Member Spotlight - Trevor Rufus

Updated: Oct 10, 2019

Member: Trevor Rufus

Branch: Central Queensland

One of our inaugural members, Trevor Rufus joined the BDAQ in 1990 as an opportunity to be part of an organisation of like-minded individuals who were on a path to have their profession officially recognised. He enjoys the camaraderie & knowledge pool that comes with being part of the association.

Trevor Rufus

We're lucky enough to have Trevor share his experience, anecdotes and key projects with us this week as one of our Member Spotlights!

Career Background:

I grew up in Maryborough and completing grade 12 at the Maryborough Boy’s High. I left Maryborough after that to take up a civil drafting position in Rockhampton with the Dept of Main Roads.

I realised I’d made the wrong career choice about 5-6 years in and started drafting and designing buildings part time. I left the Dept in June 1980 to pursue a full time building design career.

I joined the BDAQ under the “grandfather clause”, which was created for old hands with no formal qualifications and who were already established in business.

Time with BDAQ

I am an inaugural member of the BDAQ and attended the very first meeting in Rockhampton which was called urgently at the time to address the threat of the “responsible design clause’ proposed to be introduced into Building Act of the day by the architect fraternity. I currently hold a mid-rise licence.

The design awards are a very important part of BDAQ - they showcase what other designers are doing and provide a benchmark for all of us.

The other great thing about BDAQ is the knowledge pool of the members. This is an underutilized resource, but in time I see becoming key to advancing the profession as a whole.

The 1994 Management Committee - Trevor Rufus as Central VP

Rufus Design Group

We have a small team of 4 including myself.

  • Lois looks after the administration side of the business and coordinates project delivery and outside consultants. She’s been with us for 14 years.

  • Dale looks after most of our industrial and commercial projects as well as being our compliance guru and has been with us for 29 years.

  • James is our creative person and designs all our custom designed homes and has been with us for 15 years.

I still check nearly every job that leaves the office and keep a close eye on our level of documentation. I see my work as a sort of art form and tend to drive my staff up the wall a bit with wanting our drawings to look a certain way.

We are best known for custom designed homes in the middle to high end range as well as large and complex renovations. We also have a solid client base in the commercial and industrial fields and do the bulk of the buildings for the Woorabinda Aboriginal Community.

The 3 of us do our initial concept designs as a hand drawn sketch, unless the design is very straight forward, then it goes straight to CAD. Later concept versions are sometimes traced over a CAD outline. I offer hand drawn alternative designs to CAD

Personal Life

I am the youngest of 3 children and I have 6 children myself, 5 sons and a daughter. I am currently the grandfather of 8 with 2 more grandchildren on the way.

I like the outdoors, have been a keen canoeist all my life and enjoy camping. I like to stay fit and regularly run, swim and do weights.

I have a keen interest in the area of human potential with Joe Dispenza being one of my favourite authors and speakers.


Casa Nostra motel and RV Home Base

The site is 22 areas on the northern outskirts of Rockhampton adjacent to a 40 unit motel the client already owned. The brief was to develop a motel complex of standalone 1 and 2 bedroom dual motel units.

The whole development is comprised of pavilion roofs, even the carports. To maintain this theme was a challenge in stage 3, which was a block of 6 units. However, by stepping the middle 2 units forwards, we were able to maintain the pavilion theme.

The thing I like most is the freedom of design we have, with the client approving almost everything we submit. If anything gets changed, it’s usually me coming up with a better idea. This also makes us responsible for the success of the design, so the buck stops with us on this project.

Two storey French Provincial Residence

The clients brief was to design a true to style 2 storey French Provincial Residence.

A 2 storey rendered block house with a glass fronted lap pool, tiled roof, personal lift, suspended concrete external upper decks and balconies, and a curved internal staircase with traditional wrought iron handrails.

The French provisional style has specific features including wrap around mouldings which are generally consistent across the many variations of the style. The original styles appear to be based on a ground floor ceiling height of 3m or over. We couldn’t achieve this being limited to 18 risers, so changed the upper French doors opening on the Juliette balconies into deep windows (resembling doors) with a sill height 300 above floor level.

What I like the most about this project is we are involved in construction and continue to provide additional sketches and solutions as necessary and get to see the challenges faced during construction.

Want to find out more about Trevor and his work? Visit his website: www.rufusdesigngroup.com


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