Building a in a regional location such as the South Coast and South West regions of Western Australia presents a unique set of challenges. Increased distances from major metropolitan areas results in reduced access to materials and trades which in turn results in an increase in cost. A broad indication of the cost variation across the regions can be seen in the regional building indices for each area (Rawlinsons 2017). With Perth the base at 100 the indices for some of the areas are as follows: Bunbury (105), Albany (115), Denmark (120) and Margaret River (125).
There are many other factors that also contribute to an increase in cost in regional areas. The sites we work on often have minimal access to services. In many cases there is no access to town water supply. This results in rainwater being required to be stored in water tanks on site and plumbed into the building. There is often no ability to connect to a town sewer resulting in an onsite wastewater system being required. Steep sloping sites also require additional site works and high wind ratings and clay soil types will require an increase in structural requirements. Building in a bushfire prone area will require additional construction requirements depending on the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) and meeting the energy efficiency requirements of the local climate zone can also add cost.
Therefore, it is very important in a regional area to carefully consider the design and construction methods in relation to cost. This is especially important when the vision is to create a high quality bespoke piece of architecture. PTX Architects have been delivering successful building projects in these regions for almost a decade and have developed a buildability knowledge base designed to overcome these challenges. Throughout the design process cost implications of design decisions are carefully considered often in consultation with a cost consultant. We also work closely with experienced local builders and tailor the construction methods to the available local trades and materials.
As our clients are mostly Perth based we provide on the ground project management making sure the client is kept informed of the construction progress. We thoroughly evaluate and certify the constructions time, cost and quality ensuring the client is getting the best value for their money. It is very important to us that all the important design decisions made throughout the process are implemented correctly and the highest quality architectural outcomes are achieved.