Planning on building a new home, renovating, or undertaking property development then you need to assemble your own team of professionals to get the best project outcomes, here are some tips to help you get it right:
The contribution of each member of the project design team will be very important to securing your desired goals and outcome. Consider some of the more important ones:
Owner/Builder, Project Manager, and Professional Builder or Developer
- Set out in your design brief or state in the project scope your key criteria in design and construction relative to EER. (Energy Efficiency Rating)
- Use the new knowledge gained from this Book to make others aware that you are knowledgeable on the subject (keep it in front of you as a guide at meetings).
- Lead the project team effectively and let them know your EER is not up for negotiation.
- Make sure all design options are tabled and discussed prior to making any decisions.
- Do your homework by speaking with other professionals, and those who have past or recent experience. Don’t be tempted to reinvent the wheel if there is an easier or proven method.
- Check out any government funding, grants or assistance that may be available for you.
- Provide ongoing status reports and initiate corrective action where required.
- Attend Book seminars and workshops to gain full understanding and coaching.
Architect or Building Designe
- Are fully qualified and licensed to do the work, and have a good understanding of the owner or builder’s project design brief.
- Play an innovative role on material selections prior to proceeding with any design work.
- Consult with the EER consultant prior to commencing work to examine key issues.
- Carry out site inspections to identify weaknesses in the building that will require a sustainability audit.
- Comply with legislation changes in so far as it may affect EER to avoid abortive work, which can be costly in terms of time and money.
- Get the EER Consultant to undertake sample modeling using the necessary software and address any assumptions at the concept design stage.
- Carry out further EER modeling reviews upon completion of the concept design; if in line with pre-determined goals, proceed with design development drawings and specification.
- Undertake a major review of the completed working drawings, and make any necessary adjustments to get an even better EER, if possible.
- Obtain from the EER consultant the formally signed EE report; if acceptable include it in the submission package for development approval and/or building rules consent/permit.
- Double check that the requirements of the working drawings and EER are incorporated into the project or building contract specification, and that there are no errors or omissions.
- Package documents in readiness for bids from selected builders and/or trade contractors.
- Answer any queries from tenders during the bidding phase.
- Carry out regular site inspections to ensure compliance with the contract.
- Check your local Planning Department list of approved EER consultants, their qualifications and experience prior to engaging them. Your building designer may know of one they can recommend if you are in doubt.
- The EER Consultant should be engaged in the preparation of the owner’s design brief. In some cases this may include the builder’s project design brief in the event a design and build project delivery option is adopted by the owner.
- The EER Consultant should consult with the owner or builder and building designer to influence material selections prior to proceeding with any design work.
- Use past experience to map out the design direction—taking into account the location, orientation, vegetation and degree of exposure to prevailing winds and the like.
- The EER Consultant should organize with the owner and designer to visit the proposed project site and discuss relevant information per the foregoing item, which can have a major impact on the design or on the EER.
- If a site has yet to be purchased, assist the owner and real estate agent or land developer in examining alternative sites with improved opportunities in relation to orientation, location, exposure ratings, and other major topographical and geographical considerations.
- Ensure where possible north/south orientation is achieved.
- Check out changes in legislation as it may affect the EER to avoid abortive work, which can be costly.
- Undertake sample modeling using the approved and accredited software and note any assumptions at the concept design stage.
- Carry out further EER modeling reviews upon completion of the concept design, and see if it is in line with pre-determined goals prior to proceeding with any further design work.
- Do a major review with the building designer upon completion of the working drawings, and make the necessary changes to ensure achievement of the desired EER.
- Provide the approved EE Report and if it is acceptable to the owner/builder, issue it for inclusion in the package to be submitted when applying for Building Rules Consent or Building Approval.
- Assist in the review of the working drawings and EER regarding specifications.
- Answer any queries from tenders.
Building Certifier or Building Surveyor
- Ensure they are suitably qualified and licensed to do the work, and have a good understanding of the owner or builder’s project design brief.
- Play an innovative role on reviewing material selections prior to assessment.
- Discuss with the EER consultant regarding issues or queries.
- Ensure the EER complies with the provisions of your National Building Code and Standards
- Ensure compliance with National or State or Territory legislation regarding the EER.
- Undertake the certification process and seek any necessary amendments to achieve the legislated EER.
If you fall into any of the categories listed at the beginning of the blog this will be very useful to you particularly if you are new to the building environmental design process.
The blog will also be of great benefit to students and members of the community just seeking some additional knowledge on the subject.