Case Study – When Less is More!

When Less is More!

icubed’s design team are often presented with a blank canvas and a brief from a client that includes the question along the lines of ‘what can we fit’ on a site. This approach to development is understandable, as clients without fixed development needs typically want to maximise the return on their investment. For a speculative development, increased building area equates to less land cost per square metre of development.

Our design team recently completed a design for a large industrial development where the brief was “maximum site coverage”. The project achieved approvals for an impressive 60% site cover. However, after preliminary price estimates from contractors, our client presented us with the challenge to improve the building cost rate per square meter. This afforded us the opportunity to reflect-on and optimise the design as we saw fit.

We found by reducing the floor area by 9% we were able to achieve a substantial price reduction while maintaining similar storage capacity. We reviewed building access, building platform levels, building shape, alternate fire engineering solution, simplification of structural framing and much more.

Alternate Design Summary

  • 55% site cover (from original 60%)
  • Comparable storage yield through more efficient building layout
  • 9% smaller building footprint
  • $137m2 cheaper to build (22% less expensive)

A change in direction when a project is only a concept on paper is always more cost effective than making changes during construction.  Working with a trusted design team can allow for honest optimisation of design to suit the client needs. As in the case above, sometimes less is more!


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