Summer. Wasn’t it glorious! A great time to think and relax. And be inspired.
It is not uncommon for people to know they want to do a project – and have given it quite a bit of thought – but just don’t know how best to start…
Or worse, launched into an expensive design service without establishing the client-designer relationship, or worse still, not carefully established the groundwork for the project.
In recent months, we’ve seen the number of building permits and consents being processed by Council reach new highs. This has helped us get more feedback on what the market is doing, and what thinking people are doing at the moment.
We’ve found an initial Needs and Options Review is the architect’s best ‘pencil’ for good early groundwork. It works as a diagnostic tool for your project – and can save a huge amount of heartache. It allows you to start with an exploration designed to precisely understand your requirements and potential roadblocks are, and gives you:
→ Needs-based findings and recommendations;
→ High-level design options;
→ A Plan to move forward;
→ A Timeline and rough order of cost for budgeting.
We’ve used this process on a much larger scale while doing our sports projects – which typically involve a large number of groups and a diverse range of people. We saw an issue in these projects, of people starting design and construction before they had fully done their research and homework. BEFORE they had critiqued their ideas and assessed their needs.
These projects can have several conflicting groups – all locking heads on which way to go. So what better way to bring them together and moving in the same direction, than each understanding what the other needs? It’s on this basis that everyone sees a different perspective, and actually, the group gets a much better outcome.
Our view is this applies across the entire construction industry – it’s not limited to designing sports facilities. It also happens in residential projects … People are trying to run before they have mastered the walk or set the training programme (sports pun intended!).
The consequence of inadequate upfront research and discussion of needs and options is like… building a house on bad foundations.
The foundations are the most important part of the whole house because everything is built on top. It’s very expensive to change the foundations once you have started to build. But it’s very easy to change them if they are simply lines on a plan. It’s amazing what comes from sketch lines and diagrams, rather than hard-and-fast computer models.
Ultimately, a little more time spent upfront on research and assessment will yield a better result – economically and design-wise – long-term. Be careful about entering the design phase too early. There are snags if you’re not prepared, and you might just pull a hamstring on the final straight!
A good brief is gold.
There are five important steps in building:
→ Needs and Options Review – which is the first step
→ Construction Document phase
→ Completion phase
If you want to learn more about our Needs and Options Review and how we can move you through the five important steps of building seamlessly, get in touch today with the 106 Architects residential experts!