Resolving to be better and do better this year is commendable. It, unfortunately, often lacks the focus and direction to really reflect what should be improved upon and what is just a reaction to societal pressure. Lose weight and exercise? Yes, those are good ideas if you are doing it to improve your health so that you can be the best version of yourself for your family. More often than not, these kinds of resolutions are more about living up to what we are taught to treasure instead of what we ought to treasure.
What CAN You Do?
There are such things as mindful new year’s resolutions and it’s all about for what purpose you make them.
Since Covid restrictions are phasing out, we are not spending as much time in the home as we have been the last two years. This does not, however, mean that we should shift our safety focus away from the place where our loved ones spend most of their time.
These home safety resolutions will ensure that you provide the most secure space for your family:
Gut Your Gutters
We know it’s a messy job, but it matters more than you think. Blocked up gutters have several downsides. If you still have metal guttering and you leave clumps of decomposing leaves in them, the added moisture can lead to corrosion of the metal and holes rusting through.
This in turn creates uneven water flow, with rainwater not travelling towards the downpipes, but rather gushing through the holes where you don’t want water gushing, like over doorways or walkways or directly into garden beds causing erosion and soil displacement.
Mould spreads faster than you would expect and is often a silent contributor to health issues like allergies, asthma, sinusitis and rashes. Moulds produce allergens, irritants and, sometimes, toxic substances.
January is often a wet month, and while you are up there on your ladder, use the time to check on your roof. If you have a tiled roof, look out for loose or cracked tiles, and check for leaks.
Also, take a moment to look out for heavy tree branches that might be a fall risk on roofs and patios. Trim them or have them professionally removed.
While you are outside, check your outdoor taps and irrigation system for drips and leaks, and inspect drains, looking for overflows indicating a blockage further down the pipeline that might pose a risk to your family.
Gas it Up (and Turn it Down)
If you have a gas stove, or gas geyser system, the connections and installations should be checked and serviced b a professional about once a year. This ensures that you have the updated certification to be covered by homeowners insurance if something should go wrong.
January is a good time to have this sorted out. If you have a conventional electric geyser, do yourself a favour and climb into the roof to check it for leaks, frayed electrical connections and ensure that the overflow valve and drip tray are on good order.
Top Tip: While you’re up there, why don’t you also turn down the thermostat? This is not simply a safety feature, especially if you have children in the home, but will also save you money spent on heating in the long run.
Most South African households don’t really focus much on fire safety. This is because we don’t have the high fire risks of houses in Europe and the US, often built from wood and drywall. All homes do still pose a fire risk, and unlike a plumbing crisis, fire is an all-consuming nightmare that can easily spread and destroy your entire home, not to mention putting your whole family in danger.
There are a couple of things you can do to minimise your risks and create a family safety plan.
One of the first, easiest and cheapest things you can do is to invest in a couple of good quality battery-operated smoke detectors as well as a household fire extinguisher.
Discuss a Family Safety Plan.
Try to stick to age-appropriate information and don’t scare your children, but explain what to do when there’s a crisis and how to get to safety, older children who might be left alone at home for certain periods of time should also be taught who to call in a crisis and how to evacuate the house safely without the guidance of a parent.
Here’s To a Safe 2022
These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the things we need to do regularly to ensure the safety of our homes. Taking a moment at the beginning of the year to tick of these basic home maintenance items will greatly improve your peace of mind, allowing you to focus on making 2022 your year!
You have a flair for putting things together. Friends and family see you make a space come alive with a few tweaks here and there. You possess that certain “Je ne sais quoi” that other people wish they had. Your creativity and problem solving, along with logical thinking and functional interpretations are what drive you. If this sounds like you, then you may be or are considering a full-time career in the world of design. We look at interior design as a creative career choice, and how you can kick-start the career of your dreams.
Decorating and Design
The two go hand in hand. But the decorator’s job is futile without the designer. One can imagine that a designer can be a decorator but a decorator cannot be a designer without the right training and skillset. Both careers are equally rewarding and will bring you years of joy because of the creativity you are allowed to express in this field. An interior designer works with clients to create aesthetically pleasing rooms and spaces. Clients range from homeowners to large companies, and the spaces designed are equally varied, ranging from simple indoor and outdoor home environments to hotel lobbies and lavish mansions. Every interior designer works to create spaces that are attractive, functional, and safe while meeting the specific needs of the client and architect.
