What are the considerations for your next home construction project? We are often at a loss for ideas before massive projects like building or renovating your home. Most people usually focus on aesthetics that tend to forget about the functionality of a space. A lot of excitement comes with building and planning your home for the first time, causing most people to overlook the functional requirements needed to create an innovative and intuitive space.
When starting a new home design and construction project, many people feel overwhelmed by the number of choices and decisions they need to make. Remember to rely on experts for help–your architect or designer has studied this for years–but the final decision is ultimately yours.
Before planning your home construction project, defining and setting parameters beforehand is crucial. These parameters will aid the planning process towards a final plan that best complements your needs and requirements. You may consider downloading our ARA Workbook to guide you through this process. The ARA Workbook will help you define your home construction considerations.
Buildable Floor Area
The first home construction consideration is your buildable floor area. It won’t be a problem for large plots of land, but if you have a limited lot area to work with, it is important to assess how much space you can build, given zoning and code restrictions. Knowing how much space you can build can help set a cap on unrealistic space requirements. Knowing that you can only build on a small area or footprint will help you find ways to maximize the available space you have.
Determining your buildable floor area can also help you set a budget cap on your construction project. By simply multiplying the total area times prevailing construction costs per square meter, you will be able to have a better picture of how much you will be spending on your home construction. Of course, this shouldn’t be your sole basis for your total construction cost. It is always better to have an architect and a team of engineers draw up the plans and cost them accordingly.
There are a lot of factors that constitute the total buildable floor area of your home. It is false to assume that the lot area times the number of storeys is your buildable floor area; Each site is unique and governed by various zoning regulations, development restrictions, and codes.
To identify your buildable floor area, you need two references: The National Building Code of the Philippines (RA9244) and the Zoning regulations of your locality, often available on your local government unit’s website. Once you can factor in these two, you can now determine the maximum buildable floor area allowed on your property. If you don’t want to browse through 400+ pages of pure jargon, you can simply book a consultation with us, and we can do it for you. Click this link to schedule a call with us.
Once you already have an idea of your buildable floor area, you may now proceed to create an architectural program, also known as a space program. A space program considers all users, furniture, equipment, and activities to determine the size of the spaces needed. When done right, a space program will provide relevant data to help you identify essential areas required in your home.
A way to start with Space Programming is to list down the users. Googling house plan examples may seem like a great way to start, but they don’t exactly help. Why? Because different people have different needs and thus, have other design considerations. From there, you can branch out to identify the various activities inside your home. Once you have all your users and their corresponding activities in place, you can now fill out all of the furniture and fixtures that come with it, giving you a better picture of how much area you will need for a specific space or room.
It may seem like an overwhelming task to do at first, considering the amount of data you need to collate. We have created a workbook that can guide you through solving this. The ARA workbook, also known as the Architectural Requirements Assessment workbook, is a handy tool that can guide you through the process of planning your home. Here, the ARA workbook will present you with many different scenarios and possible space considerations you may consider in planning. You can download the ARA Workbook by clicking this link.
Be sure to think about circulation when designing your project. Circulation refers to the movement of people through a given space. It also concerns adjacency and accessibility between rooms. You can use various data analysis tools when analyzing circulatory requirements in your plan. Matrix diagrams and bubble diagrams are explicitly designed to analyze architectural data.
Another home construction consideration is Storage. Allocating storage solutions is more complicated than simply assigning areas cupboards and cabinets; it involves a lot of planning. To create a future-proof architectural plan, you must plan for the storage requirements of future purchases, as well as future occupants. It’s essential to have a good idea of where you’re likely to need additional storage space.
As you plan your walk-in closet, don’t forget to plan for storage space for your cleaning supplies. A garage can be used for storage, but it can quickly accumulate clutter if it’s not organized properly. The same goes with kitchen cabinets. All drawers and cabinets should be adequately planned to prevent mess from accumulating.
Whenever possible, it is also wise to allocate storage rooms to hold larger items. Without larger storage rooms, vacuum cleaners or other bulk items may end up taking over your circulatory spaces, leaving you with a cluttered home.
Natural Lighting and Ventilation
There are a lot of benefits from applying natural lighting and ventilation concepts to your home design. For one, Natural lighting and ventilation improve indoor air quality. Natural lighting and ventilation can be achieved via house orientation and window placements.
