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For residential work, the design process begins with an initial consultation to discuss the project, and confirm that it is achievable within town planning guidelines. A preliminary project budget is also confirmed.

A fee proposal is then prepared and upon acceptance of this, a Project Design Agreement is drawn up, detailing time-frames and other aspects of the design and documentation process.

The next step is a thorough investigation and evaluation of the site, including a detailed site survey, carried out by a registered surveyor, to confirm boundaries, levels and other site features. At this point a site analysis is prepared to assess the prevailing climatic conditions; the external impacts on the site; and any influences the design may have on adjoining properties.

A detailed design brief is then formulated to determine specific requirements. This brief, combined with the site analysis and project budget, allows concept design proposals and probable project costs to be formalised.

Design development of the concepts is undertaken when there is agreement on the final design approach. Assessment of construction techniques and materials is undertaken, with reference to energy rating simulation, to produce the best outcome for the project without compromising the budgetary constraints.

Working drawings are then produced along with any other documentation required for the application to be formally considered by Council. This includes an energy assessment of the proposal. These differ depending on the State in which the project is to be constructed, as do the processes involved in gaining Council approval.

Eastern Solar Design will see the project through to final approvals being granted and to final completion, if required.

Other project types follow a similar process but compliance with Parts of the Building Code of Australia is more arduous and often requires specialist consultants to be involved. For these projects, the initial consultation would explain these additional processes and costs.

For more information about designing eco-friendly and planet-friendly homes, including mud brick, pole-framed and rammed earth homes; energy-efficient commercial properties and other green and sustainable building projects,  contact Eastern Solar Design.

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