Simon Terry

Your round up of Jobs and Biz News:

End-of-trip facility designer PFL Spaces has hired Simon Terry as design manager for its Melbourne office. It’s a slightly restructured role to replace the former creative manager.

Terry studied industrial design at the University of Newcastle and led a small team developing innovative products and environments at NorvaNivel, a Sydney furniture designer for educational environments. He has a great love for the process of design and creating value while impacting the environment in the smallest way possible.

He said he was attracted to PFL Spaces because its products are simple, refined and well thought out.

“The job of the designer is to look to the future, and the PFL Spaces vision of how humans are going to live and get around in the cities of the future is one I could get behind,” he said.

Chief executive Mark Rossiter said the role would focus on design management and spatial planning, working on concept design for big commercial buildings. It will also have an R&D focus, adjusting established products to suit new markets.

A strong demand for end-of-trip facilities across the globe is keeping the wheels turning for the Australian business. It came into being when Rossiter’s bicycle storage company Penny Farthings joined forces with Justin Sires’ Fresh Locker, a convenience service provider, to provide a total end-of-trip package. They merged the businesses in mid-2013.

Since then PFL Spaces has been expanding quickly, designing and planning more than 250 bicycle storage and change room facilities on a global scale.

At the end of 2014, they set up a US office in Portland, Oregon. In 2015, they completed the largest bike parking facility in the southern hemisphere for Sydney’s Barangaroo South – accommodating 1120 bikes – as well as the first US bike room in Denver Colorado. In addition, they were engaged to design the largest Lendlease development to date for Paya Lebar Central in Singapore.

Rossiter said all new commercial buildings now include end-of-trip facilities and on top of that existing properties are being retrofitted to accommodate cycling amenities.

“It’s now a huge trend contributing to the property space,” he said.

The momentum shows no sign of slowing down, with the company opening a London office six months ago. According to Rossiter, demand for end-of-trip facilities is booming in London with the city now creating a lot of infrastructure to encourage an uptake in cycling.

PFL Spaces designed the largest bicycle parking and change room facility development in London for 22 Bishopsgate, a 59-storey tower which itself will become the tallest commercial building in the city.

Other recent projects include Facebook’s offices in Austin Texas and Sydney’s Deutsche Bank Place at 126 Phillip Street, a 39-storey tower with a 5 Star NABERS Energy rating.

The sector has seen a fair amount of growth in the past three years and the outlook is bright as cities move to reduce their reliance on motor vehicles.

“We’d like to open an office in New York or Chicago for an east coast presence,” Rossiter said. “Then just start settling down and consolidating.”

Josh Meadows

Josh Meadows, ACF

We know “it’s just media” but even so Josh Meadows has been a stalwart at the Australian Conservation Foundation for 12 years heading up media, so he’s got more staying power than most in his industry.

In his new gig Meadows will be doing media and communications for Environmental Justice Australia, which he dubs “nature’s legal team”.

“EJA’s lawyers act as advisers and legal representatives to the environment movement,” he said in a farewell note. “They also conduct original research, like this recent investigation into the Adani Group’s record overseas, and work to make mine rehabilitation and environmental protection laws stronger.”

Denita Wawn, MBA

MBA new blood new outlook on sustainability? 

The Fifth Estate left a message for new Master Builders Australia chief executive Denita Wawn for a response on the rising call for higher standards in housing, amid accusations that it is the MBA and its close pal the Housing Industry Association that are the forces holding back progress. We did not receive a response.

Why the MBA and HIA continue to block progress on housing , if it’s true (as it’s been in the past), is uncertain, since most experts and the evidence suggest Australia’s clever building industry (as in wily and flexible) works out how to factor in the higher sustainability ratings in next to no time, at next to no extra cost.

Let’s hope we are all moving on from these worn out habits of the past. It’s too much like the fossilised views of the fossil fuel industry.

Look at how sad and lonely ScoMo’s lump of coal looks now that we’ve had the spruikers from sexy Tesla offering to fix South Australia’s energy security problems pronto and Atlassian founder Michael Cannon-Brookes professing to be embarrassed at how much money he’s been offered for the privilege of helping to fund solutions for SA’s energy storage issues.

We detect some movement away from the past, and towards the future, in the HIA at least.

The Fifth Estate was invited last year to the association’s conference in Sydney and found a surprisingly strong sustainability message coming through from speakers such as Professor Peter Newton from Swinburne University on his “missing middle” work on suburban regeneration, Professor Geoffrey London on the Baugruppen housing model, and Steve Driscoll from UrbanGrowth NSW on good planning for Sydney. Not that it was a surprise that these speakers were talking up sustainability, but the venue, yes, a bit of a pleasant surprise.

Good to see. Long way to go, but good to see.

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