Design and Architecture
Interior designers are also known for designing furniture, and other interior elements that go untouched by the architect. Interior designers and architects work closely together as they need to understand each other’s goals and make the best of them for the client. Some interior designers are also architects and it makes total sense. Although architects have a more technical approach, their job still lies in designing, reviewing and overseeing the construction of buildings. Both architects and interior designers need to have good analytical and problem-solving skills. Together they make a killer team.
Carina Botha from Boaz Architects adds, “Architects are adept at structural problem-solving and creative design for both exterior and interior building design. As an architect, I see myself as the artist that provides an intricate and detailed canvas to the client. Interior designers focus on the interior and its functionality for human occupancy. The interior designer can then style the home for the specific look required by the homeowner. As an architect my mind is filled with numbers, lines and angles to create possibilities that we can only dream of. The interior designer can use my canvas to add fabrics, paintings, furniture etc. to incorporate and enhance the beauty and functionality of the spaces created”.
South Africa has produced some top-class designers. Our style and problem-solving skills in the design arena are as unique as our cultural landscape. We look at a few.
Mbele was always consumed by the need to develop a career in design. He initially wanted to study furniture design, but there was no such course offered at the University. Interior design was the next best thing. “I checked the dictionary to look up what it was before I left for the entrance test,” Mbele jokes. He is known for The Mvelo Desk which was nominated as one of the Most Beautiful Objects in South Africa in 2018. The piece of furniture represents two cultures that have been weaved together by solid oak. It’s creative genius.
Jan Henderson sums Kelly’s career up beautifully. “Kelly Hoppen was born in South Africa and grew up in England. She began her stellar career as a teenager with a commission to design a family friends’ kitchen and the projects have kept coming since then. Her style is sublime; a fusion of clean lines and neutral tones that portray a timelessness that translates from residential to commercial through to hospitality projects and beyond. But perhaps the most fascinating thing about Kelly is her ability to participate within the entire spectrum of design, to make it her own and to then forge ahead creating an empire as multifaceted as it is today”.
Christa Botha and Carla Erasmus
Continuously designing and producing new, original products to grow their larger collection, the Bofred studio (Christa and Carla’s business) is an ever-evolving space of contemporary design and curated art. Guided by their fine art background, Christa and Carla’s design philosophy is reflected in the linear shapes, colours and rich textures of natural hand-crafted materials they use to design – and locally produce – bespoke collections of furniture, lighting, and art.
Interior design is a profession that requires specific schooling and formal training. The work involved usually includes studying colour theory and textiles, computer-aided design (CAD) training, drawing, space planning, furniture design, some architecture, and more. Upon graduating, designers often apprentice with a registered and established interior designer before moving on to establish their own careers.
According to Study Portals, interior design helps the growing functionality and quality of interior spaces by combining creativity with visual sensitivity as well as technical elements. Interior design is related to similar disciplines such as graphic design, industrial design and landscape architecture and many designers have become multi-disciplinary in a few of these disciplines.
If you want to start early – even better so. If you are still in school or have a child in school looking to explore this career path there are a few things to consider. Visual Art as a subject in school is a great foundation builder for anyone seeking a professional career in the visual arts and other creative careers like architecture, interior design, industrial design, film making, content creating, advertising etc.
The list is endless, but take this advice from award-winning visual arts educator, Frik van Vuuren. “Taking art in school is so much more than what it used to be. Once considered the easy subject, that is simply not the case anymore. The standards are high, the children are good and you really need to be talented to do well in your visual arts class. The subject helps you to take an idea from your creative mind and turn it into a tangible object. This is the beginning for many designers”.
There are numerous avenues to try to get into interior design. Our top Universities offer Degrees in interior design and affiliated courses, usually at the faculty of Architecture and Design. We share a few degrees and courses that can help you on your way. Please check with your student advisor for the best, suitable advice for a study program that will help you achieve your career goals.
Interior design graduates are also encouraged to do internships, which includes accompanying the designer to meetings, understanding the client’s needs, and making a note of any special requests. Interns may also create preliminary plans for a room’s redesign, assist in developing budgets, and prepare invoices. Other responsibilities include communicating with contractors, looking for the best deals on supplies, and performing administrative duties. All these aspects teach the designer the foundations of eventually venturing off in their careers.
