ENG IN EE RS x S UR V E YO RS x M A NA GE R S
50 YEAR-OLD, RESIDENTIAL DUPLEX BUILDING GETS A NEW LEASE ON LIFE!
THE BACKGROUND We were approached by two residential clients to get a REDEFINITION SURVEY to add another level to their aged duplex homes. The original plan was completed in 1886 and the building in question was about 50 years old, which is why a redefinition survey was required. Establishing the accurate position of the boundary was ESSENTIAL as part of the council development application (DA) to remove the previous limitations on the title. In addition, we were required to create easements for support to allow for the common wall that served as the dividing partition between the two adjoining buildings to be extended vertically. Top view of site
THE CHALLENGE Since both clients had a limitation on their title deed, the boundary position was not guaranteed. To re-instate the property boundaries, our qualified registered surveyor was required to carefully investigate the original deed dimensions for fencing and brick walls to create an accurate survey plan depicting the correct position of the boundaries. After careful investigation by our EXPERIENCED surveying team, an error found in the original plan needed to be rectified. For successful completion of the project, effective communication with both families who occupied each side of the duplex building was required. Since time was directly proportional to the project cost, it was important to complete this complex task as efficiently as popssible to make it cost-effective for the clients to achieve their desired outcome.
Street view of residence
OUR SOLUTION With our EXPERTISE in handling many similar projects before, we were able to QUICKLY DETERMINE the accurate boundary positions and thoroughly examine all documentation from previous surveys to achieve the desired results. In addition, we were able to rectify the faults in the original plan and add the missing components so the surveyors, builders and engineers could use the accurate plans in all current and future projects and/or upgrades. Contour & detail survey
Our detailed plan and other relevant documentation, expedited and lodged electronically with the lands department helped the client meet the councilâ€™s requirements and get the project approved on budget and ahead of schedule.
FLOOD MODELLING AND ANALYSIS SAVES PROPERTY DEVELOPER $30,000-40,000 AND ENSURES THE SITEâ€™S ENTIRE FOOTPRINT IS COMMERCIALLY VIABLE As engineers we appreciate that the architectâ€™s design is not always an easy task. The developers purchase a lot (site) intending to build with a certain idea of their financial return and we need to try to make that work. We have produced fantastic results in stormwater and flood modelling with mid to high density developments due to our extensive design experience and standards. Our expertise with design and familiarity with the local council requirements, made us an ideal fit for this six storey development, which was referred to us through a former client and architect we have worked with previously in the Penrith. The specific issue with this development was OVERLAND FLOW FLOODING. Flooding may have restricted the footprint of the design which in turn could have great implications for the financial potential of the project. Our clients relies on us to provide the best possible solution to optimise their chosen design within the financial constraints whilst ensuring it will pass through council.
Proposed Architectural Site Plan
Although the site had an existing onsite detention tank, the council requested a new system to be installed with the new development layout. It became evident to us that the onsite detention tank was not suitable for this particular site and would not function for its intended purpose. The purpose of the onsite detention tank is to restrict discharge so that properties downstream of the site are not detrimentally affected by flooding. This particular site was in fact affected by floods and we determined that the onsite detention tank would in fact be inundated should a major storm event occur. BASED ON OUR MODELLING, the major storm event resulted in half the site to become affected by an overland flow. We approached council to explain the reason behind our logic that the onsite detention tank was not the right solution in this particular case because the design intention of the onsite detention tank would not address the magnitude of the calculated flooding. We know the council requires a design model for this condition which we were able to represent with our modelling. Often, councils propose generic solutions at the early planning stages to issues without investigating the sites in much detail. For this development, we were able to demonstrate the solution proposed was not suitable for this project and the council accepted our recommendation for the removal of the onsite detention tank, SAVING THE CLIENT $30,000 - $40,000 WITHOUT COMPROMISING SAFETY OR DAMAGE TO THE PROPERTY.
Pre development flood depth
Pre development flow direction
With respect to managing the flooding for this site, our innovative solution was to manipulate the flood waters around the site while maintaining the same footprint for the client. We had to adhere to the council’s requirements that whatever is done onsite cannot impact the neighbouring properties. Therefore we ensured that any flooding would be contained completely on the existing site through different systems, allowing it to continue through the same path, as it had previously.
