6655 to find out if you qualify and how we can help you.

5 Min Staff Interviews on Working from Home: Adrian

Fratelle Group, like many other businesses, has shifted our staff to working from home. While this measure is to protect the safety of our team, it brings its own unique challenges and opportunities. The face of our daily work day has definitely changed and adapting to it has been an interesting process. Here we run quick 5 minute interviews with some of our staff to see how their work and home life has changed and how they are finding it.

What is your typical working day routine?

‘I work with my wife as we both run the business, we made a deal to look after our four and a half year old and our two year old in shifts as schools and day-cares closed. On a typical day, one of us will get up in the morning and work through to midday, while the other will look after the kids. We swap at midday and the other will work until the evening. This makes our days long, as we are trying to squeeze 8hrs of work in a morning or afternoon while the other is looking after the kids.

For me on the morning work shift, I will wake at 5:30am, put my ugg boots on, go downstairs to our basement home office and start working. I will stop work to have breakfast with my wife and the kids at around 7.30 then go back downstairs to work. I try and avoid making too much noise so my two year old forgets I’m down there or he would want to come join me and I wouldn’t get any work done! I finish up with work between 12:30 and 1pm, and take the shift with the kids for the afternoon. At the end of the day, I often will do another 1 or 2hrs of emails in the evening when the kids have gone to bed.’

What do you find is the biggest change in what your work life looks like?

‘Our business is very adaptable so I found the changes whilst many, they were easy to manage. Avoiding face to face meetings wasn’t too difficult as we often design homes for clients all around Australia and even overseas. Meetings with these clients more often than not would be by video conference calls. Working from home with kids was the biggest and toughest change in my work life. Being both under 5, they don’t really understand that you can’t play with them for the best part of the day. I can see you so why can’t you play with me!’

What do you find is the biggest change in what your home life looks like?

‘Spending far more time with the kids, including trying to home school them and learning how to home school. We have also had to learn how to keep our kids active at home during the week rather than being able to take them out like we would on the weekend to places like playgrounds or for a kayak.’

What is the hardest challenge in working from home?

‘When the kids know you are home, and they want to be with you. And you want to be hanging out with them too but you have to work. That’s very hard.’

What do you enjoy the best about working from home?

‘Working from home has forced us to spend more time with the kids, and that has really brought us all closer together. It’s definitely the greatest benefit to this whole difficult situation.’

What is your ‘hot tip’ to achieving a good balance of work/home life?

‘My best tip to a good work/home life balance is definitely making sure that you have a dedicated space to work from. With a door! At our home, we don’t have a door to separate our office in the basement from the rest of the house. There is just a baby gate but the kids can look down and see us, and that means there’s also often a lot of noise that can be heard in the basement.’

Are you working from home? How has this impacted your work and other aspects of your life? Are you able to find the positives in this situation?

New Concept: Scarborough Townhouses

We recently completed designs for a set of mirrored townhouses in Scarborough. With a narrow block, the main living areas are oriented to the street frontage, opening up with large balconies to let in natural light and provide more outdoor amenity and ocean views. The houses are deceptively large, extending backwards to accommodate 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, two separate outdoor garden areas, living areas on both floors, and a double garage & studio unit at the rear of the lot. For a more in-depth look at the townhouses, including their layout and other features, head to the project page here:

Scarborough ‘The Residence’ Siteworks Begin!

Earthworks have begun on our boutique apartment project in Scarborough! This Griffin Group building will be home to 14 unique apartments less than 1.5km to the foreshore. The apartments are a mix of 1, 2, and 3 bedroom layouts, each with individual courtyards and balconies, with a spacious rooftop garden deck for all residents to enjoy. Have a look at what the final project will look like here and then see the initial stages of construction that Thomas Building have recently begun:

5 Min Staff Interviews on Working from Home: Dannielle


Fratelle Group, like many other businesses, has shifted our staff to working from home. While this measure is to protect the safety of our team, it brings its own unique challenges and opportunities. The face of our daily work day has definitely changed and adapting to it has been an interesting process. Here we run quick 5 minute interviews with some of our staff to see how their work and home life has changed and how they are finding it.


What is your typical working day routine?

“I still wake up at the same time as if I was working in the office. I have kept the same routine, I start at 9 as usual. I normally take my lunch sometime between 12 and 1, depending on my workload or how I feel. By 5pm or 5:30pm, I try to get out of the house and go for a run. This creates a break between ending work for the day and shifting to my personal time.”


What do you find is the biggest change in what your work life looks like?

“Just the human contact. I am still talking to people every day, but my day is just lacking in as much human one on one contact. Being able to turn around and ask someone a simple question, you don’t realise how much you take that for granted. Being at home, you have to call someone and they may not answer, it makes some things a lot harder.”

What do you find is the biggest change in what your home life looks like?

“Having both my husband and I needing to find permanent work spaces in our home. Normally we would share the study, but with both of us working full time from home this isn’t feasible. I work in the study and he works in the dining room. It’s difficult to keep work separate when one of us has to work in the dining room.”

What is the hardest challenge in working from home?

“Motivation. It is a lot easier to get distracted at home. You have to learn to just shut off from the things that you would normally do at home. It’s easy to think, ‘Oh I need to do the dishes’ or have other household things that you need to do distract you, but you just have to get into the mindset that the rest of the house can wait until I’m done with work for the day.”

What do you enjoy the best about working from home?

“The flexibility. It can feel pretty relaxing, not having to choose what to wear everyday, or to wear makeup. And I am saving a lot of money not eating out!”

What is your ‘hot tip’ to achieving a good balance of work/home life?

“Definitely doing something at the end of your work day to create a boundary between work and personal time. Especially if you can get out of the house and get some exercise and fresh air, it is so good for your mind and to help keep you feeling healthy.”


Are you working from home? How has this impacted your work and other aspects of your life? Are you able to find the positives in this situation?

New Concept Design: Como Townhouses

Nestled into the heart of Como, we have recently designed an efficient proposal that allows for the  subdivision and development of two large townhouses on a corner lot. The two storey townhouses have living areas on both floors, and have two separate external areas for different areas of the houses to open up to. Each townhouse has two master bedrooms, one on each floor, along with two secondary bedrooms. The townhouses were designed to reflect the local materials of the area, combining facebrick and render. For more details on the townhouses head to our project page here:

Forrestfield Project: A Check Up Down the Track

We recently checked up on our Forrestfield Forum upgrade project that was completed a few years ago. The project was to update some internal features of the shopping centre, but focus on refreshing the exterior, including works to the carpark and pedestrian areas to create a vibrant connection between the two shopping centres including grassed areas for events, a playground, and seating areas. A lot of vegetation was added to enhance the atmosphere of the spaces, and it is great to see it thriving. The trees have grown significantly and provide beautiful shade and the creeper plants have grown fantastically along the cables to shade the walkway seating areas.

Creating Stimulus through Advocacy - Australian Institute of Architects WA

Thank you Australian Institute of Architects [WA] for providing much needed advocacy for our profession, providing insight to the Government on stimulus measures needed to help WA recover. Grateful to be a part of the team and many thanks to Pete Hobbs and Beata Davey for preparing the submission.

There are many people providing ideas to the Government on what is needed, the construction industry will obviously be one of the best placed industries in WA (and Australia) to assist with this. In a development life cycle, Architects and the Consultant team often feel the effect of a construction industry slowdown first, it is vital that we implement capital works stimulus packages now, so they are shovel ready when we get through the period of economic slow down.

Key points from the submission are below, a link to the full letter is here - Australian Institute of Architects WA - Letter to the Premier

1. Construction sites need to remain classified as essential services to ensure construction drives jobs and businesses

2. Buy Local policies - we need to employ local businesses (based in WA) to design, manufacture and build any new stimulus projects. Keep the money circulating here.

3. Re-implement the 2012 BMW Architectural Panel over the more recent 2019 Panel for any BMW stimulus projects, as the latter was substantially reduced in number by about 70% of approved Consultants from the previous (due to a reduced number of projects available at the time), which will greatly increase the number of pre-qualified practices to participate in any stimulus package.


We need to employ local businesses to design, manufacture and build any new stimulus projects. Keep the money circulating here.


1. As an industry, we must have agreed consultant fee scales implemented. With WA having experienced a serious economic downturn for some years, consultant fees have been driven down to unprecedented low rates, leading to poor construction procurement outcomes and risk adverse practices, often costing projects far more due to construction variations. Further fee bidding in this fragile economy will only result in poorer outcomes in terms of project cost, delivery and quality as practices struggle to stay afloat. It is essential for the government to put a floor under fees for consultants in the construction industry that ensures value for money while maintaining quality.

Mandate consultant fee scales to ensure better project outcomes. Stop the fee bidding war in this fragile economy - it only leads to higher project construction cost, project delays, poor procurement practices. It is a false economy.


1. Fast Tracking Planning Approvals Many projects are being held up with Design Review and JDAP processes. Review the current Planning Approval process to cut red and green tape, and use the Design Review process for sensitive sites. Use of Registered Architects to self-certify Planning Approvals where they are below a $5M threshold and meet all town planning. There is also opportunity for large scale planning reform through the creation of local government stimulus packages through the creation of community projects (such as Rossiter Pavilion), and large scale redevelopment sites around under utilised land parcels, such as around existing train stations.

2. The implementation of stimulus packages through Affordable Housing packages and upgrades to Schools, through maintenance and capital works programmes - with a focus on sustainable initiatives to help lower running costs, improve learning and living outcomes and reduce our carbon footprint. ArchitectureAU published a great article yesterday on why social housing should come first in any stimulus package - ArchitectureAU - Why the focus of stimulus plans has to be construction that puts social housing first


Affordable housing and education stimulus projects, with a focus on sustainable initiatives


1. Reduction of fees and taxes for a period of time (6 months) that cause additional costs to a project upfront and slow down the development and sales process, including foreign buyer surcharge, development and building permit application fees, reduce land tax and local government rate relief.

2. Extend the 75% stamp duty rebate to all apartments sold including off the plan and those under construction (by stage) and give certainty on the eligibility for buyers.

3. Lastly, but certainly not the least important - Support for business during Covid-19 lockdown. New capital work projects take time to design, document and to receive approvals before commencing on site. There is an opportunity for government capital works stimulus packages to be prepared (through the isolation period) by the teams of required consultants and project managers, ready to commence construction onsite within a condensed time frame of six months. Architects often feel the effect of a construction industry slowdown first, this will provide stimulus to the many consultants that need it now, and assist the recovery of the construction industry on site as many projects under construction are completed in the coming months. Many private industry projects that will be shovel ready may not proceed due to bank or investor issues, creating issues for the industry in the months and years to come.