- University of Witwatersrand
Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts)
- University of Pretoria
Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts)
- Cape Peninsula University of Technology
National Diploma: Interior Design
- Tshwane University of Technology
National Diploma: Interior Design
- Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Architectural Technology and Interior Design
- Michaelis – University Of Cape Town
Bachelor of Fine Art
- Central University of Technology
National Diploma: Fine Art
- The Design School Southern Africa
- The Interior Design Institute
- Greenside Design Centre
All-female, Johannesburg-based architectural studio, Counterspace has taken their pioneering designs to Kensington Gardens, London after accepting the commission for the 20th Serpentine Pavilion. Being the youngest designer to ever take on the commission, Counterspace Director, Sumayya Vally has used her unique design and work style to expand on the legacy of the Pavilion as a key meeting space in a time when it is arguably needed most.
“My practice, and this Pavilion, is centred around amplifying and collaborating with multiple and diverse voices from many different histories; with an interest in themes of identity, community, belonging and gathering. The past year has drawn these themes sharply into focus and has allowed me the space to reflect on the incredible generosity of the communities that have been integral to this Pavilion. This has given rise to several initiatives that extend the duration, scale and reach of the Pavilion beyond its physical lifespan. In a time of isolation, these initiatives have deepened the Pavilion’s intents toward sustained collaboration, and I am excited to continue this engagement with the Serpentine’s civic and education teams and our partners over the summer and beyond.” Explained Sumayya.
Wanting to include the community, Sumayya is the first Pavilion architect to move to London for the project in order to create a design that is better informed by the community in which it is used.
Breaking Things Down
The inclusion and involvement of different parts of the city are physically shown is the inclusion of four Pavilion fragments that have been placed at partner locations in the North, South, East and West of London. The aim of the fragments is to bring people from different backgrounds into one conversation. The initial idea was for the fragments to eventually be brought together at the main Pavilion but that idea has evolved. The fragments will now stay in place and be used for different activities during and after the Pavilion’s season.
“It’s the first seed of collaboration… One of them is about sitting with another person and being contemplated, another is a stage, which allows for small scale performance and a very intimate audience. The one in the opening is a podium and is about reading and being able to sit and engage with material. The fragment for Valence Library in Barking and Dagenham is for an interview or conversation setting, as it will become a part of a radio station later. Each of them is also designed around intimate scale of gathering.
Architecture is about being together and about being apart but making together and moving apart. To imagine architecture as decentralised, as agile, or as archipelagos, is to see things in relation to each other. To understand that structures can support each other but decentralising is also to understand diaspora a tactic – without romanticising it – to negotiate, shift and bring different territories together.” Said Sumayya.
Space for the Arts
As always, the Pavilion and its fragments will host a full programme of art installations, performances, conversations and activities until the end of September.
Creating an environmentally responsible structure was at the heart of Sumayya’s design. Salvaged steel was used for the primary structure. This was then covered in upcycled cork from the wine industry and plywood, which was weather-treated with a micro-cement derived from lime and waste from marble production to make the unique structural forms and bespoke details.
Despite working across continents with the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, at over six meters high and with a 350m2 footprint, the team have been able to construct one of the tallest and largest Pavilions in recent years with an alleged carbon-negative Pavilion build.
As part of a new generation of young, inspiring African creatives, Sumayya and the Counterspace team are definitely ones to watch!
“…There’s an infinity of untold stories, unheard voices to be told, retold, made and remade. There are many unrealised worlds to be made, as yet undreamt dreams. We need to be looking for architecture in unlikely places, and most of all, we need to be looking for architecture in ourselves. My dream project is for this generation to really take off and start building multitudes.” Concluded Sumayya.
Images: Serpentine Pavilion 2021 designed by Counterspace, Exterior View © Counterspace Photos by Iwan Baan
The term modern can be thrown around quite a lot when describing homes that have contemporary elements to them.
There are a few elements that make homes look modern and contemporary. We look at a few and find all the inspiration you need if a modern home is what you are after.
Double volumes and lots of large glass windows and doors that allow the maximum amount of light into your home is crucial for a modern look. Translucent glass is perfect for private areas. Glass can be made to specification and adds a touch of class unmatched by other materials. Besides looking modern and elegant, the right type of glass can also minimise your carbon footprint.
The use of stone, concrete and wood is another popular element that gives homes a modern look and feel. Inspiration Feed says the contemporary period of living brought about a new sense of using organic materials such as wood, rock, slate, teak, cotton, wool, and other gorgeous textiles in modern furnishings that are not just reserved for traditional home uses anymore”.
