Drawing Board

Building Construction Drawings and Their Advantages in Building

Undertaking a construction project of any kind requires professionals in various fields to join forces. By using building construction drawings, it ensures the experts know what they’re working on and how each part will come together to create the finished structure.

What are building construction drawings?

Construction drawings refer to visual sketches drawn digitally or by hand, laying out the proposed structure to be built. This may be for a residential, public or commercial building. In every construction drawing, you will find the dimensions, materials, notes and other important information. Usually architects and designers are the ones who draw up the construction drawings for a project, however, engineers and other professionals can also make drawings for larger projects.

Most drawings use standardised symbols and markings that are widely recognised across the industry, so construction teams and those who approve the permits, can easily read the plans. Construction drawings are also usually drawn to scale so that the dimensions of the actual proposed structure have been reduced down by equal amounts. 

Types of construction drawings 

There are various types of drawings that may be required in the construction process, they are listed below:

Site plans 

This is a map of a construction site containing details about pre-existing structures on or close to the construction area, for example, roads and other buildings. You will also find topographical or natural elements (trees, foliage), and changes in land elevation. Site plans also include proposed changes to the location after construction, such as alterations to drainage systems or in topography. 

Plot plans 

Similar to site plans, plot plans show an above-ground or aerial view of the whole project site. The difference is that plot plans provide further information about where the building will be located, such as land survey marks. You will be able to determine the boundaries of structure as well as the property area, for example, you will be able to see that a building leaves room on the sides for grass. 

Floor plans 

With floor plans, you get a view of a construction building aerially, without a roof. Projects with more than 1 level will have a plan for each storey. You can expect to find specifications such as dimensions of both interior and exterior walls, purpose of each room, materials to be used, as well as stairs and its direction. 

Excavation plans 

These plans detail the dimensions (depth, width and length) of the excavation on the site and how it will occur (tunnelling or trenching).  

Elevation drawings

This type of plan shows you the front vertical view of the proposed structure as if you were looking straight at it. Elevation drawings are 2D so they don’t depict a structure’s depth. These visuals sketch out the exterior view of the building including facade, roofing, fixtures and more. Measurements will also be detailed in the drawing such as distance between windows. 

Section drawings

Similar to elevation drawings, section drawings show the vertical perspective of your project. However, they not only show what the building looks like from the outside, but they also allow you to see the hidden structures beneath the facade. For example, you can see the beams, columns, lintels, support structures, foundation of the building, and the insides of floors and walls. 

Detail drawings 

Detail drawings provide a clearer illustration of elements shown in other construction drawings but on a larger scale. For example, in regards to connections of various parts and placement. This can include elements such as staircases, door frames, window frames, cornices, decorative features and more. 

Mechanical and electrical drawings

This type of drawing consists of the design and proposed location of power structures in the building. For example, air delivery rates, thermostat placements, load calculations, switch locations, wiring paths, connections to outdoor power grid and ductwork structures. If it is a very complex building, there may be separate drawings required, however, residential properties generally don’t need separate mechanical and electrical system drawings.

Plumbing and drainage drawings 

This depicts the movement of water in and out of a building. Proper drainage systems ensure that those who live in the building in the future have access to safe water. You can find where water tanks, pumps, drains, pipes and vents are located in plumbing and drainage drawings.

Reflected ceiling drawings

Reflected ceiling drawings give a viewpoint of the ceiling from the floor, showing light fixtures, cornices and columns. 

Perspective drawings

Perspective drawings are a 3d depiction of what the construction project will look like once completed. It helps builders visualise what they’re constructing. 

Shadow diagrams

These diagrams are normally not required for the building process, however, will need to be submitted as part of the planning permit. Shadow diagrams show how the structure will cast shadowings onto neighbouring buildings at certain points of the day (varies based on the state you live in). 

Which kind of drawings are required for your residential property project? 

Residential homes normally require site plans, floor plans, elevation drawings, shadow diagrams and section drawings. Sometimes ceiling plans may be required if your home has more complex features or customisation. 

