Monthly Archives: November 2019

ECOTECT ARCHITECTS – Energy conservation specialists

With Sustainable Living and Environmental factors becoming more prominent when looking forward to the future, we invite you to come chat with us about your housing project.
Whether starting from scratch or re-designing what’s current, we can guide you down the correct path to better practice and ecological living, keeping in mind budget and demographic differences.

To learn more, check out our new video:

Russell Centre, 159 St Georges Terrace Perth (1986)

Ecotect-Architects designed a conversion for The Russell Centre to retrofit it as a commercially viable solar efficient office building. Retrofit additions include an internal shade-controlled solarium and a series of external shade awnings designed to reflect light upwards into the building. Resulting heat loads and light levels were kept uniform in the building and external skin thermal loading was reduced by 85%. The project viability was assessed using a discounted cashflow approach to energy savings and lifecycle costing.

On the 18th of September 1986, Sir Charles Court unveiled the Russell Centre (in honour of Mrs Dora Russell, open.

Garry Baverstock AM, the architect said, “I set out to design a building giving special attention to reducing running costs and introducing as much natural light as possible. This meant designing something which would maximise the sun in winter but reduce the heat of the sun in summer.

One local journalist at the time described the building as ‘an ugly duckling that matured into a white swan’.

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.

Strathearn Apartment

Apartments that have not been built to code specifications are very topical right now and Ecotect have been busy working on a special project to deliver options surrounding an existing apartment building located in Crawley, between the Swan River and Kings Park.

Despite being a small, existing development of just 20 apartments, we see this as a fun architectural challenge in which we need to deliver some options to create a safe, compliant fire exit from the existing building that is both subtle and visually appealing.

Space to complete this is limited, with the final design needing to comply with strict legislation to protect tenants and also be functional for years to come, not a short term fix.

What this has created however, is the opportunity to upgrade the surrounding landscaping and utilise previously ‘dead space’ with seating and plants to create a visually inviting area for people to enjoy.



Garry, Penelope and our intrepid intern Lyssandra have been working on this project.