We held very successful events in our Brisbane and Melbourne offices and staff participated in several other activities to mark this important occasion. We asked staff to reflect on their time with Architecture & Access and some of their comments included:
Q. What is your favourite part about your role at Architecture & Access?
“I love a challenge and being involved in problem solving and innovation. The Architecture & Access team are amazing to work with and I love being able to support other people in their roles”.
Q. What changes would you like to see that would make a major impact on the lives of people with access needs?
“There are many, one to focus on which I think would have great impact for the nation is focusing on ‘Ageing in Place’”.
“To get to a stage where people with access needs aren’t labelled but are included in the community due to the aid of an accessible built environment”.
After 10 years, we are still very proud to say that Architecture & Access is a place where our staff enjoy the work and their colleagues and feel that they are contributing something worthwhile to the broader community.
2022 has also seen some growth in the organisation as we have come out of the pandemic. We have increased staff numbers in both our Brisbane and Melbourne offices in response to the increase in work demands. We have worked hard to streamline our recruitment, onboarding and training and we have received some excellent feedback from our newer recruits. We have also rolled out a new Competency Tool to ensure that our staff are skilled and capable and that we continue to support their growth and development. Our IT systems have been another area of focus and we have just completed a project to determine how we can improve and streamline IT to better support our business processes and strategy.
Our Melbourne Access team welcomed seven new staff this year, this expansion is to meet the growing needs of our clients. This has enabled us to work across many large rail, education, health and infrastructure projects.
We continue to offer quality services, be industry experts and at the forefront of knowledge including the changes in legislation for National Construction Code (NCC) Livable Housing. Currently we are working with Deakin University, developing new offerings such as the design of spaces for people with neurodiversity.
As part of our 10-year celebrations we created and shared 10 access tips. These short, informative gifs were well received by our clients. If you missed them or would like to watch them again, please go here.
Our APM (Architecture/Project Management) team are cantering to the finish line this year delivering on our vision – creating environments, transforming lives!
Our three home modifications programs TAC, WorkSafe and NDIS is where we witness the impact of our work firsthand, delivering a record number of home modifications for WorkSafe this year. On behalf of our clients, staff met the challenges affecting the construction industry managing the impact on supply chain delays and negotiating cost escalation of building materials.
We had some heart-warming feedback from clients, including a message from Greg where a stepless shower made all the difference to his recovery:
“Hi Tim, Thank you. I just got home from a very major surgery, you have no idea how much that shower is needed. It will take years now just for the bone to settle as they have had to go bottom of neck up into skull. Your valuable help to get this shower made safe and your designs mean I can at least have that comfort. Please know that I sincerely appreciate everything you did.“
It has been a busy year for our team working on social and SDA housing projects. Putting our People First approach into practice, Architect, Tim Randall led the design of a showcase bespoke SDA Robust home to meet the needs of two young adults with Prader Willi syndrome. Tim collaborated with the families, carers/SILs and specialist consultants to ensure the outcome will be in a home for life.
Other significant projects include;
- Yield studies – providing clients with pre-purchase confidence to proceed with SDA developments.
- Manufactured Housing for Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) – A significant innovation we are working on with our client. Manufactured homes are an ideal solution for SDA as the timeframe for development and construction is significantly reduced compared to the traditional on-site construction method.
- Provision of advice to amend the Victorian Planning Provision (VPP) 52.22 Community Care Accommodation (CCA) to now include SDA developments. This is a 2022 highlight for the SDA team, with a special mention to Architect, Claire Oliver for her contribution. The revision specifically recognises SDA developments under Community Care Accommodation with planning exemptions resulting in fast tracking and reducing cost for SDA developers.
- Architect, Richard Barrack leads our work with various local governments to improve access to buildings and improve amenity for people with disability. A key project this year has been the design of a large outdoor civic theatre stage ensuring access for abilities.
2002 was also a year of personal achievement: we were excited to celebrate Evelyn being promoted to Senior Architect and Judy, Jess and Alex passing requirements to become registered architects in Victoria. Varna joined the team moving from New Zealand bringing with her the Resene Architecture Prize for her thesis on use of colour when designing for people with disability.
Our Brisbane Office moved into a new and much larger office to accommodate their growing team. The team worked on some larger projects over the year including the Rolling Stock Expansion project and the Victoria Parklands project. Brisbane continues to have a focus on transport with Patricia Flores involved with functional trials for the new toilet modules with Queensland rail and testing of the accessible areas on the new Brisbane Metro Pilot Vehicle, in conjunction with Federation University.
Trish was also asked to share her expertise with the Association of Consultants in Access Australia (ACAA), participating in a panel discussion regarding wayfinding at Sunshine Coast University Hospital.
Trish also commenced working with IDLab on a wholistic approach to wayfinding. Daniel Craddock had the opportunity to travel to Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria to complete building audits for the indigenous community. Nicole Levitt has taken on the lead responsibility for our SDA Design reviews portfolio and we hosted our first ever Occupational Therapy student.
The Brisbane office has also welcomed some new staff and now has Brisbane based corporate support. The year was topped off with the office obtaining inclusion in the ISO 9001 and ISO 45001 certification with the whole of Architecture & Access now in scope.
Thank you to all our team for supporting Architecture & Access throughout 2022. Your contribution of quality work output and your positive caring attitudes makes working at Architecture & Access an enjoyable experience
We would like to thank all our clients who have supported us throughout the year, we are incredibly appreciative for your ongoing business and support and we are excited to work again with you in 2023.
We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season.