Town Planning – Review overlooking for your project

Town Planning – Review overlooking for your project.

When embarking on a new home, extension or even a deck you need to consider if you might trigger an “overlooking: issue. Hilly sites, incorrect fence coverage or heights, proximity to adjoining homes (windows) and private open space are all factors when a floor level rises above 800mm from ground level.

What rule: Under the planning standard A15 and B22 Overlooking is designed to protect existing windows and private open space from overlooking.

What does it cover: A habitable room window, balcony, terrace, deck or patio should be located and designed to avoid direct views into the secluded private open space and habitable room windows of an existing dwelling within a horizontal distance of 9 metres (measured at ground level) of the window, balcony, terrace, deck or patio. Views should be measured within a 45 degree angle from the plane of the window or perimeter of the balcony, terrace, deck or patio, and from a height of 1.7 metres above floor level.

Reasons for Review: This to provide some protections (up to 9 meters from proposed development to adjoining owners private space and habitual windows. So essentially this and many other regulations are designed to review for adjoining owners any implication from an adjoining development. This is fundamental to your design development and is carried out by The Project for each project brief.

To help you visualise what “overlooking” means the following diagrams from planning authority.

  1. This diagram sets up the basis for review. If an area is affected (is within hatched area ie: a window, major entertainment area etc.) this this triggers the need to provide a solution. Please follow this link for PDF here

The following diagrams provide some idea of how to calculate any impact

 

 

 

Why Us: The Project Centre with over 20 years experience provides our client’s with helpful feedback on impacts & solutions when we are undertaking their new building design. By commissioning a professional design company ensure your design is compliant or applications undertaken to seek council approval when applicable.

Registration changes domestic work under $10,000

Changes to registration requirements for domestic building work under $10,000

The Victorian Building Authority are making a change relating to non-registered builders and draftspersons engaged in domestic building works valued under $10,000 from 31st August 2017.

The previous limit allowed non-registered builder to perform work is the cost of such work including materials and labour was below $5000. The previous limit allowed non-registered builder to enter in to contracts and perform work if the cost of such work including materials and labour was below $5000.

The new changes are significant, in so much, as ceiling has risen but only if a building permit is not required. There remains some standard exemption which still require correct registration including a builder’s engaged in the re-blocking, re-stumping, demolition or removal of a home, plus other non-structural works.

This update therefore means a further reduction builder’s who are able to undertake any work, regardless of cost, if a permit is required. These might include Verandah’s, Carports, decking, structural renovations which all need a building permit.

In regards Drafting I’m not sure if an owner builder, for example, draws a plan without correct registration, would this be acceptable to applying for a building permit. I’m initially of opinion, that these simple but significant change would mean no they couldn’t draw a plan that requires a building permit. This is to be confirmed.

The current standard plan requirements needed and details required for all permit are such that an unregistered draftsperson or builder may not be aware of all the building requirements, codes and standards and certainly would not hold practitioners insurance etc.

The changes reflect governments clear concern and aim to protect the consumer when undertaking building works.

Visit the VBA website to find out more about registration and the latest changes to building regulations.

Owner Builder – New Building Act Changes from 4th July 2016

Owner Builder – New Building Act Changes from 4th July 2016

New Building Act Changes from 4th July 2016

New changes will come into effect for all building in Victoria from July 4th 2016. Whilst here has been a range of information leaking into the industry like all government act’s these come into effect regardless of consequence once released.vba logo

If planning to prepare yourself for a project particularly if an “owner builder” then ensure you read these new changes.

There’s good and bad and quite a few items to digest but two standouts are:

Good

Consent level raised from $12,000 to $16,000 when you need to get VBA consent to be an owner builder of your project. This will allow a reasonable small project to be considered prior to VBA approval being required.

“Remember you must be able to confirm and qualify your expected  project costs when applying for a permit”.

Bad

Owner Builders are on notice their projects will have the same scrutiny and inspections as any builder. So preparation, site conditions and have the correct compliant trades never been more important.

Higher level of Permit review with significant requirements on Surveyors to ensure they have all the correct documentation to enable them issue and administer a building permit.

I advise email advice we received…

Building Act changes that may affect you

The Victorian Government has made changes to the VBA’s powers and functions under the Building Act 1993. Some of these changes may affect your obligations under the law.

You can find all the information about how these changes relate to your work as a building practitioner generally, owner builder or a building surveyor specifically, by visiting the dedicated pages of the VBA website.

The first set of changes comes into effect on 4 July 2016. They include:

  • the extension of the VBA’s inspection powers to owner-built sites
  • new offences for undertaking work without a building permit
  • changes to powers to issue directions, notices and orders
  • a requirement on private building surveyors not to act where there is a conflict of interest
  • provision of a checklist for use by relevant building surveyors lodging building permits to councils

Further changes will be introduced in stages until July 2017.

Non Compliant Cladding Materials

Non Compliant Cladding MaterialsDockland fire building

The Builders Designers Association Victoria (BDAV) have advised further in regards revelation that some high rise buildings were found that the external cladding used was not non-combustible. The  Lacrosse building at docklands fire started from a smouldering cigarette on a second floor balcony of the Lacrosse tower in the Docklands in November 2014. It quickly spread to the 20th storey, causing $2 million in damage and forcing hundreds of people to evacuate. No one was killed however it raised the possibility of Non-compliant Cladding materials being used.

I Quote

“The Victorian Building Authority issued an announcement yesterday afternoon advising of its actions in relation to the audit of cladding on high rise buildings. This follows on from the fire at the Lacrosse Apartments in the Docklands precinct in November of 2014 in which it was found that the external aluminium cladding on the building contributed to the fire spread and did not meet compliance with the National Construction Code. The VBA noted it has contacted more than 20,000 building practitioners requesting information about possible non-compliant use of cladding, and is also requiring the builders and building surveyors of some 170 high rise buildings in inner Melbourne and surrounding suburbs built in the last 10 years to provide evidence that the external cladding complies with the NCC. To read the VBA announcement, CLICK HERE.

James Hardie have provided a technical bulletin relating to this issue CLICK

Domestically we are often challenged with the facts that choosing products is a daunting issue. To ensure the quality is not just a visual factor but a tested and proven factor is important. No more or less than the workmanship demanded from your builder. When selecting material it’s best to ensure the products tested and certified for the usage proposed.

We will find due to the above issue the requirement from Building Surveyors for designers and builders to produce documentation to confirm that the specified product meets Australian Standards and is fully installed, not switched out to a non-suitable product will become common place.