Get in touch with the building and design experts at JKBD

JKBD is made up of a specialised team of residential designers. With decades of experience on hand, we know the ins and outs of the residential development process. We can help you every step of the way to ensure a successful outcome on your project, and especially in your building and construction documentation phase. 

Reach out to our team for more information about our services.

What is the Difference Between Architects and Residential Designers?

When you undertake a residential development, be it your own home or an investment property, you will need the help of a professional to draw up your design. This begs the question of whether you should choose an architect or a residential home designer? Who is the better choice for the job? Read on to find out the difference between the two roles and the requirements needed to become an architect or residential designer in Australia.

What is an architect? 

An architect earns their title by undertaking formal accredited education in architecture. They also need to be legally registered with their local Architect Registration Board in order to officially operate as an architect. This prerequisite is very important as it is illegal to work as an architect without the registration, regardless of the qualifications or professional experience attained. 

What is a residential home designer?

In Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania, a residential designer, like an architect, does require registration to operate. This registration is under ‘Draftsperson, Class of Building Design (Architectural)’ with the Building Practitioners Board. 

In Western Australia, New South Wales, South Australia, NT and ACT, there are no necessary prerequisites to be a residential designer. They are also not required to be registered or licensed.

Who should you choose for your home development project?

Both architects and home designers can give you the results that you’re looking for.  In terms of more cost effective, small to medium projects, you’re better off going with a residential designer, whereas large commercial buildings designs would benefit from an experienced architectural designer. Architects are generally more qualified to create large buildings or homes that have a high degree of complexity. Whereas a home designer is experienced and capable in creating functional, unique small to medium sized residences.

The most crucial thing you need to look into is your chosen professional’s previous projects and design style to see whether your vision is aligned. As a development project can be quite lengthy, working with someone you get along with is also equally as important. Your ultimate decision of whether to go with an architect or residential designer should factor in everything – price, experience, qualifications and compatibility. 

Reach out to the expert residential designers at JKBD 

At JKBD, our team of experienced residential builders and designers can help you with property development, from sustainable homes and construction management to disability-friendly homes. Make the right investment by choosing professionals who understand your needs and want to bring your dream home to life. 

Get in touch with the team to discuss a potential project or book a free consultation. 

What is an Environmental Site Assessment?

One of the most important processes conducted before a property is developed is an environmental site assessment. A study of past and present activities on a site, the assessment is intended to judge the possibility of contamination on the site, and the human and environmental health impact of that contamination. If a site is deemed contaminated, this can have detrimental impacts to our health, and will likely lead to repercussions on property values as well as liability issues. 

A site assessment is typically conducted during commercial land development. For example, if you’ve purchased a plot of land for a new build, the developer you purchased the land from will have already completed the site assessment and another will likely not be required for your residential development. If you’re concerned that one was not completed or you’ve been advised you may need to arrange one, it’s recommended you speak with the local council.

Keep reading to learn more about site assessments and their purpose below.

What is a site assessment and its purpose?

An environmental site assessment involves determining whether a piece of land has been contaminated by previous or current activities onsite. The data obtained allows developers to find out if the contamination has an impact on human and environmental health. Its purpose is to ensure that residences are only built on land that is safe for its occupants. 

Environmental site assessment process 

The environmental site assessment process has different stages that include historical study, site inspection and the sampling and testing (soil or groundwater). The assessments are usually carried out in two phases.

  • Phase 1: Preliminary assessment – Review records to check previous site activities, visual inspection of main and connecting properties, as well as interviews with authorities.
  • Phase 2: Thorough site investigation – Testing samples, comparing results with regulatory requirements. Identifying ecological surroundings, any endangered species or wetlands that may prohibit certain land uses.

What are environmental site assessments in real estate?

In commercial developments, environmental site assessments are typically required, although this is subject to change depending on the requirements from the state and local government bodies. 

You may be able to request a copy of a site assessment. You can ask your real estate agent about this or speak with the local council. 

