Architectural design process in Harare

All architect designed building projects, irrespective of use, size or location go through the following five stages in the architectural design process

Architect Design Brief

The first stages of the architects design process focus on defining the project vision and goals. Scope of works, salient features, functions and sustainability all need to be addressed. Some or all of the following are carried out:
- Client consultations to form the Brief and desired aesthetics
- Gathering of existing drawings and documentation
- Survey of existing land, soil and buildings
- Planning and by-law review
- Green building and sustainable design review(see Sustainable design)

Concept and Preliminary architectural Design

During this stage, the architect designer considers concepts and sketches of possible building layouts and exteriors. Basic functional areas are defined and discussed with the client and other parties involved. Orientation and positioning on the plot is also crucial in this stage for annual sun exposure considerations for energy and lighting. A climatic model is also formed and examined for passive solutions. Preliminary 3d images and animations of the buildings are formed at the end of this stage (see Architectural visualisation)

Final architect design

Following iterations with the client to define the project, locally registered architects proceed to prepare drawings for Building Permit Approval with the local authorities. For architects in Harare this is the Harare City Council, and house plans for a single story home are exempted works, and only need to abide with the Building By-laws. During this stage materials, openings (doors and windows), sewage layouts and general structural details are defined and all drawings are formed. These include floor plans, elevations, sections, door and window schedules and sewage layouts. The 3d renderings are also refined, and the final look of the building is defined.

Construction drawings

These are used by the contractors for bidding or tendering and subsequently in the construction sites by the contractor. An architect designs fully annotated drawings showing all floor plans, sections, elevations, details, schedules, notes and technical specifications necessary to construct the building. During this stage architects can produce VR walkthroughs for all interested parties to confirm all the design choices (see Virtual Reality walkthrough)

Supervision and Construction Administration

During construction, as local architects we supervise all the building works in order to ascertain that the drawings and intentions are being followed by the building company. Routine inspections are made to make sure that the expected standards are being followed. Any alterations or modifications are guided and monitored. At construction completion architects inspect the whole building and make sure that there are no defects and that it is fully functional and ready for certification by the local council. A Harare architect then invites the building inspectors for one last time to certify the building ready for use, and to grant it its Building Occupation Certificate.

It is important to choose a reliable and professional architect to ease you through this process and perhaps our architectural experience can help, as some of our projects illustrate.





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Harare, Zimbabwe

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