Different building methods and materials 10 Landscape Lighting Design Ideas
As briefly discussed under the heading National Building Regulations (page 11), a prospective homeowner or designer is actually encouraged by these regulations to use innovative designs and alternative building materials.
The promulgation of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act has therefore seen the conception of an extended series of alternative building materials, including timber products and many different prefabricated systems.
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Since a detailed discussion of the various innovative or alternative building methods is way beyond the scope of this book, we will focus solely on building plans for houses built from old-fashioned, tried and tested (and economical) bricks and mortar.
Site cleaning and stripping
Before any foundation excavations can be undertaken, a site must be properly prepared and cleared by removing all rubble and plant material such as grass and shrubs. If the site is saturated with groundwater, or if a natural flow of rainwater occurs across the site, a proper drainage system must be incorporated to drain the water to the municipal storm-water system. Care must also be taken not to generate unnecessary dust and noise pollution.
Anybody building a house is allowed to erect a temporary builder’s shed on the stand, and is obliged to provide the necessary sanitary facilities for the workers on the site.
Bulk earthworks and excavations
The owner must ensure that all earthworks and excavations are safe and stable. Excavations deeper than 3 m must be designed by a competent person, and must be approved by the local authority.
All excavations for strip foundations must be level (horizontal). Where an excavation runs across a slope in the land, it must be stepped into horizontal sections. All excavations for strip foundations must be at least 300 mm deep.
It is recommended that a land surveyor be appointed to ensure that the house is set out correctly within boundaries and statutory building lines.
On completion of all foundation excavations, and before any concrete is placed, a building inspector from the local authority must be called out for a compulsory foundation inspection. During this inspection the dimensions and level of the excavations will be scrutinised. It will also be ascertained whether the builder has kept to the approved building plan, and whether the layout is positioned as indicated on the plan.