Building depth Print

Design Outcome

Desi​gn Checklist

  1. The building provides a good level of amenity for building occupants in terms of sun access, daylight, natural ventilation and privacy 
  2. Earthworks on sloping sites are minimised by using the most appropriate building depth and orientation
​​​​​Building depth refers to the floorplate dimension from the front to the back of the building (as opposed to frontage width).
Building depth will also respond to the geometry and topography of the site. On steeply sloping sites, for example, a shallow floorplate running parallel to contours should be considered.

Better Design Practice

The depth of dual aspect buildings should not exceed 14 metres in order to allow natural light and ventilation. If a building is deeper than 14 metres it should be able to demonstrate how satisfactory internal daylighting and natural ventilation will be achieved. Refer diagrams above. A depth of greater than 14 metres is likely to require artificial lighting in the centre of the building. More than 14 metres of building depth is also difficult to naturally ventilate. As well as being environmentally advantageous, natural ventilation is often economically advantageous. The cost of artificial ventilation over the long term is considerable.

Rules of Thumb

In single aspect buildings a maximum depth of 8m also allows natural ventilation to occur

  • The back wall of a primary living space (kitchen, living or dining) should be no more than eight metres from a window 
  • Make buildings over 14 metres deep at least 4.5m wide to avoid deep, narrow layouts 
  • North facing spaces should be designed with a layout and material finishes that support passive solar design using floor and wall areas to store heat
Provide Feedback Next Page   Previous Page