Monthly Archives: October 2016

Statement of Environmental Effects

Drawings are only a small portion of what councils in Australia require to enable them to give consent to your development application, building permit or building licence. Reports such as Statement of Environmental Effects, BASIX (in NSW), waste management reports, geotechnical reports, landscaping plans and more may need to be lodged with your plans. To determine exactly what is required by your local council you will need to contact them directly or visit their web site.

 

What is the BASIX report?

BASIX is the acronym for “Building Sustainability Index”. Since October 2006 all development applications lodged in NSW for new homes, renovations and additions valued over $100,000 must contain a BASIX certificate. Applications for installing a pool or spa must also include a BASIX certificate. The BASIX certificate pledges the homeowner to water and energy saving commitments that must be verified by an accredited certifier before an Occupation Certificate is issued.

 

BASIX – Renovation case study

Paul and Jenny’s home is located in Umina on the Central Coast one hour from Sydney. The dwelling is a small 3 bedroom home with only one living space. It is the owner’s intention to make an addition to the home as well as improve the functionality of the existing plan. The construction type will consist of a timber roof, wall and floor structure and it will be supported on brick piers and clad in weatherboards and “colorbond” roof sheeting.

Paul and Jenny are making the following energy and water saving commitments:

  • Window and door overhangs have been increased from 600mm to 900mm providing maximum sun coverage in the summer and maximum sun penetration in the winter
  • Large windows and doors have been added on the North and East to keep living areas warm in winter. Note: Windows sizes on the south and west should be kept to a minimum size to reduce heat loss in winter and heat gain in summer
  • Insulation has been added to all roof areas and external walls of the new addition. Note: the higher the insulation’s “R” value the warmer you will be in winter and the cooler you will be in summer
  • Energy saving light fittings and globes will be installed into as many areas as possible. Note: there is now a good range of energy saving fittings and globes on the market that can be installed in wet areas, halls and bedrooms – allowing energy saving in these areas. Unfortunately there is a very limited selection of energy saving feature lights for areas such as living rooms and dining areas but BASIX does factor this issue into its calculations. The BASIX certificate will encourage the renovator to a 40% energy efficient light commitment on new or altered lighting.

Home Design Rules That You Need To Know

Designing your own home can be a very exciting undertaking. The design process is a complex juggling act and there are 6 golden rules that you should follow designing your own home.

1. Think in 3D

Professional home designers like building designers and architects are always thinking in 3D when they’re working on a new home or renovation. They are constantly incorporating and taking away design ideas in plan and in a 3D form at the same time. For some people this skill is instinctual, but it can also be learnt over time.

Thinking in the 3D form can be difficult, especially when it comes to converting your own 2D house plans into a well form and aesthetically pleasing building. Weather you have this skill or not it is essential to always think about how your ideas will look as a resolved building form or you’ll run the risk of your building looking like a plan with extruded walls and a roof stuck on top.

 

2.    Limit amounts of different building materials

Be very careful when using more than two types of external building cladding especially on the same plane (elevation). Research precedence’s for using the materials you want together, otherwise it could result in a messy façade & water leakage into the home. Ensure that material connections are well detailed and also ensure the builder understands how these materials will join while performing their essential waterproofing requirements. A neat trick is to step the building using a different material and avoid mixing materials at all on the same elevation.

 

3.    Use site conducive construction methods

Ensure the structure types you choose suite your site, building style and budget. During the design phase you’ll need to start thinking about construction types to ensure your building form will look appropriate to the style of building you are envisaging and will be affordable.

Using inappropriate construction types can;

  • Make a building look heavy when you had in mind a light weight home
  • Result in expensive building foundations

 

4.    Good design composition

A well designed building comes from seriously considering such things as proportion, symmetry and repetition.

  • Proportion – The building you design needs to match human scale and should not look visually out of proportion (to too big or too small). You need to understand this before you commit to the design.
  • Symmetry – Using symmetry is a simple and traditional method of ensuring a building looks visually comfortable.
  • Repetition – Using repetition in your design offers the building visual strength and comfort. Repetition in windows or doors can work really well in a design.

Kitchen That Stays True History

When Mass Design Group cofounder Alan Ricks decided to remodel his Boston apartment, he had a lucky head start: Ricks’s unit, on the top floor a charming 1850s brownstone, came chock-full of original architectural features. But there was still plenty of work to do, specifically in the kitchen; the dark exposed brick wall and wood trusses, previously stained a deep brown, didn’t jibe with Ricks’s dream of an airy gathering area where friends could mingle while a meal bubbled on the stove. Ricks promptly whitewashed those moody elements and stuck to a limited color and material palette, instantly brightening up the room and creating a simple backdrop for special elements to shine. “The idea that design affects behavior is true for the home as well,” he says. “Creating this open kitchen layout, for example, shapes the social dynamic and creates a bright, welcoming space that is great for entertaining.”

Mass Design Group has a “LoFab”—locally fabricated—approach to design, and Ricks applied the same philosophy to his personal project. “Design decisions were developed collaboratively with the craftsmen who would do the building, sourcing materials regionally wherever possible and taking opportunities to highlight the craft of construction.” Case in point: the kitchen’s custom stairwell. Another advantage of the apartment’s elevated perch—and what convinced Ricks to buy the home in the first place—was access to the rooftop. However, to appreciate the valuable outdoor space, you had to climb up a perilous folding ladder. No longer. Ricks worked with expert carpenters and metalworkers to create wood steps that rise from the floor to blend directly into the kitchen island, then curve up into a matte-white spiral stairway. “To achieve this in one piece, the stair had to be craned into place,” he says.

