HOW TO: HOUSE PLANS
The Building Design Process
Many Clients approach us with already formulated home plans, some which may have been pored over and developed over many years. These plans are extremely helpful in understanding the clients wants and usually their intimate knowledge of the site conditions, but need to be dissected and built within the architectural design process to ensure a successful home.
When a client has stuck to their already formed plans and solidified ideas the project becomes much more difficult to engineer, build and therefore markedly more costly than designer engaged homes. Every project brought to the studio like this has had every attempt to find solutions and make it more buildability, but when the core of the plans are unresolved it means the end result often is compromised and destined to be more complicated.
Form follows function….
The approach utilised by Walk Studio is known as functionalism - where form follows function with the process broken down into progressive stages to ensure it grows from a solid foundation of intent. This method ensures that the home is connected to the local environment / conditions and most importantly the client’s lifestyle. Particular architectural styles can be integrated in the end result, but the main focus should be on the client’s fundamentals.
Gauging what the client wants is a complicated part of the profession and involves a bit of analysis/psychology to ascertain exactly what they want from the house and what will connect them to the project. A poor designer gives the client everything they ask for without asking why they want that particular material or space. This simple inquiry leads to a better home for the client as the resulting design is more of an arrived journey than a collage of already seen objects detached from their context.
STAGE 1 DOCUMENTATION: SKETCH DESIGN
Upon first meeting the clients and designer discuss the projects parameters. The designer begins the process of creating the rough outline of the home. This first documentation is presented usually in the form of a rough house plan outline of the placement of rooms and some visualisation of shapes (Sketches. Renders, Models etc). This is presented in a loose, sketchy format to ensure the client feel engaged with the process and are confident in making changes and suggestions. In our experience all dimensions and fine details are best left off as client can become distracted by resolving smaller elements of the home rather than contemplating the bigger picture.
To create these drawings The Building Designer will document all the requested spaces (Bubble Diagram), client’s budget and site condition (Site Analysis)
Site Analysis: Data for Sunshine Coast Weather (wind, temperature, rain). Adhering to the suns path (stereographic) though summer and winter ensures the home is property sited correctly. Local Council laws and restrictions (setbacks, height, infrastructure) are mapped.
Bubble Diagram: All the interaction and grouping of the client’s spaces are mapped out in a simple form. This aids in the discussion and reasoning behind decisions
STAGE 2 DOCUMENTATION: DESIGN DEVELOPMENT
Once the reasons for the form and plans have been workshopped the designer begins to solidify the choices and test the realities of buildability the plans.
How humans interact with a space and objects is tested against anthropometrics (i.e. Neuferts Guide)
STAGE 3 DOCUMENTATION: CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTATION
The House plans are then developed to be constructed. To achieve this the plans are detailed and all elements resolved to ensure the project is a success. then shared with the consultants after accepting their quotes.
The Structural Engineer: The Engineers plans are integrated and the junctions and cladding are tested to see if they accommodate.
The Certifier: it is imperative that the designer do their due diligence in the Sketch Phase to alleviate issues with local and Australian standards, the certifier will advise all that needs to be adhered to for council approval of the building. In our studios location it pays to consult as the 2 separate councils of Noosa and the sunshine coast have very different stipulations.
All the required fixtures and fittings, joinery, windows and doors are specified and listed for pricing. Lighting and electrical plans are drawn with specified parts and quantities
STAGE 4 DOCUMENTATION: CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION
This stage is often handed over to the builder with the client being the final say in the choices.
If the architect /building designer has a high level of resolution and style in the project it is best to retain them to ensure adherence to the intent of the home. We have had projects falter at this stage as the decisions being made begin to undermine the original concept.
This stage involves answering and resolving multiple issues and changes to ensure the home remains as close to the original resolved design as possible.
YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR:
The development and execution of connected house plans is a skill that takes years of training and apprenticeship. Without the rigours of The best outcome for your desired build is an involved designer who is able to balance the budget with the needs of the client and site. And number of cheap plans can be purchased or copied and quickly built, but the real cost of such a large investment is hard to quantify until you have experienced a well-designed home. The above images highlight the difference in design approaches on this seaview property. The inherent complications in the clients design mean it is as expensive as a home that would connect the sea views with the living space and not have a garage on its northern side
In addition to opinions we also offer:
Concept Sketch Design
Pole Home Designs
Commercial Fit Out Plans
Arrange Engineering Documentation
Arrange Building Approval
Council Approval Drawings