One of the challenges we have to face when designing a housing on the site in Hexham is the condition of the site which is not flat. Site is a hill that starts from the northern site near the main road and goes up to the south. Therefore, we try to figure out how to design a house on the sloping site.
Before talking about the ways to overcome a site that is not flat, the figure below tries to explain the situations which is possible to be faced when making a home on the site. There are 4 possibilities i.e. down slope, up slope, side slope and rolling slope. All these possibilities are clearly explained in the image below.
All people that work in any field certainly understand that a home should be made as flat as possible. Therefore, before starting the construction process, the contractors and designers have to think about what they should do with the sloping site. Perhaps, for the architects, this is a basic knowledges that already known by them, but this information may be useful to other colleagues who are not from architecture. Those ways are cut, fill and cut & fill.
Cut is a way of leveling the land where a house / building will be constructed by cutting the area of the land. Furthermore, to prevent the soil in the landslide, a retaining wall have to made in order to hold back the soil.
The opposite of the cut, fill is a way to level the land by filling the area with concrete or other materials. It is like creating a new platform in order to flatten the surface of the area so that a house can be built.
CUT & FILL
These 3 ways would have a different impact. All depends on site conditions, the concept of design and budget owned by the owner. When we talk about the price, “Fill” will cost higher than the 2 other because “Fill” needs more extra material. However, “Fill” could be the best option if the designer wants the house is in a higher position than the ground in order to get a view. This kind of thing can happen in other ways as well. Therefore, designers should think seriously before deciding which way that want to be used so that the selected method is good for all parties.
First In Architecture (2015) Tips for building on a sloped terrain [online] Available at: http://www.firstinarchitecture.co.uk/tips-for-building-on-a-sloped-terrain/ [Accessed 1st March 2015]
Home Building (n.d) how to build on sloping site [online] Available at: http://www.homebuilding.co.uk/advice/beginners/plots/build-sloping-site [Accessed 1st March 2015]
Albermarle (n.d) The neighborhood model: building block for the development area [online] Available at: https://www.albemarle.org/upload/images/forms_center/departments/community_development/forms/Neighborhood_Model/Neighborhood_Model_Design_Approch_for_Principle11.pdfv [Accessed 1st March 2015]
Tweed Shire Council, n.d. Together Forward, Australia