Architects and Consultants feel the effect of a construction industry slowdown first, it is vital that we implement capital works stimulus packages now, so they are shovel ready when we get through the period of economic slow down.


Now the question many of you may have - how can I ensure these ideas become reality, or some of my ideas are considered? Speak to your local MP, provide your ideas to the Australian Institute of Architects, Property Council, UDIA or any other industry advocacy group. Make your ideas count so we can come out a stronger State and Country on the other side of this pandemic. Australia is such a lucky country, and out of adversity this brings opportunity to drive systemic change and improvements for our industry.


Money Street Apartment Construction Begins!

Construction works have begun on our newest apartment project in Northbridge. Situated on the leafy Money Street, the medium sized apartment development has been designed to incorporate a range of sustainability features. The builders have started earthworks, with dewatering and the lift pit being dug this week. It is encouraging to continue to see projects going full steam ahead in this climate.

Kylee’s Hearing Architecture Podcast Feature: “Empathy & Understanding”

Kylee is interviewed on the Hearing Architecture podcast "Empathy & Understanding". Kylee discusses how to effectively understand the client’s motivations for each project and how this impacts on each project. She highlights how successfully doing this can challenge the typical direction of a design approach. For other podcast features, head to our youtube channel here.

Strata Title Amendment Act: In Effect May 1st

With the Strata Titles Amendment Act coming in to effect in just a few short weeks, we have a look at what this once again means for strata owners, tenants, managers, developers, sellers and buyers. Commencing the 1st of May, many new regulations will be in place to ensure fairer conduct by all involved in strata properties and greater options for strata developments.


Some of the changes that we will see are pre-sale disclosure obligations, more effective dispute resolutions, fairer scheme terminations, property maintenance regulations, improvements in scheme management to minimise disputes and make fairer conditions for strata tenants. We will also see additional options allowing for modern advancements such as electronic communications, clearer statutory duties for strata managers to hold them to a standard, the creation of a new leasehold strata and the allowance of more flexibility with staging of subdivisions.


Some of these changes are undoubtably complicated with significant ramifications for each party involved. To uncover the specifics for each new change, you can read the Amendment Act that was passed by the WA Parliament website here:$FILE/Strata%20Titles%20Amendment%20Act%202018%20-%20%5B00-00-01%5D.pdf?OpenElement

Alternatively you can visit the Landgate Strata website here: that has significant resources and explanatory documents for the changes.

Kylee’s Hearing Architecture Podcast Feature: “Housing Affordability”

Kylee is interviewed on the Hearing Architecture podcast "Housing Affordability". Kylee discusses the hidden costs of cheap housing and how to approach affordable housing with a whole lifecycle mentality. For other podcast features, head to our youtube channel here.

Heritage Office Reaches Completion

Converting a heritage warehouse into an office for Smith Broughton Auctioneers has been one of the most interesting projects that we have undertaken. Recently completed, this job brought many surprises as the clients enthusiastically partnered with us to restore and highlight the history of the building. Along the way, we discovered interesting features of the building and were shown numerous historical items (such as antique auctioneer's gavels, anvils, a scooter, tools and machinery, a petrol bowser, and military buttons) some of which were showcased in the final product. We are absolutely delighted at the unique final result and the client’s satisfaction with the project. The pictures showcase the project more than words ever could, so have a look at the photos above of the new Smith Broughton Auctioneers office, with a photography series coming soon to showcase the rest of the project.

Kylee’s Hearing Architecture Podcast Feature: "The Future Is Regional"

Kylee is interviewed on the Hearing Architecture podcast "The Future is Regional". She discusses how architecture can play a role in creating thriving communities in regional towns to avoid them becoming transient places.  For other podcast features, head to our youtube channel here.

Repurposing a Heritage Warehouse into a Waterfront Hospitality Venue: A Concept


We recently completed a feasibility concept for the conversion of an old heritage listed warehouse into a new hospitality venue. The large warehouse conversion has been designed to be segmented into a range of different areas to cater to different purposes ranging from casual dining to functions to retail. One of the most appealing aspects of the concept is the bistro areas that face out onto the waterfront. For more information on the project and other images, head to the project profile here.

Kylee's Hearing Architecture Podcast Feature: "The White Whale"

Kylee is interviewed on the Hearing Architecture podcast "The White Whale". She discusses the essentials in the client-architect relationship, the importance of open communication, trust from the clients and the reciprocal sense of responsibility from the architects, and a shared vision. For other podcast features, head to our youtube channel here.

How Good Design Can Help Retailers Compete with the Online Market

 Photo Credit: Hawaiian Group.

The profit decline of physical retailers has been well documented over the recent years in connection to the rise of internet shopping. While online shopping has its strengths, (think shopping available any time of day or night, it is accessible to people in their homes removing barriers for those with transport or physical difficulties, it gives consumers access to a larger market, and quick price comparisons), it also lacks some valuable characteristics and experiences that only in-person shopping have the potential to offer.

Nothing virtual can completely replace the physical experience which is integral to people, their psychology, and how they interact with the world. We know that people crave human interaction and connection. By leveraging high quality design, we can turn retail spaces from places of mere transactions to spaces with atmosphere, that encourage interaction, and lingering, which in turn will draw more crowds and has the potential to raise retail profits.

Well-designed shopping areas draw people in, they create spaces that are enjoyable and enticing. Consciously integrating additional amenities such as food markets or dining precincts, with interesting materials and different atmospheres encourages people to come and enjoy the experience, something they can’t get from online shopping. When retailers custom design their store fitouts to reflect the uniqueness of their brand, this too can encourage people to come in store. By leaning in to creating a space that is distinctive, it creates an interesting experience for consumers, piques peoples’ curiosity. The act of shopping can be transformed from a mere transaction to an engaging experience. You can see the success of brands such as Aesop, whose highly designed stores seem to naturally entice people in even without customers actively deciding they need something from the store.

Retailers would do well to consider how they can provide a unique experience to the consumer that provides something extra to online shopping. For instance, in our Forrestfield Forum Shopping Centre Upgrade project, we included flexible external areas that the shopping centre now uses to hold markets, community events, outdoor movie nights, which has drawn large parts of the community back to the shopping centre.

While online shopping certainly has its place in the retail industry, so too do physical shops. With careful design, retailers can tip the scales back to favour them.

France Pushing Building Innovation with Mandated Natural Materials

France is setting big changes in place as it aggressively pushes for sustainable urban development. Starting in 2020, all public buildings must be constructed with at least 50% timber or other bio-sourced materials. In addition to wood, hemp and straw are other examples of bio-based materials, which have a lower embodied carbon footprint due to being derived from living organisms rather than the involved processes required to make materials such as concrete. This move to enforce natural construction materials was inspired by the Paris pledge that any buildings built for the Olympics to be held in Paris in 2024 were to be made entirely of timber if they exceed 8 storeys. France has already seen medium-rise timber buildings being built across the country – one of the most notable being the Hyperion towers in Bordeaux (to be finished next year at 16 storeys tall).

Interestingly, this is not the first instance of France enacting legislation to compel new developments to be more ecologically considerate. In 2015 the French government declared that all new buildings built in commercial areas must have either solar panels or a green roof.

In the strive for sustainable development, the French Minister for Cities and Housing is also responsible for the initiative to develop 90 durable low-carbon cities called “eco-neighbourhoods” that can adapt to heat waves and floods. Though France is no stranger to “eco-neighbourhoods”, there are a few flagship “eco-neighbourhoods” across the country. To accompany this, Paris has set a goal of establishing 100 urban farms to increase the amount of local produce available.

It will be interesting to see how the construction and development industry adapts to what is a dramatic and rapid change. We imagine that the transition period will require a lot of additional investment from all parties involved to get these projects off the ground, investment in time and resources to learn and adapt to what essentially is a different set of design and construction techniques and limitations. However, as more and more projects push the boundaries of typical construction we see new standards being accepted. Currently, we are investigating the use of timber construction on a handful of projects across Perth, including apartments and student accommodation.

Kylee's Hearing Architecture Podcast Feature: "Let the Theory Come Later"

Kylee is interviewed on the Hearing Architecture podcast "Let the Theory Come Later". She discusses the importance of a whole team approach to projects, being open to the ideas of others and having a willingness to be flexible and accept change.

Build to Rent Developments – New Territory for Australia

Commonplace in the UK and the US, the build to rent development model has previously remained largely unadopted in Australia but recent industry movements are suggesting that attitudes are changing. Previously dismissed for lower yields and less security, the intricacies of the different barriers, risks, and possibilities are now being explored for potential viability. Stability in tenancy numbers, tenant turnover rates, capital liquidity, tax incentives, the current and projected rental market, are just a handful of examples of issues that must be analysed.


Build to Rent developments are being investigated in particular as an option to fill market supply gaps. They have great potential in areas where housing affordability is limited such as Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.


There exist complexities around financing and tax structures for built-to-rent that differ to the build-to-sell models which need to be navigated and potentially negotiated from the industry. If the correct legislation, tax agreements, and planning allowances are reached, this model could fill the need for flexible short term housing and affordable housing. It will be worthwhile to keep your eye on some of Australia’s first set of build-to-rent developments being undertaken as we speak, in particular by Mirvac in Sydney and Melbourne.


Fratelle Group has a strong relationship with architecture firm Rothelowman who are based in the Eastern States, and often bid for projects under a joint venture together. Rothelowman currently have a number of build-to-rent projects under development on the East Coast where this model of development is taking off. Together with this experience we are able to bring knowledge around build-to-rent to the Perth market.

Kylee Presenting at AIA's International Women's Day Lunch

Join us at the Australian Institute of Architect’s upcoming luncheon on March 6th celebrating International Women’s Day. Kylee will be on a panel that will discuss industry achievements and personal experiences, with opportunities for audience interaction and input. Following the panel will be a lunch, drinks, and networking. Everyone is welcome to the join us at the event, regardless of gender. Tickets and more information including a bio on all speakers can be found here:

Join us at the upcoming CIDN event!

The first CIDN event of the year is on next week at the Market Grounds. Join us as we get together for a great social night sharing connections within the construction industry. Click here to register for the event - registration is free but places are limited.

Interim Report Released: Royal Commission into Aged Care

The long anticipated Interim Report regarding the Aged Care Quality and Safety Royal Commission was released on October 31st. Amongst a list of grave failings, the report highlighted the 120,000 long waiting list for home-care packages, which is estimated to cost $2.5 billion to clear.


Prompted by the report’s findings, the Federal Government announced an extra $537m to be spent on urgent areas of concern in aged care. The most significant area of spending will be to address the shortage of home-care packages – with an additional 10,000 home care packages being introduced, starting December 1st with 5,500 places. This is a positive first step to reduce the high waiting times that pose a risk to the wellbeing of ageing Australians.


