Tag Archives: Ecotect-Architects

The Sandcastle!

The Sandcastle, in City Beach is an outstanding example of sustainable, passive solar design that captures a bygone era and draws its success from a hard working process along with the creative skills of the architects involved. Ecotect-Architect’s James Shaw is famous for interpreting details and coming up this creative deigns and details that suit the vision developed closely with the client.

Client Interview Process

The clients first met Garry Baverstock, Owner/Founder of Ecotect-Architects many years earlier, attracted by the award winning Eco Compound (the home of Julia Hayes, his wife). They had previously had a large builder’s home designed for the site, but after consultation and a site plan master study along with a review of the budget, this led to them wanting to better solution.

Following a detailed site analysis and a comprehensive interview, James Shaw was appointed as the project architect to develop the basic passive solar concept.

Final Design

The final design was stunning in everyway and was featured on the National TV program ‘Better Homes & Gardens’ in 2016 (Season 23 Episode 24).


The TECTO method, always applied by Ecotect-Architects made sure that the home functioned well comfort-wise, energy-wise as well as delight the family. As well as their tastes the aim was to delight any visitors to the home also. The natural light infusing the interiors with a beautiful ambiance was a feature. The light showed up the mediaeval detailing and the blend of eclectic wall, floor, structural beams and furniture to create a chateau that would blend into any historical period.

The house was featured on Bastille Day, and the response has been very encouraging to Ecotect-Architects who believe there is still room in modern times for craftsmanship in architecture with quality homes (a welcome change from the plastic designs for the general housing industry and in an era of rectangular light weight buildings).

The Sandcastle provides comfort at low cost and a romantic lifestyle that warms the heart. It is architecture, not home building for the norm. Though we also can produce such quality in more modernistic styles, the Ecotect-Architect philosophy is quality over quantity and building homes ecologically for the 21st century, maximizing use of solar energy and water efficiency.

Founder, Garry Baverstock’s favourite saying is; “Life is not meant to be easy as they say, but it is not meant to be ugly either”.

Good Architecture comes from good clients with a strong vision for their lives.

Ecotect-Architects are the mediator that help crystallize the dream for clients, and work as superintendents on site working closely with builders and specialist tradesmen to ensure projects are successful.

Garry said, ” eal Architects don’t just draw pretty drawings we are masters of the building process as well and proper leaders of the building team.”

For a copy of the Better Homes & Gardens episode or to find out about designing a sustainable and passive solar home, please contact us.

Maar Koodjal

With the concept to establish a Nyoongar Cultural Academy, there are exciting things to come for Yanchep National Park.

This vision will be brought to life by Maar Koodjal with the purpose to provide health and wellbeing, education and training for the Aboriginal and wider community, as well as strengthen Cultural pride in the area.

The new facility will also include a Cultural and Arts Centre, with Ecotect Architects keen on seeing their vision come to life. We are excited to be working on a concept that we see could be an excellent addition for the community of Yanchep and, after multiple consultations, site visits and strategy meetings, Ecotect are confident in delivering a strategy to map out a practical pathway for the built form component of the community plan.

Having already acted as the architect/project manager and fundraiser for the ‘National Award Winning’ Piney Lakes project within the City of Melville, Ecotect Architects know that it can be done both effectively and efficiently, to make this project successful.

The Maar Koodjal Logo (Hand in Hand) one black and one white around the six seasons represents people of all different cultural backgrounds working together to create an inclusive community for everyone to support one another, live and raise well grounded families, and establish a vibrant community lifestyle based on the traditional values of the First Nation People of Nyoongar Boodjar (Country).

Marr Koodjal values and guiding principles include ecology, equality, reconciliation spirit and integrity, with more information to follow on their new website coming soon to maarkoodjal.org.au.

Apartment Buildings in Australia in Disarray: A Response to the Four Corners Expose

Ill-Conceived Economics

Twenty years ago when the builders together with the authorities allowed the construction industry to cheapen buildings and supposedly speeding up the process and avoiding red tape, there was an economic disaster in the making.

They conspired to cut out the architect as leader of the construction industry team. It started with accountants acting as project managers/cost controllers and rapidly spread to the proliferation of design construct companies, who used designer – drafting services and rarely any registered architects. The Governments at the time thought it was a “beaut” idea. It was flawed through ignorance and an abuse of power that did not ever serve the public interest.

As the ABC expose on Four Corners showed, Australia was at that point destined to create problems on a massive scale:


Prior History

Prior to that time, architects traditionally were engaged by clients or developers to certify all payments to the builder. Or professional role was to protect the standards of construction, health and generally urban design quality and standards of finish – Not any more it seems!

Now with an unimaginably large cost burden to strata owners, first in the firing line to rectify defects, it ultimately will end up a burden for the tax burden due to legal loopholes that protect the real perpetrators.

The Cost of Incompetence

The Four Corners program indicates the scale of the issue that has delivered what I estimate at being a $1.6 Billion expense to rectify the compounding problems that are endemic in 70% of apartments built over the last 20 years.  This has happened, all to avoid paying the architects about $100 million in fees to avoid this occurrence.

We have first hand experience in many cases over the last 20 years having to audit process and set up a rectification programs for many design construct buildings after the event. Ecotect-Architects are currently trying to rectify a serious apartment fire escape issue in Perth. The Strata owners in this case will get through a rectification cost reasonably unscathed, but they are much luckier than most.  The building at present does not comply for fire exits for instance.

