THE DESIGN PROCESS
1. INTRODUCTORY MEETING
The first consultation/meeting is a presentation explaining how one goes about designing and building and would include the items listed below. No fee is charged for the introductory meeting.
- Building costs and the building process
- Architectural fees and other professional fees.
- Presentation and discussion of the possible need for other professional services, and related costs.
- Explanation of site works and possible costs.
- Explanation of building fee and plan approval.
2. CONSULTATION FOR DESIGN BRIEF
The design brief will take place only after the client has appointed us by signing the letter of appointment, paying the deposits and agreeing to the fee structure. The conceptual phase of design includes the following:
Viewing any written or graphic information the client may present for the brief.
A functionality brief – a ‘bubble diagram’ will be drawn, indicating the relationship of spaces and/or rooms with each other in the structure. This brief also takes into account the functionality of the structure. Although the site usually dictates the shape of the building, the client may prefer a certain shape, e.g. circular.
Orientation on site must be taken into account and there are factors that may have to be considered: building lines, servitude’s, north point, entry to site and any obstructions to the driveway entrance. Major features on site like trees and rock outcrops must also be considered in the design. Finishes must be discussed using a finishing checklist. Finishes that are undesirable to a client also help compile a comprehensive brief. It must be made clear that finishes at this stage of design are conceptual and assist in compiling the final design and drawings. (Some finishes may not even be discussed during this phase). Finishes will vary and expand while designing and even during construction.
Presenting photographs, designs and graphic details that reflect the design brief.
3. INITIAL SITE VISIT INSPECTION AND SURVEY
It is important that the client meet on site with us, preferably before the concept design is approved. Site visits made by us during the design process are included in the architectural fee. These visits are at the discretion of the Practice regarding dates and times.
While the client will be present on site to propose positions for the structure, it is not necessary for the client to be present while the complete survey is done. The survey takes several hours and may be undertaken on another day(s).
If a contour diagram is not available, the services of a land surveyor should be employed to firstly position a permanent site peg (painted white) in concrete with the top of the peg being the bench mark 0.000 level and coordinates for all reference purposes. Secondly the contours and prominent features should be surveyed. Marker pegs will be positioned by Karter Margub to indicate the position of the house using the main peg as a reference for levels and distances.
If a professional land surveyor is not used, we may be employed to survey the site. The fee for surveying is included in the architectural design fee.
If applicable, the client must submit a copy of the S.G. (Surveyor General) diagram to us.
4. PRESENTATION/APPROVAL OF CONCEPT DESIGN
After the first stages, the client will be presented with a conceptual design, which would include:
A site plan indicating site pegs and prominent features (if the site is surveyed by us)
A site plan with an orientated floor plan in its proposed position
A 1:50 scale floor plans
A roof layout may also be presented depending on the complexity and/or relevance of the roof related to the design layout
After the presentation, the client may suggest alterations and changes. However, the client usually takes a set of these drawings away to spend time considering the design.
Further meetings may take place to finalise the concept design as per the procedures above.
Once the structural layout and external form is approved, the client will then sign the concept design. Drawings for Banking institutions and or potential clients will be ready for concept approval.
Preliminary costings as to profitability will be submitted.
The client will make payment as per the fee structure on approval of the conceptual design.
5. PRESENTATION/APPROVAL OF FINAL DESIGN
At this stage the client is presented with a final design, which in essence is an expansion of the concept design, but includes more technical information and may require comments and input from the client. The final design would include the same drawings listed under concept design above, but with more information.
In addition, final design will include:
- Proposed electrical and lighting layout
- One cross-section through the structure
- Four elevations
- Roof plan
- The client usually takes the final design away to spend time considering the details and particularly the electrical layout.
- Meetings will be held as and when required for discussions until the client is satisfied and approves the final design
- The client will make payment as per the fee structure on approval of the final design.
6. PRESENTATION/APPROVAL OF WORKING DRAWING
The working drawings should include sufficient detail to allow a contractor to complete the project efficiently. The clients involvement while compiling the working drawings is limited.
- The working drawings are comprehensive and will include:
- Site plan & drainage Floor plans
- Roof plans & regulations Construction notes
- Door & window schedule Elevations
- Sections Plumbing & drainage layout
- Technical details Septic tank & French drain
- Electrical layout Loft & stairs (if applicable)
- After completion, the working drawings are presented to the client
- The client will make payment as per the fee structure upon presentation of the drawings
- See following item 7, for procedures after completion of working drawings
7. STARTING THE BUILDING PROCESS
After the completion of the working drawings, there are a number of items that need to be undertaken. Some of these items are optional and there are different methods that can be employed.
- Structural reinforced Concrete work, which is usually part of the building cost;
- Geo-technical testing to test soil conditions may be required
8. ARCHITECTURAL FEE STRUCTURE
In order to establish the design fee, the estimated m2 area and cost of the project must be established. While we can design within the given m2 area, it is not always possible to accurately design to budget, as there are too many factors that impact on the final building cost. If the client instructs us to increase or decrease the m2 area, the design fee will be adjusted accordingly. As registered Professionals we work according to the Government Gazetted sliding fee scale set yearly. The m2 area is the net usable area of the dwelling, measured from external wall lines, including covered patios and multi storeys (excludes roof overhang/eaves). Alternatively one can charge at a fixed percentage of works involved.