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Effective design drives development success

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Yield, the cost of the land per product and development approval times are factors that can have a dramatic effect on a project’s viability. These can contribute to the overall profitability of the project and can be vastly improved through efficiencies in design.

Here are a few ideas on how developments can be more successful by leveraging these items.

A creative approach to land use

The information collected from statutory documents such as Town Plans will only tell one part of the story and regulators will only ever provide standard responses. A creative analysis on a development site to consider all the opportunities can produce surprising results.

Concept design services can look beyond the standard response and examine what might be possible.  This could include achieving additional products through an increased GFA and Net Lettable Area, or an increase to the number of units. These can directly improve the project viability and profitability.

Additional strategies to maximise yield and return on investment could include examining site works, size and massing of the product, and considering the best type of construction which will contribute to managing your profitability.

For example an attached dwelling / townhouse project we are currently working on we have been able to: 

  • Reconfigure the layout prepared by another Architect, achieving an increased yield in the attached dwellings for the developer, and increasing the product that can be constructed in stage 1.
  • Reconfigure the townhouse layouts to provide more efficient layouts and an improved floor to external wall ratio which will lead to reduced construction costs.
  • Reconfigure the internal roadways to be able to reduce the civil construction costs associated with stage 1 of the project. These reduced civil works can offset some of the cost of the increase in townhouse numbers in the first stage, improving the funding and cash flow scenarios and making the project more profitable.

On another current multi-residential project Arkitektika has taken the project from financially marginal to successful for the clients. The brief originally called for a minimum yield of 8 units, with 10 being considered ideal. Arkitektika achieved a yield of 14 efficient residences that minimized site works on the sloping site, with a mixture of product and no loss of amenity or sale value.

Helping the approval process

The process of gaining support and approvals quickly from the relevant authorities is particularly important for a profitable development. Design conscious authorities seek high levels in design quality as an approval condition and are becoming more and more aware of the lasting impact of poor design on the built environment.

The key to success is to identify early the key elements that require the authorities support or relaxation, then addressing these items through the design, and demonstrating why the proposed alternate solution is acceptable.

Some examples include boundary setbacks, building height, population density, and site cover.

Strategic negotiation with authorities can make the difference between a profitable development project and it being delayed or not being able to proceed.

Design quality communicated clearly with supporting documentation including coloured plans, elevations, sections, and renderings is key to being able to justify increased yields and alternate solutions. This will help to achieve the support of the relevant authorities and provide confidence on the quality of design.

On a particular townhouse project, Arkitektika was able to demonstrate to the local authorities the real impact of the site cover and setback relaxations that were sought through the use of our in house 3d modelling.

Through a creative approach to maximizing the development opportunities for the site, the residential density was maximized without compromising the amenity for the residents, resulting in 4 townhouses on a small corner site that most developers would only have considered for a duplex development.

Although hesitant initially, liaison and negotiations with the key decision makers led to all of the relaxations being granted. The project was highly successful for the developer and went on to receive an Urban Design award from the local authority as well as recognition from the Australian Institute of Architects.

Arkitektika look beyond the basic design parameters, finding ways to assist all of our clients deliver successful projects.

For assistance with making your next development a success, contact Arkitektika.

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