Superintendence and Certification Roles

Proper superintendence and certification of progress payments by responsible registered and insured architect would have avoided all the current issues and expense to the community.  Also all the buildings would have a better quality of design and finish and reflect higher real estate values.

It is not just a problem based on greed and ignorance from the collusion of design construct builders and developers. It is just plain stupidity that our fellow professionals identified when this new approach became accepted by the relevant authorities.

Action from Architects and Engineers to help Governance

The destruction of real estate values, people’s lives in turmoil has been the result. Some blame can be attributed to banks still living a delusion that ‘A Class’ builders have more credibility than ‘A Class Architects’ in de-risking a finance deal.  How wrong is that belief system proven to be, when it is their capital under threat when quality issues undermine the investment.

The Government now needs to work out a smart way forward with the Australian Institute of Architects, Engineers Australia and the Master Builders to reconsider the legal chain of command and due processes and more stringent compliance procedures. Business as usual is clearly not working!

Housing Industry

The Housing Industry set up checks and balances over 30 years ago to protect the consumer and maintain standards. Surely the bigger end of town should have followed. Alas they didn’t and now Australia is faced with 20 years of eroded economic value!

This unfortunately has fuel NIMBY hysteria over change and giving negative people just cause to attack densification around transport and commercial nodes that in itself is a very good strategy, especially if all developments are designed well on ESD guidelines as well.  But that takes good architects.

Professionalism Re-emergence

Re-establishment of professionalism in Australia is the way forward. It would be easy for industry and governments to blame the victims and exonerate the perpetrators. The opposite is needed. Why have trained architects and engineers sidelined to often un-educated builder/developers to look after the public interest. It is not the architects who have been asleep at the wheel.  Ill-conceived disempowerment of professionals is to blame. The system has worked well for centuries. 

Time to make things right again.  Technical and ethical expertise is what it takes to be an engineer or architect.

Lets use our assets properly!

Old School Architects

We are old school architects at Ecotect-Architects and deliver on all aspects. Project management, supervision of builders and tradesman where needed, as well as delivering excellence in planning, urban design, documentation all combine to deliver high quality innovative ESD projects.

People who think differently clearly do not belong in the 21st century built environment industry, with all its socio / economic / cultural challenges and the ability to recognize how sustainable outcomes are delivered.

Garry Baverstock AM Director of Wise Earth PL and Principal of Ecotect-Architects – August 2019

Introducing Lyssandra!

Lyssandra Lumley

Lyssandra Lumley

As a child, what was your dream job and when did you know Architecture was calling you…

When I was little I actually wanted to be a vet nurse because my dad was a vet and I loved helping at the surgery – I even had a full set of second hand vet instruments to play with! In the end I chose architecture because I wanted to work in a field that was both creative and tactile and scientific, something that was both intellectually and emotionally stimulating, and Architecture seemed like the perfect balance to me.

When did you start at Ecotect…

It was the day after my birthday in mid-May 2019 – an awesome present!

What does a day look like for you here at Ecotect…

I like to call myself ‘an assistant student’ as I am doing work experience so that I can graduate from my masters of Architecture at UWA. I help with drawings, 3D modelling for visualisation and sun shadow studies, as well as do materials research.

Can you tell us more about your studies…

At the start of this year I finished my studies in Architecture at UWA, and simultaneously began my masters of Urban Design.

Interestingly, the last unit I completed was an overseas studio in Lisbon that really opened my eyes to a completely different way of Architecture and building to what we have here!

What do you like most about your role with us…

Learning about the Client-Architect relationship is really interesting and working on real projects with all their individual challenges and conditions is exciting!

Knowing that my work is part of allowing people to fulfil their dreams is a great feeling.

What’s your ambition…

One day, I’d like to work for myself and take on local jobs such as small-scale urban projects and dwellings, with ecological sustainability in mind, and always designing comfortable and healthy spaces to be in, whether indoors or outdoors.

I also want to use the skills and knowledge that I acquire to make our shared habitat more conducive to social interactions that bond local communities, I would love to see car-less communities in areas of Perth and an increase in housing diversity and options (in condensed areas) that encourage neighbourly interactions.

Broadly speaking, my ambition is to use Architecture and Urban design to encourage lifestyle change as well as environmental awareness and at the same time finding ways to address social inequalities (through design of public spaces) so everyone benefits not just the groups who finance the design.

Where can we find you in your spare time…

I love going jogging along the beach, or bush walking, if I want to re-energise after work or on the weekend. I also get involved with my local wetland conservation group and go to their volunteer weeding and planting days!

If I have a few hours I will set up a drawing board and paint or sketch, mostly landscapes of whatever place I’d rather be in that moment. I also take classes in silver jewellery making, dance and boxing (though not all at once). Learning guitar is next on the list!

What does your future hold…

Travel and get as much experience as possible all over the world.

I find different vernacular building technologies fascinating, and I’d love to get involved in building overseas too, such as helping in post-disaster community re-building projects.

(I visited Christchurch NZ not too long after their big 2011 Earthquake and was really inspired by the different ways big and small that the community was reviving their city…being involved in something like that would be a dream!

Finally I’d like to finish my thesis…I started research into urban design interventions to increase incidental physical activity in everyday life for all ages and abilities, I think with more experience the topic will change but it’s a good starting point and one I have a lot of empathy with.