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.


2016 Community Plumbing Challenge – Final Day

We are happy to share an update from Team Australia members experience on the final day of the 2016 Community Plumbing Challenge:

‘After just over a week of hard work, team bonding and celebrations, the Community Plumbing Challenge for 2016 came to a close. The final day of the Challenge saw 4 of the 8 toilet cubicles craned into position across extension 1 Diepsloot, but they were not been fully connected. The remainder went out this morning and were connected one by one throughout the day. Team Australia returned to site and tackled the final connections and concreting gullies to catch wash water outside each cubicle. Material shortages and making water connections under pressure aside, the tasks were completed by midday.

Final photos were taken and we were bused back to our work compound and packed up our remaining tools. From there we returned to our hotel for lunch and prepared for our one hour bus trip to Pretoria, to visit Mr Adam McCarthy, the Australian High Commissioner in Southern Africa, and his staff, for late afternoon drinks and an informal debriefing of the CPC and Australia’s involvement through PICAC.

On our return to the hotel the final presentation night was about to begin. A local drama troupe presented a performance that highlighted the effects on communities lacking access to effective sanitation, that the developed world often takes for granted.

Presentations, acknowledgements, dinner and the discussion “Where to Beyond CPC 2016” followed, then of course dancing, photographs, laughter and final good bye’s and conversations saw out the evening.’

Congratulations to the organisers, other teams and Team Australia on their great effort in this challenge. Visit the Community Plumbing Challenge Facebook page for more details about the program.


2016 Community Plumbing Challenge Day 6

We are happy to share an update from Team Australia members experience on Day Six of the 2016 Community Plumbing Challenge:

Day 6 was an opportunity for the teams to take in the rich history and culture that South Africa has to offer.

“Day 6 was an opportunity for the teams to take in the rich history and culture that South Africa has to offer.  The organisers gave the teams the day off from work, as a field trip had been organised to visit a few of the local sites.

First we headed to the Apartheid Museum and what an experience that was. To learn of the struggles that some people had to go through just to live a normal life – it was very touching.

Next we were off to Vilkazi St in Orlando, which is famous as it is the only Street to have housed two Nobel peace prize winners, Former President Nelson Mandala and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Then went to a traditional African ‘chisa nyma’ restaurant for lunch. This consisted of many lovely traditional foods some being chicken feet and mopani worms. Finally we went to Nelson Mandala’s house in Soweto which was a great little tourist street also to buy some trinkets.’

Check back  for more updates from Kirstin, and visit the Community Plumbing Challenge Facebook page for more details about the program.


2016 Community Plumbing Challenge Day 5

We are happy to share an update from Team Australia members experience on Day 5 of the 2016 Community Plumbing Challenge:

‘Today was the build day for our collaboration design. All teams worked together to construct this design. Everyone worked perfectly together to get most of the units finished, this would not have been possible if everyone hadn’t worked as hard as they did. The welders and metal fabricators all worked together to cut and weld doors together, the plumbers all tiered in together to fabricate the gal plumbing for the water that supplies the unit, concrete sinks in the outside of the units and to install toilet pans. 

In the afternoon after lunch all teams also helped team South Africa finish both of their units off (freestyle and calibration) as they are the first to install their units on site in Diepsloot. ‘

Check back  for more updates from Kirstin, and visit the Community Plumbing Challenge Facebook page for more details about the program.


2016 Community Plumbing Challenge Day 4

We are happy to share an update from Team Australia members experience on Day 4 of the 2016 Community Plumbing Challenge:

‘Today was the second day build day of our freestyle unit. We all work alongside Mitch to help get the door and internal storage box fabricated and installed by days end. With determination and hard work the team were able to power through the day and complete the tasks we had set out to achieve.

Today was also Presentation and Collaboration Day. Each of the teams presented their design to a panel and the reasons behind it. All 4 team members of Team Australia presented really well and were able to answer any questions given to us by the judging panel.

Once all 4 teams presented the collective group of the CPC 2016 team came together to come up with a collaborative design which will be the most efficient and cost effective way to build our “collaborative units” and also further unit for the W.A.S.S.U.P team here in Diesploot South Africa.’

Check back  for more updates from Kirstin, and visit the Community Plumbing Challenge Facebook page for more details about the program.