There has also been discussion regarding the complex matter of funding aged care services, with potential for a new model of funding that is to be based more on individuals’ care needs.


Additionally, a commitment was made that by 2025 no younger people should be in aged care, with $4.7m initially allocated to help with the significant number of specialist disability accommodation and supported independent living options required to fulfil this.


We anticipate that we will see changes affecting the whole aged care development industry resulting from the measures the Government will implement to address the severe failings of certain aspects of the aged care industry.


We anticipate the Government measures to address the severe failings of certain aspects of the aged care industry will result in changes affecting the whole aged care development industry. Keep your ear to the ground for updates and the complete report, to be released by November 2020, as the Government has indicated that their initial response very conceivably will be followed up with additional measures as part of the aged care industry reforms.


For further information, see the official website for the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality & Safety here:

Out of Home Respite Centres – Their Importance & Do They Need a Redesign?

As our aged care services industry is overwhelmed with demand, the peripheral services can have a large impact on helping those in need and reducing pressure on the industry. One of these is out of home respite care, however when these services and facilities are poorly designed they do not meet user needs and due to this, end up being underutilised.


Out of Home Respite Centres are a service offered by aged care providers that provide temporary short term care to help support carers and those being cared for. They can be day respite centres or overnight facilities, and often provide a combination of both options.


Respite centres are recognised as an important service to the community, and the federal government has a programme, the Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) that helps older Australians access services to support them as they age, including respite care. To access respite care you must be assessed for your needs and eligibility, with a maximum of 63 days that can be subsidised per financial year, with respite residents paying only the basic daily fee at the minimum rate and paying no bond or accommodation charges. One of the reasons that respite centres are so vital to the community is that they provide a mechanism to reduce carer stress. It has long been recognised that caring for an elderly person can be demanding and can easily result in mental and emotional fatigue. Without any assistance, this leads to high levels of carer stress, which can negatively impact the lives of both the elderly person and the carer. Carer stress has been recognised by WA Parliament’s Select Committee into Elder Abuse as a risk factor for elder abuse, thus measures to reduce carer stress are vital to protect our older Australians. This extra support service for carers and elderly Australians can extend the time they remain at home and delay admission to full-time residential care. Remaining at home for as long as possible is generally the preferred option for ageing Australians thus this can contribute positively to their mental health, in addition to easing the burden off the limited number of aged care places.


However, despite the benefits, a recent study revealed that only just over a quarter (27%) of those who were approved for respite care used it within 12 months. There has been a reported hesitancy from carers to use respite care. In consultation studies with carers, they found general concerns existed regarding the usefulness, quality, convenience, cost, flexibility, and responsiveness of respite care. Carers for those with dementia also reported concerns about triggering increased levels of confusion, disorientation, and deterioration of cognitive function and behaviour, in addition to lack of confidence that care will sufficiently address the complex needs of their care recipients. It is clear that the hesitancy for the carers to take up respite care stems from a fear that those they care for will not have their needs met, that they will not receive the customised best care possible, and will suffer as a result. Perhaps this fear has resulted negative public perception or from poor past experiences. It is common to see respite centres developed as an ad hoc extension of larger aged care facilities. However, converted buildings that are not custom built for purpose in addition to the more common care approach of providing collective passive entertainment for a large group of people is not conducive to each individuals’ unique physical, emotional, social, and psychological needs being addressed.


Everyone is an individual and only flourishes according to their unique needs, interests, and desires being met. Those that care for the elderly must recognise that they now have a significant amount of influence over that person’s life and they can help or hinder them in meeting their own unique needs. The best outcomes for those in care are realised when their day-to-day life is structured to meet those needs. In respite care, this means that the environment must be flexible enough to allow each person’s needs to be met in a different way rather than a uniform approach enforced on them by staff.


Respite care must provide an individualised, well designed physical and social environment. It is important that respite care centres are specially designed buildings and not existing buildings converted to a respite centre. These facilities must become homes, places of comfort and support and freedom with the right atmosphere or they will not be used. They need to be designed to encourage flexibility and independence, a place the attendees feel that they have some ownership in.  This needs to be done in collaboration with the provider’s operating model – where attendees can help maintain the gardens, make decisions around the home, can engage in food preparation, or help others in the kitchen when they feel like it. This is important so that attendees are engaged, feel useful, are involved in decisions as much as possible, can plan what they want to do, have both the opportunity to give and receive care and help. This all contributes to the feeling of a home, and connection amongst attendees, and staff who act more as a friendly support role rather than the enforcer of decisions and rules.


Respite Homes that have adopted this approach have received hugely positive feedback from carers and those being cared for alike. These experiences can have positive health outcomes, both mentally and physically. This is reassuring for their carers, and provides them with much needed rest and rejuvenation so that when their caring continues it is not impacted by physical, emotional, or mental fatigue. It is vital that respite centres transform their approach to respite care, only when they do this will we see hugely improved outcomes for both carers and care recipients alike.


We are currently working with a number of providers to design new day centres and respite projects to address these issues. We are incorporating more flexible multi-use spaces which have a focus on community, where care recipients can come together to build social connections, where spaces allow different and changing activities to take place depending on the individuals' and groups' interests. We are focusing on creating high quality respite centres that allow both carers and care recipients to be looked after, and flourish.

Kylee Presenting at the Urbis Emerging Leaders Sundowner

Urbis’ annual Emerging Leaders event is on this Thursday and Fratelle Group director, Kylee Schoonens, is one of the presenters along with Nicole Lockwood from Lockwood Advisory. Running for the fourth year in a row, this event is hosted to address leadership within the property sector. Kylee will present on her professional journey within property from an architectural graduate to a company director of an architecture firm and board director for Development WA, WA’s land development agency. There will be a discussion on the challenges of career development, with advice and personal experiences, followed by a Q&A session and networking. It will be an interesting night and we appreciate the opportunity provided by Urbis to share personal insights, different perspectives and advice that hopefully has a positive impact on attendees.


CIDN Christmas Party

Join us at the last Construction Industry Drinks and Networking (CIDN) event for the year, the Christmas Sundowner. The event will be held at the Reveley Rooftop Bar on November 28th, from 5:30-9pm. With interesting industry speakers, a few drinks and canapes, this is the perfect opportunity to wind down into the summer break with a quality group of professionals. Please note that the last two Perth events have completely sold out, so early booking is recommended to avoid disappointment.

Tickets can be found here: Make sure when you purchase your ticket that you select the 'CIDN Member' option for the discounted rate!

For a preview on what these CIDN events are all about, have a look at a video of one of the past events here:

Duty Free Airport Arrivals Progress

On the back of our successful Duty Free Departures fitout project at the Perth International Airport, we have finished the Duty Free for the Arrivals side of the airport. With a similar brief, the fitout has seen the renewal of the duty free section to better reflect a modern and Australian retail experience. We have captured some great photos of the Departures & will be getting some more shots of the Arrivals shortly:

The West Feature - Money St Sustainable Apartments


Have you seen the West Australian’s New Homes magazine write up on our sustainable apartment development in Northbridge? We have been working hard in collaboration with Griffin Group and GENiUX to design a boundary pushing low carbon footprint building in the heart of Northbridge. The mid-rise apartment building will be situated on Money Street, one of the quieter and more verdant streets close to the city. In approaching the sustainability within design, we have worked in collaboration with GENiUX, a company that provides sustainable technology to real estate developments. (Have a look at this company,, their operating model is very interesting and will encourage the property industry to transform into a more sustainable industry by providing financially viable sustainability solutions for developers). We have maximised solar passive design in the building, and utilised both on and off-site vegetation for temperature moderation and to improve the resident’s experience of the building. We have incorporated numerous technologies that will mitigate the environmental impact of the development such as shared electric vehicles for hire, electric vehicle charging stations, rooftop solar PV, individual energy monitoring systems for each apartment, and geothermal water heating. Our Reside on Money design has been featured in the Design WA Handbook on how innovation and good design principles can drive good community outcomes. For a preview on what the apartments will look like:

Upcoming Residential Home Open


Our sister company, Ecohabit, is hosting a home open for one of our residential projects on Sunday October 27th. Come and explore the recently completed cottage extension project in Kensington. We will be opening the home with the builder ISMART Building Group to show you around and answer all your questions. This is a great opportunity to experience a passive house design in person and see different technologies in action and what great results can be achieved in a sustainable home.


One amazing feature of this house is the airtightness. Air leakage is a significant contributor to heat loss in winter, and loss of cool air in summer, and causes higher energy usage, higher bills, and more carbon emissions. There are different approaches to combatting air leakage which you can explore at the site visit whilst experiencing what it is like to inhabit an air tight home. We recently had a team site visit on a stormy day and the building was incredibly airtight, once you closed the doors the house was amazingly quiet.


Click here to register for this free event and for further details. If you want a preview of the house, you can have a look at some of the great photos that we have snapped of the house throughout its build here!

Development WA Launch


It is an exciting time for Perth with the recent launch of Development WA, the merged entity of former Landcorp & the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority. Our Director, Kylee Schoonens, was a Board Director for these companies and now has the exciting privilege of being a part of Development WA.


The creation of Development WA was to integrate the planning and development agencies for a stronger and more streamlined approach to future developments. The agency will play a pivotal role in consciously shaping our communities to ensure that the best outcomes are achieved and our community develops in the most positive way. It will act as a bridge between the government and the private sector to facilitate projects that transform prime parcels of land across Perth.


At the recent launch at the East Perth Power Station, $3.8 billion worth of development opportunities were released, including the Power Station site itself. To see the rest of the current and future opportunities head to the Development WA website here: it gives a good idea of the activity that we will be seeing in the years to come and how Perth will transform.

Midland Heritage Offices - Nearing Completion

The heritage renovation project at the old Midland artillery store has reached the significant milestone of having the exterior completed and the interior is close behind. This has been a lengthy process due to the need to repair and replace certain sections of the external timberwork that had deteriorated from exposure to the elements for over 10 years. Internal rafters suffered also from bad sagging and had to be rectified, along with structural updates to the roof. Great care has to be taken in heritage buildings to find the right balance between salvaging as much as you can, and assessing what has to be completely replaced for safety & function. The careful restoration of original elements takes time to ensure the building retains its character. Not too long ago the roof was finished and the building reached ‘lock up’ stage. The works have been progressing quickly on the rest of the interiors, with internal walls having been done, cabinetry installed and the final touch-ups underway. Head to our Youtube channel to see some great drone videos of the construction progress provided by Smith Broughton Auctioneers.

