By Gillian Holl Veld Architects
Often the temptation to jump straight into the building project overshadows the importance of the planning that needs to take place prior to starting. The sooner you can get the contractor to start laying bricks, the sooner you’ll be done, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t work out that effortlessly without some essential planning up front; and often this could result in a scenario of being penny wise and pound foolish.
Building a home is very personal project and most likely one of the biggest investments a client will make in their lifetime.
At the outset of a residential project, the various components to be considered in order to realise a successful and valuable product, can be daunting to a client. A team of building professionals, with the principal goal to assist you through the process, are vital for transforming this potentially daunting process into one that is exciting and rewarding.
Who are the key role-players in a building project and how do they contribute to the success of a project?
There are five important role-players to consider, with the client-architect relationship being central to the project from the outset of the brief. With years of education and experience in the design field, architects carefully formulate a brief according to the client’s requirements and lifestyle, in order to guide the crafting of a unique and innovative spatial solution that complements and positively contributes to the everyday life of the clients.
This same commitment to quality is carried out by the architect, throughout the documentation, to the construction process on site. This includes liaising with the structural engineer to ensure the structural integrity is met, by still retaining the desired aesthetic conception. Consultation with the quantity surveyor guarantees that all design decisions are accounted for in the contract value of the project, as well as ensuring that the best contractor are appointed for the specific design. During construction the architect will works closely with the contractor to ensure the design to be accurately realised. Experience and a positive working relationship within this team of building professionals enable the anticipation of potential red flags and therefore prevent unnecessary costs and delays.
Lastly, the expertise of a landscape architect is imperative to the relationship between the building and its surroundings. Ecological conscious decision making starts at the home and the expertise of the architect and the landscape architect combined, can assist with achieving this effortlessly.
Harmonising Sustainability and Aesthetics
When carefully considered from the outset of the project, sustainability can truly enhance the harmonisation of the house with its immediate environment. The context of a home provides ample inspiration of natural design and processes that can be translated to the architecture. Architects, landscape architects and specialist consultants work together throughout the design and construction process to effortlessly marry sustainability principles and aesthetics of the project. It is only when applied as an after-thought that these systems unfortunately look the part.
The harmonisation of the architecture with its environment start at the initial consideration of orientation and form of the home. Planted pergolas and indigenous courtyards between living spaces can soften the threshold between the interior and exterior and invite the natural splendour into the home. Non-negotiable passive strategies for a comfortable indoor environmental climate includes basic principles such as adequate natural light and ventilation throughout the spaces. Material considerations of the home can ensure an envelope that avoids fluctuating indoor temperature conditions. More specialised systems such as harnessing solar power for the electricity of the home and recycling rain-, storm-, and grey water can minimise domestic water usage and the recycled water combined with sun energy can be utilised for ecological conscious heating and cooling strategies.
When it comes to choosing the right team of building professionals, a little insight and some useful advice can be a rewarding investment and positively transform your lifestyle!