Architects Gender Pay Gap Exposed in 2016 Surveys

Sugargum Dve Hillside

The Finishing Touch is a supplier of architectural decorative mouldings to the building industry and found the results of 2016 surveys conducted in both the United Kingdom and Australia showing that male Architects are paid more than female Architects across the board in the UK and for  most levels in Australia disappointing. Not only that but the pay disparity is actually widening in the UK, according to the results of the 2016 Women in Architecture survey conducted by the Architects’ Journal and The Architectural Review.
The UK survey shows salary discrepancies of up to £55,000 at top levels between women and their male counterparts, as well as widespread discrimination in the workplace and on site. Women working in architecture are also waiting longer to start their family than the UK average the survey shows and that female architects found that having children has a detrimental impact on their career.
It doesn’t matter what level of seniority the women have climbed to, 36% still reported experiencing sexual discrimination whether they were directors, partners, principals, associate directors or project architects, and not far behind, 24 %of architectural assistants reported the same. This discrimination took place in the office, on site and in meetings with clients and contractors.
This bias is represented starkly in salary figures at all levels, with the gap broadening between men and women as seniority increases.The survey showed that women are paid £55,000 less than men at director, partner and principal level. This figure has risen by £42,000 in the last two years.
In Australia the Association of Consulting Architects conducted a national salary survey in 2016 and also found gender pay gaps for architects in all but two of the nine levels surveyed.

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Due to this survey sample changing from year to year, it was not possible to analyse whether the gender pay gap is increasing or decreasing.  However, the association reported that the ongoing suggestions of gender-based gaps in this data are of serious concern. The ACA advises architects that there is a clear business case for pay equity, as well as the obvious ethical issue.
As a supplier of architectural decorative mouldings to the building industry the Finishing Touch often work in sync with Architects producing decorative mouldings to create the finishing touches to the architectural style of their buildings, both from the product catalogue but also manufacturing customised lightweight mouldings to specifications.

Cases That Affect Contractual Agreements in the Building Industry

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As a supplier of decorative mouldings to the building trade the Finishing Touch works with a range of builders and sometimes directly supplies to owner/builders and was alerted recently to some court cases during 2016 that could affect contracts within the building trade. Contractual agreements between parties in the building industry can become the subject of disputes and when they do the clauses in the contracts become critical.

The first case can be applied generally as it relates to the amount of damages a party (for example, the builder) will pay when a contract breach occurs agreed upon at the time the contract is first entered into You may be familiar with the term ‘liquidated damages’. The case between Paciocco v ANZ [2016] went to the High Court in Victoria. The case looked at the possibility of a particular liquidated damages clause being struck out or struck down. This can occur if the court says the amount of liquidated damages specified is considered ‘extravagant’ or ‘unconscionable.’ In this case the court was dealing with the issue of late payment fees the bank was charging but the principles stated apply in other contexts, and they apply in particular to the construction industry.

In this case the court set a ‘new bar’ as to when a liquidated damages clauses may be struck out which has resulted in that bar now being set far higher than it used to be. This will make it much harder in future to have such a clause struck out as the precedent has been set.

Another case heard in 2016 in Victoria was about security of payment legislation. The case between SSC Plenty Road Pty Ltd v Construction Engineering (Aust) Pty Ltd involved the issue of a construction contract which provided for a method of resolving disputes between the parties if meeting and talking didn’t lead to resolution. The method stated in the contract was mediation. The case was to determine if the contract contained a ‘method of resolving disputes under the contract.’

Mediation was found not to be a ‘method of resolving disputes’ as it was not a method of resolving a dispute which is final, due to the fact that mediation of a dispute may or may not resolve a dispute and therefore the dispute may drag on. The overarching purpose of the legislation which is to settle disputed claims for payment quickly and with tight time frames was not met by mediation the court found as it was not a method of resolution of disputes, but a ‘mere’ forum for the issues within a dispute to be aired.

As, in the case of The Finishing Touch whose supply of lightweight, architectural decorative mouldings to builders has become ever more popular, business increases and more agreements are entered into it is important to be across changes that may affect the outcome of any disputes.

The Modern Arch Has Classical Design Elements Yet Is Lightweight and Decorative

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Arches have long been used in building design and in modern times they add a classical, elegant finish to a house build.  Originally built in materials such as stone, marble then cement, the easiest and most effective method to build an arch these days is to use a lightweight house moulding with a steel support.

Dating back to 3000BC was the original arch, the corbel arch consisting of two opposing sets of overlapping corbels, resembling inverted staircases, which meet at a peak and create a structure strong enough to support weight from above. Babylonian architecture made wide use of corbel arches. Then the Romans created a semicircular arch that could support great amounts of weight.  A wooden arch shaped frame was first constructed with stone work being built up around the frame and finally a keystone was set in position. This allowed the wooden frame to be removed and the arch was left in position. Stone arch technology was used on large buildings such as the Colosseum in Rome.

The next major design innovation in arches was in Gothic architecture with the experimental use of pointed arches. The pointed shape introduced a new aesthetic dimension and reduced the arch thrusts by as much as fifty percent which meant that the weight of the roof was now being supported by the arches rather than the walls and therefore the walls could be thinner.

The basket arch is a three-centred arch and sometimes called  ‘basket-handle arch’ or ‘anse de panier’. The Basket arch is a flattened arch whose ellipse like shape is determined by three arcs that are interconnected; with each radius being drawn from a different centre. Also known as Semi elliptical or Elliptical, this style of arch is mainly used in modern day building due to its simple design.

The Finishing Touch are the masters of lightweight decorative mouldings and can create the style and shape of arch desired in any building design.  For a custom made decorative arch moulding made from lightweight materials contact the Finishing Touch.

Columns Ancient and Modern

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Columns as a decorative architectural feature on buildings were used extensively in ancient times on important buildings. Three major systems in architectural design used by ancient Greeks have stood the test of time and are still seen in architecture to this day. These include the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian styles. Each order has its own definitive characteristics, however they can also be easily confused to the untrained eye.

The most famous Greek system used around the world today is the first order, the Doric style of architecture (pictured above) You will see Doric columns when you visit the Parthenon and Acropolis, distinguished by vertical columns and a plain roof. You will also see this style in historic buildings in southern Italy and Sicily; it is one of the oldest architectural orders that exists today.

The second style is the Ionic order. It is more delicate, intricate, and elegant than Doric architecture. Having originated in eastern Greece, Ionic structures are believed to have become dominant during the Hellenistic period.

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Then there’s the Corinthian style of architecture. Corinthian architecture is intended to be an altered version of the Ionic style with much more detail. Here you’ll see more scrolls , fruit and flower motifs and flourishes.

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These days, in modern Australian architecture we see columns used extensively in housing design.  With the advent of concrete and now lightweight eps building materials it is possible for builders to create columns for suburban homes.  The addition of columns, usually at the entrance of the home, creates a grand, sophisticated façade. The Finishing Touch have a range of lightweight mouldings for columns, both round, tapered and square with capitals in all the styles, along with bases.