The DVDs relate to basic methods of construction of largely domestic dwellings. Things like concrete slab preparation and pouring, basic brick work and timber frame construction are covered. They are by no means intended to be a complete "how to" guide on video but document common methods.

The intention of the DVDs was originally to provide students of Architecture with an understanding of the methods and processes commonly involved.

The quality of these is variable and is dependent on the source materials which were largely colour U-Matic videos shot from the mid 70's to the early 1980's. Most of the methods are still relevant in construction today.

For copies of any of the DVDs please contact the National Film and Sound Archive.



For copies of any of the DVDs please contact the National Film and Sound Archive.


House construction methods DVDs


Site to House (2003)

The architectural design and construction from virgin site to a small house in 1963, in two colour films of 14.5 and 13 minutes respectively, originally intended as a teaching aid but now an historical recording of the House at Palm Beach by the architect-film-maker and web-site owner.





Project House Construction and House Construction (2004)

This project was created in the 1980s as two films, one of a poorly constructed builder’s project house, and the other of an architect’s house, edited as seven “clips” showing the work of different trades.




House Construction: Concrete slab on ground (2009)

From vacant site, through excavation, ground-works, vapour barrier, laying steel reinforcement, pouring concrete (by pump) and finishing the slab. The original video. illustrated with computer graphics, was recorded in 1995. 17 minutes.




House Construction 2: Timber wall framing on a concrete slab (2010)

This film describes through site visits and workshop demonstration the framing for a timber or brick veneer house that is built off a concrete slab on ground. The original video, shot in 1995, was not completed until 2010.




Commercial / public building methods and issues DVDs


Building Appraisal (1970/2008)

The film was photographed in Black and White in the Glasgow winter of 1969/70, revised in 1982, and restored in 2008. It outlines research by the Building Performance Research Unit at the University of Strathclyde into school buildings, using a multi-disciplinary approach. 19 minutes.




Glasgow Tenement Rehabilitation by ASSIST (1974/2004).

In 1974 consumer video equipment was bulky and heavy in two items, recording on reel-to-reel tape, black and white images of poor quality. Cameraman, Paul Frame and the author persisted and produced this historic video. ASSIST, as part of the Department of Architecture and Building Science, University of Strathclyde, developed a creative way of rehabilitating old stone Glasgow tenements in contrast to the rip-everything-down and rebuild-as-high-rise-and-four-storey-flats, thinking of the day. The video shows that ASSIST was aware of, and sensitive to the social implications of renewal Vs rehabilitation. 33 minutes.




Design Precedent form the Urban Past (2006)

This is compiled from a pot pourri of historical super 8 mm film, slides and videotape to explain the Modern Movement in urban design, the attitudes of Sydney residents to it, and the philosophy of “designed randomness” for the new University town of Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, that was begun in the early 1970s. 15 minutes.




Construction of a Multi-Storey Building (2003)

Filmed in 1966/67. This black and white film traces the construction of a 13 storey office building in central Sydney over a ten–month period, showing the methods of construction at the time. 40 minutes.




MLC Tower – structural testing (2004)

The MLC tower, some 70 storeys in central Sydney was an early example of using computer modelling to design the structure. To check the computer design a scale model, four metres high, was constructed and tested by the use of strain gauges. The colour film was taken during the making of the components on “Perspex”, cementing them together, and testing the whole structure in 1971. The film lay in a metal can until 2004 when it was edited.




Two Acoustics Films (1954, 1965/2004)

“Designing the Acoustics of a Concert Hall” (1954) is of historic interest for the showing of how an acoustic consultant, in the 1930, 40 and 50s, would use physical models to check drawn solutions to the acoustics of a concert hall (before the invention of computers). 6 minutes.

“Reducing Sound Transmission Through a Floor” (1965) shows how a concrete super-floor is poured and “lifted” on rubber vibration mounts to isolate impact noise from the building and floors below. 6 ½ minutes.

The films are not available separately.





Student projects from the University of Sydney


Architecture 1950s (2002)

Comprises student projects at the University of Sydney. The original colour film of 1951, 1953 and 1954 was re-edited in 2002 with the inclusion of a brief history of where architecture students were educated at the University from the mid-1920s to 1959. The projects show students making models of their designs for showing at public exhibitions at David Jones Art Gallery (in Sydney) in 1951 and 1954.




Architecture 1960s (2007)

Comprises student architecture projects at the University of Sydney. Original colour film, photographed in 1962 and 1967 shows projects from second year (two short films), and a complete year of first year architecture in 1967.




Drawing Demonstrations (2002)

Provides six separate examples filmed from 1962 to 1967 as teaching aids for first year architecture students at the University of Sydney. They include pencil and ink sketching, rendering in various colour drawing media, and perspective.




Australian architecture - historical observations


Australian Historical Architecture; three films (2003)

Includes possibly the first film to draw attention to heritage architecture around Sydney – Our Architectural Heritage, 1954 – the first professional sound film by the author. It is historically important for showing city landmarks in 1954. The two additional film clips show some parts of Tasmania (Port Arthur and Zeehan, 1963) and a black and white clip for a television program (mid-1960s) on Channel 7 on historical style generally. The films are not avaialbale separately.




Darlington School (2004)

The 16 mm film of the school in the inner suburb of Darlington was photographed in 1975, but thought to have been lost until the 1990s when it was transferred to digital and edited in 2004. Before demolition of the two of the three school buildings, first year architecture students at the University of Sydney were permitted to repaint them as projects in colour in 1972-3. The film includes interviews with pupils and their reaction to the colour schemes.