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Market Watch - Page 11:

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Designing For Sucess.

 

 

 

While the practice of architecture and design requires innovation, experience and technical knowledge, it should not require the arcane practice of mind reading.

Whether you are building your dream home. a small residential project or a large-scale development, a comprehensive design brief for your architect is the cornerstone of achieving what you set out to accomplish.

Providing clear directives at the onset ensures the concept is well understood. It streamlines design development, saves money in redrafts and minimizes changes once construction starts.

Change orders are the most common way construction goes over budget, so it is well worth the hours spent drawing up your project while it is still on the architect's drawing table.

Starting from scratch can be a daunting task, so let's walk through some steps. Write down your objectives, whether is it a four bedroom, three-bathroom house with a pool or a 40-unit upscale villa project. Then list in detail what the design characteristics are, such as a general style and key themes or elements.

List some references or benchmarks of designs you like or even small signature items from other projects. This allows a broad understanding of expectations while giving the designer leeway to innovate.

For private homes, provide a profile of who will use the property. Will it be for a young family of four or an older couple ? What are their likes, dislikes and special needs. For residential development, create an anticipated customer profile, including key characteristics of the buyers or end users. One key rule of architecture is that form follow function so understanding who you are designing for greatly affects the plans.

With that in mind it's important to do a site analysis from the ground up. Don't focus only on the land on which you will build, also look at the access, views, infrasture and usage of the surrounding land.

Let's say you have a wonderful view and the land in front of you could be sold

 

 

 

and later developed. Your views may suddenly become the back of someone's house, so intelligently addressing this before you build is far less costly than tearing down your home and starting again. Water, electrical and telephone considerations are also important and will reflect in planning for costly items such as deep wells, rainwater collection tanks, transformers and drainage.

Next list the facilities required. Do you want two bathrooms or three? Will the car park be for one car or more? Take the time to put together some typical sizes. Will 40 square meters be needed? Or will 20sqm be sufficient?

Providing at least general sizes is critical when presenting a project to your designer, as knowing the house size at an early stage allows you to determine if the size of your pocket book matches the project budget.

Listing the items you consider essential also helps the designer. Do you want two washbasins or one ? Will there be built-in closets or a walk-in closet ? Do you watch TV in bed at night ? if so, instead of having a glass wall window in front of the bed, this requirement will be considered and reflected in the design.

The design also interacts with mechanical and electrical systems, such as air conditioning. For example, having ceiling fans in all rooms requires a minimum ceiling height. How many electrical outlets and TV outlets are required ? Though the detail of this seems overwhelming, the last thing you want to do is arrive in your new house and realize there is no plug for your stereo on the veranda.

The last step is to look at special systems that might be required, such as Wi-Fi, audio or smart home systems, security, alarms and energy management, including water recycling. Many of these are significant cost and it is best to determine their cost effectiveness and integration into the design early in the game.

So there you have it. The work doesn't start the day you walk into an architect's office and ask for your dream to be drawn up. Providing a detailed design brief sets yourself to get the project you want at the price you planned.

 

 

   

Bill Bamett is Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks a Phuket hotel and residential consulting firm With more 20 years experience in the region, he has played an active role in some of the island biggest develovments.

       
       
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Archived Articles: 2007 - 2008

 

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US Financial Crisis - Living The Sub-Prime Life

 

Rental Income - Investment Rent And Raves

 

Aesthetics - Out With The New, In With The Old

 

Hotel Branded Realestate, Battle Of The Brands

 

Local Communities - Cables Gone Wild

 

Rental Property - Plus & Minus, Buying A Hotel Unit

 

Aesthetics - Bold Designs Keep Boredom At Bay

 

Agent Commission, The Low Down About Paying Up

 

US Financial Crisis - Clouds The Property Horizon

 

Phuket - The Next Big Property Trend 2007

 

Vietnam, Too Fast Too Soon

 

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Timeshare, High End Fractional Ownership Matures

 

Budget Hotel Brands Shake Up The Scene

 

Re-Inventing Patong

 

Bali, (property) Supply Surges Ahead

 

Property Developers - Number Crunching Pays Off

 

Phuket, Battle to preserve the beaches

 

Low Season - Cyclical Cynics

 

Phuket Luxury Villa Market Update Feb 2009

 

Khao Lak, Back To The Future

   
 

 

   
 
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