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ARCHITECTURAL

DESIGN

The process of designing a building, space or structure typically consists of these design phases.

DESIGN PROCESS: 

STEP 1: SITE VISIT

On the site, consider:

  • climate responsive design and site specific variables

  • orientation

  • cool breeze access

  • solar access

  • views

  • overshadowing by landforms, trees and buildings (site survey)

  • slope (site survey)

  • soil type (geotechnical report)

  • bushfires risks

  • stormwater drainage

  • access and transport

  • services (power, gas, phone, water, sewer).

 

STEP 2: BRIEF DEVELOPMENT, FEE PROPOSAL + DESIGN CONTRACT

  • Review your preliminary budget and your brief 

STEP 3: CONCEPT DESIGN 

  • We will provide initial design drawing concepts

 

STEP 4: DESIGN DEVELOPMENT

  • This important stage includes preliminary room arrangements, window opening sizes and orientation, indication of indoor–outdoor flow, furniture layouts and preliminary choice of construction systems.

  • The decision-making process for materials selection also progresses during this step as external and internal finishes are considered. Take this opportunity to identify sustainably sourced materials with low life cycle environmental impact.

  • Construction costing is based on a rate per square metre, as is the cost of heating and cooling your home. The larger the home, the more it costs to build and operate. Reducing the size and reallocating that budget to sustainable features is an important focus during this stage of design. Trimming just a few square metres from each room can pay for double glazing or a photovoltaic array.

STEP 7: FINAL DESIGN

Make your final design and selection decisions of the following matters

  • floor plan and building form 

  • construction systems 

  • window type, size and orientation 

  • shading solutions 

  • external finishes 

  • heating/cooling system 

  • major appliances (Hot water system; Renewable energy)

  • water systems, e.g. rainwater tanks and water recycling

  • landscape design (Landscaping and garden design)

  • interior design and finishes

STEP 8: COUNCIL PERMITS, APPROVAL, PLANNING AND CONSTRUCTION CERTIFICATION

  • A statement of environmental effect is commonly required at planning approval stage. This generally seeks an undertaking that your development will have no adverse impact on the local environment and often has a detailed checklist of items to be addressed.

 

STEP 9: DESIGN DETAILING

In this stage, design and construction details are finalised and documented. These documents typically include:

  • working drawings (details of how the design is to be built)

  • a specification of the materials, standards, finishes and products to be used

  • NatHERS (or BASIX in NSW) rating

  • engineering design and certification.

Final schedules of materials and quality of finishes are documented in the specification by reference to Australian Standards, industry definitions of practice and desired outcomes that are not noted on the plans. Specifications are critical to achieving sustainable outcomes because it is here that sustainable inclusions, practices and finishes are spelled out and linked to the contract.

References and additional reading

ACT Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate - Planning.  www.planning.act.gov.au

Association of Building Sustainability Assessors. www.absa.net.au

Australian Institute of Architects. www.architecture.com.au

Australian Institute of Building Surveyors. https://aibs.com.au

Australian Local Government Association. alga.asn.au

Building Commission Victoria. [additional reading now found on www.vba.vic.gov.au]

Building Designers Association of Victoria. www.bdav.org.au

Building Designers Australia. www.bdaa.com.au (follow links to relevant state chapter)

HIA GreenSmart professionals listed by postcode: [additional reading now found on  www.mbavtraining.com.au]

Home Design Directory. Construction cost calculator. www.homedesigndirectory.com.au

Master Builders Australia. www.masterbuilders.com.au

MyDesigner. www.mydesigner.net.au

New building cost guides. [additional reading now found on www.corelogic.com.au]

Northern Territory Department of Lands, Planning and the Environment. www.dlpe.nt.gov.au

NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure. www.planning.nsw.gov.au

Queensland Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning. [additional reading now found on www.statedevelopment.qld.gov.au]  

South Australian Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure. [additional reading now found on www.saplanningportal.sa.gov.au]

Sustainability Victoria. www.sustainability.vic.gov.au

Tasmanian Infrastructure and Resource Information Service (IRIS), Planning and Development. [additional reading now found on www.cbos.tas.gov.au]

Victorian Department of Planning and Community Development. [additional reading now found on www.planning.vic.gov.au]

West Australian Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage. www.dplh.wa.gov.au/

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