Post development flood depth
We prepared an overland flow report which required a two dimensional flood model that demonstrated that the pre-existing and post development conditions were achieved in accordance with council’s planning controls. WE RECEIVED DA APPROVAL WITHOUT COMPROMISING THE DESIGN AND VALUE OF THE DEVELOPMENT FOR OUR CLIENT. Another interesting outcome achieved for this project was dealing with an existing easement through the site. An easement is a parcel of land over which an existing pipe is used for stormwater discharge to pass through the site.
Post development flow
Due to the developer’s proposal to build over this existing easement, we had to divert the easement and connect it back to where it would pass through the storm water pipe on the adjoining property. This was a difficult task to divert at a right angle, requiring both a design and a DRAINS (software) analysis to estimate the height of the water and potential energy throughout the pit and the pipe system to ensure the water would not surcharge out of the pit. In addition, the proposed pipe sizes had to match the existing system. DEALING WITH THESE POTENTIAL NATURAL AND MAN-MADE HAZARDS IS WHAT WE DO EACH AND EVERY DAY FOR OUR CLIENTS. It is what clients entrust us to uncover and resolve so they can be certain that all reasonable care and attention have been given to provide an optimal solution.
It was necessary to undertake the specific modelling of the existing easement and ensure the system had the capacity to convey the site’s stormwater flows, otherwise the entire system would need upgrading which would have been a very expensive task, not to mention the potential damage caused with the associated liability and legal considerations. DRAINS output for easement analysis
The council stipulates that a developer must cover the costs as part of their responsibility for the development. Usually, developers are not willing to pay the enormous cost to assess and analyse all the neighbouring properties to their site. We were able to mathematically demonstrate through our modelling, that the existing system was capable of managing all the expected flows, including the 1 in a 100 year flood to the council’s satisfaction. The final challenge for this project was ensuring water quality. This is another requirement the council insists be achieved and the percentages and targets were reached.
Stormwater Management Site Plan
There was an increase pollutants as a result of impervious areas of concrete and roofing that caused pollution from run-off with dirt, chemicals and solid materials that were deemed detrimental to the natural waterways. This can be treated though bio retention, rain gardens, proprietary systems (such a filter traps and grease traps) and rain water tanks. To solve this problem, we used “MUSIC” modelling software to demonstrate how all the impervious areas and systems were being treated to REDUCE THE POLLUTANTS from pre to post construction. “MUSIC” modelling software provides various options for us to select and design the most suitable solution for each development site. Since the site fell to the rear, the discharge flowed through the redirected easement pipe, making it a very cost-effective solution for this situation.
Proposed Architectural Elevation Plan
MODELLING IS AN ESSENTIAL AND EFFECTIVE TOOL that provides the clearest data and analysis, particularly in the case of flooding. This is always recommended because every site is ultimately affected by flooding in a 1 in 100 year storm unless you’re sitting on top of a mountain! The expertise and efforts we put into this design saved our client a major redesign and potentially the reduction of the development’s footprint by as much as half. For a development with these technical constraints, the value that could have been lost could have been in the MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. As Engineers, it’s important WE ACHIEVE RESULTS THAT PROVIDE OUR CLIENTS WITH COST EFFECTIVE SOLUTIONS THAT CAN PASS THROUGH COUNCIL AND ACHIEVE THEIR FINANCIAL AND COMMERCIAL OUTCOMES.
Initial flood model prepared
STORMWATER MANAGEMENT PLAN (FOR DA) PROPOSED RESIDENTIAL BUILDING GENERAL NOTES
3D view of proposed development
1. FINAL LOCATION OF NEW DOWNPIPES TO BE DETERMINED BY BUILDER/ARCHITECT AT TIME OF CONSTRUCTION.
6. ALL STORMWATER DRAINAGE PIPES ARE TO BE uPVC AT MINIMUM 1% GRADE UNLESS NOTED OTHERWISE.
2. THESE DRAWINGS TO BE READ IN CONJUNCTION WITH ARCHITECTS AND OTHER CONSULTANTS DRAWINGS. ANY DISCREPANCIES TO BE REFERRED TO THE ENGINEER BEFORE PROCEEDING WITH WORK.
