Understanding R-Codes

Understanding R-Codes

18 Jul 2018

Understanding R-Codes: What You Need To Know To Ensure The Success Of Your Commercial Development Project

Perth is building more high density dwellings than ever before. Lots of people nowadays are prepared to sacrifice a front and back yard for the opportunity to live in apartments and townhouses in desirable locations close lifestyle attractions.

This is great news for commercial property developers, however if you’re going to capitalise on this trend then you need to be familiar with R-Codes. Standing for “Residential Design Code”, they refer to the regulations that control the quantity and type of residences that can be built on a particular plot of land.

If you’re considering a commercial development project like an apartment complex, units or townhouses, here’s a list some of the most important things you need to know about R-Codes so that you get the absolute maximum return possible from your investment.

Size Isn’t Everything

R-Codes relate to more than just the quantity, size and type of developments that can be built on a given block of land. Additional factors that must be considered include:

  • Streetscape
  • Boundary setbacks
  • Open space
  • Access & parking
  • Site work
  • Building height
  • Privacy
  • Design for climate

This means that you need to thoroughly research any potential land purchases to make sure that the R-Codes aren’t going to impede the type of project you’re considering. It only takes one seemingly small detail to derail an entire development before it even begins.

Boom Or Bust: R-Codes Are The Key To A Viable Development Project

R-Codes are important because they mean different sites of the same size can have vastly different development potential. Bigger is not necessarily always better. Smart developers will do their homework and choose lots that have the potential to build as many high density residences on them as possible. As a general rule, the more separate properties you can sell the more money you will make, so getting your R-Code research wrong can be the difference between making a healthy return or crippling a loss.

Look Before You Leap: Most Perth Lots Are Classified As Low Density

Most lots in Perth’s outer suburbs are zoned as R20 - which falls into the “low density” category and has a minimum site area per dwelling of 440m2, and as such doesn’t allow much scope for high density development on the average block.

In general, the closer you get to the CBD the more properties that are listed as R30 (with a minimum site per dwelling of 270m2) and R40 (with a minimum site per dwelling of 200m2) and are much more viable options for profitable developments as they allow more high density dwellings to be built on the same size plot of land.

That being said, council zoning is constantly evolving, and more areas are embracing the move to high density living. Areas such as Mt Pleasant, Scarborough, Burswood and Booragoon have all seen a boom in apartment developments in recent times, so there’s no real way of telling where the next high density hotspot is likely to be. As such it always pays to keep your ear to the ground so that you can get in early and capitalise on any upcoming development opportunities.

Expertise Isn’t Necessary To Make A Tidy Profit

R-Codes can have such a drastic impact on the viability of your high density commercial development project, getting them right is absolutely crucial. If you don’t have the time, energy or skill set to ensure that this happens then there are plenty of experts out there you can engage to guide you through the process.

As one of Perth’s most highly regarded and trusted commercial property building contractors, Emco can help make sure that you navigate the R-Codes and build the kind of high density property development that’s going to be a success.

Get in touch today to find out more about what our dedicated team of R-Code experts can do for you!

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