Black Box Architects | Our Approach
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Our Approach

Project Brief

Creating the project brief is about defining what you want from your project and will serve as the map to help you and us assess whether all your needs have been considered and responded to appropriately


Our first task will be to gather key information about the project. Information on the site and any existing buildings (if relevant) will be gathered from council and most likely a surveyor

Concept Design

At this stage your brief will begin to come to life as we consider the project scope, budget, environment and any other special requirements. During concept design, we will be investigating a range of solutions to the brief. Concepts may be expressed through drawings, floor plan and perspective sketches. We’ll be testing ideas and it is not unusual to receive several different options for your project. We will be thinking about broad issues which may challenge your thinking.

Preliminary Design

In this phase your feedback from the concept design will be incorporated and the mixture of ideas will be assembled into a single design. The preliminary design will be presented as more defined plans, elevations, sketches and possibly a 3D model (actual or computer generated). Typically, at this point we recommend a Quantity Surveyor be engaged to provide a preliminary estimate of the construction budget.

Developed Design

Here we will start to increase the level of detail to shape the final design of your building. We will proceed with preparing plans, sections, elevations and preliminary details while addressing the council’s planning requirements. Any necessary non-compliance will require the application for a Resource Consent which will be prepared in this phase of work.

Detailed Design

When the Resource Consent is approved, we will progress to the Detailed Design phase, further increasing the design and documentation to a level of detail that allows a contractor to assess the full scope of the project prior to procurement. These drawings will include construction details, describing materials, components, systems and finishes which, along with a specification, will be lodged with the council for Building Consent.

Tender and Procurement

Here contract documents are prepared and selected contractors are invited to submit tenders for the work. The end of this stage often sees negotiations entered into to select the best Contractor for the project. Contract Documents are then prepared for signing by the Client and selected Contractor.

Contract Observation

Once the construction is underway we will frequently visit the site to ensure important details and aspects of the design are constructed according to the drawings and specifications. We will certify all progress claims from the contractor and manage variations to ensure control of the budget is maintained. Regular site meetings will be held where relevant issues can be discussed and resolved. Even once the construction is complete we will follow up with the contractor any items needing completing or rectifying as determined in the conditions of contract.