7. IT IS THE CONTRACTORS RESPONSIBILITY TO LOCATE AND LEVEL ALL EXISTING SERVICES OR OTHER STRUCTURES WHICH MAY AFFECT/BE AFFECTED BY THIS DESIGN PRIOR TO COMMENCEMENT OF WORKS.
3. ALL MATERIALS AND WORKMANSHIP TO BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH AS/NZS 3500.3:2003 STORMWATER DRAINAGE, BCA AND LOCAL COUNCIL POLICY/CONSENT/REQUIREMENTS.
3. ALL ROOF GUTTERS TO HAVE OVERFLOW PROVISION IN ACCORDANCE WITH AS 3500.3:2003 AND SECTIONS 3.5.3, 3.7.5 AND APPENDIX G OF AS 3500.3:2003 4. THIS DRAWING IS NOT TO BE USED FOR SET-OUT PURPOSES - REFER TO ARCHITECTURAL DRAWINGS
5. LOCATION OF SURFACE STORMWATER GRATED INLET PITS MAY BE VARIED OR NEW PITS INSTALLED AT THE CONSTRUCTION STAGE PROVIDED DESIGN INTENT OF THIS DRAWING IS MAINTAINED
ACCESS GRATE (WITH ENVIROPOD 200 MICRON)
SL 75.50 IL 75.20
NATURAL GROUND FINISHED DESIGN LEVEL
PROPOSED DOWNPIPE SPREADER
450 X 450
GRATE LEVEL = 75.50
INSPECTION RISER RAINWATER HEAD
NOT SUBJECT TO VEHICLE LOADING
SUBJECT TO VEHICLE LOADING UNDER A SEALED ROAD
100mm SINGLE RESIDENTIAL 300mm ALL OTHER DEVELOPMENTS
THE GRATED COVERS OF PITS LARGER THAN 600 x 600mm ARE TO BE HINGED TO PREVENT THE GRATE FROM FALLING INTO THE PIT.
TRENCH DRAINS: CONTINUOUS TRENCH DRAINS ARE TO BE OF WIDTH NOT LESS THAN 150mm AND DEPTH NOT LESS THAN 100mm. THE BARS OF THE GRATING ARE TO BE PARALLEL TO THE DIRECTION OF SURFACE FLOW.
STEP IRONS: PITS BETWEEN 1.2m AND 6m ARE TO HAVE STEP IRONS IN ACCORDANCE WITH AS1657. FOR PITS GREATER THAN 6m OTHER MEANS OF ACCESS MUST BE PROVIDED.
450mm WHERE NOT IN A ROAD 600mm
100mm PLUS DEPTH OF CONCRETE
CONCRETE PIPE COVER SHALL BE IN ACCORDANCE WITH AS3725-1989 LOADS ON BURIED CONCRETE PIPES, HOWEVER A MINIMUM COVER OF 450mm WILL APPLY.
PVC PITS: PVC PITS WILL ONLY BE PERMITTED IF THEY ARE NOT A GREATER SIZE THAN 450 x 450mm (MAXIMUM DEPTH 450mm) AND ARE HEAVY DUTY
IN-SITU PITS: IN-SITU PITS ARE TO BE CONSTRUCTED ON A CONCRETE BED OF AT LEAST 150mm THICK. THE WALLS ARE TO BE DESIGNED TO MEET THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS OF CLAUSE 4.6.3 OF AS3500.4-1990. PITS DEEPER THAN 1.8m SHALL BE CONSTRUCTED WITH REINFORCED CONCRETE.
GRATES: GRATES ARE TO BE GALVANISED STEEL GRID TYPE. GRATES ARE TO BE OF HEAVY-DUTY TYPE IN AREAS WHERE THEY MAY BE SUBJECT TO VEHICLE LOADING.
CONNECTIONS TO COUNCIL SYSTEM: IF PROPOSED DRAINAGE SYSTEM IS DESIGNED TO CONNECT TO COUNCIL'S DRAINAGE SYSTEM, IT IS ADVISED THAT A 'WORKS PERMIT' IS OBTAINED FROM THE RESPECTIVE COUNCIL PRIOR TO COMMENCEMENT OF WORKS
ABOVE GROUND PIPEWORK: SHALL BE CARRIED OUT IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 6 OF AS3500.3-1990
DETAILS, NOTES & LEGEND COPYRIGHT - THIS DRAWING REMAINS THE PROPERTY OF DONOVAN AND MAY NOT BE ALTERED IN ANY WAY WITHOUT DONOVAN ASSOCIATES WRITTEN CONSENT.
