How 3D Architecture has Become Essential for Planning

3D architecture has transitioned from being a luxury to a necessity for Irish planning applications. If you’re a property developer, architect or Irish planning consultant, you should be aware that it is now industry standard to include 3D architecture as part of a planning application to local authorities or to An Bord Pleanála.

3D planning solutions include verified view montages, LVIA/TVIA reports and BRE Daylight/Sunlight assessments. If you’re working on large-scale schemes, such as Strategic Housing Developments (SHD), Private Rental Schemes (PRS) and Built to Rent Developments (BTR), these 3D planning solutions are now considered a prerequisite.

What Types of 3D Architecture Are Used In Planning Applications?

Verified View Montages

Verified view montages (VVMs) are technical images that accurately show the visual impact of a proposed development. VVM generally range in distance from medium to long range and can take in protected views.

VVMs are created to a high level of verifiable accuracy using survey data, precise photography and a strict methodology according to the latest industry standard guidelines.

Including a set of verified view montages in a planning application has become the industry standard and norm in Ireland.

Presentation Photomontages and CGIs

Presentation photomontages and CGIs are produced in conjunction with technical VVMs in order to best present the proposed scheme from a close range design point of view.

They are included as part of the planning application. Presentation photomontages and CGIs provide clients, design consultants and the planning authorities with an accurate and photo-realistic representation of the quality in design and finish of the scheme.

BRE Daylight & Sunlight Assessments:

BRE daylight & sunlight assessments: are detailed technical reports that evaluate the potential environmental impact on daylight, sunlight and overshadowing by a proposed development.

BRE Daylight and sunlight studies focus on impact analysis (the proposed development on its surrounding environment) and internal analysis (the proposed development on itself).

Under the BRE guidelines, property developments are assessed for impacts on Sun lighting, vertical sky component (VSC), annual probable sunlight hours (APSH) and average daylight factor (ADF).

LVIA & TVIA Reports:

Landscape and townscape visual impact assessment reports are a technical report to address the impact that a proposed development will have on its surrounding environment.

Verified view montages play a key role in the review and writing of such reports and form the basis of their findings. LVIA & TVIA reports are key components to planning applications of large schemes such as SHDs, BTRs and PRSs.

Local authorities and An Bord Pleanála have the authority to insist on reports being submitted as part of any planning application.

Why has 3D Architecture Become Essential for Planning Applications?

3D architecture was once considered a luxury or a “nice to have” when trying to secure planning permission. Planning consultants and developers would not always include these images and reports in applications. However expectations have significantly shifted in recent years and verified view montages, LVIA & TVIA reports along with BRE daylight and sunlight assessments are now considered integral items in a planning application.

Today, as Ireland’s property market surges, and cities become more densely populated the service of 3D architecture has most certainly lost its ‘luxury’ label and become a prerequisite in securing planning approval for any type and scale of scheme. Irish planning authorities have become accustomed to instant visual assessment, which is in keeping with the fast pace of the digital transformation era we are currently experiencing.

3D architecture is proven to increase the chances of success of a proposed development receiving a clean grant from local authorities or An Bord Pleanála.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Does it matter which 3D firm I choose for my planning application?

Yes, like any professional service, quality in standards and service provided will vary across the industry. However it is crucial to breathe confidence in the planning authorities and therefore it’s extremely important to use a 3D studio that is trusted within the industry.

3D Design Bureau have established themselves as industry leaders in Ireland with over 20 years of experience in providing 3D planning solutions for clients and liaising with the Irish planning authorities.

How long does it take to produce 3D planning imagery and reports?

This depends on several factors. 1) The scale of the development. 2) Requirements from the planning authorities 3) requirements from the other design team consultants, particularly the planning consultant 4) sensitivity of the site and its surrounding environment.

3D Design Bureau generally experience projects falling into a few time categories – 1-2 weeks, 2-4 weeks, 4-6 weeks and 6-8 weeks. Many factors dictate the exact timeframes involved in a given project.

What files and documents do I need to provide for 3D planning images and reports?

This depends on the project, but most 3D firms will require a full set of architectural, engineering, landscaping and survey drawings along with design references. Suggested viewpoints for Verified View Montages is also important. For BRE Daylight and Sunlight Assessments, 3D Design Bureau will advise what areas require analysis.

It is important to work very closely with clients and other project team consultants to acquire all the information we need to start a project and deliver on it. You should always try to supply a client brief at the project inquiry stage or talk with us to discuss the options and best approach to take on your project.

How much does it cost for 3D design planning images and reports?

This all depends on the requirements of the client and the type of scheme that is proposed. A lot of design studios will have set prices for certain 3D planning solutions, but this is more for show than reality as every project has different requirements.

3D Design Bureau advise choosing a 3D studio that is renowned for its quality, accuracy and turn-around times as this will ultimately save a client time and money in the long run by meeting deadlines and breathing confidence in planning authorities. Projects we work on can range from a €2K up to €20k/€30K.

Will I incur additional costs for changes and comments on the 3D images and reports?

Yes and no. As part of the great service that 3D Design Bureau offer, we tend to absorb a considerable amount of comments and requested changes on a project. It is par for the course to a general extent. However, where there are significant design changes, or changes to requirements or the scope of work, clients are advised in advance that additional costs may be incurred.

We insist in good communication and collaboration with clients and the relevant consultants throughout an entire project to ensure there are no surprises at the end of a project.

I need 3D design planning solutions for a project, how do I get started?

That’s the easy part, 3D Design Bureau have a dedicated team to help you get started on a project. Simply drop an email to info@3ddesignbureau.com or call 01 288 0186 and a member of our team will help you get the ball rolling.