Strong Architectural Exteriors
Cutting edge homes are usually accompanied by strong architectural lines and angles. Everything is designed for a reason – giving every meter of your home a function. My Move shares “While the focus on interiors is often thought of when considering contemporary influences, don’t forget the architectural exterior details”. Most exterior detailing is free from heavy ornamentation of historic classical buildings and is replaced with simple rectilinear or curvilinear forms.
Technology and home automation set the contemporary home apart from its competitors in the neighbourhood. Hidden details and streamlined interiors with high functionality and style is always considered forward-thinking and relevant today. Technology has become the hidden luxury in many homes all over the world. The convenience and safety that smart homes and automation offer will drastically increase the value of your home too.
In terms of interiors, the modern home is designed with stylish furniture with clean, elegant lines. Surfaces play into the hand of minimalist living and are usually uncluttered and neat. Kitchens are usually integrated with built-in appliances giving an overall sophisticated look. Cords are a thing of the past and an eyesore in most cases. Try and minimise the exposure of cords on all accounts for a clean look.
Mindful artworks that complement the space also make a wonderful addition to contemporary interiors. Choose fun abstract works that create a buzz and gives your guests something interesting to talk about.
Time to renovate and get that cool, contemporary look? Contact a building and renovations specialist on HOMEMAKERS today.
We look at inspiration from all over the world to see what architects and designers are doing in homes. What we seem to see over and over is the commitment to sustainable development and sustainable architecture. Society, in general, is evolving towards environmental commitment and architectural trends, as a collective consciousness.
Beyond Solar Panels
Over the last 15 years, people in South Africa have really started investing in solar panels. We know the benefits of solar panels far outweigh any other form of energy output, but popular ways to increase sustainability goes far further than solar panels.
From choosing local materials (no imports) and employing local artisans to create what you need, to keeping energy and transportation costs to a minimal, multi-million-rand homes and buildings are now considering more than going solar. Garden roofs are also becoming more popular as people are using them to grow food in the cities too.
Automated home systems are increasingly in demand to control everything from temperature, lights and security. A smart home offers owners greater comfort and reduces consumption bills. The quickest way to get automated is straightforward. The quickest way to get involved in home automation is by using “plugin devices” that only needs a WiFi connection. You can plug the device in, pair it with your smartphone and be up and running with your first smart home installation.
Read more about home automation on HOMEMAKERS here.
Mix and Match
Making use of natural resources and surroundings and pairing them with top designs in functional homes is stylish and timeless. Mixing materials in architectural design isn’t a new concept. Architects have been designing schools, museums, cathedrals, and nearly every other building using a mix of materials for centuries. We have been seeing more however invest in this eccentric building style.
Combining different materials in architecture will end up playing a major role in the durability and aesthetics of the home you’re designing. According to metal mouldings experts at Dahlstrom “Like artwork, mixing materials can break up large expanses of similar, otherwise-boring designs. Using different ratios of dissimilar materials can create a spectrum of ambience. Incorporating more metal, for example, will create a cool, industrial aesthetic, while incorporating more wood will create a warmer, more organic look and feel. Metal, wood, glass, and stone can also be layered to accentuate dimensions and create further contrast. Placing dissimilar materials on top of each other creates a striking visual distinction, and the transitions between different materials can be further accentuated by decorative trim, such as wood or metal mouldings“.
As a family, we love to travel around South Africa. Not only to visit our beautiful natural wonders but also some pretty cool architectural masterpieces. As an architect in South Africa, I appreciate our unique environment in the creation of the masterpieces that are well worth a visit. Here are a few of my favourite architectural hot spots in South Africa.
Situated in the Cape’s Breede Valley. The Bosjes Kapel unusual and elegant design complements the surrounding mountain range. Created by Steyn Studio in London, the chapel is open to the public.
Arrival, via a narrow path over the water, also heightens the experience, imparting a level of tension and concentration to the procession. The floating roof is a biblical reference to Psalm 36:7: “How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.”
From its interior, you can marvel at the sweeping hills and valleys. The reflective pool in the front courtyard gives the building the illusion of weightlessness.
Bosjes Kapel is a prime example of how dazzling architectural additions to the landscape can create a destination, making a place through its mere presence, but also in the way that it mediates people’s experience of the spirit of place.
The natural locale transforms cues from traditional Cape Dutch architecture to create a contemporary SA icon.
Located on the highly visible corner of Jellicoe and Jan Smuts in Rosebank, it marks a prominent public intervention within the existing urban fabric.
Its undulating steel façade hugs the corner, creating a visually interesting and permeable urban edge while beckoning patrons to explore the spaces within.