MUSIC Water Quality Model Output
450 x 450 600 x 600 600 x 900 900 x 900 (WITH STEP IRONS) 1200 x 1200 (WITH STEP IRONS)
PITS GREATER THAN 600mm DEEP SHALL HAVE A MINIMUM ACCESS OPENING OF 600 x 600mm
SEE AS2032 INSTALLATION OF UPVC PIPES FOR FURTHER INFORMATION.
CONNECTIONS TO STORMWATER DRAINS UNDER BUILDINGS: SHALL BE CARRIED OUT IN ACCORDANCE WITH SECTION 3.10 OF AS3500.3-1990
STORMWATER PIPE 100mm DIA. MIN. UNO
EXISTING STORMWATER PIPE
WHERE INSUFFICIENT COVER IS PROVIDED, THE PIPE SHALL BE COVERED AT LEAST 50mm THICK OVERLAY AND SHALL THEN BE PAVED WITH AT LEAST: · 150mm REINFORCED CONCRETE WHERE SUBJECT TO HEAVY VEHICLE TRAFFIC; · 75mm THICKNESS OF BRICK OR 100mm OF CONCRETE PAVING WHERE SUBJECT TO LIGHT VEHICLE TRAFFIC; OR · 50mm THICK BRICK OR CONCRETE PAVING WHERE NOT SUBJECT TO VEHICLE TRAFFIC.
GRATED TRENCH DRAIN
PROPOSED ROOF GUTTER FALL
450 SQUARE INTERVAL
MINIMUM PIT SIZE (mm)
THE BASE OF THE DRAINAGE PITS SHOULD BE AT THE SAME LEVEL AS THE INVERT OF THE OUTLET PIPE. RAINWATER SHOULD NOT BE PERMITTED TO POND WITHIN THE STORMWATER SYSTEM
DEPTH OF COVER FOR PVC PIPES: MINIMUM PIPE COVER SHALL BE AS FOLLOWS:
2. TREE PRESERVATION: IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE CONTRACTOR TO OBTAIN ANY PRIOR APPROVAL REQUIRED FROM COUNCIL WITH RESPECT TO POTENTIAL IMPACT ON TREES FOR ANY WORKS SHOWN ON THIS DRAWING PRIOR TO THE COMMENCEMENT OF THOSE WORKS
(WITH ENVIROPOD 200 MICRON)
INVERT LEVEL = RL 75.20
UP TO 450mm
450mm TO to 600mm 600mm TO 900mm 900mm TO 1500mm 1500mm TO 2000mm
ALL PIPES SHOULD BE CUT FLUSH WITH THE WALL OF THE PIT.
ANCHOR BLOCKS ARE DESIGNED ACCORDING TO CLAUSE 3.5.3 OF AS3500.3-1990
PLAN SPECIFIC NOTES
PROPOSED DOWNPIPE 90mm DIA. OR 100mm x 50mm MIN.
PIPE GRADE: THE MINIMUM PIPE GRADE SHALL BE: · 1.0% FOR PIPES LESS THAN 225mm DIA (UNO) · 0.5% FOR ALL LARGER PIPES (UNO) PIPES WITH A GRADIENT GREATER THAN 20% WILL REQUIRE ANCHOR BLOCKS AT THE TOP AND BOTTOM OF THE INCLINED SECTION; AND AT INTERVALS NOT EXCEEDING 3.0m
5. ALL SURVEY INFORMATION AND PROPOSED BUILDING AND FINISHED SURFACE LEVELS SHOWN IN THESE DRAWINGS ARE BASED ON LEVELS OBTAINED FROM DRAWINGS BY OTHERS.
