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Five Times a Winner!

 Jamie Howard      In

The Specialised Textiles Association Awards for Excellence values excellence in the Australian textiles fabrication industry and offer members the opportunity to showcase their technical skills, design excellence and innovation within the industry.

In 2020 the Versatile Structures team won 5 Excellence Awards – the most awards awarded to one company in the history of the Awards program.

Noosa Botanic Gardens

Excellence Award Winner – Commercial  Shade Sails or Structures

Noosa Botanic Gardens engaged us in a large-scale project surrounded by a well-established tree canopy, with an unconventional footprint, and containing precious light and humidity sensitive plants including their prize-winning Fern and many other rare, exotic botanicals. Collaborating with Noosa Council and their engineers, our team performed a 3D-modelling assessment to visualise the outcome of integrating the shade structure concept with the existing flora and infrastructure. To protect the plants, we needed to be meticulously careful when moving our equipment and materials and we also installed a special scaffold structure to protect the plants during construction. For the same project, Noosa Council won the 2020 IPWEA Queensland Excellence Award for a project under $1 million.

Australia Zoo Tented Camp

Excellence Award Winner – Banners, Flags, Inflatables, Fabric Art

Australia Zoo approached us with an idea for a Tented Camp structure that represents an old-fashioned tent set up in the Australian outback. We had 15 days to do a site inspection, produce the quote and complete the full on-site installation. Many site inspections and CAD hours later, our final asymmetrical tent design resembled the appearance of a makeshift camp setup. We used natural fibre ropes and Australian canvas that sports a rugged look with imperfections to keep the theme strong. The footings had to be excavated by hand, as machinery access was not possible. And to top the deadline pressure, the final installation day coincided with crocodiles being introduced to their new enclosure. Our team had to pause works a few times to keep noise levels down and ended up assisting with carrying the box that contained the largest crocodile. When we say no task is too big or too complicated, we mean it.

Peppers Kingscliff

Excellence Award Winner – Domestic Blinds and Awnings

For Peppers Kingscliff, we designed and installed a retractable shade structure with a motorised awning and sun and wind vibration sensor, that retracts and expands with a push of a button. This complex project involved replacing a dilapidated existing membrane structure, which was heavily corroded and unsafe. The full suite of our team’s skills was utilised: we project managed the entire scope, fabricated the steelwork in-house, demolished the existing structure, set up site safety provisions and fencing, organised council approvals and meetings, installed new chemical anchors, cored out existing corroded anchors, installed the new steelwork with cranage, installed the new roof and installed new solid aluminium cladding panels to the underside (all routed on our router, then powder coated). We also added decorative aluminium battens to the ocean side edge, to provide aesthetic decal and complete the project.

Phil’s Pool

Excellence Award Winner – Domestic Tension Structure

Phil’s custom shade sail solution need was bigger than the job of an umbrella. It needed to provide his pool with sufficient shade, privacy from neighbouring apartments and also prevent leaves falling from neighbouring trees into his pool. And to make such a tall order just that bit more complicated, the only access our team had to the property was through a narrow gate and stairs down the side. We performed a 3D survey including natural ground, deck extents, pool extents, existing fencing, and the existing house structure. Our team’s design expertise and creative problem solving delivered a custom waterproof shade sail with a 3-fold solution that covers his pool acts as a leaf guard and offers him and his family complete privacy.


San Kai Japanese Restaurant

Excellence Award Winner – Commercial Blinds & Awnings – Commercial

San Kai Japanese Restaurant needed an all-weather solution to increase the usability of an outdoor dining area and having no posts were the main design criterion. With screen damage and leaky awnings that were beyond repair creating a mess, San Kai tasked our team with creating a new all-weather solution to match their elegant aesthetic. We did 3D modelling to ensure the structure could stop wind-driven rain from entering the restaurant. The installation had to happen over multiple days and within tight time frames, as we had to work outside restaurant opening hours but within residential noise limitation requirements. We designed and installed a beautifully sleek, all-weather waterproof commercial shade structure with no posts that offer the restaurant greater capacity during rainy conditions, increasing its profitability.

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  • Versatile Structures Headshots

    Jamie Howard - Director

    Co-founder and Director Jamie has been hands-on in the shade and steel industry since leaving school. With over 15 years’ experience in shade, membrane and steel projects, Jamie is excited about the design opportunities shade structures offer in the commercial and industrial sectors. Jamie’s extensive design skills give him a competitive edge in situations with technical design complexity. He has won two personal industry awards for his designs, alongside many company-won awards.