Open to the public, the gallery uses its prominence to create an interest in art. Art has evolved, and this gallery sets out to include various media, such as music, film, large scale sculpture and the architecture itself.
The architecture is therefore a sculptural artwork, moulding itself around the art it contains.
Photo credit: Everard Read and Peter Yuill from TooSocial @Toosocialsa
The Erasmus Castle, also known as ‘The Haunted House’ or “Die Spookhuis” is a Victorian Art Nouveau mansion now privately owned by Armscor.
Public tours and cultural gatherings at the premises can be arranged by appointment only. Construction commenced in 1892 and was completed in 1903. It was built in the Stick style and is a combination of the Gothic Revival Pointed (the 1840s) and the Queen Anne (1880-1910) styles.
It is well worth the effort to view the well-preserved interior, and perhaps encounter the resident ghost, known for leaving lights lit and moaning at night.
The Chapel of Light
A small, low-budget project by architects Morne Pienaar and Chris Wilkinson, built at the Vaal University of Technology in Vanderbijl Park, The Chapel appears to make something out of nothing through sheer will.
The semi-circular tower and cross that reaches upwards creates the Chapel Beacon.
The beacon instinctively signals the entrance with the tower and roof extensions. The materials and shapes used are modest, but people are intuitively drawn towards the Chapel.
By creating a series of spatial changes, the visitor experiences different phases of arrival. The arrival path changes your mindset as you make your way to the inner sanctuary.
Although there are no views to the outside, the inner sanctuary creates a powerful and peaceful contemplative shelter through inspired contrast with its context.
The Big Pineapple
The World’s largest pineapple building, 17 meters tall in Bathurst, South Africa. Although Bathurst is one of the smallest municipalities in South Africa it is possibly one of the most interesting. The area is populated by smallholder farmers.
The smallholder farmers account for 70% of South Africa’s pineapple production. The Big Pineapple is proof of Bathurst’s sustainable production process.
On the ground floor of The Big Pineapple is a museum, highlighting its history along with a gift shop selling a variety of pineapple products. The Big Pineapple is open to the public from 9 to 5 daily.
Even without The Big Pineapple, Bathurst boasts many tourist attractions including but not limited to the Oldest Licensed Pub in South Africa, The Bradshaw’s Mill built by the British Settler, Samuel Bradshaw in 1821, and the Bathurst Toposcope from where you can see the Great Fish River, The Gamtoos Valley floodplain and other spectacular sights.
Whether you already have a property, planning to buy your first or another, it is always good to be informed of things like servitudes before you make your purchasing decision. Here’s what you need to know about servitudes.
What is a servitude?
The definition of a servitude is a right or compulsory service by one person to use another’s property. It allows the holder of the servitude to do something with the other person’s property, which would not normally be allowed. An example is the right of way to travel over a section of the other person’s property to reach your own property.
Types of Servitudes
There are three types of servitudes; public, personal and praedial. Public servitudes are created in favour of the general public and are not registered in favour of a specific person, legal entity or other immovable property. An example of such servitude would be a public road, pipeline servitude, electrical substation servitude, and so forth. Even though a change in ownership may take place, this servitude will continue to exist and can only be cancelled by agreement between the parties.
A personal servitude is a right attached to a specific person to use and enjoy another’s property and cannot exist longer than the lifetime of the person in whose favour it was registered. The most well-known personal servitudes are the usufruct, right to use, or the right to occupy the property. When that individual dies, the servitude falls away. It does not pass on to the new owner of the property.
A praedial servitude is when a person has a right to use a part of the property due to ownership of the property. Should he sell the property, the servitude will move over to the new owner.
The most common rural praedial servitude is a right of way servitude, where a property owner has the right to use another person’s property to get to their property. A farmer who has no reasonable access to a public road other than by crossing the property of another landowner may claim a way of necessity. The dominant owner must exercise such a right in a reasonable way and not because this is the shortest route. One way of necessity may change when a servient owner offers an alternative route that is no less convenient.
Window-right is probably the most typical urban servitude, it gives the dominant owner the right to have a window or opening in a wall which is on the servient owner’s boundary. In areas of high rainfall, there may be servitudes which give the right to divert water flowing from a roof, or across a dominant property, into the servient property. The opposite may apply in dry areas, where the owner of a servient property, which would be situated in a higher position than the dominant, may not interfere with the flow of water from his or her roof into the dominant property.
How is a servitude registered?
