Architecture Firm - JK Designs

Architecture in South Africa - What do Architecture Firms Do?

What are the Main Tasks of an Architecture Firm?

While activities have been somewhat curtailed recently due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, construction sites are usually a common feature of a large city such as Johannesburg or Pretoria. While we often like to watch the builders at work and admire their handiwork, we seldom give much thought to those behind the design and planning of these often elaborate building projects. Nevertheless, most people will be aware that an architecture firm will have been involved, at least during the early stages, even if they are unsure how much that involvement entails. It will be helpful to explore the role of these specialised companies in more detail.

Architecture Firms - JK Designs

The Roles of an Architecture Firm

One commonly held belief is that the sole task of these companies is to prepare plans for those who are tasked with building homes, offices and other structures. While drafting does represent a significant part of their purview, it is only one of several related tasks that comprise the more extensive commitment of a typical architecture firm to its clients. While their primary responsibility is always to the client, they are also crucial members of the building team.

Often, a company will choose to specialise, restricting their activities to certain types of projects. For example, its primary focus might be residential properties. Alternatively, it may prefer to take on commercial projects such as shopping centres, sporting venues or high-rise office blocks. Recently, concerns about sustainability and the need to limit the construction industry’s massive carbon footprint have sparked interest in more eco-friendly construction methods. These worries have highlighted the need for architecture firms to find more ways to incorporate green building materials and energy-saving technologies in their designs.

There is, of course, nothing to stop anyone with experience in drafting from drawing up their own building plans without consulting a third party. Nevertheless, all drawings must first be submitted to a local council and receive its approval before any construction work can begin. Unfortunately, most councils will only agree to review plans when presented by a qualified architect. Therefore, at the very least, it will be necessary to retain an architecture firm to assist with the submission process. Obtaining planning permission from councils and the Home Owner’s Association is an integral part of the overall service routinely provided by these specialised companies.

Obligations to Clients

Consulting with clients to establish their requirements, creating models and drawings and making any necessary changes to reach a consensus on the design and costs are just the first steps in a long and complex process that will require several more specialised skills to complete. In addition to its design team, a large architecture firm might also include one or more quantity surveyors, project managers, engineering consultants, financial managers and legal advisors on its payroll. Only with the help of these individual experts at various stages can the company fulfil its total obligation to its clients. That undertaking is to oversee every aspect of the project from inception to completion while ensuring to keep their clients fully informed and protecting their interests.

JK Designs is an architecture firm with a difference. In addition to its determination to create iconic designs that transcend boundaries and transform the nation’s landscapes, its client-centric policies have helped make it a trusted local industry leader.

Contact us for expert advice in your next building project.

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