Work with the site Print

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Desi​gn Checklist​​​​

  1. ​​The building platform works with the existing conditions of the site​​


​​​​​​​​​​Sites that are narrow, steep, or have limited road frontage offer fewer development opportunities than other sites and will need careful design to ensure the development is of good quality.

A Design Statement​ is a key tool for ensuring a successful design and is widely accepte​d as best practice among professional design teams.  In forming a Design Statement, developers will need to assess the existing conditions of the site and wider area and show how the design responds to them.

Maori cultural values also directly align with best practice site design. A deeper understanding of how these values relate to the site can encourage a more sophisticated design response.

Slope is a significant issue when designing a development. It often increases the complexity of site planning, including the provision of vehicle access onto the site, and can increase the effect of new developments on neighbours by making the new development more visible within the surrounding neighbourhood.​​

Better Design Practice

The design of the site should protect and enhance the natural environment as much as possible.  
It is best practice to reference Māori cultural values. How these are referenced will depend on the scale of the project, but early and ongoing engagement with mana whenua is the best way to understand the principles as they relate to the site, and how to respond appropriately.​

Prepare a thorough analysis of the site before any design work is undertaken.
This will identify key features and ideas that will shape the design, including: 
  • sun exposure and prevailing wind directions, so that the house and any private open spaces will get the maximum amount of sun, and so that outside areas are sheltered from the wind; 
  • existing trees and positive features which should be retained, and any tricky areas such as overland flow paths and underground services that should be avoided; 
  • important views and connections from the site, and views from the wider neighbourhood onto the site (Tohu); 
  • site contours and potential locations for building platforms, car access and open space. The final floor levels of the house will have a large impact on how much sun the house receives; 
  • potential level changes between the street and building platform, which will determine how easy it is to provide step free access to the building.

Keep mature trees where possible. 
This is a very effective way of integrating a new development into the existing environment. 
​Work with the existing landform.  
​Minimise earthworks where possible, and try and retain the natural topography of the land.
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