Thursday, 1 May 2014

Computer drawings

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Hi everyone,
thanks for tuning in.  In my posts so far I have been explaining the process of designing a house.
I showed several stages of bubble sketch diagrams and how a house evolves and changes in the designers mind and on paper as the thought process evolves.
But now it's time to formulate it and get the house floor plan into the computer to see where we are at accurately.
I use what I feel is the best software for this purpose Archicad which I started using in version 5.  I'm now on version 17 with 18 about to be released.  I didn't step in on the ground floor but it was pretty close.
It's probably the highest rated 3D software internationally, every wall we place has a height a colour a texture and a thickness.  And then we can place windows, doors, slabs roofs etc. It's all 3d and can be visualised by us and the client in many different ways for many different reasons.
The main and best reason for me is that it helps me visualise and experiment with different shapes, and because we are virtually building the house design it helps reduce mistakes on site as problem areas are always highlighted and easily rectified.

Anyway, down to the design business.  Above is the floor plan. Now if you remember the last blog I showed how I was sketching over the computer drawing certain changes.  Above those changes have been put into place.  I straightened up the south pavilion to simplify the structure and help it sit on the block better taking up less garden space and keeping it closer to south boundary.  I also added a Rammed Earth wall between my office and Bed 3 to increase the thermal mass for comfort.
My office is now the coolest spot to be in summer as I also have a polished concrete floor increasing the thermal mass and louvre windows behind me for cross flow ventilation.

As explained previously the house is in two pavilions.  There are several benefits to this:

1/. Possibly the most enjoyable benefit has been the zoning.  We call certain areas of buildings, zones.  In this case we have 2 distinct zones: The adult wing to the top of page (north) and the teenagers wing to the south separated by a covered open boardwalk with courtyard in between.
This was great for all of us.  The adults get their privacy and quiet time away from the kids music etc.
and the kids get a bit of independence and are away from our music.
Between the kids bedrooms is a share bathroom.  They are responsible for their keeping their rooms and keeping the bathroom clean.

2/.  The next major comfort benefit is solar aspect.  Often the usual practice would be to have the extra bedrooms jammed up against the rest of the house depriving those rooms of sunlight (or they get shoved to the east and west).  This way however, all rooms get winter sunlight which makes for happy rooms. Both our kids are very happy.  I wonder if there has ever been a study done on the effects of sunlight in psychology of children?

3/. Cross flow ventilation: The building is basically 1 room wide which means all rooms have great cross flow ventilation.  Our room has a robe behind it but we use a shutter door to the ensuite allowing breezes to pass through. Cross flow ventilation is very important for us in queensland and if done right you rarely have to switch on the fan.  This summer we put our bedroom fan on twice only.  We have enhanced our cross flow by using certain types of windows and doors but that's another subject for a later blog.

4/. Another cool advantage of having a pavilion design is being able to have a courtyard in between.
As my design and life experience increased I have become a big fan of resort style living.  We spend a lot of time in our homes and most of us love holidays right ?  Well I think we should all try to feel like we are on permanent holiday and I do this by designing houses to have that resort feel.  There are certain techniques to do this which I will explain in a later blog and I am also covering this topic in you-tubes.  Subscribe to my You tube channel as I am creating a series on how to blend a house with nature and soon I will have a video about ponds and boardwalks etc.

Having a courtyard in amongst your house helps blur the boundaries between inside and out and gives the opportunity to plant rainforest species which normally don't do well here in full exposure.
We now have an outdoor bath and shower in our courtyard which adds to that resort feel.

Here's a couple of photo's showing the courtyard:

Courtyard from West Balcony (Deck 1) showing the entry boardwalk and then a bridge over our pond to the left which accesses the main living area, and to the right my office and the kids pavilion.
Boardwalk design from my home office to the main entry to main living area featuring all recycled timbers and roofing.  Even the old rope balustrade has come from my dads yacht. 

Our outdoor bath and shower area made from 95% recycled material a lot of it left overs from the build.
 Recycled glass louvres tainted with calcium which looks like clouds from below if you have a vivid imagination. Recycled bath, decking, all timbers.  Soon to be featured on my You Tube channel.
 Recycled weatherboards placed vertically on spindles to open up to view.  Camouflage netting for a privacy screen.  Have also used this on our western deck to blend the house in with nature.

So you now have a good understanding of why I designed a pavilion style house. In the next blog I will discuss other key aspects of the design.  It is intricate and there are a lot of special details about the house design so I hope you will join me on this journey.

You can learn more about what we do and see samples of my designs on our website   and
or our business facebook page:   and or follow us on Instagram  Gold Coast Building Designers.



At 6 June 2016 at 03:40 , Blogger Roman lesnar said...

Yes i am totally agreed with this article and i just want say that this article is very nice and very informative article.I will make sure to be reading your blog more. You made a good point but I can't help but wonder, what about the other side? !!!!!!THANKS!!!!!! loft conversions twickenham

At 6 June 2016 at 16:15 , Blogger Unknown said...

And thank you Roman! I have now started up a new business called Gold Coast Building Designers and have started another blog there if you would like to tune in on that here's the link:


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