Two Great Southern building projects won awards at the recent Housing Industry Association CSR Western Australian Housing Awards. Envisage Building Solutions won Small Commercial Project of the Year for its work on Denmark’s The Dam, and a Marbelup home designed to take in “tranquil views to the coast hills” saw the Rural Building Company claim the Project Home of the Year JUhonour. Envisage manager Trevor Craig said the project had been a challenge because it was a constant work in progress where often he would end up doing “five samples to find the one that they loved”. He said he had “10 guys there for basically 12 months” and they had particularly enjoyed working with timber on the build. “Things like the resin work and the fine timber side of it in a commercial setting, I think that’s what actually won the job for us, and JUthe judges were impressed by us,” he said. “I was sitting next to one of the judges at the regional presentations and we were chatting, and he goes ‘mate, that is once in a lifetime’ and that’s why we took it on. “I’ll never do something like that again with that timber, that style, and just that freedom.” The Dam is owned by Steve Birkbeck and his family who are developing a range of enterprises from their 356-hectare jigsaw of farms known as Raintree. Mr Craig said translating the vision of Mr Birkbeck, and his sons-in-law, into a finished product was rewarding, and he was given more freedom than on other builds to have input. “They put a lot of trust in us to see what they wanted, but they gave us the freedom to say ‘no, let’s try this’,” he said. “We were up to working drawing 17 on that job, normally you’re lucky if you get three or four, it was really a flowing process.< “To find a client who is prepared to trust your expertise takes time — I was able to give my reasoning as to why I wanted to do things one way and it was then up to them to make the decisions.” Mr Craig said he was “a really bad self-promoter” and that it was a pleasing reward to beat some of the “big guys from Perth” given the amount of attention paid to details during the build. “That was the icing on the cake,” he said. The Rural Building Company won its award from a competitive field after a year described by the HIA as having “unprecedented volumes in project homes”. Principal designer Rob Kirkovski said the home was based on a design from The Hinterland, which “emanates rustic charm and relaxes into contemporary rural living.” “Covering more than 350 square metres, this idyllic home is fit for any family and incorporates the country kitchen, spacious living areas and perfectly thought-out bedroom zones,” he said. “The mixed palette of render, face brick and weatherboard are as at home in the rural lifestyle as the expansive raking ceilings, lofty glazing, and numerous outdoor living areas. “This impressive abode takes in the tranquil views to the coastal hills and is a perfect example of how a Rural Building Company design complements the Western Australian landscape and lifestyle.” More than 200 HIA member builders, designers, manufacturers, and suppliers attended the State awards. It brought together regional winners from across the state and highlighted the variety and quality of WA builds “We are seeing an increasing variety of construction methods and materials adopted throughout WA with many exceptional examples from regional areas recognised and awarded for their excellence,” HIA WA executive director Michael McGowan said. The Marbelup home will now be in the running for the HIA Australian Housing Awards next year.