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Monday, September 10, 2018
The Recipe of A Well Thought Out Design

Two beef paddies’, lettuce, onion, mayo on a sesame seed bun – a relatively small number of ingredients comprising what is probably one of the most popular burgers throughout history. Is it these individual ingredients we think of when we give into our cravings? No, we want a burger, (maybe some fries and a milkshake too if we are feeling extra indulgent)!

It is the combination of ingredients that elegantly come together to form the singular item that we crave – all complimenting each other to form what we know as a burger.

Balanced? Elegant? Maybe…it depends how into burgers you are… My unhealthy ‘startup founder’ lifestyle aside; this analogy can be applied to practically anything, particularly when planning and designing a building project – the well-balanced combination of elements to form a structure or project.

How do we find that balance, that all-important ‘feng shui’ we need to create a practical and aesthetically pleasing renovation or building project that suits our taste and style, while not completely destroying our re-sell value, bank account and sanity in the process? Unlike a simple item such as a burger, which only has a few ingredients, a house or even a relatively small building project can have hundreds of crucial options, of which one or two poor choices may ruin the flavour of the entire project.

Hilarious case in point:
The Westminster Bridge, London.

At first glance, nothing really stands out as unusual, let alone stunning about this bridge…it’s nice, I guess, but not amazing in comparison to some of its neighbouring masterpieces. However, as observed by generations of immature locals and tourists (myself unapologetically included), at certain times of day when the sunlight is just right (on a rare sunny day in London), the side rail casts an unfortunate shadow!

A small and un-obvious design oversight which now dominates my immature thought process whenever I think of ye olde Limey. When designing, it is important to think outside of the box about every minor detail and how it could have an unintended effect on other seemingly unrelated aspects.

During my career, I have been a structural draftsman, architect, geotechnical analysist, as well as dabbling in structural and geoengineering along the way. I have recently made the shift into the tech industry, building and designing software to simplify the building industry for everyone (See www.udrew.com.au). Plugs aside, I have been involved with several construction projects and managed to get my hands dirty on the way.

This has given me plenty of time to develop a broad view of the entire build process, from initial design to finish, and importantly I have learnt from my mistakes on the way (which for the record would take up a whole other article by themselves)!

Mistakes are certainly an efficient way to learn quickly. This is especially true when undertaking a building project, which can mean thousands of dollars down the drain in the blink of an eye, or being reminded every day when you leave to work that you should have spent the extra $150 for larger size front door which catches your shoulder every morning.

Here are my top few hints and tips to make sure you get your recipe right from the start of your building process, as learnt from my mistakes and experience: