Affordable building: Sloping sites
Building on a slope is most builders’ worst nightmare. As well as the design challenges, there is the issue of earthwork and the ongoing problem of effective drainage to be solved.
|But, with more and more sloping blocks – and less flat blocks – for sale, building on sloping sites is something we are seeing much more frequently.
The challenges these sites pose can be overcome – with a bit of smart design thinking and the use of lightweight materials.
Lightweight is easier for slopesThe use of lightweight materials drastically reduces a home’s impact on its natural landscape – and also makes working on a slope a lot easier. After all, whoever is charged with building the house has to get the materials there.
Perth-based building designer John McQuade favours lightweight building materials for sloping sites because they are easier to work with during construction.
“If down the track you want to change the home’s layout, it is much easier with lightweight than knocking through cavity brick walls,” he said. “Lightweight construction generally requires less cutting and filling, too.”
Sloping sites specialist
Queensland architect Sean Leigh, of Outlook Homes Qld, specialises in slope sensitive home designs. We recently profiled a new project of his: Greenwith Mk3.
Leigh’s prediction is that sloping sites will become more and more popular. “With more sloping blocks for sale these days and less flat land available, more and more people are looking at these styles of houses,” he explained.
There are obvious design challenges, but drainage is a key issue. Leigh said: “Drainage is always a really important consideration for sloping sites – basically, you can never have too much drainage!”
More tips on sloping sites