1. ROOF DRAINAGE NOTE: AS 3500 ROOF DRAINAGE REQUIRES EAVES GUTTERS TO BE SIZED FOR 20 YEAR 5 MIN. STORM = 205mm/hr. FOR EAVES GUTTERS, AS 3500.3:2003 THEN HAS THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS: i) FOR TYPICAL STANDARD QUAD GUTTER WITH Ae = 6000mm² AND GUTTER SLOPE 1:500 AND STEEPER, THIS REQUIRES ONE DOWNPIPE PER 30m² ROOF AREA. ii) DOWNPIPES TO BE MINIMUM 90mm DIA. OR 100 x 50mm FOR GUTTERS SLOPE 1:500 AND STEPPER. iii) OVERFLOW METHOD TO FIGURE G1 OF AS 3500.3:2003 IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE PLUMBER AND / OR BUILDER TO COMPLY WITH THIS. THIS DRAWING SHOWS PRELIMINARY LOCATIONS / NUMBERS OF DOWNPIPES ONLY WHICH ARE TO BE VERIFIED BY BUILDER / PLUMBER
SURFACE INLET PIT
PIT SIZES AND DESIGN:
8. ALL PITS WITHIN DRIVEWAYS TO BE 150mm THICK CONCRETE OR EQUAL. 9. THIS PLAN IS THE PROPERTY OF DONOVAN ASSOCIATES AND MAY NOT BE USED OR REPRODUCED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM DONOVAN ASSOCIATES.
4. ALL DIMENSIONS AND LEVELS TO BE VERIFIED BY BUILDER ON-SITE PRIOR TO COMMENCEMENT OF WORKS. THESE DRAWINGS ARE NOT TO BE SCALED FOR DIMENSIONS NOR TO BE USED FOR SETOUT PURPOSES.
SURFACE INLET PIT
PIPE SIZE: THE MINIMUM PIPE SIZE SHALL BE: · 90mm DIA WHERE THE LINE ONLY RECEIVES ROOFWATER RUNOFF; OR · 100mm DIA WHERE THE LINE RECEIVES RUNOFF FROM PAVED OR UNPAVED AREAS ON THE PROPERTY THE MINIMUM PIPE VELOCITY SHOULD BE 0.6 m/s AND A MAXIMUM PIPE VELOCITY OF 6.0 m/s DURING THE DESIGN STORM.
02.03.2017 ISSUED FOR DA
S.SINGH 28.06.2017 13.07.2017
Stormwater management plan documentation
DESIGNED BY: CHECKED BY:
PROPOSED EASEMENT LOCATION AMENDED ARCHITECTURALS AMENDED
SHEET SIZE CLIENT REF.
SCOTT SHARMA. M.I.E. Aust.
A1 DRAWING No.
C SHEET No.
CLIENT SAVES $50,000 BY IMPLEMENTING AN INNOVATIVE, ECO-FRIENDLY AND AESTHETICALLY APPEALING STORMWATER SOLUTION THE BACKGROUND We were approached by the client after the engineers originally hired proposed an expensive solution that included a retaining wall right on the bend of an existing sewer line. The estimated cost saving of our solution was $50,000.
Constructed landscape tanks 1
THE CHALLENGE During construction of a residence, it was found that the onsite detention design provided by another engineering company failed to account for the existing sewer services. This oversight required significant costs in sewer encasement. The client came to us for an INNOVATIVE SOLUTION that was COST EFFECTIVE and would comply with all the relevant council requirements and regulations. Since leveraging the existing construction infrastructure would reduce cost, we needed to design the solution on time. OUR SOLUTION Our strategic relationship with alliance partners, helped us implement and install a solution that matched the clientâ€™s specification for an aesthetically appealing solution that met or surpassed the councilâ€™s needs.
4 Polyslim line rainwater tank
Our EXPERIENCED ENGINEERS were able to design a plan for the building to have a beautiful planter box with rainwater storage hidden inside. This was a PRACTICAL SOLUTION since it served as a retaining structure as well as a planter box. We were able to expedite the process by coordinating with the local council to get the design approved even though this was the first of its kind in this council. We added aesthetic value by designing a beautifully landscaped planter box, instead of an unsightly steel or poly tank. Our vast experience and out-of-the-box (pun intended) innovative problem-solving helped us make best use of the available resources to provide a cost-effective solution for the client.
