Mike Sander | MDS Engineering
In general, the DesignStone wall system enables residential housing, and other buildings of roughly equivalent scale and usage to be constructed in a manner similar to a light timber or steel framed building, yet have the same load carrying and resisting capability as a full masonry or concrete façade system.
DesignStone has been used in the Western Australian Pilbara region, which regularly experiences temperature variations up to 50°C and down to 5°C, and is known to have the most severe cyclonic activity on the entire Australian design environment. These regions are also situated close to the coastline with severe atmospheric corrosivity indices.
In this manner, the system is ideally suited for remote and regional areas with particularly harsh environmental conditions.
I personally have designed and been involved with a number of DesignStone projects and have been able to see the features and benefits of the system first hand. The projects have been located around Western Australia in some of the most severe environmental conditions, including the highest design wind speeds required on the Australian mainland.
Ian Molyneux | Ian Molyneux & Associates
DesignStone is a unique masonry building system; a layered combination of precast concrete cladding panels to a light gauge steel framework that is reinforced by concrete-filling backed up by internal linings and foil insulation.
DesignStone has been tested in many projects, in many types of climate, and in university testing. It acts as a continuous self-braced wall and provides high load bearing capacity and resistance to wind pressure and foundation movement. Test-based data is available for engineering design. W.A. building surveyors have accepted that the system meets the relevant standards, including in party walls and boundary walls with high fire ratings.
The panels are consistently coloured throughout, fade resistant and maintenance-free.
Fast, dry and clean erection, reduced scaffold hire, early lock-up and finishing, all reinforce major economies in hoisting and handling. This can mean substantial savings of interest on bridging finance, of rent for temporary accommodation, as well as through earlier commencement of income flow from investment properties.
The entire wall system is of non-combustible materials. There is a very high resistance to burning, the spread of heat and flames, and resistance to collapse during fires. This means safety for firefighters, and reduction of risk to life and property.
DesignStone’s wall thicknesses are typically 50% or less than in comparable masonry systems. DesignStone delivers more internal space with less wall and roof area. The thin ( but solid) masonry cladding stores only limited heat, that dissipates quickly as the day cools. Insulation values can be tailored to suit demanding polar, desert and tropical climates.
Energy for heating and cooling is much reduced because of these thermal design factors. Construction water use is minimal and unpolluted. There is virtually no site waste and therefore little contribution to landfill.
Dean Massie | Resort Manager
14th October 2004
We have had an association with the DesignStone Walling System for years, after initially using the system on a motel style unit development within our resort in 1998. These units proved to be very popular with our guests, both from a comfort and aesthetic perspective and as maintenance on the buildings is negligible we were delighted with the result.
It was without hesitation therefore that we chose to use the DesignStone system for our new backpacker accommodation which opened to guests in December 2003. This complex consisted of 52 guest rooms, bar, and lounge with small prep kitchen, offices and reception area, guests laundry, commercial style kitchen for backpacker use and dethatched two bedroom managers residence.
As with all projects the final cost was a major consideration in deciding what method of construction to use, by it was by no means the only one. Guest comfort, appearance, maintenance, time frame and suitability for the cyclonic region were also primary factors. DesignStone proposed a composite style construction for the second level of two story units, the system works in extremely well in this type of building and offers an economical alternative to full masonry.
Another outstanding feature of the DesignStone System is the opportunity to incorporate unique local materials into the cladding, for instance for our particular project DesignStone were able to produce architectural precast panels with an exposed shell finish and panels with a Pindan sand finish which was all sourced locally and used in feature walls in our bar and beer garden area.
The entire project was completed in under nine months, with little disruption to the running of the resort, there were absolutely no cost overruns and we are delighted with the finished result.
Analysis of the running costs of this section of our resort have shown a result that exceeded our original expectations, that is the running costs are significantly less than the rest of the resort. We believe that this is mainly due to the efficiency of the buildings resulting in reduced costs in heating and cooling.
David Burke | D.A. Burke Builders
Obviously, we are biased, but when you actually sit down & study common construction issues, restraints & life performance of competing wall assemblies within the market place today it’s hard to find a truly comprehensive high performing building system that will compete with the DesignStone product.
What we have found in recent years a notable swing in consumer awareness & acceptance of new products. There are various studies supporting this but in general terms, consumers are now fully aware of performance in building materials & new products offered in the market place, gone are the days where brick is best.
Brian Cameron | Hendry Group
I first came into contact with DA Burke Builders (DBB) during my employment as Executive Manager Development Services at the Shire of Ashburton between 2012 -2014.
I was immediately impressed with the quality of the documentation and level of correspondence that we received from DBB for Building and Planning applications.
After inspecting several of DBB's buildings' I can definitely say they provide one the highest levels of quality construction I have seen for many years
DBB definitely stood out as one of the higher quality Builders that were building in the Northwest at the time.
DBB were and continue to use a product called DesignStone which is a prefabricated walling system. In my over 30 years involvement in the building industry, I have seen many new products come into the industry that comes with gratuitous claims of being the "one" but many sadly don't deliver, but the DesignStone product used by DBB does indeed tick all the boxes.
As many can appreciate the northwest of WA provides one of the most extreme climates in the world, with temperatures soaring to well above 50° C in many months and DesignStone has performed extremely well in these conditions.
DesignStone not only offers a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to Colorbond sheet metal of which most buildings are clad in within the northwest, but it provides a quality product which performs extremely well in all climates.
Peter & Anne Stewart | Kalbarri Backpackers
In Kalbarri there was a need for motel style accommodation. We were encouraged to look into steel frame & cladding. In doing so we found the DesignStone building system.
We had certain criteria which we felt was needed for the comfort of future clients:
Cool in summer months as it gets over 40 Degrees Celsius in Kalbarri. Warm in winter months, the cost of heating & cooling is an issue in country areas.
Sound proofing is important for comfort & guests.
Attractive appearance, we wanted something that would blend with the natural environment. This is where the Limestone look was appealing as it has blended in with the older standing buildings.
Timeframe, in this period of a building boom we did not want to disrupt our present accommodation for a lengthy time while the new building was being erected. The project was completed swiftly without problems or delays & with minimum interference to the complex.
And lastly, cost effectiveness.
DesignStone added up to all of our requirements, we are extremely pleased with the system.
An added bonus is it is strong enough to stand up to a cyclone. This is not necessarily needed in Kalbarri, however, we are only just south of the cyclone area & if the possibility did arise we feel safe knowing the steel frame & cladding will hold.
Jon Jessop | Edge Resorts Developer
David Burke is a second generation builder. The company D.A. Burke Builders (DesignStone User) has been around for many years & has a reputation for building quality sustainable developments. Together this group combined with their many employees has approximately 140 years of construction industry experience.
They use a revolutionary building system called DesignStone. DesignStone consists of a unique steel frame, concrete panel clad external walling system. The DesignStone Walling System is a cost effective, strong & attractive alternative masonry system that is user-friendly & suitable for builders & owner builders alike. The speed of construction using the DesignStone Walling System is a proven way of keeping tight construction deadlines.
The DesignStone Walling System is extremely friendly to the environment, from manufacture – which requires very little energy to produce therefore producing no greenhouse gasses, right through to installation – which leaves minimal waste product for landfill. Once the building is occupied, the thermal efficiency of the DesignStone Walling System helps keep future heating & cooling requirements to a minimum.
D.A. Burke only constructs using this proprietary system, as it has many advantages both to the end user and the builder over most other forms of construction.