2016 Community Plumbing Challenge – Day 3

We are happy to share an update from Team Australia members experience on Day Three of the 2016 Community Plumbing Challenge:

‘Today was the first official build day, beginning with an incredible experience at the church where the compound is located. The vibrant harmonies of the choir and patrons filled every inch of the room, which was an experience for the team on its own.

A quick debrief and all teams were hands on deck. The pace of the work was quick, efficient, and team orientated for the Australians. Battling with power cuts, welder sharing, and language boundaries, all teams found a flow of working together to cram as much work as possible into the time frame they were given. The work setup was productive, tools of very reasonable quality, and the hard work produced by all teams commendable.

All in all, a hard honest days work for a cause well worth working for.’

Check back  for more updates from Kirstin, and visit the Community Plumbing Challenge Facebook page for more details about the program.


2016 Community Plumbing Challenge – Day Two

Updating us on the start of the program, FMSA graduate Architect Kirstin Griese is here to share an update from Day Two of the 2016 Community Plumbing Challenge

Day Two

‘ The teams had the morning to do some free activities. A team walk exploring the compound, started the day.

2 team members worked on preparing the group presentation with the others embarking on a journey into Johannesburg to go go-karting. The boys found a local taxi driver who drove them to the shopping centre (go-karts were in the underground car park with no ventilation) and walked them to the door. Unfortunately their journey was unfruitful as it was closed, however potato chips were bought for the crew and driver – friendships were made.

Even though it’s winter, the team have been enjoying the sunshine – 20 C and sunny!

1.15pm : All the teams and organisers left the hotel and traveled to the compound for the official welcome. Welcome speeches from event organisers, community leaders and water, amenities, sanitation services upgrade programme representatives were conducted following with performances from the Diepsloot Arts & Culture network – dancing until sunset. The locals love to dance! A buffet dinner of local delicacies followed at with Chef Bomba Restaurant.

The hard work begins tomorrow.’

Check back  for more updates from Kirstin, and visit the Community Plumbing Challenge facebook page for more details about the program.


2016 Community Plumbing Challenge – Day One

Taking a break from the challenge, FMSA graduate Architect Kirstin Griese is here to share her first update from the 2016 Community Plumbing Challenge:

Day 1

‘Today was a day of preparations on site before the challenge begins tomorrow after noon. The Aus Team arrived on site by mini bus around 10.45 after a leisurely start following a very late night.

The challenge is taking part in a community centre with a large fenced off paddock area on the edge of Deipsloot.

The team surveyed the compound and their 2 concrete cubicles that have been assigned to them. Measuring and reviewing there plans they developed over the previous 5 weeks in Melbourne.

Following that they were asked to do some simple ground works around the compound to prepare for a much increased foot traffic when the other teams arrive tomorrow on site.

The works were shared with South African team after introductions and conversation.

They also helped complete a rough stage with timber pallets for an outdoor presentation in the coming days.

Following that we had a simple lunch consisting of a fresh salad sandwich and an apple while we sat indoors with the South African team listening to a presentation by Health Habitat on the relationship between poor health and bad building maintenance.

We arrived back at the hotel around 3.45 bring our short work day to an end. The team is about to meet for a meal and briefing about tomorrow’s planned activities.

All are excited and in good spirits.’

Check back tomorrow for more updates from Kirstin, and visit the Community Plumbing Challenge facebook page for more details about the program.


FMSA particpates in the 2016 Community Plumbing Challenge

We are excited to announce that FMSA staffer Kirstin Griese is participating in the 2016 Community Plumbing Challenge as the Team Australia Design Lead.

Further building from our ongoing relationship with PICAC who are the organisers of the Australian team for the 2016 challenge, Kirstin was selected as the Design Lead for the project joining Team Leaders Greg Tink (PICAC) and Aaron Bridger, Plumbers Sam Welsh and Luke Pettenon, and metal fabricator Mitchell Fisch.

Taking place in Diepsloot – Johannesburg, South Africa, the goal of the Community Plumbing Challenge program is to demonstrate the vital role of the plumbing industry in protecting public health.

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IAPMO & PICAC Study Tour

FMSA Director Peter Sandow recently returned from visiting the US on a study tour of plumbing and trades training centres.

The tour took Peter to United Association training centres in California, Illinois and New York, and the IAPMO Head Office in California.

As a part of our ongoing work with PICAC, Peter is excited to utilise the lessons learned on the tour to further enhance the delivery of advance practical learning for trades in Victoria.