A personal servitude can be created by agreement between the parties but in practice, it is mostly provided for in terms of a will in which a surviving spouse is given the right to occupy the property during their lifetime. A praedial servitude is mostly concluded by way of an agreement between parties which sets out the rights and responsibilities of each party as well as the consideration amount that the person in whose favour the servitude is to be registered, will have to pay the owner of the property.
The general rule is that public, personal and praedial servitudes must be registered against the title deed of the property by means of a notarial deed between the owner of the property and the holder of the real right. The servitude agreement must be drafted and notarized by a notary public and registered in the Deeds Registry. In most instances for the registration of a praedial servitude, a land surveyor or architect would need to prepare a servitude diagram, which would indicate the location of such servitude. This diagram will need to be attached to the notarial deed and registered.
After registration in the Deeds Office, the servitude forms part of the conditions contained in the title deed of the property and can be cancelled by agreement between the parties in the case of a praedial servitude.
In the instance of a praedial servitude, a notarial deed of cancellation will have to be registered in the Deeds Office to note the removal of the servitude condition from the title deed. In most instances of a personal servitude the servitude can be cancelled by an application to the Registrar of Deeds, stating that the servitude has lapsed due to the passing of time or death of the holder thereof.
When you are selling your property, you do not need to get permission from the person that has a right of a servitude over your property. However, the new owner will have to comply with the servitude.
How do you know if there is a servitude registered over the property?
If you were to examine the title deed, you would be able to ascertain whether there is a servitude registered over the property. If you are unsure, ask your Conveyancing Attorney or an Architectural Professional to assist you.
How can it impact the value of a property?
If a servitude is held on a property, the owner of the property will be unable to exercise their entitlement to the property in the full capacity. The servitude implies that the property does not just serve the owner, but also another property or person. Because of this, the owner’s rights are somewhat diminished.
In principle, the holder of the servitude has priority. Essentially this means that the owner of the property may exercise all their usual rights of ownership, provided it does not impede the rights of the servitude holder. The owner cannot exercise any rights that are contrary to the servitude or grant another servitude which infringes the existing one. While the holder of the servitude has the right to perform all acts necessary to utilise the servitude, they must do so in a manner that causes minimal inconvenience to the owner of the property. It is also vital that the burden on the property is not increased beyond the express or implied terms of the servitude.
While this may not be an issue for some, many buyers are turned off by the fact that a servitude is held on a property. As a result, a servitude can reduce the demand for a property which in turn can have a negative impact on its perceived value in the market.
A common issue that arises with servitudes, is that the servitudes are registered as mentioned herein, but agreements between the parties are not reached regarding aspects such as maintenance and access to the property. These agreements are of the utmost importance as it can lead to disputes between parties.
If you are overwhelmed, there is nothing wrong with asking for help!
We will point you in the right direction.
082 920 3158
We have written about aluminium doors and windows numerous times – and for good reason. According to experts, aluminium is on-trend at the moment, especially with the world moving towards more sustainable building practices. Designers, architects and developers are specifying them in most new builds, trying to maximise natural lighting and keep buildings as eco-efficient as possible.
With its contemporary look and feel, aluminium products are becoming more popular in trendy, residential homes and in beautifully designed commercial buildings. Along with its unique aesthetic, it also offers added security and insulation. Aluminium is a well-used metal for many reasons and it would be a mistake to pass up the opportunity to include it in your next project. Here are a few reasons why choosing aluminium doors and windows are a smart idea.
Aluminium is a strong metal that cannot warp, crack, bend or split over time. This means your aluminium installations will last until you choose to replace them. When you look at aluminium windows, for example, less material is required in the frame to hold the glass, and that is because of aluminium’s strength.
Its durability allows for an overall sleeker look with sharp lines resulting in a streamlined aesthetic. Aluminium also gives you more freedom in choosing larger windows and doors, maximising the use of indoor space and merging it effortlessly with outdoor space.
As mentioned above, aluminium is known for its durability. It can be exposed to harsh elements but remain unaffected by UV rays. Aluminium fitted doors and windows can last for many years and cannot deteriorate over time. Aluminium can also not rust.
Other than giving your doors and windows an easy clean, they are pretty much maintenance-free resulting in cost savings – giving aluminium an ecological advantage. Cleaning and maintenance of aluminium products do not involve chemicals or toxic agents.
Many architects are making good use of aluminium frames for doors and windows because the options for designs and finishes are endless. We love the use of large aluminium door frames opening up to even larger gardens, patios and pool areas. Aluminium can be made into any shape your heart desires without sacrificing any of its impressive properties.