Windows can make or break your house. The placement of a window with respect to the sun path and wind path is crucial for creating efficient ventilation inside your home. In addition, strategic planning around windows creates a habitable and comfortable abode that is great for saving energy throughout the year.
Keep in mind that natural lighting and ventilation concepts aren’t the same in different parts of the globe. The sun path in the tropics is a lot different from the sun path in temperate regions. It’s important to consider your lot’s location and orientation. Does it face north? Or does it face south, east, or west? These factors will influence the way you will orient the house, what type of windows to use, and the form that can maximize wind direction.
We strongly believe that lighting has the power to magically transform a room. It helps set the mood and it creates drama within your space. In planning your home, consider adding various light sources apart from the standard direct lighting. Adding indirect light sources has the power to give an illusion of a higher ceiling or a wider space.
You can best meet the illumination needs of your home by considering activities in each room. Combine direct and indirect lighting sources to provide the right lighting for work areas like kitchens. The right combination of color temperature and wattage will make a space more inviting.
Ergonomics and Anthropometrics
Ergonomics is a concept that deals with more than just comfort and aesthetics. It could also be thought of as a way of thinking in the design process. Basically, ergonomics is a set of rules for ensuring proper fit and balance within your design to help ensure its usability, operability, and usefulness. It takes into consideration anthropometrics, which is the science that defines physical measures of a person’s size, form, and functional capacities.
Ergonomics is about designing spaces that work with the human body rather than against it. The common misconception in ergonomic design is that the ‘standard’ measurements are a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. Because humans come in various sizes, we should not assume that there is only one standard measurement.
Kitchen countertop heights, for example, vary depending on an individual’s height. The recommended kitchen countertop height for a six-footer would differ from the recommended kitchen countertop height for someone who is five feet tall. You will notice that kitchens are designed differently in the western world because Caucasians are generally taller than Southeast Asians.
The foundation of a house is essential because it creates a sturdy base and keeps the structure from falling over. Buildings are more likely to topple over when they have been poorly constructed. A strong foundation ensures that the building is secure.
If you’re planning on making home additions either horizontally or vertically in the future, you need to consider building a foundation that can accommodate future expansion. Failing to do so may result in expensive retrofitting works that will cost a lot more.
Before you begin your architectural plan, make sure you’ve identified which areas of the house need cooling, as well as where you’ll place any appliances. This will help you make more informed decisions when planning your home. If you fail to consider these things, you may end up with awkward-looking air conditioners that ruin your interiors or exterior.
In today’s time, we see technology integrated into our walls. It allows for a fully automated environment with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR). As technology advances further in the years to come, we must shape our homes to accommodate these technological advancements.
In planning your home, you need to consider existing technologies you want ingrained within the fabric of your home to make sure to avoid future renovation works. Knowing what technologies to incorporate in your home will help you decide on the type of equipment and fixtures you need to install to complement it.
Furniture and Equipment
When you design your home, make sure that you have enough space to accommodate all of your furniture, appliances and equipment. If not, you can end up with a hallway that’s blocked by a treadmill, an oddly-placed piano or counter filled with lots of appliances.
We’ve created a specific section dedicated to service areas because this is often the most forgotten space for planning your home. It would be wise to create a dedicated service area for laundry whenever possible.
Kitchens also fall under this category and should be designed specifically for the user. The type of appliances, the built-in cabinets, and the workspace layout should be planned accordingly to suit the user.
One more thing to consider is creating a dedicated space for home maintenance activities. In most cases, actions like these would be done in one’s garage. However, in the absence of a garage, you can allocate a separate room to store all of your power tools and bulky equipment. Examples of these would be ladders, pressure washers, welding machines, table saws, and other similar equipment.
Choosing the suitable materials for your home goes beyond aesthetics: considering the intrinsic properties of these materials contributes to how your house responds to the weather, climate, and other environmental factors. It’s why places within the same region would more or less have identical material make-up. Your building envelope will heavily influence your home design.
The design elements of home decorating—such as color, fabric, and furniture placement—can be overwhelming. As you consider the overall style of your home, keep in mind that the color scheme gives a home its cohesive style. One way to achieve this is by selecting colors that complement any palette.
Apart from choosing a suitable color scheme, you need to consider the perfect design concept for you. Your design concept selected will heavily influence all other design considerations in your home, so choosing one that goes well and matches your personality and vibe is a great idea.