Due to the climate in Adelaide, houses are built in a way which seems very short sighted compared to the uk however the easier climate simply means lighter weight materials can be used. In UK we build new houses generally on piled foundations down to depths circa 10m+ 1 because the uk also has reactive or (plastic) clay which also suffers period of wet and dry conditions, 2 most building sites in UK are either poor or brown field sites and the foundations need to go beyond the site issues.

UK for some reason has a love for old houses which should have been pulled down years ago. Old houses do have a charm but are expensive to maintain, run and have many issues. New houses are cheaper to build, run, require little maintanance and give the space for modern living. Adelaide developers have picked up on this resulting in high land prices, higher density and better housing stock although small gardens and interestingly houses becoming higher just as UK following the change in planning legislation (increase in population density) passed by the beloved Prescot meaning 3 and 4 story town houses are normal for new builds with small gardens.

I have a whole load that I have got to learn about Australian buildings, building codes and practices before moving over. Anybody know where I can get my hands on the building codes?

S (yes a chartered surveyor)