Design of Architecture: Activities that can adversely impact business
Design activities include carrying out design work for all types of buildings, including residential, commercial, shopping malls, education institutes, hotels, hospitals, offices, Industrials/ factories, other engineering works, etc.
The Scope of design in architecture usually includes developing plans and elevations for the buildings, and architect designs for each floor, wall, and ceiling.
Characteristics of a Robust Architecture are:
· Optimum use of permitted FAR
· Design must meet all regulatory requirements & National building code including health and safety
· Plans and Elevations must be easy to visualise and understand by all stakeholders
· Durable for any changes in the use of the building
· Flexible -for changes in natural -environments/surroundings
Inputs that contribute to making a good design of Architecture include:
1 Proposing the right choice of strong materials, in terms of specifications while optimizing costs for:
Types of materials for use
Key specifications of building materials (as required by customers and National/international Quality standards)
colour, hardness, grain size, texture, polish ability, chemical properties, and so on
moisture content, shape and size, compression strength, density, and so on
Structure steel, low alloy steel, Stainless steel, etc
Tensile strength, yield strength, elasticity, hardness, ductility, strain, toughness, and so on
strength to weight, air tightness, heat deflection, corrosion resistance, appearance, and so on
Colour, shapes, transparency, brittleness, hardness, resistance to fire, weather insulation, and so on
Hardness, modulus of elasticity, ductility, wear resistance, resistance to chemicals, and so on
colour, compression strength, coarse particles, setting time, and so on
workability, Gloss, viscosity, flowability, resistance to water, wear, heat, and so on
Wooden BOQ e.g frames, doors
size, colour, luster, grains, content, hardness, density, shear resistance, and so on
And so on
2. Incorporating, in Architecture related design & drawings, good practices for construction or & installation of the following as per applicable Quality standards:
· Site preparation (clearing vegetation, demolition, tree protection, excavation & earthwork, filling voids, disposal, etc.
· Providing & installing brickworks
· Providing & installing punning work
· Providing & installing woodwork like door frames, doors, etc.
· Providing & installing steel works like railings etc.
and so on
3 Building quality in the designing process for Architecture -using designing software:
Essential technical steps/activities include performing the following for developing designs.
· Solid, surface, and mesh modelling
· 3D navigation (e.g View cube)
· Evolving visual styles
· Developing plans & elevations
· Developing renderings for marketing
· Developing Base projected and section views
· Developing DWG
· Developing Images references
· Integration with Interior design and MEP services
And so on
Software like AutoCAD or a similar one can be considered for developing Architectural design
a) Design to have features for building integration to enable the following:
§ Create & edit Architectural design, structural engineering design, and MEP views for coordination.
§ Get the design and layout of the project before construction for general contractors, subcontractors, and owners .
Able to develop schedule and do cost estimations using enhanced BIM concepts
§ Extract the construction drawings from the coordinated and error-free model.
§ Refine the drawings by adding annotations and notes
Software like Revit Architecture (BIM) or equivalent software can enable this
b) Further a comprehensive architect design must enable the following:
§ Developing Animation
§ Building Flexibility to have texture options
§ Generate renderings for marketing
Software like 3D Studio Max or equivalent software can enable this
Seven stages for developing the design of Architecture
Design activities vary considerably from company to company, but generally, there are 7 stages to designing the architecture for buildings, as below. Whatever designing processes and software are used, designing must result in developing Robust designs by accomplishing the following:
· Build designs that are comprehensive, accurate
· Contributes to building quality in construction by incorporating national and international quality standards in BOQ/material specifications and construction processes
· Integrates statutory and safety requirements in the designs and drawings
· Optimise project costs
· Enables efficient delivery of designs & drawings
· Incorporates maker-checker step in each design stage through the implementation of segregation of duties concept
The seven stages are:
1. Developing Concept designs
2. Developing Schematic design
3. Developing Sanction design duly coordinated for structure, architecture, façade, landscape, interiors, MEP, etc
4. Developing /Revising detailed technical Design based on sanctioned approvals
5. Developing Tenders
6. Estimating Project Costs for structure, architecture, external development works, façade, landscape
7. Developing working drawings & Good for construction drawings, As-built drawings.
In the activities listed below, those marked ‘*’ reflect those activities which can have adverse statutory implications
Stage 1 activities that can adversely impact business
· Not obtaining or not incorporating inputs (like strategic plans vis a vis vision, landscape, traffic circulation, master plans, area plans, preliminary plans, elevations, etc) into Building Civil Architecture design
· Not assigning competent designers*
· Using unlicensed software while developing a concept design for Civil Architecture. *
· Not vetting the concept and detailed design/making compromises while vetting Civil Architecture, in collaboration with, inhouse or outsourced Code Architect or consultant, by skipping or compromising on important designs and drawings aspects such as below vis a vis Civil Architecture Features:
· Tolerances on specifications of materials and workmanship
· Statutory code-related requirements for Civil Architecture. *
· National and international standards for quality
· Raw Materials (Bricks, POP, Paints, joineries, Inserts, stone works, Tiles, Door frames, doors, windows, etc.) sizes and specifications
· Quality requirements and suggestive gauging
· Civil Architecture safety requirements*
· Compromising on the safety of Civil Architecture by proposing low cost /low strength raw materials / Bill of quantities for Civil Architecture
· Bribing mandatory Agencies which approve the Civil Architecture plants and elevations etc. relevant for issuing FAR and sanction drawings compliance *
Stage 2 activities that can adversely impact business
· Design intent not aligned to approved Concept design
· Schematic drawings are not comprehensive or not accurate
· Area statements not detailed
· Cost estimates are ballpark and based on thumb rules rather than detailed assumptions.
· Assigning the same designer to develop schematic designs & drawings, who initially developed concept design thus not implementing the segregation of duties concept*
Stage 3 activities that can adversely impact business
· Preparing drawings incorporating inaccurate area statements vis-à-vis intended construction plans and bribing the sanctioning team to get minimum non-compliance and speedy approvals *
· Assigning the same designer to develop sanctioned designs & drawings, who initially developed schematic design thus not implementing the segregation of duties concept*
Stage 4 activities that can adversely impact business
· Colluding of the leading Architect with sanctioning authorities to obtain approval of the submission drawings that are not adequately coordinated or not aligned to instructions of sanctioning authorities in return for favors to approving authorities *
Stage 5 activities that can adversely impact business
· In the tender, including names and brands of specific materials only for pre-identified /preferred vendors of the Architect in return for commission/kickback to the Architect from such vendors.
· Recommending only a single source for many BOQ materials and thus leaving very few options with the project materials team to negotiate prices aggressively in return for commission /kickback to the Architect from such vendors
· Tender drawings not incorporating applicable quality for all works.
· Tender drawings not incorporating applicable Statutory requirements vis-à-vis applicable national/international codes w.r.t safety
· Inspection requirements concerning inputs (like Bricks, POP, Paints, joineries, Inserts, stone works, Tiles, Door frames, doors, windows, etc) are not comprehensive
Stage 6 activities that can adversely impact business
· Computing costs of works for Structure, Finishes, External development, Façade, and Landscape are inaccurately based on thumb rules rather than on the first principal basis vis-à-vis raw materials, Direct construction materials, costs of labour/fabrication or installation leading to underestimating or overestimating project costs.
Stage 7 activities that can adversely impact business
· Develop working drawings or GFC which are not fully aligned to activities in the above seven design stages
· Architect issuing “As-built drawings” which are aligned to earlier sanctioned drawings by statutory authorities but at variant vis-à-vis actual completed physical construction (in terms of FAR, building plans and elevations, construction materials used, etc.) *
· Bribing the statutory officials to get ok occupation and completion certificates in due course. *
You can read more about the 25 activities that can adversely impact business in Chapter 1 of my handbook ETHICS in the real estate and hospitality industry, Volume 1- Architectural, Interior design, and MEP services “