Conclusion of Dementia Awareness Month

As this week marked the conclusion of Dementia Awareness Month, it is worthwhile to reflect on the role design has in supporting those who are impacted by dementia. This year’s theme is ‘Together we can… ensure no one faces dementia alone’. This commitment expands further than carers and family members, it is applicable to the aged care operators, the developers, the designers, the health care sector, and the community at large.


As an architecture firm that is involved in many aged care projects, we take our responsibility to design the most enabling environment very seriously. The quality of spaces that people inhabit have a significant impact on both their physical and mental health. It is our duty to create a place where all residents’ needs are not only met, but daily difficulties are minimised, where the spaces improve the quality of their lives and encourage the residents to flourish.


Our director, Kylee Schoonens, is extremely knowledgeable and experienced in designing dementia friendly environments, having been the architect on numerous aged care facilities which cater to those with dementia, in addition to being on the board of Bethanie, and having presented papers at an International Symposium on Designing for Dementia. Designing for dementia is a very specific and involved process. Every aspect of the physical environment needs to be considered from the incorporation of safety features, to sensory stimulation (as this decreases with dementia), the use of high contrast between areas and objects, avoidance of confusing bold patterns, the use of familiar, visible and easily identifiable items, to very defined self-evident layouts with line of sight orientation with reference points. These are just a handful of things as an example of the detailed understanding of how dementia impacts peoples’ lives and how this needs to be incorporated into the design of environments for those with dementia. If done correctly and thoroughly, these environments remove barriers that can confuse and distress those with dementia, and enable them to live more engaged and happier lives. When we all do our part in supporting those with dementia, we can improve lives and ensure that no one faces dementia alone.

The Future of Aged Care: Vertical Villages

As our population is increasing, so too is the percentage of older people, a combination of people living longer and current generations having less children than previous generations, with smaller and more mobile families meaning they have less time to care for ageing relatives. This means that we are not only experiencing a shortage in housing supply in line with the increasing population, but an increased demand in housing suitable for older people. According to the Property Council of Australia, retirement living demand has been projected to double by 2025. This has been the encouragement that has led the property industry to look to alternatives to the standard aged care and retirement living housing models available. As we try to concentrate housing in accessible areas close to amenity, apartment buildings are a great contribution to this – and is something that is being explored for retirement living and aged care. Dubbed ‘Vertical Villages’, apartments may unexpectedly hold a lot of potential in addressing retirement living and aged care needs.


A crucial element in providing appropriate and optimal aged care is the flexibility available within housing and care options. The customisability within every option is critical for an enabling environment that encourages the best quality of life for residents. Vertical villages have unique advantages that can help provide this and are an unexpected contender in the best model for retirement living and aged care.


One of the most advantageous features of vertical villages are the opportunities afforded by the feasibility of having numerous services & living options within close proximity. Building up rather than out means that more residents can live in a serviceable area allowing more businesses & services to operate closer to a greater number of residents, whether in the same building or close by. With businesses operating closer to residents and to higher numbers of residents, comes the benefits both of a greater likelihood of resident needs being met, and an economy of scale meaning that the service delivery will be more cost effective.


In a single apartment building it is possible to have a mix of retirement living, aged care, and standard residential living options, along with a mix of commercial or community uses. Essentially, the buildings could function for a mixed-age demographic, but come with extra support options for those who need it. It is an option for those whose lives would benefit from some extra help without feeling that they have to make a drastic lifestyle change and move into a facility. As they age within the apartment building, residents can increase the level of service required, for instance accessing varying degrees of cleaning, catering, medical check-ups, physiotherapy, personal grooming, entertainment, and shopping services, all potentially within the same apartment complex. The availability of different care level services in the same building enables a seamless transition to higher care when needed. This can all occur while sharing common spaces with people of different age groups and interacting with the public within retail amenities & service providers in the building. This interaction discourages negative feelings of ageing and isolation. We have seen for instance, cases around the world that show the benefits of mixing aged care and child care, which is an example of something that could be explored with a day care tenancy in the apartment building.


A residential model such as the vertical village can also increase resident safety and independence. There is a reticence from many older people to leave their home for somewhere where they can receive higher levels of care when they need it. This is often due to a justified aversion to leaving their familiar environment, community and independence, and the common negative perception that they will be put away in an aged care facility and forgotten. This means that often older people are living in their home longer than they should, which poses a personal safety issue. If residents live in a vertical village, as they need greater care they do not have to leave their community so are more likely to access the services they need. This ensures they receive the appropriate level of care, are looked after, and can actually remain more independent in their community as they are supported by the various services available.


Regardless of the above, it would be naïve to think that all residents would feel that living in a vertical village would suit them. However the more vertical villages available as options for those who would enjoy that lifestyle, the more places are freed up in traditional retirement living and aged care facilities.


While some may not be convinced about these ‘vertical villages’, they appear to provide a unique opportunity to develop an enabling, rich, supportive environment to alleviate our challenge of housing our ageing population. Operators would do well to investigate the possibilities rather than disregard the unfamiliar.

Design WA - Stage 2


We have looked forward to the changes the architecture industry will see as a result of the planning reform initiative Design WA. After Stage 1 rolled out earlier in May this year, focusing on the quality of the general built environment, and on apartment developments, Stage 2 is in progress. The second stage of Design WA – Precinct Design, has been released for public consultation up until the 15th of October. For this stage, the Department of Planning are reviewing the State Planning Policy 4.2 Activity Centre for Perth and Peel, and the State Planning Policy 7.1 Neighbourhood Design. This pertains to complex areas of mixed use, high density, and public activity with the aim to provide more adequate guides for infill development compared to greenfield.


It provides a means of encouraging and addressing quality design within broad varying contexts such as activity centres, station precincts, urban corridors, residential infill and heritage precinct areas. Key design considerations addressed are urban ecology, urban structure, movement, built form, land use, public realm, and services & utilities.


The draft planning policy, guidelines and discussion paper are open for public comment. All three documents can be found here:

New Australian Podcast: “Hearing Architecture”

Our director, Kylee, has joined EMAGN and Open Creative Studio in their new podcast “Hearing Architecture”. The Australian Institute of Architects Emerging Architects and Graduates Network collaboration interviews key architects from around Australia on views to all aspects of the architecture profession, from university to working life.

Hear Kylee feature on the first instalment "Cultural Influencers or Influenced by Culture". This episode discusses different opinions on architecture’s role in culture – is it informed by culture or does it inform culture? (If you are short on time, head to our YouTube channel to hear Kylee's excerpt:

There are 12 episodes that will be released over the next few months and will provide great food for thought.

Strata Title Reform – Community Consultation Now!


Have you been keeping track of the changes in motion for strata in WA? You may be aware that the Strata Titles Amendment Act 2018 received parliamentary assent in November 2018. Since then Landgate have been drafting regulations to accompany this act. These have been completed and published for community consultation for this month only. Head to to view and comment on the Proposed Strata Titles Act (General) Regulations 2019. Landgate are also holding a series of free community information sessions until the 18th September, we highly recommend those interested and invested attend one of these events for a greater understanding of the changes and how you can provide feedback. Times and locations of these information sessions can be viewed here:


Landgate are also holding a series of more detailed talks that each focus on specific areas of the reforms. They are held on the following topics: Better buyer information and strata renewal, strata management, by-laws and dispute resolution, introducing leasehold strata, and strata development. These are on the 17th September at a variety of times at the Convention & Exhibition Centre and are free. If you cannot make the sessions, videos of them will be made available through the Landgate youtube channel.

Building with Heritage: A Case Study or Two…




Architecture takes a snapshot of a society within time and exhibits it as a physical manifestation of that moment in history. It is the translation of values into the built form.  Each building you look at reveals certain values and the daily lifestyle that existed within the time and place in which it was built.


As familiar as we are with the present and understand the motivations of contemporary architecture, it is historic architecture that can provide us with an intriguing insight into a world not so familiar as our own.


Despite Perth being a relatively young city, we have our fair share of heritage architecture and it is not uncommon for us to work on heritage projects. Heritage projects offer a unique opportunity to preserve and highlight the original fabric of a building, to interpret its history through architectural intervention and conservation. A sensitive adaptation allows the visitor and user of the place access to the building’s history and story in a very tangible way.


The first crucial step in these projects is the research into the original building and the development of a Conservation Management strategy. This involves the assessment and outlining of the key conservation policies and strategies relevant to ensure any significant heritage fabric is identified and conserved. As part of this, heritage impact statements are often required to be submitted for approval which outlines the building’s significance, how any works will protect or enhance heritage areas, and any risks to the heritage aspects and how these will be mitigated. The strategy also can identify best approaches for new work and integration of new & old and future management of the property.


For our recent heritage project, the Guildford Hotel, it began with a lengthy assessment of the current building condition. Significant portions of the building, including the roof, sections of the floors, and complete walls, were destroyed by the 2008 fire, leaving a mess of a building. We decided to have a 3D laser scan done of the Hotel to accurately capture what remained and where everything was. From this point forward we were able to create a Conservation Management strategy to deal with the complexity of what could and should be salvaged and restored, and what opportunities existed to integrate contemporary architectural components.


One of the most successful approaches to heritage projects is to retain and feature the heritage fabric juxtaposing this with contemporary architectural forms, materials, and planning, to contrast new and old in a dynamic way and generate curiosity in users. If buildings were simply recreated to their exact original form, they would risk not addressing current user needs and becoming underutilised. Thus, this amalgamation of old and new serves two purposes simultaneously – preserving history and preserving function. The contrast created by this integration highlights how far society has developed, it gives an interesting insight into life and values at the time of the original building construction.


We adopted this approach in both the Guildford Hotel, and another recent heritage project - the Midland offices of Smith Broughton Auctioneers. In both, we deliberately exposed and featured the original structure and finishes as a basis for creating a dynamic and obvious dialogue between itself and the new additions. In addition, in the Guildford Hotel, elements damaged by the 2008 fire were showcased to help illustrate significant events in the story of the building. With the Midland Offices, most of the materials selected are contemporary materials – glass steel, aluminium and dark grey (Monument) Maxline cladding – to contrast and compliment the natural, somewhat rustic original materials (face brick, concrete floors, dressed natural timber) with sharp, slick modern materials. The new main office space on the First Floor is a large open plan space which sits under the original tongue & groove jarrah lined raked ceiling. We are providing rooflights through this ceiling lining to provide the space with natural light. Offices sit around this main space – again sitting under the main cathedral timber roof. These are lined and enclosed as ‘boxes’ that sit within the main space, so the whole cathedral ceiling space is appreciated. New dark steel clad ‘boxes’ rise out of the roof to the east and west providing additional space and outlook to the hills and to the west. The large original timber trusses are being retained and highlighted within the new office space. The contrast of all these elements tells the story of the original building as well as making the new works easy to see and understand.



