Design Guidelines
Macquarie University Property

Site Planning

Site Planning Requirements

Site Selection

The site location for development is to be determined in conjunction with Macquarie University Property and is to align with the Concept Plan and Campus Master Plan and Design Excellence Strategy and Urban Design Guideline.

The project functional brief may include a defined site area or a number of site options.


Existing site services to be included on drawings as follows:

  • Services tunnel (where applicable)
  • Drainage lines, sumps, trenches and manholes for stormwater
  • Drainage lines and manholes for sewerage
  • Electrical supply mains, including external lighting cables
  • Gas supply mains
  • Telecom cables and pits
  • Domestic water supply mains (including fire protection supply)
  • Central Alarm Monitoring and control System (CAMAC)
  • Audio visual, computer, and security cables.
Information provided by Macquarie University Property identifying existing infrastructure is for information purposes only. The University provides no warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any information provided. The Designer must make their own investigations as to the appropriateness or otherwise of any information provided.

Building Identification

Previously. buildings and facilities across the campus were identified using an alpha numeric system. As works are undertaken progressively on buildings, a new building identification system will be implemented that relates to building or facility via its street address.

Further information

Site Investigations

Prior to design and development, the following is required for each site.

  • Obtain surveys of pre-development conditions, including existing site
  • Existing buildings and surrounding conditions, surrounding noise sources and local context
  • Review local council development information, including future development plans for the local area
  • Analysis of existing contour surveys and information available
  • Undertake an evaluation of relative importance of factors for site Conduct an assessment to determine impact on and interaction with site development
  • The design team are to inspect the site, existing buildings and services to clarify the extent of works required.

Survey Reference Grid

University buildings and services have been positioned (sited) in relation to 0:0 reference point off campus. The coordinates of existing buildings and Australian height datum (AHD) levels are shown on the site plans are available from Macquarie University Property.
Construction survey reference points are to be designated relative to the University reference point.

Site Clearance

Existing Trees & Natural Flora

Where practicable, retain existing both native and exotic, plus under-story native vegetation in accordance with any 'fauna and flora' study, environmental impact statement (EIS) recommendations and local authority (Council) tree preservation orders.
The removal of trees and local flora may cause an area to lose its character and it may take a substantial effort and cost to re-vegetate the area. Working with the existing environment can reduce the long-term cost of the facility and improve whole of life conditions.

Top Soil

Existing topsoil will often include nutrients that will be beneficial in re-establishing vegetation, therefore existing topsoil should be retained for later use in site development.


Ground surface contours of the site and the surrounding areas are shown on the Campus Survey, which can be obtained from Macquarie University Property.

Level Changes

Careful consideration of level changes around new developments is an important factor in the design of the campus.

When designing facilities the following should be considered:

  • Natural slope of site: where possible, utilise natural site contours when planning buildings and site facilities
  • Cut and Fill: should be minimised
  • Surface drainage and avoidance of erosion
  • User safety
  • Maintenance & servicing requirements of various surface materials
  • Banking is preferred to retaining walls
  • Maximum Slope for mowing 1:4, (1:8 preferred)
  • Slopes with mass planting preferably 1:4 to 1:3. Must be maintained and shouldn't interrupt pedestrian desired travel lines
  • Slopes > 1:3 (ground surface stabilisation will be required)
  • Slopes > 1:2 (retaining walls will be required).


All pedestrian ramps across the campus are to comply with the access requirements as set out in the Building Code of Australia building regulations and Australian Standard (AS) AS 1428 Design for access and mobility - General requirements for access - New building work suite of standards.

Vehicular & Site Access

As part of the Campus Master Plan a number of vehicle and pedestrian access pathway maps have been developed to direct the forward planning of facilities on the campus. Any new facilities and buildings are to take into consideration and support these access pathways.

Additionally, during any construction works it is important to ensure that:

  • Emergency vehicle access is maintained through the campus to all buildings 24 hours a day
  • Pedestrian access through the campus is not prevented
  • Maintenance vehicle access is provided for emergency vehicles 24 hours a day to existing buildings
  • Vehicle access to buildings, through the campus and to construction sites will be agreed by Macquarie University Property..
  • Authorised construction and delivery vehicles will be issued with temporary entrance permits.

Further information


Interruption to Existing Services

The core business hours of the Macquarie University Campus are 7:00am – 10:00pm on weekdays and
8:00am – 6:00pm on weekends. A number of services and functions such as essential services, security and the Computer Operations Room operate continuously while others such as research laboratories can only be deprived of services for short periods of time by arrangement with advanced notice.

It is imperative that any design and subsequent building work considers the unique operating environments of the University and the impact of service interruption including provision of temporary services to maintain continuity. This should be captured in a site services management plan that is provided as part of the project.