AIA Sustainable Architecture Award commendation for PICAC Narre Warren

FMSA’s commitment to sustainability was reinforced with the recent recognition of the PICAC Narre Warren by the Victorian AIA Chapter Awards Jury. The project received a Commendation in the Victorian Chapter Sustainable Architecture Award announced in June 2021.

Jury Citation | Sustainable Architecture Award Commendation

Victoria’s first net zero energy education and research facility, PICAC Narre Warren is a climate action centre accommodating training for plumbers and research and certification of emerging plumbing technologies. The project served as a test bed for an innovative new hybrid screw pile/geothermal bore system reducing heating and cooling energy consumption. PICAC not only deploys sustainable building systems operationally but reveals them throughout the building, benefiting learners and showcasing them to industry, accelerating the adoption of these systems.

Dr Ben Milbourne | Jury Chair
Mark O’Dwyer | Juror
Elizabeth Campbell | Juror

First look at Diamond Creek East Primary School

We are excited to share a first look at FMSA’s work with the VSBA to develop solutions for moderinsation works at Diamond Creek East Primary School. Currently in design development, the project will deliver an administration building featuring staff work areas, consulting rooms and reception, as well as art and science spaces.

Project Update: PICAC’s first interstate campus is under construction in Beenleigh

We are excited to announce that PICAC’s fourth training campus is under construction. Located in Beenleigh, Queensland – the new campus will be PICAC’s fourth practical training campus and the first to be based outside of Victoria.

FMSA Architecture is proud to be involved in our fourth project with Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre.  We support their mission to provide industry-led world-class training in plumbing whilst spearheading the world’s leading sustainable technologies embedded within its campus facilities.

With Stage 1 construction underway, the Beenleigh campus will deliver a number of innovations that will build upon the precedents for training excellence set at the recently completed Narre Warren & Geelong campuses, as well as its inaugural Brunswick campus.

We look forward to sharing more updates as this exciting project progresses.

Centre of Learning for Family Violence – Australia’s first dedicated family violence training facility

FMSA is proud to announce the completion of the new$11.7m Centre of Learning for Family Violence for Victoria Police. The new state-of-the-art training facility is the only dedicated family violence training facility in the country.

Victoria Police’s response to family violence continues to be bolstered with the launch of this new facility. The dedicated training centre, located at the Victoria Police Academy, will provide training to all police officers to improve the way they respond to family violence.

Following a competitive tender process, builder Ireland Brown Construction and FMSA Architecture were engaged by Victoria Police to deliver the training and office accommodation facility under a design and construct arrangement. Designed and built in 10 months, the new facility collocates practical training spaces for cadets with office accommodation for Victoria Police Academy staff.

FMSA Architecture is proud to have been involved in this landmark project – it is a testament to the excellent results we can achieve with true collaboration between the client, builder and consultant team.

Learn more about how the Centre of Learning for Family Violence is shaping how Victoria Police respond to family violence situations:




PICAC Narre Warren to be Victoria’s first Net Zero Energy education and research facility

FMSA is proud to be involved in the design of our third training facility with PICAC.  Set to be Victoria’s first Net Zero Energy education and research facility, the new Narre Warren facility is a world class training facility, and showcases innovative ESD and construction technologies.

Most notably, the facility is the first in Australia to utilize building foundation screw piling to source geothermal energy for the buildings heating and cooling requirements. 192 x 13 metre deep energy piles and 28 geothermal bores were drilled to a depth of 100 metres using a new specialized Commachio drill from Italy. Together the 220 wells are used for the Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP) system to heat and cool the building. The GSHP system integrates thermal heat loops within the structural screw piles for geothermal heat exchange.

Learn more via the fantastic showcase video:

Media: New net-zero energy PICAC Narre Warren education centre featured in Create

Australia is set to have its first Net Zero Energy education and research facility, the Plumbing Industry Climate Action Centre (PICAC) at Narre Warren.

The landmark project was recently featured by Create.Digital.  The article discusses how our collaboration with engineers NDY has delivered an ambitious design using the latest sustainable design innovations. Read more here:

PICAC Narre Warren is under construction

Construction begins on new $30m PICAC Narre Warren training centre

We are pleased to announce that construction has commenced on the new $30m PICAC Narre Warren training centre.

Following the success of the PICAC Brunswick and Geelong campuses, FMSA Architecture has again collaborated with PICAC to design an innovative comprehensive training and research facility dedicated to the continual improvement of the plumbing industry.

We will share more about the project as construction progresses.

Does my building like me? Learning about building wellness

Last night FMSA staffers headed to an interesting panel discussion hosted by RMIT on the growing trend of ‘wellness’.

Focusing on how our buildings support human health and wellbeing, the expert panel explored the role indoor environment quality plays in improving productivity, health and well-being, the use of the new ‘WELL’ Building Standard and practical examples.

Designing solutions that are sustainable and positive environments for living, working and playing is intrinsic to FMSA’s design philosophy. We are exploring what a WELL building is and how this new attitude towards building health can improve the way we design and live in spaces.

Back to school – how we approach design for learning

As a new school year begins we are reflecting on our 30 years of experience designing educational spaces, and where we see the future of educational design heading.

We have designed solutions for all levels of the education pathways including early childhood, primary, secondary, tertiary and special development schools providing campus masterplanning, new facilities and refurbishments at campuses across Victoria for projects for the private colleges, independent schools and organisations.

Our approach to designing learning spaces is driven by our holistic learning philosophy. We believe that by considering innovation and technology, collaboration, curriculum and learning styles, and sustainability that we can tailor the built form to represent the needs of the students, and support the schools vision.

The result is a building which creates opportunities to learn through interaction and discovery both within and outside of the classroom.

In the studio we have a few exciting educational projects including the PICAC Narre Warren campus, CEOM Moonlight Head Campus and additions at the Melbourne Montessori School campuses. We look forward to sharing the progress on this projects in the coming months.

New Project: Moonlight Head Rural Learning Campus

Following an invited competition, we are pleased to announce that we have been engaged the Catholic Education Office Melbourne (CEOM) to develop a concept masterplan and development proposal for a Rural Learning Centre and Retreat Centre on a 600 hectare property known as Wattle Hill Farm in Moonlight Head.  The concept proposed a flexible learning hub and outdoor amphitheater, student accommodation pavilions, retreat cabins and a chapel overlooking the Victorian coastline.

The resultant masterplan and design concept envisages a series of pavilions that created a sense of journey and fostered a connection with the landscape for the visitors, without over powering the natural beauty of the site.

Congratulations to the team and we look forward to sharing more about the project as it develops.