28-30 Apr 2020
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre

DesignBUILD 2019 | Day Two Wrap Up

May 15, 2019 Uncategorised

Key themes for day 2 of DesignBUILD 2019 included the evolution of smart cities, the role of designers in building regulatory reform and the rise of luxury in the built environment.

The design, architecture and construction industries came together for a second day of unrivalled networking and discussion at DesignBUILD 2019. Key themes included the evolution of smart cities, the role of designers in building regulatory reform and the rise of luxury in the built environment.

Speaking at one of the day’s first sessions, Lisa McLean, CEO of Open Cities, commented that whilst Melbourne and Sydney are leading the way, the industry must continue to challenge the norm to support urbanisation and create genuine self-sustaining, liveable communities.

Through advancements in renewable energy, water recycling and next generation technologies, cities must get smarter about infrastructure delivery to reform utility business models and embrace change.

Dr Simone Zarpelon Leao Associate Dean (International) at the Faculty of Built Environment at the UNSW, added that there’s a lot of initiative to try change things in Australia, but there’s a lot more work still to do, particularly in how to integrate reforms, as there is no single solution.

On regulatory reform, one of the most hotly debated topics in the industry right now, Bronwyn Weir, a lawyer who has over 20 years’ experience on regulatory issues and co-author of the Shergold-Weir report, shared her vision of how to improve building standards and outcomes across Australia’s built environment.

According to Weir, the industry must adopt a more robust approach to ensure designs are independently peer reviewed and that good documentation processes are established throughout the entire design and delivery process of any project.

She added that there is a currently a lack of confidence and transparency in the sector, and by establishing a professional standard of oversight, question marks surrounding responsibility and accountability – between architects, developers, builders and engineers – can be clearly defined.

The rise of luxury in Australia’s built environment is another hot topic as Knight Frank has recently released The Wealth Report 2019 which gives insight into the luxury property market.

While many factors are driving luxury in Australia, the panellists agreed that downsizers are one of the forces behind this trend.

Michelle Ciesielski from Knight Frank Australia commented that in addition to downsizers, the changes in currency conversion rates is causing an increase in international buyers looking for luxury property in Australia. This, along with the rise of high net worth individuals locally, means Australia isn’t currently meeting the demand for the luxury property.

In terms of design, architect William Smart from Smart Design Studio added that the type of luxury homes people are looking for is different today than previously. He notes that it is less about a formal half and an informal half of a single residence but more of a focus on authentic and unpredictable spaces.

DesignBUILD 2019 continues tomorrow for its final day. Headlining tomorrow is architect Koichi Takada who will be speaking on urban gardens and naturalising cities. Other topics include opportunities for generative design and the future of construction.

There is still time to register online! 

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