Get in touch with JKBD to learn more about services

At JKBD, our team of specialist builders and designers are here to help you with every stage of your residential development project. We understand building or renovating a property can be an overwhelming process, and we want to ensure you’re comfortable with every step you take towards your new home. With our assistance, we can help you make the most of your investment and ensure everything goes to plan. With years of experience under our belt, we’ve helped many clients throughout their development projects ensure a positive outcome.

While environmental site assessments are not a part of the residential property development process, we’re here to put your mind at ease. Contact us to discuss your next project or book a free consultation with our experts.

Beautiful House

The Benefits of Building Sustainable Homes

As we become more conscious of the environmental, economic and social ramifications of our lifestyles, sustainable home design solutions are something we should all be striving for. Designing and building a house is a challenging process, so it’s best to consider the impact your home will have on your future, and the  generations to come.

What is a sustainable home and its benefits?

Sustainable homes refer to architectural designs that aim to minimise negative impact to the planet, economy and society. There are various features that make a  home sustainable, including embracing natural, ethically sourced resources, as well as providing a safe, secure and healthy living space for its occupants.

Choosing a sustainable house design offers a range of long-term benefits including:

  • Efficient water and energy use 
  • Protecting natural resources for future generations
  • Reduced wastage, environmental pollution and degradation 
  • Lower living and operational costs 
  • Increased market value

What are the 3 key elements of a sustainable design solution?

The main aspects of sustainable design and construction are:

  1. Environmental – conservation of natural resources and minimising impact (energy, water, waste, emissions and contamination)  
  2. Economic sustainability – supporting the growth of the economy (utilities, materials and construction costs)
  3. Social – managing impact on people (accessibility, security, safety and aesthetics)

How is sustainability used in design and construction? 

In the design and construction of homes, sustainability can be integrated through features such as:

Passive sustainable design 

Passive designs are one of the most sustainable methods of building a home. It involves creating buildings that make the most of the surrounding climate. With the knowledge of a professional, passive sustainable houses can be designed to balance thermal mass, ventilation, shading, insulation, glazing, orientation and spatial zoning. This will affect the materials used to construct the house, as well as placement and design of windows, floors and roofs. An effective passive sustainable home will minimise the need for heating and cooling, saving you energy in the long run.

Active sustainable design 

Active strategies refer to finding sustainable methods of integrating efficient plumbing, electricity, heating, cooling and ventilation systems that will reduce our environmental footprint. Employing the expertise of electrical and mechanical engineers in the architectural design are useful in this aspect. 

Renewable energy systems 

Using alternatives to fossil fueled energy systems, like wind turbines and solar panels is a great way to minimise consumption and create self efficiency within the home design.


Landscaping can have a major effect on water consumption. Architects can massively reduce the need for irrigation by strategically utilising surrounding grass, plants and trees in certain areas. Planting trees that provide shade over windows and roofs can also prevent excessive heat inside buildings.


Making the right choice of materials when constructing your home will also make it more sustainable. By choosing recycled and sustainably sourced products where possible, you can reduce wastage and embodied energy from processed materials. Being conscious of the volatile organic compounds in building products can also promote cleaner indoor air quality which is much healthier for people.

The overall advantages of building a sustainable home are not only beneficial for the environment, economy and society, but they will also help to reduce your living and maintenance costs in the future. Working with a professional sustainable home designer is the best way to ensure your home design is efficient and can adapt to our modern day lifestyles. 

Get in touch with the experienced JKBD team to discuss sustainable designs solutions for your next home.

What is a Planning Consultant and Should I Hire One?

A town planning consultant specialises in advising on issues related to the planning and developing stages of property development projects. Development planning consultants will also have knowledge of environmental issues that may affect your building project.

Some town planning consultants will play an active role in all the planning stages whereas others will only be consulted for certain decisions. This can depend on what you need the planning consultant for and your budget. Planning consultants liaise with design consultants, architects, engineers, property developers and other expert consultants to understand every aspect of the project and streamline the processes. 

