MATERIALS: TL-5® cladding in ZINCALUME® steel
ARCHITECT: Joshua Duncan



For young up and coming West Australian architect, Joshua Duncan, there’s beauty in simplicity – it’s one of the main reasons he turns to the Fielders® steel roofing and cladding catalogue for his growing list of projects, but rather than opting for the COLORBOND® steel colour palette, he’s taken a liking to unpainted ZINCALUME® steel.

“There’s a nice depth to ZINCALUME® steel, there’s an honesty about it, nothing pretentious at all – it is what it is,” Josh explains.

“Although it’s a simple material, it has a beauty to it with its metallic lustre and ability to capture the varying colours of light through the day. These reflective qualities also help achieve good environmental outcomes.”

After graduating from university in 2016, Josh plied his profession in Perth for several years working in commercial architecture, while also pursuing his interest in the residential field through project work.

When COVID hit, he returned to Kealy, a suburb of Busselton, and began to grow his fledgling practice, carving out a niche in the market by offering clients a bespoke architectural experience but in a more economical way.

Josh’s portfolio heavily features Fielders® steel cladding, where he’s applied these materials in unique ways. An example of his love for steel – particularly ZINCALUME® steel – can be seen in his recent ‘Kealy House’ project.

Offering a different take on the typical single story, Aussie suburban home, the flexible dwelling was designed to provide comfortable living for a young couple, as well as creating an income opportunity through two separate bedrooms with ensuites, that can be accessed independently.

The home’s design is dominated by Fielders TL-5® cladding made from ZINCALUME® steel where it has been used for the roof and applied vertically as wall cladding.

Providing separation between roof and walling while articulating window openings and adding a further design element, is an entablature that runs horizontally around the house. This too is formed using ZINCALUME® steel but introduces the Fielders S-Rib™ profile to the design. Capping off the exterior facades is an exaggerated drip flashing datum that wraps around the home’s perimeter.

Josh said that Kealy House and several other projects where he’s specified ZINCALUME® steel were once farmlands that had quite recently been subdivided for new homes to be built.

“Though the use of ZINCALUME® steel wasn’t a direct contextual reference, I was conscious of the fact that it was one of the primary materials used to clad the agricultural buildings which were once prevalent in the area,” he said.

And just as those honest, hardwearing materials provided years of functional, affordable and low-maintenance performance for pastoralists, so too would these qualities shine through for the homeowners of Kealy House, according to Josh.

“ZINCALUME® steel offers durability, it won’t fade or peel under the hot WA sun – it’s also virtually maintenance-free,” he said.

“Cost effectiveness is another attractive feature of Fielders® cladding, especially when manufactured from ZINCALUME® steel.

“The bulk of my clients have budgets only just above that of the typical project home market, which is still often well below that required for a full architectural home.

“Part of achieving good budgetary outcomes for them is made possible by choosing the right materials – it’s about keeping it simple, finding the most direct methods and cost-effective means of doing things.”

Josh said that Fielders steel cladding was also easy for builders to work with.

“It’s a straightforward product that’s easy to use, most builders are familiar with the material. In most cases, installation doesn’t require a specialist skillset, I can specify it safely without having to worry that I’ll be scaring the builder,” he said.

Josh’s broad use of Fielders® cladding on Kealy House and many of his other projects can be seen on his website.

Kealy House by Joshua Duncan Architect