Green Architecture, Excellent house design, Healthy living

WORKING DRAWINGS COMPLETED

The process to complete working drawings can sometimes be long winded and especially when Christmas and holidays occur in the middle of the process but here we are ready to lodge to council.

It always surprises me however that there may be issues about the time it takes to do the working drawings and details but the council can take as long or longer to approve a building license when all they do is check the drawings that have been supplied.

The next step is to take schedules of materials and determine a building programme and time to construct integrating all the sub-trades and supportive contractors. The only way to save time in a build is to ensure the planning is well documented.

Those who fail to plan plan to fail so it is vital that all of our projects are planned from beginning to end. Also there is an old proverb that speaks about what fool would build a tower without first counting the cost unless he get half way through and not have enough money to finish. You can’t plan too much in my opinion.

The council has finally sent a letter requesting additional information and I cannot help thinking this is to delay the whole process giving them time to complete their workload that has increased because of Parliament legislating so much in the building industry that the councils workload has increased ten fold. The problem with legislation is that it doesn’t ever provide for common sense. Anyway we have to identify the insurer for the project and also prepare additional drawings showing the actual design of the staircase which is shown in the drawings to the required codes allowing for the correct treads and risers and on site will have to be checked in any event for accurate heights and distances once the structure is up.

Still is it great that it has come this far and they give us 21 days to respond otherwise we have to go through the process all over again to resubmit for the building permit. Oh and while I am on that subject the law makers have now decided to change the application to a building permit and no longer is it for a builders license, which makes sense but why do we really pay wages to these people who legislate how we should live our lives, it seems they plan the rules in a darkened office somewhere and yet the councils have the best Architecture in the country it seems but don’t think to seek advice from those who have voted them in to begin with. Ah well that is government and we have no way of eliminating it so follow the rules and toe the line and stop fighting city hall because you will never win.

Maylands New Home in second phase

The wheels turn slowly, it is a juggling act keeping things moving with balancing council requirements, clients wishes, compliance drawings and someone to pay for it all until the banks come to the party. This is why it is easier if you have funding to begin with.

On Tuesday we employed Advanced Building Engineers to design the structure for the new house design, the floor slab, size the beams to carry the floor to the second storey and detail the roof construction. Robert David the Managing Director was very helpful and explained the process with clarity and simplicity and their costs were not as high as other engineers.

Robert advised that we have to obtain a GeoTech report which will be an additional fee as the Maylands area is the worst for soil types. In fact there can be sand on one site and right next door can be clay and according to Robert the clay can move as much as a metre in any direction so a foundation has to be designed to give allowance for that extreme level of movement.

We have appointed wageotechnics to carry out our subsoil tests to determine the soil types. They spend two hours on site taking soil samples and then they prepare a report including drawings and detail investigations of the soil to present to Advanced Building Engineers and ultimately council to satisfy the building requirements.

Wageotechnics have provided in excellent time the GeoTech report at a cost of $1250 plus GST. The information clearly identifies soil types to ensure the right structure is built to the soil capacity and reduce the risk of building failure. With that information the engineers are now able to complete their structural details moving us closer to an application for building license.

We finally have our engineering from Advanced Building Engineers, it was delayed because in my phone calls they said it had been posted and I thought the Christmas postal service may have caused delays. However the delay was because the office receptionist had thought the payment had not been made and instead of phoning to check left the plans at reception. I arrived to collect another job and asked about them and was told they had not been sent out for that reason.

Sometimes delays in a project are beyond our control and even though you someone may tell you it has been sent there is never any guarantee until it is in your hot little hand. Anyway it is now time to complete the working drawings so we can present the project to council for the final stage a builders license and price the job properly.

 

 

Council Responses Oct 2011

Communication from council has uncovered some issues on this tight site which proves to my mind that you cannot legislate for good design. The requirement under the R-codes is that an Alfresco have a minimum area of 24m2 with a minimum depth of 3m. While this design provides for an area of 27m2 and would feel much larger than a 4x6m square Alfresco we have only 23m2 of actual useable Alfresco area at the 3m depth. This means that we would have to reduce the size of the lounge area which would compromise indoor living spaces.

I can only speak well of the council though as they try to enforce these laws, they have been supportive and accommodated us in every way. I can only imagine the stress they feel when their hands are tied in a situation like this and more and more often they must be subjected to issues like this as blocks become smaller and smaller.

The result has been given by them now to allow the Alfresco which proves that they are sensible and listen to reason. A job well done. Now watch for the construction and obtaining the building license.

10th Oct 2011

Verbal approval has been granted through the planning officer we have been dealing with. Yeah Ha!

20 Oct 2011

Although we had verbal approval we have not had written confirmation as yet. Reason being in that the council did not receive our emails for some reason they had been sent to the administrator. It is important to follow up any correspondence and ensure they receive it in a timely manner to prevent delays.

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