Stormwater management site plan documentation
Inside OSD chamber of landscape tank
Above ground basin OSD pit behind landscape tanks
MAJOR QUEENSLAND PROJECT HOME BUILDER COMPLETES 130 OFF-THE-PLAN HOMES IN NSW THE BACKGROUND Tribeca Homes, a major project home builder operating out of Queensland, Australia was looking to build 130 off-the-plan homes in a single estate for their mum and dad clients. They were using a Queensland-based surveyor, but due to the size and scope of the project and lack of expertise in NSW, their surveyor was not able to provide the necessary services required. THE CHALLENGE The client needed to construct houses on 130 blocks of land over three stages according to NSW standards and legal requirements. Since they were new to the NSW market and its various state laws and legislative regulations, they needed an expert to help them. Considering we have 40 years of experience in the NSW market, we were able to advise them on all the relevant technical and legislative requirements, so they could focus on their area of expertise, so the project could be completed efficiently with minimum delays or problems.
Site pre-construction 1
OUR SOLUTION We carefully and accurately delineated the exact boundaries of each parcel of land so that each slab would be poured in the right position and at the precisely right height do building could proceed on time and on budget. We made sure each home complied with minimum wall to boundary dimensions with meticulous attention to detail. Our accurate pegging out and pinning avoided any construction scheduling issues.
Site pre-construction 2
We also acted as an advisor for the client for requirements for DA applications, contour and detail surveys, peg out surveys, formwork identification surveys and the final identification surveys, part of the Occupation Certificate (OC). Using our in-built proprietary survey software, systems and procedures, our surveyors are able to go out in the field to get things done in less than a few hours whereas most other surveyors require a full day to complete the same tasks. Because our high productivity enables our teams to complete 15-20 peg outs in a day, we were able to get offsite very quickly helping the developer work with multiple concreters simultaneously to complete the project ahead of schedule, which saved them valuable time, allowing them to get to market that much sooner. That is unheard of in the residential industry.
Site at final identification stage 1
The standardisation or our processes and the technical sophistication of our software allowed us to minimise problems while enforcing strict quality assurance procedures while still increasing efficiency and minimising delays. Our effective communication with key stakeholders enabled us to overcome all the unforeseen issues with the project in a timely manner further reducing the clientâ€™s stress during the construction phase of the project.
Site at final identification stage 2
With our 40 years of industry experience, we are able to anticipate most problems before they happened and advised the client on the appropriate action(s) available to complete the project efficiently while adhering to all the regulatory specifications and standards.
Contour detail survey
Final identification survey
Contour & detail survey
NSW LAND AND HOUSING CORPORATION BUILDS SENIOR HOMES TO STRICT COMPLIANCE REQUIREMENTS ON TIME AND ON BUDGET BACKGROUND The NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) needed to demolish established buildings and construct suitable housing for older, senior people. Everything to be done in a pre-set format using the client’s proprietary templates and we have the flexibility to do that. The site was a large 1700 square meter block that required a lot of detail from a surveying data collection point of view. LAHC was looking to comply with the State Environment Planning Policy for Seniors Living (SEPP-SL), so, extra surveying was required, for example, to make sure the grade of the existing footpaths from the new residences to the closest bus stop allowed for easy access for wheelchairs and people with limited mobility.
Street View House 1
Our firm was approached, because of our LONG-STANDING REPUTATION in the industry and because we are among only a handful of surveying firms QUALIFIED on the client’s recommended tender list. THE CHALLENGE This 1700sqm site project required the collection of about 3 times more data points than a typical residential project. In addition to that, time is always a factor with surveying projects and this project needed to be completed quickly, accurately and to predetermined standards. Hundreds of data points were necessary to be collected.The more data points, the more room for error exists.
7 Street View House 2
Tenant liaison is a challenge when dealing with multiple properties because of the numerous tenant availabilities and various access requirements. Consequently, we required access to multiple properties on the same day, logistically this was not a small undertaking. One of the many hidden sources of value we bring to projects like this is our ability to work quickly, efficiently, safely, and most importantly accurately while negotiating all the competing priorities with the other tradespeople and construction professionals on site. OUR SOLUTION We produced detailed and accurate CAD drawings to meet the client’s strict specifications. OUR CUSTOM-WRITTEN SOFTWARE PROVIDED A QUICK AND EFFICIENT DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS. Because we don’t use off-the-shelf software for data reduction, we on average, saving up to 60% of the time usually required by most of our competitors. This value-add is another hidden benefit of working with our experienced team, adept with cutting edge technology. Furthermore, we used a carefully monitored process to eliminate all potential human errors. We had one person calculating the boundaries, another person drafting them, and another person processing the data.
