Not including the right amount of detail in the brief
It is essential to include an appropriate amount of detail in the brief, and failing to do so can result in one of the following undesirable situations:
- Producing a brief that is incomplete or unclear, which may lead to misinterpretations and failures in communication. Ultimately this can result in a house that does not meet its initial objectives or the needs of the people it was designed for. It can also generate time delays or extra costs if adjustments to the design have to be made in later stages of the project.
- Writing a brief that is too detailed and specific in its requirements will limit the ability of designers to find creative solutions for the needs and aims of the people that will live in the house.
Not using a Design Brief for Group Housing or Design & Build projects
Even though you have less input into design with these types of projects, a Design Brief helps to communicate your requirements to the company constructing your home. A conversation about which requirements they can and cannot provide can then be had with the company. Revising the Design Brief following this process also establishes a benchmark against which the finished house can be measured.
Designing only to permitted activity
District Plan rules stipulate what building activity is permitted, and a house that meets all the rules does not require resource consent.
However, the best design outcomes for a particular site may require a house that falls outside of the permitted activity and designing within the limits may weaken the end result. You should weigh this up against any perceived consenting risks during the Design Brief process in order to arrive at the best solution for you. If you have engaged a design professional to help write your Design Brief they may be able to give some guidance on the actual level of consenting risk. Auckland Council can also provide guidance.
Houses can require consent for a variety of matters, such as earthworks or vegetation clearance - so even if the design complies with the development controls (i.e. it is under the minimum height and far enough away from the boundary) it may still require consent.