The process of design is a complex,
multi faceted bouyon of principles,
ideas, influences, opinions and endless choices and opportunities. So much so, that delivery can seem very far away when first we crystallise our thoughts.
So when we begin the process of building design we should think of outcomes first.
What do we wish to achieve?
What is the function of the building and how can we enhance that purposeful experience using physical architecture, light, structure, colour and texture, to create a unique ambience?
How do we want to feel in each part of the space, and to my mind the foremost intention, is it user friendly, simple and packed full of common sense?
Oh yes, smart and clever, cute and novel are just some of the words we like our egos to hear when our friends visit, but they don’t live there.
Can you live with it, easily? At this point remind yourself that designing for the long term has long term consequences!
Regret is a sobering emotion at the best of times, but associated to a long term financial and time investment such as your building, it spells disaster!
I mentioned user friendly, simple and packed full of common sense earlier.
That does not mean that the process to arrive there, is simple or quick, or arbitrary. The process is complex, whether by addition or subtraction.
Whether you are a ‘visual’ thinker, prone to drawings, sketches and example images, or a more thought and feeling driven person, try to enlist a third party who is reasonably well versed in staying non partisan, logical and to the point.
This will pay vast dividends, when critical decisions and common sense must prevail.
Remember at all times, the financial value of construction is calculated on a per square foot price, not on some aesthetic interpretation of a great space.
Humans always imagine themselves requiring much more space than we realistically need or truly want.
I would rather have more space in the kitchen and living room, than a huge bedroom I seldom sit in and in 20 years time, still be able to clean and dust with ease.
Calculate how many rooms, bathrooms and wash rooms, covered and uncovered open spaces, where the centre of the house is and how you flow from space to space.
If this is your dream home or retirement home, remember that your legs get older and too many stairs seem to multiply, compounding your long term mobility.
Where ever you can, stay on one easy level and make alternative access, for you or a wheelchair. Open plan resolves many of these issues.
Do you want to bring outside inside, physically or visually, or do you want to block it all out and create your own nirvana?
All of these questions presuppose that you are considering them on a long term basis, not changing the colour every season like dresses, suits or shoes.
But if you must, then create a multi functional space, where various purposes revolve easily around common denominators.
Once you have uncluttered yourself to arrive at an outline; a simple plan of what could be, ask how will I breathe, where is the natural flow of air? Will it stay cool or need venting and where will the prevailing wind and rain come from?
Will I power a windmill and store energy or be a catchment and store rainwater for the dry season?
Am I going to leave the grid and go solar and if so, where will the panels be?
This think tank seems deep and wide, but as you list your simplified answers, it is more than lightly that you will have begun the process of envisioning your ergonomically sized, self powered, low carbon footprint home, which has flow to love and aesthetic to die for.
This all being said, you have listed what you need, how you are at one with your environment and even imagined the colour and style of your building.
We live in the Caribbean and there is no better material to resist weather and deterioration that steel.
So from foundation to roof ECMIL can supply your project with high quality tried and tested materials that will transform and enhance, strengthen and give durability to your construction, while never compromising on its curb appeal.
Contact our knowledgeable sales staff today and discover just how easily your design, great ideas and hard work, can become such a perfectly simple and durable reality.
NB. This article is for general information purposes only and is meant as an incentive to the reader, who should then research and seek advice from their architectural and construction professionals to confirm that the ideas expressed are possible within the building codes of their territory or within the limitations of their home's architecture. ECMIL only recommends their own products and third party products which they supply, as part of their company's roofing solutions to customers.