How residential building designers play an important role in compliance

When it comes to compliance in your building project, residential property designers play an important role. Here’s what you need to know.

14 November, 2022
How residential building designers play an important role in compliance

Australia’s design industry is amidst a complex legal and regulatory landscape in commercial and hospitality projects. However, when building a new residential property or starting a major renovation, there are still many hoops to jump through when complying with the rules and regulations of building in NSW, as well as your local council.  Before you begin, ensure you are taking all the necessary steps in the design phase. After all, the cost of compliance is cheaper than a re-build. 

Here, ES Design looks at compliance and the steps needed before starting any building project.

What is a Development Application (DA)?

A DA is a formal application for development that requires consent under the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act). This application is generally submitted to your local council and consists of standard application forms, to scale architectural plans, owner’s consent form and technical reports.

With over 25 years of experience, the team at ES Design can help you maximise the chances of a successful Development Application with our streamlined process. We work with the council and all relevant certifiers to create a design that aligns directly with your specifications and all planning requirements for a smoother process. 

New legislation for residential apartment buildings

Firstly, what is a residential apartment building? This is a group of apartments used for residential use. However, apart from a DA, a residential apartment building comes with its own rules and regulations. The apartment building design must comply with the NSW Department of Planning’s Apartment Design guide, which provides consistent planning and design standards for apartments across the state. The NSW Government recently introduced new legislation that tackles the issues with building residential apartments – The Residential Apartment Building (Compliance and Enforcement Powers) Act 2020 (NSW). Developers must now submit an Expected Completion Notice along with an Occupation Certificate. We welcome these changes. Quality developers, designers, contractors and suppliers have been competing against dodgy developers who have been cutting corners for too long. At ES Design, we keep you updated with the latest information and key planning and design regulation changes. 

Why is the residential building designer important?

The design process is far more complex than most people realise. Apart from the owner/developer’s needs, the property’s purpose, the various state and council regulations and the specific site all play a part in the design and must be considered during the planning process. 

Here are a few specific reasons why the design process is so important:

  • To ensure that it reflects the owner’s specific needs
  • To guarantee compliance with the BCA, Australian Standards, Building Fire Safety regulations and council requirements
  • To scout the site and ensure that the design plan is suitable
  • To ensure the best chance of Development Application (DA) approval

5 stages of the design process with ES Design

Stage 1: Project brief

We meet with our clients to discuss your proposal and explore the smoothest way to meet your objective for the property. Our design team suggests different options, and you may require a NSW Title Search, Deposited Plan, sewer diagram, survey or Section 10.7 Planning certificate before the design team begins.

Stage 2: Site visit

Depending on your site, some things may not be possible because of geographical limitations or council requirements. If the design project is a renovation, a drawing of the existing building will be done before starting on creative solutions.

Stage 3: Design brief and preliminary design

After creating a comprehensive summary of what is needed for your plan, sketches are produced, edited and amended and then finally, a preliminary design is sent to you. Any changes needed must be made at this stage.

Stage 4: Design Approval

Once all amendments have been, our team will document and detail the plans. They will also begin getting quotes from engineers, stormwater consultants and accessibility construction consultants.

Stage 5: DA lodgement

Your final plan will be lodged with the necessary documentation for DA approval. We also act as the applicant on your behalf to relevant local government authorities, and we are happy to talk to your council regarding your development or the application itself to help the process move along smoothly.

We are a dedicated and transparent team of industry professionals that are always available to answer your questions. If you’d like to find out more, navigate our website or call 0460 000 000 to speak to one of our experts for advice or information or to book an appointment.

Your source of design information.

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