Often in adapting a heritage building to current use one of the more difficult things we come across in our initial assessment of the building is a requirement to repair the original structure with minimal impact on the original building. While safety of the building cannot be compromised, repairing the heritage structure in a harmonious way can require very drastic, complex, or time consuming processes. An additional challenge to address in an existing intact or damaged heritage building are the services. In conventional new works, services are generally concealed, however many services were introduced after the construction of today’s heritage buildings and thus have had to have been surface mounted. Services though can tell their own story, by being left exposed and in conduits.



One of the biggest obstacles to heritage projects outside of the building design is the time, cost and management of the works, with timeframes and costs often exceeding the budget. This is often due to unforeseen issues arising, such as certain elements being discovered in poorer condition than expected, having to source materials that match existing building materials which often are difficult to find, expensive, and remove the opportunity for cost comparison to alternatives. There is typically a requirement for more time from the architect to project manage due to issues like these. More time is also required upfront to assess the heritage building condition and complete a measure, which can often be time consuming and difficult as older buildings tend to have deteriorating materials and less consistent dimensions. Depending on the scale and complexity of the building, a 3D building scan may be used to capture accurately great detail of the original building.



With the Midland Offices, the external timberwork had deteriorated from exposure to the elements for over 100 years and the windows, barge boards, and western former ‘train platform’ lining all needed repair and some sections that were too weathered have been replaced. One unexpected thing that we have had to deal with was a huge amount of bird droppings that have been collecting for the best part of a century! This incurred a cost of nearly $30,000 to remove and safely dispose of. An area we have had to make significant repairs to is the main roof under-purlins and rafters, which have sagged significantly over the years, with some areas sagging up to 30mm. In order to rectify this problem, we have retained the original rafters in place, and bolted new treated pine rafters against the original, reset the ridge with the new rafters and bolted the new and original sagged rafters, to take the ‘sag’ out of the roof. We have also provided new collar ties and tie-down strapping to ensure the roof meets current by-laws and standards.



In light of the above, heritage projects can seem overwhelmingly complex. However, it is the challenge of dealing with this complexity in a way that delivers a unique fresh design that drives us to continue taking on board heritage projects. We find that simple, exposed architectural solutions are often the most proactive, but also the most honest and easy for the user to interpret. A successfully renewed heritage project provides such rich value to the users and the wider society through its acknowledgement and intersection of the past and the present.


For a greater look at our heritage projects, head here for the Guildford Hotel, and here for the Smith Broughton Auctioneers Midland Offices.

CIDN Spring Sundowner – 5 September

Join us this week at the next CIDN event – the Spring Sundowner. Hosted at our regular spot, the Shoe, in Yagan Square, this event is a great chance to share opportunities and stories, and discuss what could be a change in tune for the Perth construction market. CIDN Perth was established to create a space for people to grow and strengthen their individual relationships and network across the construction industry in Perth. Everyone is welcome at these events and we encourage anyone in the construction industry to come along and take advantage of this opportunity to refresh your perspective and develop stronger industry connections.

The sundowner is being held this Thursday evening from 5:30. Head to the CIDN Perth website here to register and secure your complimentary ticket: Be quick as our event sponsor, Melchor, is putting on sausage rolls and pies to keep us fed while the Eagles game is played on screens at the Shoe!

Interested in finding out more about what happens at these events? Here is a video recap from one of our events earlier in the year:

Strata Title Reform - Are You Aware?

Strata Reform

It has become clear that legislative updates are necessary to accommodate the advances being pushed by the property industry as it embraces new approaches for development and property management. As the legislation governing strata has remained relatively unchanged for the last few decades it is causing increased friction as people try to push boundaries in the property industry. With 40-50% of all new lots being strata, a significant portion of property in WA is being affected by these outdated Strata regulations. These increasingly apparent inadequacies of the current Strata Titles Act prompted the commencement of major strata reform that Western Australia is currently in the midst of. The primary aims of the reforms are to allow greater flexibility and options to drive better housing outcomes for developers, owners and residents, whilst making the process more transparent and enshrining better safeguards for those involved.


The updates aim to achieve the following:

1. Provide new land development options

2. Increase regulation & accountability for Strata managers

3. Streamline the strata dispute process & make it more accessible

4. Provide greater information for strata buyers

5. Include safeguards for scheme terminations

6. Improve scheme management options

7. Allow more flexible staged development


As a result of these Acts and to address the above two new strata types have emerged, community title and leasehold strata, outlined below.


Community Title:

-Allows for multiple sub-schemes, each with its own strata company

-Allows for strategic planning of large scale area development, with flexible stages and mixed use

-Encourages strategic density and mixed use areas along train lines and stations

-Will require a Community Development Statement to guide development approved by WAPC

Leasehold Strata:

-Fixed term of 20-99 years

-Buyer has a long term lease

-Owner of strata lease is issued with a Certificate of Title

-Owner can transfer lot & strata lease or mortgage the lot without the lessors consent

-For use of developments at train stations & for affordable housing

-All lots/leases to have the same expiry date

-Requires WAPC approval


Both the Strata Titles Amendment Act 2018 and the Community Titles Act 2018 have passed through parliament and received assent, however are awaiting Landgate to develop supporting regulations, after which proclamation will occur with the Strata Titles Act anticipated to come into operation later this year, and the Community Titles Act to come into operation in early 2020.


We anticipate that the most obvious transformation will be the growth of development around train stations and major transport corridors. There will be increased density around these hubs, with a focus on the METRONET station precincts. Additionally, the reforms will create new opportunities for mixed-use developments to ensure that communities are developed to provide diverse housing options integrated with an accompanying range of retail and commercial elements. We could also see greater levels of redevelopment of older strata properties, as the process of scheme terminations has been updated to be more navigable and realisable.


We look forward to engaging in projects that capitalise on these changes and witnessing how our communities evolve in response to these changes in the property industry. For more information, you can read the bills here:

Strata Titles Amendment Act 2018:

Community Titles Act 2018:

Landgate Strata Reform: 




Working on an Airport: A Case Study

Our project at the Perth International Airport recently came to a close after a busy and complex 6 months. The successful fitout of the Duty Free Departures areas came as a result of a carefully managed project that provided us with a lot of learning experiences. The project brief was exciting – to complete a new fitout of all the Duty Free areas at Terminal 1 – the Perth International Airport, within a very condensed timeframe.


The first challenge to address was the integration of our international clients with their international team of workers, and our local consultant team in Perth. When we came onto the job, the initial design and documentation had been completed by the client’s team in the UK. The difficulty of this was that the materials selected and the specifications used were from Europe. These selections had to be re- specified in Australian materials and products – surprisingly few of which are common to both countries.


As much of the lighting and fit-out joinery came from China, ensuring compliance with the Australian Standards was particularly challenging. Many compliance documents sent were not from reputable certifiers and upon arrival, inspection revealed that a lot of equipment was found non-compliant and had to be rectified at the supplier cost. Any extra time required to ensure the safety of all products causes delays and puts additional pressure on the management of the project to achieve the tight deadlines. Consequently, a procedure to prevent this reoccurring developed, firstly, request certificates of compliance from an Australian Certifying company and not accept any unknown compliance certification. Secondly, ensure the electrical contractor inspects all equipment as soon as it arrives and before installation, if in doubt the equipment was to be replaced with compliant Australian equipment at the supplier’s cost. This would minimise the risk of engaging suppliers whose products do not meet the Australian Standards, therefore reducing any time wasted in waiting for the supplier to rectify their product.


The next challenge that arose was the logistics of working within an operational airport. The works were required to be carried out in stages to enable the Duty Free store to remain partly operational throughout the project. This in itself was complex, as services to the functioning areas had to be maintained, and the highest standards of public safety had to be ensured as the construction was in such proximity to the public.


Perth Airport understandably has very strict conditions in regards to safety, security, and procedures. Considerable amounts of time were required to be spent on site in negotiations and applications for approvals from Perth Airport to ensure the safety and building, operations, and retail arms of PAPL were aware and agreed to all of the works and programming of them to ensure safety and compliance. The time spent inspecting, answering RFI’s and instructing the contractor and coordinating other contractors and suppliers is significantly higher than for a similar commercial fit-out.


The nature of the Duty Free retail in such public areas meant there were stricter requirements for the quality of finish and robustness. Heavy public traffic and use required very close review of architectural drawings and shop drawings, in addition to detailed defect inspection to meet the quality expectations. This also required very competent and professional contractors and sub-contractors to install products and produce an outcome to the high standards required.


These are just a few glimpses of the complications of this project, to be kept in consideration all while trying to maintain the project cost and timeframe. Overall the project, while complex, was thoroughly successful and we are pleased to have achieved a result that all parties were highly satisfied with. To explore the new areas of the airport inspired by the natural beauty of Australia, head here:

Making Places that Boom: Kylee Schoonens Property Council Panellist

Panelist Property Council Kylee Schoonens

Our director, Kylee Schoonens, has been selected by the Property Council to be a panellist for their event 'Making Places That Boom!' at the end of August. She will discuss what it takes to make successful spaces that people enjoy and are attracted to. The event will feature discussion from a speaker and 3 panellists, including Kylee. Don’t miss the chance to hear about contemporary strategies to put soul into places, personal placemaking stories, and what drives economic success.
It is important that spaces are reflected upon to distil what drives people to or from them. With industry investment into this process we will see better architectural outcomes, which will strengthen the communities that inhabit these spaces and the broader community across Perth.

Come along and listen to the panel's discussion on placemaking in Western Australia. Register here:

Heritage Office - Team Site Visit

Our heritage conversion project in Midland has progressed significantly and we recently took the team out for a site visit to inspect the construction. The project is an enormous beautiful brick building, designed to house different offices and rooms as individual cubes sitting inside the building. This will enable the space of the building to remain as a whole dramatic entity enveloping the smaller spaces without being broken up. The building features some impressive steel beams, beautiful red timber ceiling linings, and a balcony that cuts through the gabled roof to create an extrusion out from the boardroom. A lot of work has been done to carefully preserve and restore the brick walls and the timber structure. The externals of the building will soon be complete and we will see more progress on the interior.



New Aged Care Quality Standards

Aged Care Quality Standards

Hot on the heels of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality & Safety that has been underway since October last year, the national Aged Care Quality & Safety Commission has introduced a new national set of standards. The new Aged Care Quality Standards have been in effect from the beginning of this month. These standards apply to all commonwealth funded aged care services, the adoption of which begun to be monitored and assessed from July 1st. There are 8 standards which are focused on driving better consumer outcomes in aged care.

