The design contract of any structure is usually between a client and a prospective contractor. Therefore, ensuring that there is a rapport between the two is a very crucial aspect of this engagement. Some contractors may fail to obtain the client’s trust and as such, the working environment becomes tense. Therefore, before the commencement of any structural work, it is important for the client and the contractor to gauge each other in a client brief. It is the most important link between a client and the contractor (Ryd, 2004)
The client brief
As with the proposed site and the works involved in the design of the pre-school, we had a very short, but detailed brief with the client. As with any other brief, the introductory part was on the client’s details. Some of the details obtained were the number of children, the current location among others. It is an important part of the brief which ensures that, in case of any unforeseen issue, he can easily be contacted.
The second part of the brief was mainly about the sketch of the site. Sketches provide a general overview of the land surface and the terrain. Furthermore, they provide a valuable source of reference on the different structures, within the proposed site. However, there is the requirement of an additional handwritten information that may provide supplementary information about the site. The handwritten information, in this case, included: the elevation of the land, the predominant layout of the land, any future development plans about the site, features that should be retained such as landmarks, vegetation etc., the zoned land, any man-made feature that may be of use during the construction phase, reports from previous surveys etc.
The second aspect of the brief was basically on what the proposed structure should look like. In this, the client gave a detailed report on the number of rooms, the size of the rooms, the architectural style proposed among others. All these details enabled us to determine the compatibility of the site and the various recommendations that were to come with the design. Furthermore, an approximation of the rooms and other minor details was provided.
The last part of the brief mainly constituted the proposed building materials. In this, the client gave an overview of the materials that were to be used in the construction of the walls, floors, windows, ceiling, etc. All these were necessary because of the availability factor and the proposed budget.
Site analysis
Considering that the land is still relatively rural, there were a number of observations. To begin with, the soil conditions were unfavorable for the development. In this, the presence of large chunks of clayey soil poses a significant challenge to construction. Clayey soil is known to accommodate water at unprecedented levels and as such, erection of a house will require enormous amounts of money for the removal of these soil and the pumping mechanisms necessary to remove the water present (Ladd, 1991).However, because the building is not going to impose tremendous loads on the soil, this was a matter of discussion and recommendation.
The second aspect of the site analysis was basically on the house and the fittings that come with it.Any building requires energy sources and methods of waste disposal. However, this site is located in an area where the delivery of electricity to the building has humongous cost implications. In this, the main electricity lines are located on the opposite side of a dual lane carriageway and as such, connection to the house may include a detailed discussion with the service provider on the necessary costs. Furthermore, the alternative source of electricity is a few miles away, though on the same side of the road as the building.
The final observation was on the waste disposal mechanisms to be employed. In this, the site is located a considerable distance from the sewer lines and as such, the need for proper design on the waste treatment and disposal mechanism was a major issue. The method proposed for the disposal of wastewater from the toilets and the sinks was that of a septic tank and/or a cesspool. Cesspools are suitable for large communities but this was not going to be a community project. However, septic tanks are suitable for single households because of the relative ease in construction and the smaller capacity (Philippi, et al., 1999). Therefore, the wastewater was to be disposed of by means of a septic tank. In this regard, there was the need for an appropriate design on the type and the size of the septic tank to be used. Furthermore, the local authority would help in the disposal of the waste from these septic tanks.
The design and construction costs of a septic tank are not that high, and the mechanism for removal is environmentally sensitive. Furthermore, there is no need for highly mechanized systems. On the hand, water from storms and basically from the roofs of the building would have to be disposed of into a nearby stream, with the necessary measures taken.
All the building conditions having been catered for, the last bit was on the roadway that was to be constructed within the site. The roadway would mainly be used by personal vehicles and as such, a detailed design was not necessary. However, this road would have to be connected with the dual carriageway, 100 meters away from the site and as such, the regional director for roads would have to be consulted on the best way forward. Further details about the site road were the need for a parking space that would accommodate about 15 vehicles a.Therefore, the architectural plans had to accommodate the need for the road services.
Bill of Quantities (check the excel file)
For the site clearance, the volume of earth to be excavated and removed must be estimated. A flat site basically requires removal of about 150mm of topsoil (Brinkley, 2008).In the excavation of trenches for the foundation, the deep strip foundation is the most appropriate. The price quoted above includes that of digging a trench that is 600mm in width, with the external walls 1200mm deep while the internal walls about 225 mm in width (Snell, n.d.).
In the calculation of the walling, the assumed height of the building is 5 meters and the length and the width of the house 60 m and 50 meters respectively. The number of blocks is determined by multiplying length/width by the approximate width of one block and the height (Irish association of self-builders, 2017). In the design of a roof, a single truss is obtained at about 70 this, the number of trusses to be used is obtained by dividing the length by 0.6.The 1000 euros is for connecting the trusses together (Irish association of self-builders, 2017).
The data was obtained from the Irish association of self-builders website and the United Kingdom homebuilders and rennovaters.In this, the estimate for the walls and the roof was obtained from the Irish homebuilders while the earthwork data was mainly obtained from the UK homebuilders and rennovaters.However, the cost indicated is that of the foundation, a single floor, and the roof section. The data does not consider economies and inflation rates of the country and this may be necessary prior to the actual purchase of commodities and services.
Factors influencing the design
The foundation has a tremendous impact on the design of a house. To begin with, the deep strip foundation is suitable because the land is relatively flat. Furthermore, the foundation provides suitable reinforcement, by use of concrete, because of the relative low bearing capacity of the soil. More to this is the fact that the soil excavated from the site can be used for other purposes such as landscaping and therefore may save on such costs. According to the homebuilding and renovating website, this type of foundation is cheaper than the deep strip foundation, all factors remaining constant.
In the design of the roof system, it is important to consider the truss type over the cut off type. The truss type is relatively cheaper and can be delivered to the site in a prefabricated mode. It thus saves the cost of labor and time.
In the design of the walling, concrete blocks are used because of the strength and the durability. Furthermore, concrete blocks are easily obtained from various manufacturers and thus can be obtained easily. However, the cost of concrete blocks is relatively higher than that of brick blocks but can be easily obtained in different sizes.
Additional information about the site
The design of any building begins with the foundation. It is therefore important for both the architecture and the client to specify the type of the foundation that will cater for both the stability of the building as well as the site soil conditions. In the above design, the foundation considered was a deep strip. The deep strip foundation caters for most level grounds but it may not be suitable for this specific design. Furthermore, this type of foundation is expensive because it tends to consume a lot of concrete.
The other aspect of concern is the roof .In this, the above design considers that the roof will be assembled on site but this might prove costly because of the labor costs. A prefabricated roof can be delivered on site to ensure that the project is completed within the stipulated project time.Furthermorte, there is the need to specify the type of roofing to be used: tiles, sheets etc. Therefore, the architecture and client should specify the method of roof fabrication to be used.
Brinkley, M., 2008. What will it cost? Getting out of the ground. [Online]
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Irish Association of self-builders, 2017. Cost of a roof. [Online]
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Irish Association of self-builders, 2017. Cost of walls. [Online]
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Ladd, C. C., 1991. Stability evaluation during staged construction. Journal of geotechnical engineering.
Laurie, M., 1975. Introduction to landscape architecture. s.l.:s.n.
Philippi, l. S., Da Costa, R. & Severino, P. H., 1999. Domestic effluent treatment through an integrated system of the septic tank and root zone. Water science and technology.
Ryd, n., 2004. The design brief as a carrier of client information during the construction process. Design studies.
Snell, D., n.d. How much will my foundation cost? [Online]
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