Design Review Committee: four step approval process explained
This week we talk to Maureen Benier, Director of Scape Architecture and Urban Design, who leads the Design Review Committee (DRC) at Mullum Creek. Maureen explains the simple step-by-step process for obtaining DRC approval for homes built at Mullum Creek.
Maureen has nearly two decades of experience in all aspects of housing estate development, from masterplanning through to ongoing design review and advice to new residents. Maureen’s particular talent is her ability to achieve positive outcomes for all involved.
“Mullum Creek is one of the most interesting projects I’ve ever worked with. It seeks to achieve high environmental standards at the same time as creating beautiful homes that are both economical to run and sensitively sited in an ecologically significant setting.
Guidelines have been painstakingly prepared to help bring this Mullum Creek vision into reality. As in most new developments these days, the DRC plays a crucial role in ensuring a high standard of design and construction that protects and enhances the value of every property in the estate. Without a DRC at Mullum Creek, we simply wouldn’t be doing this beautiful community justice.
As head of the DRC, it’s my job to ensure we communicate the design guidelines as effectively as we can, and assist purchasers with the approvals process every step of the way. To ensure we are all on the same page from the outset, we organise an initial briefing meeting between purchasers and the DRC where we introduce them to the guidelines and answer any questions they may have.
We also introduce them to our panel of preferred architects and designers who are familiar with the project’s objectives and experienced in environmental design – a great resource for purchasers looking for help with the design of their homes at Mullum Creek. These designers cater to a variety of architectural styles and budgets.
Although the design guidelines and approvals process can seem a little daunting at first, we have broken the process down into four simple steps:
Step 1: Preliminary Design Review
Homeowners submit preliminary sketches to the DRC. Advice will be provided to resolve any problems.
Step 2: Applying for formal design approval
By this point the plans and elevations should be fairly complete, however further tweaks and minor adjustments will still be accepted. The DRC will obtain an AccuRate energy efficiency assessment if one has not already been undertaken via a Mullum Creek Incentive, and will provide feedback and advice. By this stage we suggest that landscaping plans should be well underway, to ensure that the home and landscape are integrated and work well together.
Step 3: Developed design approval
The DRC will conduct a final review of the plans, including the AccuRate assessment. Following DRC approval, you can apply for your planning and building permits from Council. The DRC receives and keeps copies of all plans, construction and permit documents, so it can check they are in accordance with the original approval.
Step 4: Landscaping
The landscaping process can often take some time and we understand that some owners may want to move into their new home and experience the site before they confirm plans for the landscaping. With this in mind, if the landscaping plans haven’t already been locked in during step 2, we ask that owners work with the DRC on their landscaping plans as soon as possible after moving into their new home.
Once submissions for each step have been received, the DRC will generally take 15 working days to process and respond”.
Mullum Creek is located on Wurundjeri country.
We acknowledge the Wurundjeri people as the Traditional Custodians of the of the land and respect their continuing connection to land, water and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.