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WINDOWS & DAYLIGHT in a ROOM: BCA?

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  1. #1
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    Default WINDOWS & DAYLIGHT in a ROOM: BCA?

    Hi All,
    Would anyone know what the requirements are for windows in a room. We are subdividing a corner block & the developer has drawn up plans - bricking up the existing double sliding doors because they will look straight into the new carport (requirement - planning) - which is replacing some back decking.
    They are putting in new sliding doors to the side of the room (house) which will lead out to a small deck in a side patio garden (open space requirement - planning).

    This large room will have the new sliding doors & 2 internal doors and a very small servery window to the kitchen. No windows. When we queried the lack of light, the development consultant got really irritated & told us that we were wasting time. Said it was just to get it through Council Planning and we could put in windows ourselves if we thought it needed it. They had drawn 4 internal rooms - kitchen - dining - family room & small study, all, as if it was one large space - so that it appears to have 4 windows (in fact there are none). We are very concerned about re-sale and naturally BCA requirements.
    We thought that there would be issues (BCA requirements) re; light, safety, & ventilation. Should we be concerned?

    Any help here would be very welcome. The guy was pretty rude. Pugsey

  2. #2
    3K Club Member johnc's Avatar
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    There is no excuse for poor design, and very poor design leads to low resale. The rudeness at the start is a very bad sign, it is likely to get worse from here.

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    - There is no excuse for poor design, and very poor design leads to low resale. The rudeness at the start is a very bad sign, it is likely to get worse from here.

    Hi JohnC - thanks for reply. Yes, it's a problem - the rudeness - Wondering if we should write a letter to the 3 directors. - It's a really large company & we don't feel like putting up with 'bully nonsense' for another 10 months. It's costing a packet, too. When we asked could we 'not' brick up the existing doors and just turn it into a window - he said, "why would you do that when it'd look like crap!?" - NICE! & that was only one comment. Maybe feels threatened because they are not 100% above board. - I'm sure no windows in a room is not on. ? Anyone? - cheers - Pugsey....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Puggy-too View Post
    - There is no excuse for poor design, and very poor design leads to low resale. The rudeness at the start is a very bad sign, it is likely to get worse from here.

    Hi JohnC - thanks for reply. Yes, it's a problem - the rudeness - Wondering if we should write a letter to the 3 directors. - It's a really large company & we don't feel like putting up with 'bully nonsense' for another 10 months. It's costing a packet, too. When we asked could we 'not' brick up the existing doors and just turn it into a window - he said, "why would you do that when it'd look like crap!?" - NICE! & that was only one comment. Maybe feels threatened because they are not 100% above board. - I'm sure no windows in a room is not on. ? Anyone? - cheers - Pugsey....
    Writing letters can be very effective, it can be a shock for the Directors/owners to find out what an employee is up to at times. If there are no windows you need natural light from somewhere which usually means skylights plus ventilation, so opeing skylights. This will usually be more expensive than normal windows. Sounds like your plans are being drawn up by a bog basic draftsman with no intention to do anything but cut corners and minimise costs. You need to establish what you really want and if you are prepared to pay I guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnc View Post
    Writing letters can be very effective, it can be a shock for the Directors/owners to find out what an employee is up to at times. If there are no windows you need natural light from somewhere which usually means skylights plus ventilation, so opeing skylights. This will usually be more expensive than normal windows. Sounds like your plans are being drawn up by a bog basic draftsman with no intention to do anything but cut corners and minimise costs. You need to establish what you really want and if you are prepared to pay I guess.
    Hi JohnC
    Thanks for the reply. We will definitely put in more light than the proposed sliding doors. So is it true that they can do all this just to get it through planning? When you get the building permit is that when all the extra detail comes in - window requirements etc.? If the guy said "no one will check" - I assume they won't bother with the extra detail.
    We actually took the most expensive quote & top recommendation from the Council because this company prided themselves on never having anything knocked back or go to VCAT. I thing this guy is so agro because they do handle so much work. But when I went to Council with him for an original briefing - I did get the feeling that they were a bit too familiar - like there's a meeting on, just to tick a box. Might ask to be given a different consultant. -- If there are no windows you need natural light from somewhere which usually means skylights plus ventilation, so opeing skylights. --- So this is in the BCA - ventilation & windows? Pugsey



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    Quote Originally Posted by Puggy-too View Post
    Hi JohnC
    Thanks for the reply. We will definitely put in more light than the proposed sliding doors. So is it true that they can do all this just to get it through planning? When you get the building permit is that when all the extra detail comes in - window requirements etc.? If the guy said "no one will check" - I assume they won't bother with the extra detail.
    We actually took the most expensive quote & top recommendation from the Council because this company prided themselves on never having anything knocked back or go to VCAT. I thing this guy is so agro because they do handle so much work. But when I went to Council with him for an original briefing - I did get the feeling that they were a bit too familiar - like there's a meeting on, just to tick a box. Might ask to be given a different consultant. -- If there are no windows you need natural light from somewhere which usually means skylights plus ventilation, so opeing skylights. --- So this is in the BCA - ventilation & windows? Pugsey


    I'm the last one to ask about the BCA but I would question what you were quoted on if their were no plans. In my experience of a small number of building projects and new builds is what gets submitted to council is what gets built. It is also not unusual to get asked to revise or alter on some points. If they said no one will check i would be very concerned because that means they use a building inspector who they know is not doing his job. It all sounds a bit fishy and I would think the red flags you have raised give you every reason to be concerned. They might be big builders but it does sound like a page from the dodgy brothers handbook of how to screw a customer.

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    Have a read through this section of BCA. You'll see it sets out requirements for either natural light and ventilation or artificial light and ventilation. So I suppose it's up to you which way you go with all that.

    It would make sense to me that at design stage when it is possible to use natural light and ventilation, you would design it that way.

    When I converted this online section to a PDF it made the writing pretty small so you'll need to use the zoom button to read it.

    Light and Ventilation.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by shauck View Post
    Have a read through this section of BCA. You'll see it sets out requirements for either natural light and ventilation or artificial light and ventilation. So I suppose it's up to you which way you go with all that.

    It would make sense to me that at design stage when it is possible to use natural light and ventilation, you would design it that way.

    When I converted this online section to a PDF it made the writing pretty small so you'll need to use the zoom button to read it.

    Light and Ventilation.pdf
    Thanks both JohnC & Shauck,
    Well - What I did was phone the building commission (Vic) - they're quite helpful. Unfortunately, the developer is right. A room with double glass doors to outside is enough ventillation and light according to them. (???) I reckon it's got to be wrong because the room is about 30 - 35 sq mts. - more of a rumpus room. But they did say that if we "put 'em in later" as the developer/consultant said we could do - then it would still have to go through planning (because it 'might' overlook something). He, the developer - knows we are in a hurry to get it all through. He can't be bothered to get a good outcome for our existing house (a deceased estate) - that's what I think. We are going to put in an extra window/light now, anyway. This is costing an arm and a leg - even though they're like a developer/design factory. Should have done this ourselves. thanks to U both. Pugsey.

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    Good that you get your plans right at this stage. Any major change to them later will just cost you more. I'm wondering though. If you are presently putting in for a planning permit, later when you put in for building permit, can you not make alterations at that stage??? Anyone???


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