September 23, 2015

The design objective of St Kilda East House was to create two individual zones that allowed for multiple generations to live together; promoting independence while still allowing interaction under the one roof. The site has a north facing back yard with rear street access allowing us to separate the front and rear of the dwelling through a sliding door, creating two independent areas.





November 11, 2014

Through the use of clever planning and the implementation of passive design principles we can use the local conditions to create beautiful spaces that are not only comfortable all year round but also feel refreshing, uplifting and inspiring. Passive Design Principles can dramatically reduce and even eliminate the need for any mechanical heating and cooling equipment. There are multiple benefits to this process; the building costs less to run, it’s easier to maintain and also it significantly reduces the amount of greenhouse gas emissions it releases into the atmosphere.

The idea of Passive design is that buildings should be designed to provide comfortable living temperatures all year round, taking advantage of the natural climatic conditions, rather than using mechanical ventilation, heating or cooling.

A beautiful building should not only look breathtaking, it should be uplifting; it should feel comfortable and be able to naturally respond to the needs of you no matter what time of year we are in. A building shouldn’t be an inanimate object, rather it’s a living system that can be adjusted and attuned to suit the occasion.

Within Australia there are many different climate zones. We can tell you all about this, being based in Melbourne means we’re often subject to the ‘four seasons in one day’ but we can’t say we’d exchange it for the hot and humid conditions of far North Queensland! These different and often extreme weather patterns can sometimes result in very unpleasant building conditions. Therefore to achieve a comfortable passive building it’s important to understand not only the characteristics of the local environment but also the sites unique microclimate which is often informed by the sites immediate surroundings.

Local wind direction, neighbouring buildings and the contours of the land will all effect and impact the way a design solution is approached and achieved.

In order to realise the best outcome the designer should put the proposed design through a rigorous research and experimentation phase to ensure passive design principle are being met and applied.
Using the latest in 2D, 3D AND BIM (Building Information Modelling) architects and designers are now able to computer generate models that analyse proposed building within a virtual landscape.

This means a proposed design can be accurately assessed on how it will perform and operate within its unique microclimate. Design decisions are then informed as a result providing a sophisticated
level of comfort no matter where the location is, or the time of year it might be.

The next series of blogs will explore some of the principles behind good passive design enabling you to activate your home and learn how to control and adjust it according to the condition.
So what are some passive design principles?

Thermal Mass…


June 24, 2014

Designing your dream home is a wonderful opportunity to create a space which suits your unique lifestyle. Most people find that once they have purchased a house there are still things that they would like done differently.

An architect’s role as a service provider is to think of intelligent ways to not only meet the clients brief in a functional and cost effective manner but to discover ways which will enhance their client’s livelihood. An architect needs to be a great listener and have the ability to understanding what the client wants; interpreting their brief to come up with ingenious solution which neither party knew existed.

There are however a number of different ways to get your dream home designed and built. An architect, draftsman and building designer all provide vary degrees of services which can help you achieve your dream home.

There is really no simple answer to which service provider is best for you as there are pros and cons to using different service providers. The most important things are making sure the provider not only understands exactly what you’re after but making sure that you understand the service you’re likely to receive and the realistic outcome which will be produced by their services.

If you decide to go with an architectural service then it’s really important that you sit down with them first, interview them and make sure you both click. Engaging the right architect is essential for a successful project as its likely you will be working together for the next 1.5 – 2 years.

Below we have provided a list of 20 questions that every client should ask their preferred architect.

1.  What do they see as important issues for your project?
2.  What architectural software does the practise use?
3.  What is the architects design philosophy?
4.  What information does the architect require in order for them to meet your brief?
5.  How is the office structured? And who will be designing your project?
6.  Who will be running the project? Are they a registered architect?
7.  Is the nature of this project something that interests the architect?
8.  How much work does the architect currently have?
9.  What makes this architect / architectural practise better than the rest?
10. What is the architect’s fee structure?
11. What are the main stages in the architectural process?
12. What services does the architect provide?
13. What should be expected at each stage?
14. What does the architect need from you?
15. How does the architect assess and monitor the budget?
16. What are the architect’s usual bill cycles?
17. What’s the estimated time from conception through to completion of your project?
18. Are you able to inspect a completed projects done by the firm?
19. Does the architectural practise integrate passive design principles?
20. When is the architect able to start on the project?


June 2, 2014

Contract administration means we have now arrived at the construction stage. Usually we have spent around one year learning, designing and carefully documenting the proposed development. We have taken particular care to understand the project’s form, the materials and the detailing. This next stage of the building process is important because it’s now time to take that information and actualize it into built form.

During this period we will manage the contract between the client and builder to ensure design quality and workmanship are maintained and delivered.

Taylor Knights Architects has the ability to act as superintendent. This means we can be the independent contract administrator, ensuring compliance with all contract conditions. This is hugely beneficial to both parties because we understand and appreciate the documentation and what quality and conditions should be met. A building is a complex system made up of many parts therefore this level of knowledge is important.

At the beginning of contract administration we prepare and organize contract documents to execute between the selected tenderer and the client. We will arrange and attend meetings as well as undertake periodic site inspections. We will report on progress, quality, time and cost.

Taylor Knights Architects will assess and administer the contract between the client and the builder while also evaluating progress claims, extension of times and variations on behalf of the client. Acting as independent and impartial we will also issue certificates throughout the construction process as necessary.

Where required we will review shop drawings (drawings produced by a contractor) and any other drawings and submissions made by the builder.

We will check work onsite during site visits and assess the design quality, material and review the performance. Defects found onsite during the building construction will be evaluated.

At the end of the construction period (practical completion) we will inspect the works and nominate any items we believe to be incomplete and coordinate the rectification of defects found during the defects liability period.

In summary we will ensure that the project is delivered to the level of detail and quality as outlined in the original construction documentation.



May 19, 2014

At the tendering stage of the process we get a fixed price and timeframe for the construction of the project. The options for selecting a builder include a traditional tender from a group of builders or a negotiated tender with a preferred builder. The different forms of tender are discussed in the link at the bottom.

A tender package containing the construction drawings, specification and schedules is issued to the tenderer/s. The tender period typically runs for 4 weeks allowing the builder enough time to arrange quotes from their various trades and work out how much time and profit they would like to make for managing the project.

During these 4 weeks the builder will want to meet onsite. This is the perfect opportunity to answer various questions the tenderers will invariably have and addendums will need to be prepared in response. It is important to make sure all the builders are up to date and on a fair playing field to ensure an accurate and comparative price can be obtained at the end of the tender period.

At the close of tender the builder will provide the client with a breakdown of all the trades required to complete the project. There will be a figure placed beside each trade and the builder will nominate their margin and the time it will take to complete the project.

Once received we will process the tender, compiling a tender summary that indicates the difference in cost and time.

The client then selects there preferred builder and a final price is negotiated.

We make a recommendation on the most suitable building contract for the project. The building contract alongside the construction documentation drawings are then prepared, ready to sign and proceed to the next stage.

Common Forms of Tender