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This page provides information on auspicious days suitable for home construction for the year 2011.

The significance of these dates for the prospective builders depends on their horoscopes, and should be further verified by an astrologer.
Information for this page is provided by Mrs. Soma Rajapaksha (nee Kalupahana) a wellknown astrologer. She is a graduate of the University of Peradeniya and currently serves as a director education in the Western Province, Sri Lanka.

At an early stage the project time chart should be discussed and agreed between client and architect. It should take into account the nature of the project, the building market situation generally, site availability, etc., and from it a choice can be made from the various types of building contracts. This important decision governs the character of the documents to be prepared and the time needed for them.

Particular requirements regarding a project's completion time should be discussed with the architect as early as possible. There is usually an optimum construction time for a building and it can be costly to stipulate either a faster or slower contract time.

The time chart sets dates for important items such as the preparation of the client's program of requirements, the completion of the schematic design and design development stages, the client's approvals and instructions, the completion of the contract document stage, the preparation of the bill of quantities, the calling of tenders for both main and subcontracts and the start and completion of the building and contract administration stage. The chart finishes with the date for practical completion or occupation.

This allows orderly financial planning and, with prompt decisions from the client and the avoidance of changes, the chart should not be difficult to maintain.

With carefully planned projects and adequate contractual arrangements it is possible to exercise satisfactory control of quality, cost and time.

Projects should be planned and detailed well ahead of construction itself. They can be carried out to fixed cost commitments and constructed to a fixed timetable. There are many examples of successful projects of this kind which have resulted from full co-operation between owner, architect and contractor.

Building contracts define the respective responsibilities and obligations of the contractor and owner, and for that reason the architect must deal with matters where there is a conflict of interests between the two parties. Fortunately in most building projects these cause little trouble.

The most satisfactory results are achieved when owner, architect and contractor help each other with the minor and sometimes major problems.

Building is a once in a lifetime venture which involves considerable expenditure. Therefore, the prospective building owner is well advised to seek professional guidance.

The first function of a professional adviser is to provide information and advice on a subject in which he is a specialist.

Dealing solely with non-experts, who may not necessarily be concerned with his best interests, the owner has no protection against inexperience, wrong decisions, or even the right decisions being carried out incorrectly. To safeguard his own interests and avoid costly mistakes he should have expert participation in his decisions that only a professional relationship can provide.

Three main reasons distinguish the professional adviser from others (such as tradesmen and commercial firms) who can and frequently do supply information and advice.

1. Providing unbiased
advice Unlike a tradesman or a commercial firm a professional has no financial interest in any product or process.

2. Responsibility for the decisions
A professional, when given information about products or services, shares the responsibility of deciding how to act in the light of that information together with his client.

3. Adherence to traditions and codes of ethics
With a duty both to his client and to the society in general, the professional adviser upholds the traditions and codes of his profession. In the light of these, he performs his job honestly and well, devoid of self-interest.

HOW TO SELECT A PROFESSIONAL ARCHITECH?

The success of your building project mainly depends on the experience and the ability of your Architect to handle a project of the nature and size envisaged by you.

Selecting an architect who could understand your requirements and provide the best professional advice is not an easy task.

Other professionals such as Structural, Electrical and Mechanical Engineers also play an important role. An architect may engage the services of these professionals from in-house personnel or from other specialist consultancies.

The co-ordination of the services of such consultants is part and parcel of an Architectural service for which a Chartered Architect has been specifically trained.

WORKING TOGETHER WITH AN ARCHITECT

The satisfactory functioning of a building depends on the care and skills given to explaining the requirements to the architect by the client.

The client should clearly define
• the purposes and functions of the building areas and their relationships,
• the methods of operation and management,
• the movement of goods and personnel,
• the conditions to be attained for power, lighting, cooling, ventilation and/or air-conditioning and
• other detailed service requirements such as, sound proofing and vibration criteria, comfort standards and amenities.

While the client’s role is to define the functional requirements, it is the architect’s responsibility to establish the way in which these requirements are best met. Incidentally this forms the main reason for employing an architect.

In addition to the briefing, the client should provide copies of title plans, legal information, survey particulars etc., of the building site.

Designing should not commence until the client has provided these requirements (which form architect's brief) and reviewed and analyzed them with his architect.


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