Building Design Services
Our service commences with an initial consultation in our office or onsite to get to know the brief and for us to get a feel for the project. This consultation entails discussions on proposed ideas, council restrictions, site challenges, and we give general practical advice. If you like our style and the expertise we have to offer, a detailed quote will be prepared and emailed to you. When this has met with your approval, you sign it, send it and pay a deposit. Then we begin and the process of designing your project can come to fruition. Upon getting to know your brief in detail, we usually have another detailed meeting on site, investigating the site and its micro-climate, checking solar access, vehicle access, services, slope etc. If it is a renovation, we also do a measure up and photograph to produce as-built drawings. In addition to this, we organise a contour plan for you with a licensed surveyor and depending on circumstances a soil test too. Our process is usually divided into three stages (four stages if you need to submit the plans for development application with council):
1. Sketch design:
Firstly we produce a bubble diagram showing the positions of the rooms in relation to the site so we can discuss the brief in greater detail. After this meeting, we produce an initial sketch drawing presented in coloured format which will include room layouts, room sizes, doors and windows etc. A plan, a section and an elevation of the building is produced to explain levels, heights, roof shapes and the general idea for the looks of the building. Often some landscaping suggestions are included in this ie ponds, pathways...
2. Design Development:
Once you approve the sketch plans, we start to get into the details of the building. Thinking about materials, solar access, building construction techniques, council regulations, this is when we combine all the technical information with our design creativity. Working with our 3D software Archicad, we can build a virtual model of your house which can be viewed and analysed from any angle. We can also show solar access to all rooms at any day of the year for thermal comfort. We also produce a 3D BIMx model of your house which is emailed to you so you can view on your own computer, iphone and ipad in your own time. You can explore from any angle, even go inside or hide the roof and look from above. Builders love having this software as they can show their tradesmen on site how the building actually looks and is built rather than having to make do with the old fashioned 2D drawings.
Once you are happy with the 3D model of your building, we proceed with the drawing documentation for tendering and council purposes. At this stage and along the way we liaise with other consultants such as Structural engineers, Soil technicians, Bushfire consultants, Energy assessors, Waste Water consultants etc. Sometimes a Development Approval stage is also required. All copies of building plans are produced in colour pdfs for clarity and presentation purposes and sent whenever and wherever is necessary to enable best practice communication. Council officers are always impressed by our standard of presentation and it makes it so much easier to get those challenging submissions through.
3a. Development Application (if needed)
Depending on the circumstances, an intermittent stage may be required in the process. This stage is necessary if you are building in a special development that requires covenants to be assessed or you are needing some major relaxations ie Code assessment with council. In this case it can be better to move cautiously and not produce too much documentation just in case they don’t approve your requirements. This way you are not going to waste money unnecessarily.