The role of a planning consultant 

Planning consultants can help you navigate the complex legislation and permissions that need to be obtained to build properties. A planning consultant will mainly take part in dealing with the council matters such as the planning permit process but they can also lend their expertise in overseeing other areas of your development project. 

The Planning Permit Process

A planning permit does not give full building permissions, therefore you may need to also obtain a building permit. The local government is the main authority that decides on the approval or denial of your permit application.


  • Research planning scheme (regulation of land use and development) 
  • Speak to council planner (find out whether you need to apply for a permit, if it’s prohibited, additional information you may need to submit and how it will be processed) 
  • Speak to neighbours (be aware of their concerns so you can potentially address them) 
  • Consider seeking professional advice (helps you to propose ideas that will more likely meet their standards and your needs)

Preparing and submitting application 

  • Application information and form (find out from your council what information you need to provide as well as what is specifically needed for your permit type)
  • Fee (provide estimated cost of development which will determine the fee of planning application) 

Council check of application

  • Provide more information 
  • Referral (some permit applications will require the council to obtain advice and comments from other organisations or authorities) 

Application advertisement 

  • Letters mailed to neighbours, signs posted onsite, notices in newspaper 
  • Objections may occur

Council assessment of application 

  • Consideration of objections
  • Mediations held if required 
  • Referrals considered 
  • Planning scheme provisions assessed 
  • Negotiations with permit applicant
  • Report prepared 

Council decision 

  • Council issues permit or notice of decisions (with conditions) or rejection 

VCAT review if applied for 

  • Permit applicant can appeal against refusal condition or objector appeals against notice of decision 

JKBD’s collaboration with town planning consultants

Efficient, coordinated stakeholder efforts 

At JKBD, we provide an extensive range of design services that will complement town planning and help streamline any property development project. By hiring a planning consultant to assist JKBD design consultants, we ensure effective project coordination and alignment of collaborative stakeholder efforts. Having experienced professionals work together saves you time in the planning process and will give you more peace of mind that your project is in good hands.

Harmonious partnerships and relationship building

With over 20 years of expertise, the JKBD design consultants have a wealth of experience in building strong relationships with planning consultants. As such, over the lengthy development process, planning consultants work hand in hand with us to ensure permissions are obtained faster and so we can create successful, compliant designs that will be approved. Together, as important stakeholders, we ensure that you’re making the most of your building project and getting the most value for your time, effort and money. 

Do I need to hire a Planning Consultant?

Hiring a planning consultant will be very beneficial to simplify planning processes for any kind of development. It is particularly useful when obtaining permission for your project development will not be straightforward and involves interpretation of development plans and planning policies. We recommend hiring a planning consultant before you apply for permits with the council as it will give you a better chance of success than if your project has already been refused. Employing planning and design consultants to work together on your project will make obtaining permissions faster and easier as well as ensure coordinated efforts on your development project. 

Get in touch with the specialised JKBD consultants to see how we can accelerate your property development project. 

The Benefits of Residential Property Development for Homeowners and Investors

The Benefits of Residential Property Development for Homeowners and Investors

A dilemma that homeowners and investors face in today’s property market is whether it’s worth building or buying a new home. While cost is a major factor to consider, it shouldn’t be the only one. 

When building a new home, the process can be overwhelmingly daunting for aspiring new homeowners and investors. New owner-developers may find themselves lost in the planning process or struggle to maintain construction costs, ultimately costing more time and more money long term. Working with an experienced residential developer can relieve many of these stresses, streamlining the multitude of phases involved in residential development. 

Here we delve into the main advantages of building your home or property: for new homeowners, other than Stamp Duty savings and a First Home Owners Grant (depending on your location), modern homes are often required to adhere to strict energy rating regulations, reducing long-run heating and cooling expenses. Having less competition in buying land as opposed to buying existing properties will also save you so much time and effort inspecting houses and attending auctions. Furthermore, developing your own property can also save you maintenance and renovation costs that you might otherwise have to spend for older homes.