After three years of meticulous renovations, many mementos from Ricks’s trips to Africa, including masks from Sierra Leone and Liberia and a painting from Rwanda, became the finishing touches in the kitchen. There are surely many dinner parties in Ricks’s future, and we’re hoping for a citrus-yellow seat at the table.

Building a New Home Tips

Are you planning to build a new home? Then be sure to read the tips from home building expert Metricon, one of Australia’s leading home builders specialising in contemporary and modern homes. If you want your home to be as functional as possible, the following top 8 designs tips will put you on the right path.

1. The Open Floor Plan

Anyone building a new home should consider an open floor plan, as it creates a larger living area to entertain in and a versatile space. An open floor plan is both functional and inviting to families, as it brings all the living areas in the house into one large space. Metricon’s Chicago display home is one of the many designs which offer open plan modern living which gives the main living areas connectivity, giving a sense of space to your home design.

 

2. Less Is More

According to Metricon, the time of cluttered homes is long over, which is why it is important to incorporate a lot of built in storage space in your new home design. To avoid making your room feel cluttered look at adding functional wardrobes, cupboards and shelving into your new home. At Metricon, we incorporate many storage options in our designs for all areas of the house. So whether you are building a house just for yourself or a large family, we can provide you with all the storage options you need, from walk in robes to butler’s pantries.

 

3. Mix Contemporary with Traditional

Contemporary is a popular design choice for many, however to make sure your new home design stays timeless; add some traditional touches to your design. By mixing these two styles together, home owners can enjoy a modern but classic home which will not date in years to come. Metricon’s Bordeaux design is the perfect example of linking these two design elements together. Keep in mind, its fundamental to make your new house design feel like a home by adding your own personal touches and finishes.

 

4. Let There Be Light

Houses used to be designed with small windows and narrow doors. These trends have altered and Metricon focuses on maximising natural light in our house designs. A tip to help you incorporate this design element is to select large windows, glass sliding doors, light-wells and glass panels into your front door.

Franca Sozzani at Home in Paris

The living room features an Alvar Aalto lounge chair, a mink-covered Sacco chair by Zanotta, and two vintage Marco Zanuso Sleep-O-Matic sofas placed back to back. An Andreas Gursky C-print hangs in the hallway. Styling by Ana Cardinale.

An Alvar Aalto chair sits in the entrance hall.

A photograph from Shirin Neshat’s “Women of Allah” series hangs in the media room; the bookcase was designed by architect Massimiliano Locatelli, Sozzani’s longtime friend, who renovated the 19th-century townhouse.
 A stairway in Franca Sozzani’s art-filled French retreat, which AD was invited to tour just before the editor’s untimely death in December.
The living room’s labyrinthine plasterwork ceiling was executed by Hyde Park Mouldings. George Smith sofa in a Clarence House silk velvet with pillows of antique tapestry and a Scalamandré leopard print; cocktail table by Bullard.
Looking into the entry hall of Tommy and Dee Hilfiger’s historic house, where a 19th-century hunting dog painting is surrounded by antique antlers; the home was renovated by architect Andre Tchelistcheff and furnished by Martyn Lawrence Bullard.

Entry space for your home

The entry to your home can be a wonderfully functional space, yet many Australian homes don’t have one.

 

So what is an entry?

An entry is a transitional space, where your family and guests can be greeted, organised and redirected to other spaces within and around your home.  Your entry needs to (not only look great) but most importantly it needs to function well for it’s intended use, and you may need more than one!

 

The following 3 easy steps will guide you through the design process of creating well designed entries for your home.

 

1. Confirm number of entries required

Most Australian homes have a front and a rear access, as a result you will need to design two separate Entries for your home. We call these entry spaces the Front entry and Mud Room (for the rear entry).

 

2. Performance specification

You need to think about the way you use the current entries into your home. Write a list similar to the following for both the Front entry and the Mud Room:

 

Front entry

Needs to have a:

  • Store space for shoes, handbags, coats, school bags and a broom
  • Seat to put on your shoes
  • Powder Room close to this space for tradespeople and family to use
  • Enough space for you and your family to be able to fit into (1m²/person is adequate)
  • Lay off space for side table
  • Covered area outside front door for 5 people (5m²)
  • Direct access to the car space

How to design your own home

The home design process can be a tricky juggling act. The nine steps below will teach you the basics of the process that is followed by architects and building designers in the building industry. Follow this process and you will have a better chance of designing a home that functions well and looks appealing.

 

Tools you will need

  1. Sketch paper: you can buy purpose-made ‘Butter Paper’ from an art supply shop, but baking paper works just as well and can be purchased from your local supermarket for around $1.50 a roll.
  2. A3 Drafting board: these boards are portable and come with a rule that attaches horizontally to the board. It can be purchased from an art or drafting supply shop for about $150.00.
  3. Adjustable set square: this item is an adjustable clear plastic triangle that is essential in producing straight, angled, and vertical lines. This can also be purchased at an art supply outlet or drafting supply shop for around $30.00.
  4. Pencil: you can purchase a specialised drafting pencil (clutch pencil) but a standard lead (graphite) pencil will do fine. If you do purchase a clutch pencil buy one with a very thin lead otherwise. you will then need to buy a clutch pencil sharpener which is different from a regular pencil sharpener.
  5. Eraser: white Stanley erasers are the easiest to use and you can purchase these from the supermarket.
  6. Rule: you can use a regular rule for drafting in 1:100 scale but if you want to draw your building at a smaller or larger scale you will need a scale rule from a drafting shop. These typically cost $10.00.