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Our Process

 

Cranko Architects’ work responds to the unique characteristics of each project.  We instill light and views, plan good internal flow and relationships within buildings, and provide indoor-outdoor living opportunities in a sustainable, joyful and practical way. Our current and previous design work includes new commercial, residential and community projects. We respect the integrity of existing structures and heritage buildings and enjoy the challenge of integrating new facilities within and alongside them. We work together with our clients to respond to feelings, needs, wants and budget. Your needs and aspirations are unique.  Each project is a new challenge since the building fabric and the site are individual. We have the commitment to see projects out over a long period and have worked successfully in the Wellington area and beyond for nearly thirty years. Most projects come to us by word of mouth and from repeat clients.
The practice principal is involved in every job and especially in the briefing and  concept plan stages.  We work in small teams to provide continuity. Design is a collaborative process with the client.
After the first rough butter paper sketches, work is drawn electronically. We use object-oriented 3D building development software. The former enables us to create a three dimensional digital model of the building, which is the basis for all necessary contract documentation, but can also be used for sun studies or a virtual walk-through. For Specification work and contract administration we use software customized to the project. Our database assists with tracking time and cost. Our work with institutions, community groups and government bodies involves building sound working relationships and consulting effectively with groups, just as with the differing views of household members.
We usually meet with you at your building property and listen to your initial brief which helps us reckon on a very broad order of magnitude of potential cost. We strongly recommend an independent estimate of construction cost by a quantity surveyor at concept design stage, which often informs the route the project takes.
We charge for our work in stages.  The first stage often involves gathering up the site/house information from various sources and consolidating it, and taking your brief. From that, we develop concept plan option(s), which are usually further refined into a preferred scheme with your feedback . At this stage, we recommend that a quantity surveyor prepares a rough cost estimate prepared. When the client is ready to proceed, we carry out detailed design, then contract/  and building consent documentation.  Resource consent documentation may also be required. We agree a value of our fees with the client at each stage, depending on the quantum of work required. For the earlier stages it is often on a time charge, (generally within the NZIA guidelines) and then often lump sum fees for the next pieces of work (e.g. construction/contract/consent documentation). Overall, our fees are tailored to the scope for the work that the client requires and recognises her/his/their input.
The concept options phase establishes client priorities which are further elicited in the detailed design phase, whether technical or design based.
The treatment of changes depends upon the stage of the process.  In construction, a change is a contract variation. We manage construction risk by use of contingencies, provisional and prime cost sums.
We work these through with each client.  Redevelopment and renovation work requires respect for existing structures as well as  regards for contemporary functionality.  There is rarely a client who is indifferent to budget!
We observe the requirements of the Architects Act, the Code of Practice and Professional Conduct.  Deborah is a registered architect and a former Deputy Chair of the Registered Architects’ Board. www.nzrab.org.nz. We are an NZIA Practice with support from it in the form of NZIA Practice Notes,  and the NZIA guidelines for architect’s charges.  Deborah is a Fellow of the Institute. Cranko Architects networks with local Wellington practice groups to share and test ideas with our peers. We hold Professional Indemnity Insurance Cover under the New Zealand Architects Co-operative Society Scheme |www.nzacs.co.nz |

 

Steps in the Design Process

 

We compile the design brief from the  client’s stated needs and dreams, and it is informed by the budget. We gather information about the site and any buildings and produce drawings in a three-dimensional model for your review.
We analyse the design brief, site condition and orientation and any constraints.  We develop ideas through concept sketches, initially as rough hand sketches which are translated into 3D outline concepts;  and sometimes we make simple cardboard models. Your feedback and preferences usually result in several iterations that investigate planning, aesthetic and resource management requirements. We recommend a rough order of cost estimate at this stage of the design.
This includes developing technical documentation in consultation with the client and co-ordination with other consultants such as structural and geotechnical engineers.   These detailed drawings and specifications are prepared to enable builders to price the project and obtain  local authority building and resource consents.
The construction contract and price may be procured in various ways, by tender or by negotiation. We are authorised to use the NZIA suite of contract documents
We are generally involved in contract administration and construction observation, answering queries from issues that inevitably arise on site, and co-ordinating any needed changes.