But the best thing about building and designing your own property? You can customise everything to your needs and desires, whether it’s for yourself, your family or your intended inhabitants. Especially for investors: newer, custom designed homes are a lot easier to up sell in the property market.

What does a property/residential developer do?

Residential development is a fairly broad term that simply describes the process of finding land and transforming it into liveable homes to make a profit. The job of a residential developer is to orchestrate this process from beginning to end which generally includes: purchasing a site, designing the homes, securing financing, receiving planning permission, overlooking the building process, and finally selling. It can range from a single home, a couple of units, townhouses or skyscraper apartments. 


There are different types of developments that residential developers can work on: small to medium developments (low density), medium developments (medium density) and larger residential development (high density). Low density developments involve replacing an older home with two or more units/townhouses and subdividing the residences so they can be sold separately. Medium density developments relate to larger units and townhouses. Lastly, high density developments refer to apartments or commercial use buildings. 


Through the complex, lengthy process designing and building homes, homeowners and those interested in properties can rely on property developers to help them navigate through the property development. At JKBD design and property development, we are a Residential Design and Property Development company that can do just that for you.

What is residential property development?

Residential property development entails the related processes to buying land, building, and renovating properties, typically for families, homebuyers and small investors. The process consists of 7 main steps: 

  1. Pre-purchase stage
  2. Contract negotiation and purchase 
  3. Town planning and development approval 
  4. Drawing and documentation 
  5. Pre-construction 
  6. Construction 
  7. Completion
  8. Sales and marketing 

What are the challenges of designing multiple residential developments?

Multiple residential developments are property development projects in which more than one place of residence (unit, house or townhouse) is built in a single lot. Residential property design is a complicated process that continually has to adapt to the arising needs of the community and council planning policies, while keeping in maintaining affordability and increasing profit. For investors of multiple residential property development, these challenges can be overcome with the assistance of a residential property developer.

Rising land prices 

With land prices booming in certain suburbs of Victoria, it’s more profitable to design and build smaller apartments, however, in some areas they are more difficult to finance and sell as there isn’t as much demand for it. Therefore, achieving a balance between creating a comfortable, functional home and keeping prices reasonable is hard.

Adapting to the lifestyle of the surrounding area and customer needs

There has been an increasing demand for developers to adapt to the lifestyle and society in which new property developments occur, to ensure that all the needs of the intended inhabitants are met. In order to build a multi-residential property that will suit the community’s needs, property developers need to stay up to date with trends and conduct thorough research to understand the customers’ needs.

Balancing affordability by including parking 

A challenge with building multi-residential living is that car parking remains a fundamental requirement and criteria among renters and home buyers. By incorporating parking space into property designs, it makes it more difficult to balance affordability and ultimately appeal to a bigger market.

Transport connection and infrastructure 

Being close to transport hubs and amenities has always been a priority, and as Melbourne grows by either spreading further away from the inner city or increasing density, it is becoming a challenge to maintain connected cities. Having more space versus having more time becomes an important consideration where with more spacious land and homes, people would have to sacrifice time travelling. And on the other side of it, if you’re closer and more connected to all the facilities and amenities, you have to sacrifice space. These make tough decisions to consider in multi-residential property design. 

Conflict with local planning policies 

Sometimes the design intent of the developer doesn’t align with what planning policies allow for. In these cases, it can become a long-winded negotiation with the local council to receive your planning permit/development approval. These conflicts make it an arduous process that you would greatly benefit from hiring a property developer to handle.

Financial funding issues

Another issue to consider when designing multi residential properties, is that based on location, some banks have a minimum house size that they are willing to fund (between 40-50 square metres). This would be a major drawback of designing properties that are too small and narrow down the potential buying market.

This is why making sure you’re working with a professional who is aware of all the design and development requirements is vital to ensure the investment you make is a positive one.

Make an enquiry with the JKBD team to learn more about how we can help you.