Changing demands

A lack of supply in affordable housing options coupled with fundamental changes in demographics and lifestyle trends are generating an increased need for greenfield residential developments to deliver more diverse and affordable housing options for modern Australian society.

Developers of these master-planned communities are responding to evolving market demands with approaches that include reduced lot frontages and lot depths, innovative corner housing designs for block ends, rear access terrace homes and studio accommodation over rear garages.

Major Australian volume builders have begun identifying how they too can contribute to the delivery of these types of housing options. Many are starting to realise that future planning requirements will be aiming for increased net densities therefore innovative housing products that suit smaller lots will start to shift from niche to mainstream.

Maximising the end product

Porter Davis are one of Melbourne’s largest volume builders, constructing over 1,000 homes per year. They offer consumers a range of housing designs and price points. They have many display homes located across Melbourne attracting more than 8,000 people every month.

To provide effective solutions to the increased demand for affordable housing options, Porter Davis are working with leading property developers to deliver better house and land packages, including an entirely new range of homes, the Smarter Living Range, designed to work within existing grid layouts and newly proposed layouts of land parcels, assisting with a better delivery of product.

Of particular note, their Kingscliff design, a three bedroom, two bathroom home complete with garage, combines open plan living, dining and kitchen area with well-placed bedrooms, designer amenities and affordability.

There is direct access into the home from the garage and rear yard access without having to walk through the home.

Redefining boundaries

Applying composite construction systems made available with James Hardie® products rather than using brick on the rear and sides of the Kingscliff home has provided additional internal floor space of approximately 5m² extra per every 100m².

This was achieved through the elimination of wasted wall cavity space and resulted in Porter Davis’ ability to ensure a three bedroom dwelling with an added study nook. This home design is on the market for around the same price point as two bedroom alternatives from other builders.

  • Modern, intelligent and attractive designs, generating market appeal
  • Designs that met target market expectations relating to affordability; and
  • Reduced frontage requirements, resulting in land cost savings

“Recently, we have created far better outcomes on reduced lot sizes by eliminating useless cavities and brick claddings. Composite building products are now sought after, where once they may have been dismissed as a cost effective replacement”. Keith Fuller - Senior Designer, Porter Davis Group

Smarter construction

Porter Davis were looking to design a product offering that would fit a non-standard, 8 metre wide lot. The Industry standard small lot width prior to the delivery of this product was 8.5 metres. The half-metre reduction in frontage equated to approximate $10,000 in land savings. The Kingscliff design met with this new requirement, due in part to the use of composite construction with James Hardie® materials.

Using James Hardie building products on three sides of the Kingscliff home also assisted with some of the more practical challenges of working on the narrow 8m blocks including general material handling on site, where significantly reduced working areas create issues with the manoeuvrability of traditional building materials.

  • Issues with manoeuvring bricks around site almost eliminated – bricks designed to the front of the home only, improving speed and ease of construction
  • James Hardie® Primeline® Newport weatherboard (with an optional upgrade to Scyon Linea™ weatherboard or Scyon Stria cladding) was selected as the standard product for its ability to be joined off stud. This contributed to reduced wastage and resulted in completed wall cost savings.
  • James Hardie® worked with designers and builders to help ensure junction details and installation methods were cost effective and installed to best practice standards Profitable partnership James Hardie and Porter Davis have a long and successful history of working together. In solving the challenges of affordable housing and reduced lot sizes, Porter Davis designers turned to James Hardie to assist with the development of a product with liveable spaces for compact lots.

When it came to the building, James Hardie worked with Porter Davis’ crews to ensure that the innovative designs were easily installed. They were supported throughout the construction process to increase speed and ease of product completion. Upon the success of this product, James Hardie are now reviewing the designs with Porter Davis to assist with the continued improvement and evolution of the product range. 

“We are always seeking new products and good solutions to economical building practices. James Hardie has provided us with numerous product ranges that seek to enhance the look and feel of our homes” Keith Fuller - Senior Designer, Porter Davis Group

Find more case studies here