View from rear of property
At each step of our robust quality assurance process, three to four different people were analysing and verifying the job. In our experience, this integrated team effort helps us to complete projects quickly with maximum accuracy. Many other surveying firms have one person doing all the jobs from start to finish, which is difficult for that person to see his/ her own mistakes or omissions. We however, believe in a well structured methodology that ensures each part of the project is handled by a qualified expert while remaining cost effective because the overall time taken to complete a project is less than the alternative with only one person. The client received all the documents required, a PDF and CAD version of the drawings, the photos we took on site, copies of the title, Deposited Plan 88b, all relevant covenants, Dial Before You Dig (DBYD) plans and the GPS coordinates. With this information in hand, the client could then proceed with the building work confident in knowing that all essential details have been accounted for and verified to the strict specifications.
Countour + detail plan
Plan view and long section - bus route
AN OWNER-BUILDER COMPLETES A COMPLEX RESIDENTIAL PROJECT THE BACKGROUND We were approached by an owner-builder to create a structural design for his family home to ensure that his new dwelling remained structurally stable once built. The house was to be built on a sloping site with a triple garage, wine cellar, hobby room and a storage space on the lower level. THE CHALLENGE The sloping block, had a fall of five meters side-to-side, which allowed for the construction as planned but required the installation of reinforced block retaining walls and a raft slab or reinforced concrete slab to divide the ground floor slab into a suspended section over the garage, cellar, and storage room. To make a complicated situation more difficult, a last minute impulsive modification to the original design was requested by the client to add a loft to the building!
Pier/footing inspection 1
OUR SOLUTION Our extensive experience in this field of residential design allowed us to create a complete structural design in PDF format the client could take to the council to get the construction certificate plans approved that are necessary for the structure to be erected. Our quick and effective communications with the client, contractors, builders, excavators and various other trade professionals enabled us to gather all the necessary information on time and accurately to complete the project on time and on budget even in spite of many lastminute changes that made this project extra-special for the client.
9 Slab reinforcement inspection 1
We are happy to be able to accommodate personalised requests with our flexible automated systems, sophisticated software, robust quality assurance methodology and best practices work ethic.
Slab and retaining wall inspection
Architectural section through house
A LARGE AND COMPLEX 2,000 SQM SITE IS SURVEYED INTERNALLY & EXTERNALLY SO CONSTRUCTION CAN BE APPROVED BY COUNCIL AND COMPLETED ON TIME AND ON BUDGET. THE BACKGROUND We were chosen by the developer because we completed numerous successful projects for them over the past 40 years. The client specialises in high rise apartments and approached us to survey both the site and the internal dimensions of an existing building. They needed to know detailed specifications about the interior features of the building (i.e., windows, doors, walls) as well as external features of the 2000 sqm site, including the levels of all the eaves and gutters.
Street view of the house
The client entrusted us with this project because they were comfortable with the work we have had performed for them over the past several decades. THEY KNOW FIRST-HAND that we follow strict systems and procedures, and our drawings are consistently drawn according to their expectations. Clarity in setting the project’s expectations and deliverables is always a challenge, one that in this instance was substantially reduced because of the LONG-STANDING TRUST and processes established between our two teams. THIS LEAD TO VERY HIGH EFFICIENCIES AND LOWER COSTS compared to other surveying companies with no knowledge or background of the client’s specific needs, expectations and preferences.
View of the right hand side yard
Our clients appreciates our FLEXIBILITY when things don’t go as expected. We have countless processes in place to accommodate all reasonable requests at minimal additional cost to complete the project by balancing the clients’ changing needs with the legal, regulatory and contextual/physical requirements. THE CHALLENGE The existing building occupied a sizeable 2000 sqm lot with numerous retaining walls. It was surrounded by 47 trees, garden sets across different levels, a concrete slab, an existing pergola and in-ground swimming pool. The challenge was to include all relevant details, accounting for all the internal and external features that would affect the proposed (new) development. Also, to make things more challenging, the gradient of the site had a four-meter drop that needed to be accounted for correctly. Council regulations apply to trees in regard to height and we are required to include those details in the drawings so the client could determine whether the trees could be cut and removed and if council permission was needed to do so.
