In order to maximise the benefits of our energy efficient design services, we undertake a thorough site analysis for the particular site.
There are many issues associated with the site that will affect the design, including: Orientation, prevailing breezes, slope, vegetation, environmental issues, views, privacy from adjoining sites, etc.
Site constraints as identified by the local council will also need to be addressed. These can include whether the land is bushfire prone, flood prone or other issues that may affect the design.
Other issues such as existing services or infrastructure may affect the construction budget or the location of the building on the site. For example, you may have an unregistered drainage easement that runs through the site. This may not be shown on the Registered Plan, but will restrict the position of any buildings nonetheless and needs to be identified very early to avoid redoing the site plan.
The next issue to be addressed is the soil test. By knowing early on what type of soil is present can help make informed judgments as to the best method of construction to suit the site.
Finally, in order to facilitate the design process, we engage a surveyor to prepare an accurate site plan. This enables us to ensure that everything fits, is correctly orientated and that heights are correct avoiding costly errors down the track.
This is a critical part of the design process.
The more thought and time that the client puts into this stage, the greater chance of success and
opportunity to save time, energy and money.
The design brief puts on paper all of the ideas you wish to encompass in your project. At this stage the
brief is abstract and includes lists but need not be graphic. It includes prioritized lists of what the house must have, must not have and could have. It should indicate budget guidelines, style preferences, lifestyle and family structure. It allows us to compare your requirements with planning and zoning rules and site constraints to ensure everything is permissible.
We have created a “design brief template” to assist in this process.
After the design brief has been completed, we can begin to convert the abstract ideas into graphic concepts. The information gathered from the site analysis, the site survey, the land constraints and the design brief is all combined to come up with ideas of what the building might look like and where it could be placed on the site.
It will show proposed room layouts, building shape, roof ideas, siting and orientation. Two or three options are generally developed at this stage with the client selecting a preferred option that will become the DA plans.
Once an option is chosen, Scale drawings are produced which show room sizes, ceiling heights ,cross sections, doors and windows, external wall colours and finishes, roof design and colours . Floor areas are calculated and notes are added to the drawing as required by council. At the same time that the DA Plans are being produced; a BASIX certificate is also generated. BASIX is a NSW state government initiative to reduce energy and water consumption and is a compulsory part of the application. Any other reports required (e.g. bush fire reports) are added to the application and the plans can now be submitted to council for assessment.
Whilst the DA plans contain all of the information required to assess whether the plans comply with the town planning laws, they do not contain the construction details needed by the builder.
DA plans can be thought of as showing what the building looks like.
Construction plans on the other hand show how the building is put together and stays together.
They show specific details, floor and roof framing plans, beam sizes, spacing’s and spans and engineering details. The plans are sent to structural engineers, truss and frame manufacturers for their input.
Once complete, the construction drawings are ready for builders to quote on your new home.