1. Consumer dignity and choice

2. Ongoing assessment and planning with consumers

3. Personal care and clinical care

4. Services and supports for daily living

5. Organisation’s service environment

6. Feedback and complaints

7. Human resources

8. Organisational governance


The resources provided on these 8 standards will enable all aged care providers to meet a base standard level of care agreed upon by the Government with consultation across the industry and consumers. In particular, Standard number 5 is the most pertinent to property developers within the aged care industry as it deals with the physical environment of these facilities.


For more information on these standards and what impact they have on aged care facilities head to the Aged Care Quality & Safety Commission website here:

September CIDN Event


Did you come along to our EOFY celebration at the Shoe? Well our next event is coming up in September – this is a great chance to solidify any contacts/relationships that you made at the July event, or if you didn’t manage to get there, here’s the chance to make some! Register here to join us at the event. It’s free but places are limited so get in before tickets run out. Remember – every opportunity to meet new people opens up fresh perspectives and can change your trajectory within the industry.

The Future of Aged Care: Sustainability

Aged Care Sustainability

The Aged Care property sector is full of complexities and unique challenges, and one interesting aspect that is emerging is the intersection between this industry and sustainability. As Aged Care is booming across Australia we are struggling to keep up with demand, with new developments being built constantly. It is important that sustainable design is not foregone in addressing the myriad of other challenges in Aged Care design.


As the industry is getting a shake up from the Royal Commission, this is a great opportunity to push for sustainability in regards to new developments and their operations. Highly sustainable design is fast becoming demanded as a base standard for developments, and soon will hit the Aged Care sector. As Aged Care developments seek to build & communicate their unique identity to the community, the value of sustainability in its many forms is something that can be adopted and capitalised upon.


Sustainable design is a tool that can increase the operational efficiency of any aged care facility. Incorporating sustainable design features in the development of new buildings or the renovation of existing buildings can result in cost savings in building operations. In addition to solar passive design, a facility’s ability to produce its own electricity, heating, capture rain water, reduce energy and water consumption, and waste reduction and management can reduce the reliance on external non-renewable services, and can help offset running costs. This can free up more money to be spent on improving resident care and enriching the quality of life in the facility.


We believe that the greater incorporation of sustainability into our Aged Care industry can not only reduce our environmental impact but enhance the experience of both residents and staff, and strengthen the position of any Aged Care provider across the industry.

Heritage Office - Steelwork Progress

SBA Steel Construction Progress

Our heritage conversion project for Smith Broughton Auctioneers is making good headway. The steel structure of the building is almost finished. The spaces are taking shape and it will only be a few more weeks until the roof will be on. Have a look at the photos where you can see the impressive beams and the nature of the spaces that are forming.

CIDN End of Financial Year Celebration Success!

CIDN Construction Industry Drinks Networking Perth




What a success last night was! Thank you to all who joined us at the Construction Industry Drinks & Networking EOFY celebration. The Shoe was busy with a great crowd from across the industry – it was great to feel the positive atmosphere from everyone in regards to the year ahead. If you didn’t make it to this event make sure you keep an eye out for the next one. These events are free and open to all – they are a great opportunity for you to take advantage of. There are a lot of passionate people doing innovative things that join us at the CIDN events – you never know who you may meet and what may come of it.

Duty Free Airport Completion!

Our Perth International Airport Duty Free store at Terminal 1 - Departures project has reached completion and opened on June 13. The client and whole team are very happy with the outcome – the Duty Free areas are now very vibrant and contemporary. The materials used bring a lot more visual interest to the areas with a range of colours and textures varying throughout. Curves have been integrated into the different floor coverings, bulkhead forms, and feature lighting, guiding the user through the Duty Free area in an organic way. The design has taken it's cues from WA's stunning diverse landscape and pays respects to our traditional owners through a modern installation. The consolidation of the existing luxury brands, and introduction of many new brands to WA through a well-resolved layout has allowed for a much improved efficiency and customer experience for patrons in the terminal. Watch out for the delivery of Stage 2, in the Arrivals lounge coming soon.

Have a look at the below footage of the opening.

CIDN End of Financial Year Event Invite


After such a success at the last Construction Industry Drinks & Networking event with a massive turn out in March - join us at the next CIDN event on July 4. The event is free and open to anyone – it will be a great opportunity to make some new connections within the construction industry while celebrating the end of the financial year. The event will be at The Shoe in Yagan Square from 5:30pm. Register to secure your place here:

Need some more convincing? Watch this video of the last event:

Reside on Money – Site Work Commencement

Money St Demolition

Work has begun on the site of one of the most sustainable apartment developments in Northbridge! The site is currently being prepared with excavators demolishing the existing building on site, colorbond fencing and clearing the block. Keep your eyes peeled on the Money Street site for construction beginning in the next few months. To read up on the sustainable innovative features of the building head here.


Royal Commission into Aged Care – Property Industry Impact

Royal Commissioners Richard Tracey and Lynelle Briggs are seen at the first public hearing in the federal government's Royal Commission for Aged Care Quality and Safety at the Roma Mitchell Commonwealth Law Court Building in Adelaide, Friday, January 18, 2019. (AAP Image/Kelly Barnes) NO ARCHIVING

With the Government’s announcement last September 2018 for a Royal Commission into aged care, it will be an interesting time within the aged care industry to see what changes will filter through to and have an impact on the property industry. The commission was prompted by the revelations of cases of abuse occurring in aged care facilities with a view to transforming the whole aged care industry to prevent the reoccurrence of such abuse.


A primary outcome of the Royal Commission will be stricter standards and regulations within the aged care industry. It is anticipated that this will naturally alter the aged care built environment, as organisations will be forced to change to cater to the new requirements.


Predicted outcomes such as a mandated number of staff to resident ratios, for instance, would require existing facilities to potentially accommodate increased numbers of carers and necessitate extra staff facilities. If we see changes to the system of Government capped bed licenses such as deregulation, the whole industry would be completely changed. If greater physical oversight is mandated, then we could see the layout of facilities alter so that residents are always in close proximity to a carer or nurse office for easier and greater monitoring of carer/resident interactions and any resident accidents. The introduction of anything from the aforementioned, to requirements for greater technological aids or independent health care professional examination rooms, as examples, would all see aged care facilities alter in their design and requirements.


Deregulation will bring with it changes to care models currently being utilized in aged care homes.  Rather than being limited to care delivered within licenced bed facilities, care could be delivered under more of a user pays model, allowing our ageing population more choice in how and where they wish for their care to be delivered – whether in a traditional aged care facility, or within their own home.  Different accommodation models could come to market, such as senior’s apartment developments that can cater for increased levels of care and palliation as required.


This increased demand could provide new investment opportunities for organisations and investors however this will hinge on what the actual regulatory and funding outcomes of the Royal Commission final report will be, to be released by the end of April 2020.


While this is all postulation until next year, it is vital that we keep the principles behind this Royal Commission in mind while we plan and design current aged care facilities – that is that every person should be treated with dignity and respect, and our aged care facilities should do what they can to protect vulnerable older people and encourage them to live their best life.  Fratelle Group is staying abreast of all of these changes, and currently implementing them into a number of aged care developments we are working on.  For further information or to see how we can assist you with the delivery of your next asset, please get in touch.


More details on the Royal Commission are available on their website:

Reside on Money - Design WA Inclusion


House and apartment guide for better design

With Design WA being publicly released in February 2019, it is exciting to see what positive changes these new guidelines will bring to the industry and we are happy to have contributed to the process.  A comprehensive consultation process was undertaken by the Department of Planning to determine the new guides, and our Directors Kylee and Adrian were a part of the working group of practitioners who were consulted for the guides. Through our involvement with Design WA, we have a deep understanding for the change in design requirements, and have already been incorporating these good design principles into practice in our designs over the last three years. One of our current apartment developments projects, Reside on Money in Perth, is featured in the Design WA handbook, as an exemplar for the process, and how innovation and sound design principles drive good community outcomes.


The Reside on Monday project introduces a number of elements into the design that will ensure resident comfort and amenity is maximised, whilst reducing the overall building impact on the environment.  The development is designed to respond to the existing character of Money Street, while adding to the amenity of the future development of the area. As Money Street evolves over time, the design will be able to transition seamlessly between the old and the new building fabric on the street.  The design was developed through consultation with the local government and residents, and fine-tuned based on the responses. Ideas like reducing the bulk onto Money Street and increased landscaping on the building façade, including deep root zones has been incorporated in response to community consultation.  The design strives to achieve a number of sustainability objectives, including increased solar energy use, reduced water usage and cross flow ventilation, while using modular construction to restrict the level of waste during the construction process.


The double aspect apartments take into account not only the northern sunlight but also the city views to the south.  Sustainable initiatives, including solar tractile panels, geothermal water heating, increased natural lighting to all rooms, cross flow ventilation and thermal banking, electric car charging stations, car and scooter hire is all being included to push the boundaries of sustainability whilst reducing ongoing costs for the lifecycle of the building.


For those who are unaware of what Design WA is, it is an initiative by the WA Government to reform the design planning industry to improve the quality of the built environment. This will see better outcomes for new buildings and communities across the state.  This is an important first step to ensure our city and the required increased density to reduce our urban sprawl across Perth is introduced whilst not reducing lifestyle or amenity for residents living within smaller spaces.  The approach from Design WA to apartment design is a next-generation response to the concerns about built form outcomes that were coming from the Residential Design Codes to multi-residential design.  The new codes will also aim to change community attitudes regarding poor design and built-form outcomes that have somewhat plagued opinions towards higher density in WA.


At present, the first stage of this planning overhaul process has been completed which focussed on the general quality of the built environment, apartment developments & how local governments can set up design review panels. For more information about Design WA, go to this website for a thorough run-through of the changes, the documents released, and future timelines:

Construction Industry Drinks & Networking

Our director, Adrian, is on the committee for the Construction Industry Drinks & Networking Perth branch. This organisation provides regular events which encourage building relationships within the construction industry. Everyone is welcome at these events which are usually hosted after work hours at The Shoe, in Yagan Square. The last event in March was a huge success, and the next one will be July 4th as an End of Financial Year celebration. Give the video below a watch to see what a typical event entails:

Smith Broughton Auctioneers - Office Construction Progress

We are currently working on a project for Smith Broughton Auctioneers in Midland. This project began as challenge to restore a historic building on the site and give it a new life as SBA's headquarters. The project is now in its construction phase and is starting to reveal the great outcome that is on the way. Have a look at some progress photos below, taken by Smith Broughton Auctioneers:

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Perth International Airport - Duty Free Construction Update

We are seeing quick progress at the Perth International Airport. Below are some on-site shots of our project for Duty Free. It is still a work in progress but we love the outcome so far, especially the Australian aesthetic to a lot of the areas. Watch this space for more updates on the project...


