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Unit: Installation requirements

Section: Services and design

MSFKB3002: Determine requirements for installation

Competencies covered

MSFKB3002: Determine requirements for installation

Design concepts

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The project plans and design brief for a job should tell you exactly where the appliances and cabinets need to go.

These may have been developed by an architect or builder in consultation with the client, or you may have been involved directly in their development.

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The floor plan will set out the positions of cabinets, appliances and bench tops.

The elevation for each wall will indicate the heights of shelves and overhead cupboards.

For technical details not shown on the drawings, such as fixing requirements and materials, the written specifications should help.

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If any important information isn't provided in these documents, it's always best to find out before you go ahead with that part of the job.

For example, the builder or appliance sales centre should be able to give you information sheets for each of the appliances, which will indicate exact dimensions, ventilation requirements and other installation details.

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The kitchen work triangle

Even if you're not directly involved in the initial design of the kitchen, it's good to have an understanding of design principles as the on-site installer. This allows you to see the reasoning behind the layout that has been used for the various cabinets, appliances and other features. It also helps you to pick up any problems that might suddenly become obvious during the installation process that had not been considered in the original design.

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The kitchen work triangle is a design principle used widely by designers.

Its basic concept is that the sink, refrigerator and cook top are focal points in every kitchen, and therefore form a 'work triangle'.

The optimum distance between these points should be between 1200 mm and 2700 mm.

Below are four common floor plans that use the kitchen work triangle as their basis.

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Galley plan

This plan allows cleaning, cooking and preparation to be kept separate. And because there are no return corners, all of the space underneath the bench tops is easily accessible.

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L shaped plan

The L shaped plan is sometimes called the homestead or country kitchen plan. This is because it provides plenty of space to put a kitchen table in the middle of the room.

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U shaped plan

This is the most popular design in modern homes. It is generally located at one end of a family room, with one of the benches used as a breakfast bar or servery.

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Island plan

The big advantage of this plan is that two cooks can work together without getting into each other's way. In some designs the island bench also acts as a breakfast bar.

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Learning activity

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Each of the four designs shown above has its own advantages, and can be the most appropriate plan to use under particular circumstances. However, each one also has potential disadvantages, depending on the layout of the home and the needs of the occupants.

See if you can think of one disadvantage for each of these plans. Describe the problem and situations where it might occur. Share your answers with your trainer and other learners in your group.

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