OUR SOLUTION The comprehensive set of drawings were provided to the client. With them in hand, the client was able to build according to their design. The drawings included: Measurements of the corners of the building and heights, eave heights, the approximate position of the sewer line as well as the location of the drainage and electrical cables. The water meters, gas mains, electrical boxes, telecom pits and hydrants were also carefully delineated. The client was also provided with detailed information on the species, the diameter of the trunk, and height of and the condition of all the trees o nthe expansive property. A minimum of two experienced drafters checked each drawing. A copy of the drawings was given to the registered surveyor for final verification and approval. We follow strict quality assurance systems and procedures to complete all projects efficiently and cost effectively.
View of rear garden
The client received all the documents required, a PDF and CAD version of the drawings, the photos we took on site, copies of the title, Deposited Plan 88b, all relevant covenants, Dial Before You Dig (DBYD) plans and the GPS coordinates. With this information in hand, the client could then proceed with the building work confident in knowing that all essential details have been accounted for and verified to their strict specifications and expectations. View of rear yard
Contour & detail plan
CLIENT LEARNS THE HARD WAY THAT HIRING AN UNREGISTERED SURVEYOR CAN BE VERY COSTLY THE BACKGROUND Some clients think they can save costs by hiring an unregistered surveyor. Unfortunately, hiring an unregistered surveyor, who lacks experience can mean non-compliance resulting in rework that results in much higher costs than the original savings. The builder urgently required our assistance to survey the position of an existing single storey granny flat. An irritated neighbour complained to the council that the structure as previously proposed by the unregistered surveyor was too close to their property. Excavation commencing
Following the councilâ€™s investigation, we were required to determine the correct location for the project to continue. The builder was inexperienced with the current council requirements and was fortunate that the structure was on piers since our measurements confirmed the granny flat was indeed, too close to the neighbourâ€™s boundary. It had to be moved to comply with the council regulations. Significant expense would have been borne by the builder had a slab been poured and worse if demolishing the structure was required!
12 Formwork under construction
In this intance that was not the case, however, there was still a significant cost and inconvenience because a crane had to be used to relocate the granny flat into its proper location. THE CHALLENGE According to the Building Code of Australia, buildings with windows and doors must be a minimum distance of 900 mm from the boundary. However, the boundary is not the fence line as many inexperienced homeowners, and builders might think. Sometimes the fence can be erected over the boundary. Whatever went wrong in this project, a mistake was made and unfortunately the building needed to be relocated to its proper position. We were called to determine where that proper position should be.
Poured granny slab
Councils have recently become more rigorous with builders and those who attempt to bypass regulations can pay dearly as this client found out. OUR SOLUTION We completed an accurate survey, along with rigorous quality assurance checks, which were all performed and signed off by a registered surveyor. Surveying requires proper investigation. After acquiring the property plans from the Land Registry Service (LRS), we sent out our field surveyors to locate boundary marks, which were then interpreted by our qualified, registered surveyor.
OUR SURVEYOR CALCULATED THE CORRECT BOUNDARIES. Sometimes clients use unregistered or inexperienced surveyors without first considering the implications of their actions. A TAFE graduate may possess knowledge, but only a registered surveyor can legally sign off on a project.
As this case study implies, there is a potential price to pay when builders use unregistered surveyors and mistakes are made. When a significant portion of the builder’s business comes through word of mouth, a client’s unsatisfactory experience resulting from the builder not following the correct procedures, can cost them dearly, both financially and in adverse publicity. Since unregistered surveyors are not insured, the loss cannot be claimed legally unlike for registered surveyors, who have a legal obligation to comply by the rules and are appropriately insured. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the first time we were brought in to correct a situation for a builder who used an unregistered surveyor. OUR RESULTS We marked out the granny flat so the client was confident that the granny flat was in the right place, complying with all the relevant building codes.
Final report after recertification
The client could then start building without the uncertainty of a poor survey. Next, we provided an identification survey showing the accurate location so they could obtain their occupation certificate. BECAUSE OF THIS EXPERIENCE, WE HAVE WORKED WITH THE BUILDER ON MANY OTHER PROJECTS TO ENSURE THE SURVEYING FOR THEIR GRANNY FLATS ARE ACCURATE BEFORE THEY COMMENCE ANY WORKS. As the saying goes “penny wise, pound foolish”.
Final report non-complying
15 Parkes St Parramatta NSW 2150 T: 02 9806 3000 F: 02 9891 2806 www.DonovanAssociates.com.au