Snapseed (5) Snapseed (2) IMG_7950

'The Residence' Scarborough Apartments - Now Under Offer

Have a look at these boutique apartments on offer in Scarborough that we designed. The design for this apartment building was for something a bit different to the high rise apartment towers popping up all over the place. This smaller development features apartments that are all unique rather than the typical cookie cutter style you see of repeated layouts in most apartment buildings. Find out more or register your interest here:

Internal Render_No Watermark_7_edited_2



Two Years Ago Today: The Guildford Hotel Belvedere

This time back in 2016, the Belvedere was restored to the Guildford Hotel. It was a beautiful sunny Saturday morning, there was about 400 locals who came, drank coffee and watched the beautiful Belvedere launched from the site lay down area, to it’s rightful place back on top of the Hotel. A favourite memory was the round of appreciative applause as the belvedere came to rest. Here is a video of the process and a few shots of construction progress for your viewing pleasure as well. Great memories from a great project!

Belvedere SS

What does 2019 hold in store for the property industry?


Last year was a challenging one across the property industry with a lot of vacancies, both in the commercial and residential sector, which saw developers proceed with greater caution. This year it seems that the property industry is in for an upswing. Better predictions for the residential market, dropping commercial vacancy rates and trends indicate that across the board there will be recovery in the industry.

On the home front we have a few big projects that will come to fruition this year, including some multi-residential developments, commercial fitouts and aged care developments. Hopefully this positivity spreads and Perth continues to see great developments enhance our city.

Perth 2019


Happy New Year

Welcome back to the New Year. We hope that your Christmas break was spent enjoying good food and good company and that you managed to fit in some relaxation and rejuvenation. Our office has reopened today and we are hitting the ground running.

Happy New Year 2019

Burswood Park Board - Drone Fly-Through

The recently completed project for the Burswood Park Board buildings involved the replacement of their Machinery and Workshops Building and the Administration Building within a new location. The result was a functional and aesthetic set of buildings that met the client’s needs. Have a look at the drone footage of the buildings here: 


Merry Christmas!


Cockburn Bowling & Recreation Centre - Project Fly-through

Check out this drone footage of one of our recently completed projects, the Cockburn Bowling & Recreation Centre. This project provides great new bowling and community facilities for the City of Armadale, including both shaded and unshaded bowling greens, additional greens for other sports such as soccer, and great indoor facilities for functions, meals and general socialising. Have a look here: 




Melbourne Cup



Check out some of the team celebrating Melbourne Cup day! Can you spot the impressive DIY'd hats?! It is good to see some architectural drawings being used creatively...

NABD Award Winners

2018 NABD Awards

The National Association of Building Designers 2018 Design Awards were held last night and one of our projects, Rossiter Pavilion, which won an award at the state level, was an entrant and took out the national award of Best Public Building Design! The awards were held across the nation via a live simulcast, with the Perth event hosted at the Brickworks Studio on King Street. It was a great night and we are very proud of the hard work put in by the whole team that made our project such a success!

Global Architecture & Design Awards

Our project, The Guildford Hotel, recently came runner up in the Global Architecture & Design Awards in the category of Built Hospitality projects. The awards are given to projects that showcase excellence and innovation in architecture & design. This year, 748 projects were registered from more than 50 countries, spanning architecture, landscaping, urban design, product design and interior design categories. It is fantastic to see such a positive appraisal of one of our projects on a global scale. Have a look at the awards and entries here:


The Guildford Hotel Fratelle Group Pty Ltd

CIDN Christmas Sundowner

Join us at the CIDN (Construction Industry Drinks and Networking) Christmas Sundowner open to all on Thursday the 29th November. This will be a great way to celebrate the year that’s been with those within the construction industry. Who knows, you might even make some new business connections for the next year! $25 entry gets you canapes and a drink at The Shoe in Yagan Square from 5:30-8:30pm. Get your tickets here:



Dinner with the Architect - A Great Success!

Last week Kylee hosted an intimate dinner presentation at the Guildford Hotel. She gave a walking tour, pointing out features and explaining the different historical elements of the building, followed by a presentation revealing the state the hotel was in before the project started, the challenges and discoveries and progress shots along the way. The feedback was great and lots of personal stories were shared by the attendees of their relationship to the Guildford Hotel. It was fantastic to engage once again with the community in regards to this project and hear the positive reactions to the hotel!

Here's a few snapshots from the event:



Northbridge Apartment DA Approval

Development Application approval has just been received for an exciting apartment building that we have been working on in Northbridge. We managed to get approval for a 6 storey development within a 4 storey area. The building incorporates a large range of innovative features such as car stackers, modular construction elements, electric car and motorbike hire and charging stations, PV integrated roof tiles, solar preheated water, individual energy usage monitors, significant amounts of external areas, landscaping and vegetation with a heavy emphasis on native waterwise plants and more. This building will be fantastic to live in with such great features and in a great central location.



Dinner with the Architect - Guildford Hotel

Dinner with the Architect

Next week, to mark the 10 year anniversary since The Guildford Hotel fire, the Hotel will be hosting a Dinner with the Architect - our architect, Kylee Schoonens. Kylee will be hosting a walking tour and presentation at the Guildford Hotel for the event: Dinner with the Architect. This will be an exciting event, food is included (at a great price!) and a very personal approach to explaining the project, it's history and challenges. Learn about how The Guildford Hotel was rebuilt after the fire, and how heritage features were preserved. Get more info and tickets here:

Plants Transformed into Lights

MIT Engineers have experimented with embedding a firefly enzyme into the leaves of a plant to make it produce light. So far they have seen success despite at this stage only low light levels having been achieved which eventually wear off. However this is still an incredible innovation and they are continuing to work to optimise the light production, hoping to increase the brightness, extend its effects, and having the plant respond to sunlight and ‘switch off’.


Can you imagine the day where your bedside lamp is not a lamp, but instead a pot plant?

Plant Light



Wireless Charging Pads

A cool little feature that you should start to see more of are wireless charging pads. These can be installed in a myriad of places. Imagine how handy it would be if you had these installed on some desks in your office, or public libraries or even on café tables?

There are a couple of places around Perth that have these now, including public bench seats around Victoria Park. Have you seen these anywhere?

Have a look at them here:



Wireless Desk


Skylight Innovations – Any Building, Any Room

Natural lighting is important in buildings and a much sought after feature.  As architects we are well aware of how lighting can transform a space. We strive to incorporate natural light into every space, mindful of how much this can impact the comfort and the atmosphere of a space. Natural lighting is known to have many benefits for your health and has been proven in many studies to increase productivity. Additionally, natural lighting provides energy and cost savings as it reduces the need for artificial lighting.


In the past, access to natural lighting has been limited to spaces that are on the perimeter of a building or that have easy access to the roof for skylights. Advancements in the area of skylights are now seeing their application in spaces that would have traditionally been not considered feasible.


Solatube uses technology that can refract light around corners and even 90 degree bends within the skylight to access hard to reach places. This means that spaces do not need to have unimpeded direct vertical access to the roof for it to work. This brings natural light into lower floors of buildings, even to underground levels, and within spaces that are deep in the center of a building with no perimeter access. The design of the skylights means that their effectiveness does not depend on the position of the sun but can take advantage of any sunlight throughout the day regardless of position and they can even be dimmed. Solartube skylights are thermally regulated so that with the light excessive heat does not enter the building.


Here’s a video of how the skylights work:



Augmented Reality: Improving Architecture

Augmented reality has developed in leaps and bounds in the last few years and we are seeing it used in many different ways such as games, like Pokemon Go, and in medicine such as mapping certain body parts during surgery.


Interestingly, architecture is one field where augmented reality is providing valuable alternative design and communication tools that will transform the industry. The main benefit is the creation of a virtual building in full scale that you can ‘experience’. This is beneficial both for the client and the architect. Instead of the architect trying to communicate their design through drawings and models to a client who is often not familiar with interpreting these, the client is able to see a full scale projection of their building in front of them and understand completely what has been designed. The architect also benefits in that they can see specific elements in a simulation of their application. This ensures greater translation of the design intention to the results; different element options can be tested in combination with one another, and more accurate adjustments made.


We can’t wait until this is commonplace – we think that this will only serve to increase the quality of architecture that is produced. Here are some great examples of augmented reality being used in real time:


Microsoft HoloLens

Drone Footage: Rossiter Pavilion

Here’s a better look at our newly finished Rossiter Pavilion from a drone, courtesy of BlueChip Group:

The $800M Robot To Beat Uber



In the media lately there has been a lot of discussion on driverless cars. Most companies have taken the approach to modify existing cars with driverless technology however one company, Zoox, led by Australian born Tim Kentley-Klay, have approached this from a completely fresh perspective, to build a fully autonomous car from the ground up, rethinking the technology to create a type of robotic car.


The cars use a combination of cameras, radars and lidars to map what there is around you, the distance to these objects and their position in 3d planes. The cars are able to navigate from urban areas, to freeways and extremely dense traffic areas seamlessly.


You can see prototypes functioning on their website and they are on track to have a fully autonomous car available by 2020:

Vertical Farms - The Revolution is Coming

vertical Gargen

As our societies develop we are always looking to improve the efficiency of the systems that support them. A company in Tokyo, Mirai, has developed a faultless system for indoor vertical farming. Produce is grown in vertically stacked tray-like systems in a condition controlled room. They are grown hydroponically, each ‘tray’ with a set of adjustable lights above it in a room where temperature can be monitored and regulated.

The benefits to this system are many; being able to control the light, water, and the temperature means being able to reproduce the ideal growing conditions for maximum yield. In addition, extreme weather events are avoided and pests that pose a threat to the produce are eradicated, removing the need for pesticides. The produce is not impacted by adverse soil conditions or limited to areas with fertile soil. Additionally, due to the stacked nature of the system a higher yield per area is achieved. This means that more can be produced in a smaller area, reducing costs and the impact of space restrictions and increasing profit.

Another benefit is that this can be done in urban areas close to consumers. This means reduced transport times and costs, and the produce stays fresher for longer.

This is a radical shift from traditional farming but could be a solution to many problems. What do you think; can you picture this in Perth? With our population set to double by 2046 we might have to adopt these techniques sooner than we think.  Watch this video to see exactly how they work:


East and West Facing Glazing: What It Means for Building Performance


We recently did a little experiment in our office. The main wall of glazing in our office faces northeast (by the way we didn't design the building!) and that end of the office gets pretty warm! We decided to see exactly what affect all this glazing was having on the performance of the office space.

I have a simple little electric thermometer that has two sensors so we can monitor external temperature vs internal temperature. We recorded the outside temperature on a standard day mid morning at 16° as measured by The Bureau of Meteorology. Temperature is measured in a Stevenson screen which is essentially a louvered box so the instrument is in the shade.

