Update: Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018

Coomera Indoor Sports Centre

Construction on Coomera’s Indoor Sports Centre appears to be progressing slowly. This centre is to host the gymnastics, netball and basketball events at the 2018 Commonwealth Games as mentioned in a previous post: GC2018 Coomera. A pad has been excavated in preparation for the main concrete slab. A drilling rig is on site preparing some piles to support the main floor structure. In 4 week’s time I would expect to see plumbing and concrete reinforcement in place ready for a concrete pour. I will keep you posted.

#GC2018 coomera site 23/6/2015 #GC2018 coomera site 23/6/2015 #GC2018 coomera site 23/6/2015 #GC2018 coomera site 23/6/2015 #GC2018 coomera site 23/6/2015 #GC2018 coomera site 23/6/2015 #GC2018 coomera site 23/6/2015

Buying a block of land to build a new home? Four things you should know

Congratulations! You have decided to buy a block of land and build your own home. The decisions you make next could determine whether the project is a success or a journey full of frustration.land for sale

Four things you should know When Buying a Block Of Land

Before proceeding with the purchase of your chosen site it is recommended you start talking to a registered architect. This may or may not cost you 1 or 2 hours of their time but it will be a worthwhile investment before making this substantial purchase. Your architect will be able to give you feedback on what is possible on your chosen site and address some important questions:

1. How much space can i build on this site?

Building sites often have limitations on the amount of space you can gave on the block often referred to as site cover or floor space ratio. i.e. if you are planning a 800 square metre mansion on a 500 square metre block of land I would suggest rethinking your purchase to avoid possible planning approval implications.

2. Will Building on A sloping site be more expensive?

In general, yes, having a sloping site is likely to be add to the cost at slab stage. But, this is often influenced by the builder you select. In my experience, builders that are not used to building on sloping sites will often add a premium to the construction cost to cover themselves for construction methods they are not accustomed to using such as split level slabs. High volume project builders have a reputation for trying to turn sloping sites into flat platforms to accommodate their standard designs. Quite often the money you save (in these instances) in slab cost is later spent on additional excavation costs and landscape retaining walls. Builders that are not deterred, and have experience with sloping sites, will tend to take a more conservative approach. A builder will often suggest the best design for the site based on the types of construction techniques they prefer to build. Your architect will provide unbiased suggestions on the best and most cost effective way to design for the site then suggest builders that are better suited to your project.

3. How will the planning controls affect my project?

When you design your home from scratch and it is designed within the planning controls, it means you avoid a lot of the headaches associated with the approval process. An architect with a thorough understanding of the planning controls associated with your site will be able to educate you on the planning constraints that exist for your site.

4. Is it important which way The site faces?

The north point will indicate the best position for your living spaces on the site relative to the opportunities for views. If your ideal site views are to the east or west your architect may suggest some form of screening or other design solution to accommodate.

In summary, it is always best to have your home designed from scratch to best cater for the topography, planning constraints and views that exist on the site. A brief consultation with a registered architect will paint a clearer picture of what can be achieved prior to settlement on your dream block of land.

Feel free to contact me via Facebook or my website www.mdarchiects.com.au with any questions.

#Quote of the Day

A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars, it’s where the rich ride public transportation. Enrique Peñalosa, Mayor of Bogota, 1998–2001
“A developed country is not a place where the poor have cars, it’s where the rich ride public transportation.” – Enrique Peñalosa, Mayor of Bogota, 1998–2001

Local Architect: Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018 #GC2018

Coomera Indoor Sports Centre, Queensland Australia

I am very excited to see the beginnings of the Coomera Indoor Sports Centre, a new Commonwealth Games development in my own local precinct.


The Site

Located in Coomera, at the northern end of Gold Coast, Queensland Australia, the site is situated on a flat section of land surrounded predominantly by existing sporting fields, with amusement parks and a marine precinct nearby.


#GC2018 coomera site


The Architecture

Designed by BDA Architecture a local Broadbeach based firm with a strong reputation for quality architecture in association with Peddle Thorp. The new multipurpose facility will be host to a number of event finals including netball and gymnastics.




I like how the architect has been able to make a large building appear light and refined through the use of transparency and a finely detailed roof structure. This is emphasised by the way in which the wall peels away from the front corner of the building. The large entry void provides a dramatic sense of occasion as you approach the building.


The venue is to be constructed by Hansen Yuncken at a cost of $40 million and due for completion October 2016. Watch this blog for future construction updates.

Planning Controls and Approvals

All building projects require some form of approval. What types of approvals will be required for your new home and how do you ensure the process is as painless as possible?

Most approvals are divided into 2 parts:

  • Development approval
  • Building application


Development Approval

A development approval assesses the shape, size and form of the new home and it is your designer’s responsibility to ensure all requirements have been met prior to submission. A development approval is often submitted directly to Council however there are exceptions.

Body corporate estates

When living in a body corporate estate your development application is often made to a separate committee independent of Council. These committees have a detailed outline of planning requirements specific to that development. It is recommended to have your designer design within these constraints to ensure the approval process is as painless as possible. It is much easier to conform to the planning controls when your home is designed from scratch versus a templated project home. I find many project builders try to force their pre-designed homes onto a site without a proper understanding of the planning controls applicable for the site, with a reluctance to modify their designs to accommodate. This reluctance is often met with multiple rejections and a need for multiple resubmissions and additional costs.

Self-Assessable Applications

Many states allow for self-assessable applications. These are assessed by building certifiers on behalf of the Council. Building certifiers are accredited building professionals responsible for assessing your building plans against the relevant building codes. Contact your local council (or conduct a website property search) to confirm if your site falls under this category.

Before submitting your project for Development Application approval, I would suggest a preliminary meeting with the individual or committee that would be responsible for assessing your application. This will help raise any issues and avoid any unwanted surprises after the application has been submitted. I often see clients and builders try to build things that are either not on the approved plans and/or are not in accordance with the planning controls for the estate, for example, retaining walls. This often does not go unnoticed and could create many headaches after you have moved into your home. If it’s not on the approved set of plans, don’t build it, obtain approval first.

Building Application

Once you have obtained your planning approval your designer will assist you with obtaining a building approval. This approval is required to ensure the design is in accordance with the Building Code of Australia and addresses issues such adequate natural light, ventilation, insulation and structural integrity. This approval was formerly assessed by a department within Council, but can now be processed by an independent building certifier.

Once both a development and building approval have been obtained, and a builder has been selected, the building process can begin. The building certifier is also required to conduct independent inspections, typically at frame stage and completion to ensure the project has been completed in accordance with the approved documents.

Approvals process flow chart

What you need to do

To ensure the path to approval is smooth you should:

  • Consult with your design professional to ensure you have all the essential approvals in place prior to construction.
  • Ensure your builder has a copy of all approvals for reference during construction.
  • If changes or amendments are to be made, check with your designer and building certifier to confirm compliance prior to proceeding, to avoid future non-compliance issues.