In today’s fast-paced society where the approach adopted for most aspects of living, including our dwellings, is to buy, use, discard and buy new again, basic design principles that have been used in homes for many decades are being ignored.

Archicentre Australia, the national architect’s advisory service, says it appears that very few involved in Australia’s residential construction industry are listening to the traditional approach – design from first principles.

“These basic design principles can and should be utilised in new homes and apartments as well as in additions or refurbishment of existing dwellings,” says Archicentre Australia director Peter Georgiev.

“Current building techniques that fall under the populist phrases of ‘design & construct’, ‘private-public partnerships’, ‘fast-track’, ‘construction management’, ‘off the plan’ and the like are guided by the throwaway world that we live in.

“Rather than resulting in sustainable, comfortable, practical, healthy and happy dwellings, these methods provide pitfalls in building techniques and method of project delivery that often turn the home ownership dream into a nightmare.”

The community-based member architects at Archicentre Australia, Peter Georgiev says, adopt the time-honoured approach of listening to the individual needs of all clients and then utilising their design skills in a process that results in a liveable and enjoyable dwelling for many years to come. Sustainable design is the key.

“Community-based architecture is always to the fore – an independent voice offering expert advice, not a tendentious excuse for poor ideas and greed.”

For instance, he says, bringing light into a dwelling is important on many levels. “Windows please, and where possible avoid skylights into habitable spaces.

“Embedded psychological well-being occurs when light and an aspect is achieved. If northern and eastern aspects can be achieved, a degree of passive solar thermal performance is a handy adjunct – it can save on heating and cooling. More light means less power to pay!

Peter Georgiev says we can learn from history and the time honoured approaches to human habitation arising out of antiquity, which made best use possible of natural attributes. “The Egyptians, Etruscans, Greeks and Romans and then the visionaries of the 19th and early 20th centuries all provide examples.

“The methodical process of community-based architects results in a tendered project and an architect administered building contract that translates to ‘safe and reliable’ as opposed to ‘cheap and nasty’.

“This also enables those planning new homes and additions or refurbishmnents to build within their means.

“Expect less gadgets and greater longevity – forget 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms worth of faulty trend-based, gadget-focused impractical and unsustainable living and get a passive solar designed house that responds to aspect, site slope and landscape opportunities for the long term,” he recommends.


This media release has been written and distributed by:

Archicentre Australia

Peter Georgiev, Director

Level 1, 9 Strathalbyn Street,

Kew East, VICTORIA, 3102

Phone: 1300 13 45 13 | 03 9859 9950