The temperature on the outside of our window, in the sun but out of the wind was 24.8° whilst the temperature inside the glass was a whopping 30.4°! That's a temperature differential of 14.4° between the measured outdoor temperature in the shade to the internal room temperature. Can you image what the temperature might be like on a 35° day in summer. Luckily we have a wing wall and eave that will protect the glass in summer.

The moral of this story? Don't design your building with glazing unprotected from our summer sun.
Get winter sun into your building and it will be nice and toasty even on a cool 16° day.

Green Spaces to Reduce Depression


We all know that green spaces are important in our cities and a recent study undertaken in the US now proves that they can decrease feelings of depression. They transformed vacant lots into areas with new trees and grass. In particular, low income neighbourhoods showed as high as a 27.5% reduction in depression rates. Green spaces are not only enjoyable to be in by providing a relaxing public breakout space, but they absorb a lot of heat reflected in city centres and help clean the air. They are beneficial for our mental and physical health.

In all of our projects we are conscious of incorporating elements that encourage a sense of well-being within our buildings; whether it is the use of natural light, comforting materials, or the presence of vegetation within in the building, or at least the sight of it around. We are aware of the physiological benefits to occupants if these are incorporated.

This is important to consider not just in the designing of individual buildings, but also in the planning of our cities and suburbs. This approach encourages higher density living in that if we build up rather than out, we can reserve more areas for open green space to intersperse amongst our buildings.

If you’re interested in the study you can have a further read here:

Aged Appropriate Housing Works Begun

Site works have begun at one of our projects up north. This project is for alternative housing options that provide assisted living to cater towards an ageing community. The aim of the project is to provide accommodation that will enable ageing in place, enhance residents’ independence within a safe environment and enable residents to remain within their community as long as possible.

It is rewarding designing projects that will enhance peoples’ lives and strengthen their community.

Have a look at the progress photos on the siteworks below. Asphalt, kerbs and footpaths won’t be far away and we will really start to see things take shape.




Alita Constructions Wins MBAWA Award for Rossiter Pavilion

The contractor for our project Rossiter Pavilion, recently took out the Master Builders Association award for ‘Best Public Use Building’. Alita were fantastic at bringing our design into reality. The clients commented that they were amazed at how close the final building looked to the original renders.


It is crucial to have a great team working together on projects, because no matter how great your design is if you don’t have a contractor to match then the final outcome will disappoint. Alita Constructions worked with us and the wider team to create a building that achieved the high standard outcome that we wanted. Both ourselves and the clients were extremely happy with the results.


Have a look at the comparison between the design render and a photo of the built product here, can you pick which side is real: the left or right?



Home Base Sustainable Design Seminar



No matter what your project, most people are interested in incorporating sustainable design in some aspect or another. Whether your motivation is for cost savings, creating the most comfortable home, or to be as environmentally conscious as possible. There are countless products, options and information on the internet about sustainable design however it can be difficult to distinguish between what really works, what is most appropriate for your circumstances and what will be the most cost effective in reality.

Come join our director, Adrian Fratelle, at Home Base this Saturday the 28th July as he presents on just these ideas. His seminar will cover things to consider before you have even started your project, design principles that should drive your choices, and discussing particular products and systems and how they work. He will help you navigate your way through the web of information out there so you have a clear understanding of sustainable design. Whether you have a specific project in mind, you just want to be more informed or think there may be a project in the far off future. This is a great opportunity to learn from someone in the know.

Head to the Home Base website here to get tickets:

Rossiter Pavilion Wins BDAWA Award


Rossiter Pavilion won best Public Building at the Building Designers Association WA awards this weekend. Thanks to our amazing client the City of Armadale, contractor Alita Constructions, our consultants and of course the whole Fratelle Group team. Also congratulations to Alita Constructions for winning best Public Use Building between $5 million and $10 million at the Master Builders Association awards.

We think the project was a great success and hope the community does too! Have a look at the Pavilion here:

The Architect, In Conversation: Kylee & the AIA.



One of our directors Kylee Schoonens, recently sat down with the Australian Institute of Architects to discuss heritage architecture. Of particular interest was the discussion around the recently restored and renovated Guildford Hotel. Besides the practical difficulties of the project, they discussed the different philosophies and attitudes taken to heritage architecture, the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches. It's a worthwhile read and interesting to see the pictures of the fire destroyed building and the end product. It can be found in the Autumn/Winter Issue of The Architect, which can be picked up from Boffins.

Property Investing & Sustainable Design

Loftus Rec


Have you ever been interested in investing in property, or perhaps you already have? BIG (Boutique Investors Group) is hosting an event with our director, Adrian Fratelle, guest speaking on innovative design. BIG are a property investment group aimed at educating, training and mentoring all members. They welcome all level of investors from the first home buyer, to the 'mum and dad' investors, to large developers.


The event is on Wednesday 25th July and all are welcome to attend. If this is something that you have ever toyed with the idea of but never done anything about because you felt out of your depth then this will be a great introduction.


Location: The Boardroom at Loftus Recreation Centre, 99 Loftus Street Leederville

Date & Time: Wednesday 25th July, 6:00pm meet for 6:30 start - 8:30pm finish.

Cost: $20 or $30 for couples (cash only at the door), including light refreshments


For more information on BIG, head here:

Official Opening Ceremony – Rossiter Pavilion

We had the official opening of the Rossiter Pavilion in Piara Waters recently. The Pavilion was named after the Rossiter family, who have contributed to the local community since settling in the area before WWI. It was great to have the City of Armadale Mayor Henry Zelones there, along with the City of Armadale’s Andrew Barnett, MP Matt Keogh & whole host of welcome guests. The Rossiter Pavilion is going to be a contender in the UDIA, MBA and BDA awards later this year so keep your eyes peeled!

If you’re passing by Piara Waters take a detour and check it out. Or have a sneak peak here:



WA Australian Architecture Awards

Congratulations to all the winners of the recent Western Australian Architecture Awards. It was great to see a whole range of quality architecture being produced in Western Australia. Most notably, congratulations to Hassell, Cox and HKS for winning the George Temple Poole Award for the new Optus Stadium. Have a look at the entries here:



Innovative Apartments Coming to Northbridge

Our Money Street apartment development in Northbridge is helping push the boundaries for integrating innovative technologies within the Perth apartment scene.


The apartment complex will have an independent company install a high number of Solar PV panels onto the building not only to produce energy for the building’s occupants but to generate a surplus which can then be fed back in to the grid. The building will also be of modular construction techniques and locally built. For the occupants, electric car and scooter hire will be available via an app on their phone with booking schedules and a payment system similar to Uber. Each apartment will also have an energy monitoring system so occupants can measure and adjust their energy usage.


This approach to reducing a building’s energy footprint and therefore running costs is increasingly recognised as integral to successful building solutions for both individual's and society’s needs. We are looking forward to the final outcome of the project and seeing similar innovations around Perth!




Rossiter Pavilion Grand Opening

We recently saw the grand opening of one of our long-anticipated projects – the Rossiter Pavilion in Piara Waters. This new community centre provides beautiful brand new facilities for a range of community groups. It has a playing field, a nature based playground, and inside the pavilion is a large main hall, rooms for meetings and other purposes, changerooms, a clubroom and canteen facilities.

Projects like this help to reinvigorate the community by creating a place where people can get together to play sports, meet with their special interest groups, and socialise. When we invest in facilities that look and feel good, people will use them and our community will strengthen!

Check out the interesting ‘V’ form that the pavilion takes below and here:


Piara Water Playing Field and Pavilion - Updates

Works are progressing well with construction of the building walls and roof taking shape. The buildings unique design is already generating interest.
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National Association of Building Designer Awards 2017






Fratelle group went to the NABD awards last night at the Brickworks Studio. We were up for 6 awards, we are very excited to have taken home 4 of those awards.

Best Alteration / Addition Commercial Design - The Guildford Hotel
Best New Commercial Design - Prowse Street
Best Heritage Design - The Guildford Hotel
Best Non - Residential Interior Design - The Guildford HotelGui_Hotel_0665


Fratelle Group Newsletter

Fratelle Group sent out its first newsletter today. Check it out

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Smart Women in Built Environment Conference - Singapore

Kylee Schoonens is an international guest speaker and panelist at the Smart Women In Built Environment conference, a part of the BuildTech Asia exhibition, Singapore.

Organised by the Prestressed and Precast Concrete Society, Structural Engineering World Congress and Sphere Exhibits Pty Ltd, the inaugural Skilled, Motivated, Articulate, Resourceful, Transformed – SMART Women in Built Environment conference addresses the current progression and empowerment of women professionals in the built environment sector within the region.

The conference features discussions by leading women professionals from Australia, Malaysia, Philippines, and Singapore as well as female representatives from various Government agencies. It will examine roles, responsibilities, challenges and personal journeys of women professionals in the industry, as well as various national initiatives to empower them to excel in the built environment sector. The event is supported by Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade), BCAEngineers Australia and the National Association of Women In Construction (NAWIC).

Fratelle Group - Most wins at the 2017 BDAWA Design Awards

0255 BDA WA Awards 2017 _JHG7617


We are very proud to announce that Fratelle Group were awarded 6 BDAWA Design Awards on Saturday night, we took home 5 awards for the restoration of the Guildford Hotel and 1 award for Prowse Street. We are now in the running for the National Design Awards including the highest award, the Design Excellence Award held in Canberra in November 2017. Only a few weeks ago, The Guildford Hotel received a commendation in the Heritage Category at this year's Australian Institute of Architects Western Australia Awards, and also shortlisted for a Heritage Council Award for Conservation and Adaptive Re-use.

The Guildford Hotel - Winner

- Best Commercial Alteration / Addition over $1M

- Best Public Building Design

- Best Heritage Design

- Best Sustainable Design - Commercial

- Best Non Residential Interior Design

Prowse Street - West Perth Offices - Winner

- Best New Commercial Buildings over $2M


Guildford Hotel wins Award


Fratelle Group were awarded a commendation in the Heritage Category at this year's Australian Institute of Architects Western Australia Awards.  Only a few weeks ago, The Guildford Hotel was shortlisted for a Heritage Council Award for Conservation and Adaptive Re-use.  Thanks to our clients, Guildford Activate and Publican Group Australia for your support on the project, to our consultants and the contractor, Ultimo Design and Construct.

Business World Australia - Fratelle Group Article


Check out Fratelle Groups article in the latest BWA Magazine

BWA Magazine


The Embankment - Housing Now Available

Our affordable smart housing designs for ‘The Embankment’ in the Riverhaven Estate in Martin are now available for purchase. The estate is in a beautiful area in close proximity to many national parks and would be ideal for families and those looking for a quieter lifestyle. Have a look at this flythrough video to see the area and houses:

The Embankment


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