Good architecture is sustainable by its very nature. All good designs should incorporate ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ concepts in its essence. There are different definitions & interpretations for ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’, as well as many different aspects to the subject. In short there are 3 basic fields of sustainable design:
1 The design itself, e.g. correct building orientation & positioning on the site, the incorporation of natural light through correct window positions & sizes, etc.
2. Technological advances, e.g. double- or thermal glazing, energy efficient heating/cooling devices, insulation of all surfaces, low VOC paint & materials, etc.
3 Social- & economical aspects, e.g. cradle-to-grave energy use of a material, improvement & use of local skilled- or non-skilled labour, recycling of materials, etc. In essence, we are depleting the earth's resources, so if we want to sustain the current amount of people on earth, or the available resources on earth, then we will have to use what is left sparingly, and reuse what have been obtained from the earth…..this includes materials, human resources, etc.
You are most welcome. Most of our projects are also view-able on our website. You are also welcome to email email@example.com with any questions.
What does a building cost these days?
Do you do additions and/or alterations?
This question cannot be answered directly as the cost of a building is dependent on many variables. Square metre costs of buildings can only be determined in retrospect, (after a building has been completed and the actual total cost is known). One can use recently erected, existing buildings, in the same area, of the same nature, with similar finishes & ‘extras’, etc. estimate the potential cost of a new project. It is also a good idea to speak to contractors in the area, regarding the average building cost of buildings of the same scope in the area.
It will depend on the scope of the work as we would need to remodel the entire building with our 3D software, before we can start with making any alterations & additions.
Can we visit some of the projects your firm has designed?
Can you see us on week-ends or after hours?
It would be an invasion of the privacy of our clients to show potential clients around, but we document all projects carefully and some projects have been published or featured on TV, as included on our website. We are also available to answer any questions on specific projects on firstname.lastname@example.org
We believe that week-ends are for family & the week for clients. In extreme circumstances we can make ourselves available on a Saturday.
It is the first time we are building; How should we go about it?
Are you registered architects?
Half our clients are first time builders, so we know that building your first building can be exciting & nerve wrecking at the same time. We explain all the stages & documentation needed and show examples of previous projects in order for you to know what will need to happen when. We provide a 3D model on our Revit software, showing you what the building is going to look and feel like before you start spending money on the building process. It is always cheaper to sort out all design issues on paper (computer), than making changes on site.
We are registered Professional Architects with SACAP (South African Council for the Architectural Profession) and with SAIA (South African Institute for Architects) & PIA (Pretoria Institute for Architecture). There is always a professional architect involved in every stage of every project.
Does your firm work outside Gauteng?
Do you have the capacity for more work?
Yes, we have done several projects all over the country and even as far afield as Angola, Botswana & Mozambique. We even had a South African client based in Sydney, Australia who contacted us via Skype and we only meet in person for the first time when his house in Fourways, Johannesburg was nearly complete. With the computer, internet and our technologically advanced 3D software, anything is possible these days.
The amount of work we have and can handle changes every month, so it better to ask Friedrich Strey that personally. We do not do ‘risk work’, so we are a very productive office. Our policy of taking payment of the first 5% after the first meeting, results in only having serious clients at any stage.
What software do you use & how do I view your designs?
Do we pay a deposit on top of the fees?
What software do you use & how do I view your designs?
We use 3D software from Autodesk called Revit (Revise It), which is also a BIM (Building Information Management) product, which means that all elements in the 3D model is ‘intelligent’.
No. After your first meeting with us, during which all the stages, fees, professional team to be appointed, timelines, etc. will be explained, the first 5% of our fee, based on the estimated cost of the project, will be payable before we carry on with the project.
Do you give discount?
How does your fee structure work?
We deliver a professional and full service, and do not cut corners on the design. We can however deliver part of the Standard Services as part of the Client/Architect Agreement with the proportionate fee, as suggested by SACAP (The South African Council for the Architectural Profession).
The work to be done on a project is divided into different stages as suggested in the Standard Services as part of the Client/Architect Agreement with proportionate percentages associated with each stage. Because every project is unique, our clients can choose to take all or part of the Standard Services as a percentage of the building cost, or an agreed fixed fee at the outset of the project, or at an hourly fee for work done on the project. We keep time- & disbursement sheets on every project, so it is possible to see exactly how much time is spend on each phase of each project by any specific person in the office.
What other services can you render to us?
What happens if my circumstances change and I have to cancel our contract?
The architect can also provide many other services like helping to choose the right stand for your needs, in fact this is strongly advisable, advise on the purchase of existing buildings & other property, consultation of the restoration of buildings, design for alterations of & additions to existing buildings, help compile business plans for proposed developments, compile marketing- & promotional material, document existing buildings & structures, etc.
You only pay up to the stage we are busy with + 10% of that amount. The 10% will be deducted from your next invoice if you carry on with the project within the scope of work.