Aluminium’s colour versatility also delivers more customisation options, offering long-lasting colour and a high-end finish.
Aluminium is light and easy to work with, but the hard-wearing material is also recyclable, reducing aluminium’s carbon footprint. Aluminium products often exceed energy efficiency standards because of how truly effective architectural aluminium is.
From being trendy and good for the planet to being maintenance-free and customisable, you simply cannot go wrong with aluminium doors and windows. Find aluminium doors and windows experts right here on HOMEMAKERS.Read More
The reason for building lines lies in the common Law Statement “Sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas” (use your own things so as not to harm that of another). Or, more commonly known as “good fences make good neighbours”.
When are building lines violated?
When a structure is built over a building line, or between the building line and the border of the property, it is a violation of the town planning laws that govern the property.
In more serious cases, it has happened that the structure not only encroaches on the building lines but the neighbour’s property as well. The same principle applies to any balcony, roof or any protruding part of the neighbour’s building over your property.
Violations of the property‘s zoning rights do not end with the encroachments of building lines and property boundaries but may include and is not limited to height restrictions, servitudes, density and coverage, to name a few.
What is the affected landowner’s suggested course of action?
The affected landowner should seek legal advice as soon as he or she becomes aware of the violations. If the affected landowner waits for a prolonged period, the failure to timely notify the Local Authority could be interpreted as condonation.
Who can be contacted if your neighbour violates town planning law?
As soon as you become aware of the possibility that your neighbour is violating a town planning law, you can report the violation to the town planning department of the Local Municipality. The Local Authority is obliged to investigate the suspected violation. If the owner is not compliant, the Local Authority can enforce the law by compelling the offending property owner to demolish or move the structure so that it no longer violates the town planning law.
Unfortunately, the Local Authority may take a long time to inspect the properties, but once the inspection is done they will send a letter to the offending owner requesting him to demolish or move the structure.
If the owner does not react to the first letter, a second letter is sent, warning the owner that a court order will be issued, to order the demolition if the violation is not rectified.
Penalties and the Law
Thereafter, the Local Authority will instruct its attorneys to approach the court for an order demolishing the offending structure. The Local Authority may also be able to penalise the offending owner by charging increased rates and taxes.
If the Local Authority is not taking action to enforce the building lines, you may approach an attorney for assistance in bringing an application to the court to compel the demolition or removal of the offending structure. This can be done with or without the involvement or assistance of the Local Authority.
The court may order that the structure be demolished, moved, or awarded monetary compensation and order that the structure may remain. The outcome depends on each individual case. The factors that determine the outcome depend on the practicality, cost and the harm caused by the encroaching structure.
Local Authority Intervention
With regards to the Local Authority, a distinction must be drawn between the aspects of the building works where the Local Authority is duty-bound to intervene, and aspects where, once it has given approval for the building plans, and the Local Authority has served it purposes for which it was created.
The Local Authority should intervene where the structure is non-compliant. The intervention would be to issue a stop order to the offending owner, stating that no building work may continue before the proposed structure has been approved by the Local Authority, to ensure compliance.
The only scenario where a Court will be obliged to order a demolition is where an application is brought into the Magistrate’s Court by a Municipality under Section 21 of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act 103 of 1977 for demolition based on non-compliance with the provisions of this Act.
The offending owner is in a position to apply for relaxation of the town planning laws, for example, to apply for a building line relaxation. As the owner of the adjoining property, you have the right to give consent to or object to the relaxation. Unfortunately, the Local Authority can approve the relaxation application with or without the adjoining property owners’ consent.
In order to safeguard your best interests, especially the value of your property, it would be best to seek the advice of an experienced professional in this field of law.
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082 920 3158
COVID-19 is having a fundamental impact on the necessity and layouts of offices. Most businesses have realised that they can allow their staff to work from home. There is also the overhead costs from an office that will be minimised with home-based offices. In this article, we discuss the conversion of a garage into an office.
This means that many people will be setting up their office spaces at home. This conversion is in most cases not ideal and might result in less than ideal living and working conditions.
Due to the vastness of the topic, there are a few crucial considerations that will not be addressed in this article. Firstly, we will not discuss the Zoning, Town Planning Schemes and By-Laws. Secondly, we will not address the COVID-19 Occupational Health and Safety arrangements, as set out in the COVID-19 Occupational Health and Safety Measures in Workplaces COVID-19 (C19 OHS), 2020. Thirdly, we will not discuss the application to the Local Authority for approval.
