+ Is your Architect qualified?
In light of the recent construction boom and because more people are getting involved in their own construction projects, the public has learnt expensive lessons and suffered great loss by using (cheaper?) unqualified or under qualified individuals. Of course this also poses a threat to the dignity of the architectural profession.
These categories were established by the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) with the objective of protecting the public from misconduct. They also identify a work schedule which limits certain categories to a level of competency (the same principle applies to the medical profession where a nurse won’t be allowed to perform the work of a surgeon etc.).
+ What does an architect do?
People often feel that architects are too expensive without really knowing what they do or without considering the long term benefits of making use of their services. Building in today's marketplace is a complex undertaking requiring many different products and skills. An architect understands these complexities and works closely with you so as to design an appropriate response to your requirements. A SACAP (www.sacapsa.com) registered architect is professionally qualified, legally registered and bound by a professional code of conduct, thereby being appropriately trained and experienced to perfectly coordinate and manage your building project.
Throughout the project, your architect will thus control the design, planning and quality of workmanship and materials to meet time and budgetary constraints. Your architect will be your independent adviser, liaising on your behalf with consultants, builders, and suppliers and ensuring compliance with the spirit and intent of the project. On large projects your architect will act as principal agent (team leader) where his/her role will be to coordinate a team of specialist consultants such as civil-, structural-, electrical- and mechanical engineers, quantity surveyors, interior designers and landscape architects.
Successful projects - i.e. those that achieve the desired results for their owners, users and architects - result from informed clients working with skilled architects to form professional, business (and often personal) relationships.
+ Selecting your architect?
Architecture firms come in a variety of types and sizes, with each firm possessing its own unique combination of skills, experience, interests and values. This sometimes makes it difficult to choose the ideal architect, whether you are a first-time client or an experienced client in a new situation.
Arrange interviews with firms that you feel can do your project because of their expertise, experience and ability to bring a fresh look to your situation.
Why is interviewing firms so crucial?
+ Questions to ask your architect?
+ Getting started with your building project?
In order to end a building project successfully it is critical to start it by establishing exactly what your needs and requirements are. Every person has his or her own knowledge, experience, aspirations, desires and needs, and above all, you also provide the recourses to realise your expectations. Some people may have vast experience in the construction industry, many others have much less, but whatever your situation, it makes sense to start with some self-examination to assess what you already know and what you will establish with your architect's help.
+ Working with your architect?
YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO A SUCCESSFUL PROJECT
The design of a building often includes the input of many other consultants such as engineers and quantity surveyors, but none of the aforementioned are as important as your and the architect’s combined input. The standard client-architect agreement provided by the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) provide clear guidance on what is expected from the client, and your architect will assist you in clarifying them.
+ Gaining approval for your building?
Approval for your project must be obtained from a number of local council departments, and on larger projects approval from possibly the Department of Water and Forestry, Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, and the South African National Roads Agency. And when you’re altering an existing old building (usually older than 50 years) you might also have to apply for approval from the National Monuments Council.
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