A few people have asked recently what ever came of the investigations into the wall collapse. For those not familiar, a long section of brick wall fell to the footpath at the C.U.B. site in Swanston Street one windy day late in March 2013.
A week ago three people died while they were walking down Swanston Street. One was a French research fellow at Monash. The other two were a young brother and sister on their way to the footy. I published a post about the wall that collapsed on Sunday, gathering together what I could find from publicly available web pages. I didn’t expect the level of reaction I got. I was contacted by all sorts of mainstream media outlets, many in search of speculative comment. My investigations were made not because I consider myself an expert in walls and wind, but because I knew how to do it relatively quickly, and because I wanted to do something.
The Victorian Minister for Planning has issued the following statement to the AIA, following a meeting representatives from the ministry, AIA, and ACA last Wednesday. The AIA had asked for “further clarification on the reasons for the ARBV inclusion in the reforms and the process for consultation that the Minister is proposing to undertake.”
Well, Mr Guy did issue his press release, which read a lot like the Fairfax article discussed yesterday. It makes the same points, and avoids any discussion of the architectural profession other than implying that its registration board is one of an ad-hoc band of cowboy building industry entities that befuddle the consumer.
The Age newspaper this morning revealed that Victorian Minister for Planning Matthew Guy will at any moment announce the disbanding of the Building Commission, the Plumbing Industry Commission, and the Architects Registration Board of Victoria. They are to be replaced, says The Age, by a new building authority.
I remember being told or taught somewhere along the line that one way to justify my fees as an architect was to suggest to the client that a house designed by an architect would attract a premium of 10% at resale. That is, the extra time and cost would be paid back later several times over as the house could be marketed as “architect-designed”. I don’t think I have ever used this angle on a hesitant client – it seems a last ditch way to justify architectural services. It is also a bit hard to tell, when a house is sold as “architect-designed”, what it might have sold for had it been “architectural designer-designed”.
The South Australian Government is about to launch its Integrated Design Commission (IDC), and will soon appoint a government architect for SA. It was the last state not to have one. Hopefully, depending on what influence the GA and IDC will have, this might lower the number of wobbly planning decisions in SA. ( sample #1 & #2 ).