Architectural design in Harare
All architect designed building projects, irrespective of use, size or location go through the following five stages in the architectural design process. Architectural planning can encompass some or all of these design stages in order to produce the required architectural plans and drawings. Building plans designs are progressively refined and detailed out until they are completed in the Construction drawings stage.
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 (eg. house style)
- 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 Schematic architectural Design
During this stage, the architect designer considers concepts and sketches of possible building layouts and exteriors. Basic functional areas are defined in architect plans, and discussed with the client and other parties involved. Orientation and positioning on the plot are 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)
Design development - 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 by 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 - Working design
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 architectural 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)
Construction Supervision and Administration
During construction, as local architects, we supervise all the building works 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.
Architectural planning and design can be complex, and chosing a reliable and registered architect to guide you through this process is important. Knowledge of local building materials and techniques is invaluable as is having architectural experience, as some of our designs illustrate.
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