We are focusing solely on the implications of converting a double garage (6×6 meters) into a home office from a National Building Regulations and a SANS10400 perspective, by looking into the following aspects:
- Lighting and Power
- Energy Efficiency: Orientation, Fenestration, Thermal Insulation, Permissible air leakage in habitable rooms:
A garage has the sole function of storing automobiles. Thus, the room itself is not defined as a habitable area. A habitable room is a room that involves eating, sleeping, living, or working areas for any person.
Occupancy is the particular use or the type of use to which a building or portion thereof is normally put or intended to be put to use.
Domestic residence (Class of Occupancy: H3) is where the occupancy consists of two or more dwelling units on a single site. A dwelling house (Class of Occupancy: H4) is where the occupancy consists of a dwelling unit on its own site, including a garage and other domestic outbuildings.
By converting a garage into an office, that portion of the domestic residence or dwelling house will be used for offices, changing the Class of Occupancy from H3 or H4 to G1.
According to Table 2 of SANS 10400-A:2010, the allowable design population for G1 is 1 person per 15m2. Based on the above for a double garage of 36m2, you are allowed to have two people in the office space.
SANS 10400-P:2010 makes allowance for the sanitary fixtures based on the occupation classification. The rule of thumb is to provide at least one toilet pan and one washbasin. If there are no sanitary fixtures nearby to accommodate the office, please keep access to the existing drainage installation as well as natural ventilation in mind if a new toilet pan and washbasin should be installed in the available 36m2.
To comply with SANS 10400-O: 2011 the total area of an openable glazed window in an external wall, shall not be less than 5 percent of the floor area of the room. Thus, for a 36m2 double garage, the requirement is at least a 1,8m2 openable glazed window.
The regulations make provision for habitable areas to be well ventilated, either mechanically or naturally. If the habitable room is to be mechanically ventilated it should have an effective local extraction ventilation system with high-efficiency particulate air HEPA filters, which is regularly cleaned, maintained, and the vents do not feedback in through open windows. The minimum outdoor air requirements for general office areas are 2 Air changes per hour and 7,5 litres per second per person.
Lighting and Power
Depending on occupancy and activity, minimum lighting levels shall be determined with the requirements of SANS 10114-1 and SANS10400-O. For natural lighting, the openings should be situated in an external wall and shall be provided with a zone of space outside it. The area of the openings shall not be less than 10 percent of the floor area. Thus for the 36m2, we require a glazed opening of 3,6m2.
SANS 204:2011 stipulates the maximum energy demand and energy consumption for lighting in the occupancy or building class. For G1 offices or the population of 1 person/15m2, the energy demand is 17W/m2 and the energy consumption is 42,5kWh/m2.
In 2011 SANS 204 the energy efficiency in buildings was published. This standard specifies the design requirements for energy efficiency in buildings and of services in buildings with natural environmental control and artificial ventilation or air conditioning systems. SANS 204 should be read in conjunction with SANS 10400. The following are a few considerations to keep in mind when converting a 36m2 area into a home office:
a) Orientation: Rooms, where people spend most of their hours, should be located north.
b) Fenestration: SANS 10400-XA: 2010 states that a building with up to 15 percent fenestration area to net floor area per storey should comply with the minimum energy performance requirements. If the fenestration exceeds 15 percent area to the net floor area, then it should comply with SANS 204.
c) Thermal Insulation: Attached buildings such as garages shall not compromise the thermal performance of the main building, but it can be exempted if it does not contain habitable spaces:
i) Figure 2 Option A: Thermal performance of the main building is achieved, excluding the walls and floor of the garage.
ii) Figure 2 Option B: The thermal performance of the main building is also achieved, with the garage included in the enclosed perimeter.
iii) If your garage is not included in the thermal performance calculations of the main building, there are a few thermal insulation items that should be incorporated in the internal upgrade of the 36m2:
a) Floor insulation for concrete slab-on-ground.
b) Roof and/or ceiling insulation to comply with minimum required R-values, depending on climatic zones, and must be installed correctly.
Permissible air leakage in habitable rooms: Habitable rooms should be sealed at the following building elements: glazing, roof lights, chimneys, flues, roof lights, skylights, external doors, roofs, walls and floors.
Please contact us if you require assistance in converting any area in your home into an office, contact BOAZ Architects.
You can also call Carina Botha on 082 920 3158 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org