VISION Issue 31 - Page 29

29 There’s a real permeability to the building that permits it to readily open, close and adapt. Its openings, even to the sky in the children’s play area, are all consistent with that permeable nature. It opens and shuts right along that water edge almost as an extension of the Collins Street retail experience. This invites people to participate and better experience boating activity and community services. The boating activity isn’t to do with luxury yachts or motorcruisers but canoes, paddle and dragon boats. It is very much volunteer-based. It's that social capital of people coming together for a shared, not-for-profit purpose. It's often spontaneous and about the volunteers. It provides some of that important social capital settings by which people value each other and form healthy communities. And it's really quite a utilitarian building that doesn’t require marble, exotic finishes, or huge signage. That's true. It’s simply a shed. As a practice do you have a preference, or philosophy, for utilizing local suppliers and materials in your pursuit of sustainability? Of course we do. But many don't. As you know, it's something we do rely on when specifying products that we know. We want to ensure that there is as much local content as possible. Glass is certainly high on the list. We would much prefer to use local products for that reason but also for the reason that we know what they are. You know there are people who will support it. Builders often substitute much of what we have specified. This means we can’t be so sure about quality or their appropriateness and capabilities. That's a serious issue in itself. What about public liability issues once inferior plastics, glass or steel fails? It's unconscionable behavior. There can be significant cost-savings in substituting materials and I'm sure the proprietor and client are not benefiting from the full savings, nor are they getting a material they can count on. The public will, down the track, eventually pay for it.