Topography Print

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Design Checklist​​​

  • The development works with the existing topography when designing for buildings, parking and outdoor spaces
  • Retaining elements are carefully integrated into the design of buildings and the landscape


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The placement and design of buildings relative to the site’s topography determine the levels of outlook, sunlight access and privacy received by occupants. It will also impact construction costs by determining the level of geotechnical engineering, earthworks and retaining required. Slope will impact the placement of access and parking and the quality of outdoor living spaces.​

Better Design Practice

Aim for civil structures and finished ground contours to appear as natural as possible by:​
  • avoiding straight vertical or horizontal planes that stand out when looking at the site
  • including space for planting and vegetation to soften the view of large scale engineering structures
  • making stormwater ponds appear like natural bodies of water, not artificial ’boxes’ with straight sides
  • balance cuts into the land with fills, instead of using cuts or fills alone, this can reduce the amount of earth transported to and from the site, reduce the need for large retaining walls and help buildings, parking and outdoor areas sit more naturally within the landscape
  • reduce the visibility of retaining by incorporating it into the overall building or landscaping design.​

Where relevant, design the building to respond to the ‘up-slope’ or ‘down-slope’ conditions of the site by:​
  • minimising front yard setbacks to achieve a close relationship between the building and street edge
  • creating flat outdoor spaces around the building by way of terracing.  Battering (creating a consistent slope) across the whole site creates unusable spaces
  • utilising the slope for undercroft (undercut) or basement car parking wherever possible
  • capturing special views or outlooks.

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