Buildings… Properties… Land… Assets… Our world is filled with architectural elements of our living environment and the architects who worked hard to bring their work to fruition.
But what kind of situations would make hiring a Singapore Architect the right thing to do?
Here are some of them:
1. When you are considering increasing floor area to your property/home like building another floor/level or constructing additional basement levels.
This is an extremely common situation in Singapore which involves a property owner who wants to maximise the floor area of his/her property.
Increasing floor area is often highly desirable because there is a direct correlation between a building's value and its floor area.
Do you wish to maximise the floor area of your building property?
A qualified Architect is essential in terms of checking the updated master plan, performing calculations in terms of plot ratio, as well as Gross Floor Area(GFA) optimization.
Interested to know more about URA’s guidelines on Gross Floor Area? Check out this guide
. You can also read up about URA’s master plan here.
You have 2 general options: Up or down
Going upwards to build additional floors is no walk in the park.
You will need to understand your existing structure to know whether or not it can withstand the load of a new structure on top.
There are factors of access as you may need to build either a staircase or some cases install a mechanical lift.
There are also various URA rules with regards to addition and alteration and your property’s GFA.
You can get a glimpse of these URA regulations here.
Going downwards to create additional floor space is no cakewalk either.
Building a basement has the advantage that it increases floor area while keeping the overall height of the building constant.
While Singaporeans are used to the concept of an underground train system or an underground mall, not many of us have thought seriously about the benefits of our very own underground rooms and floors!
Building basement levels involve a high level of technical competency to understand the soil environment, cost of excavation and working below ground in confined spaces.
There will always be structural considerations with regards to shoring or strengthening of the structure, waterproofing and natural elements like rain and floods. A trained and qualified person will also advise you with regards to ventilation, drainage, sewage, access and means of escape.
There are also human factors like: Will the residents stay in or move out of their existing property?
If you have read till this point, it should be pretty obvious that a qualified Singapore Architect will be essential for you to execute your plan of increasing floor area to your property/home.
2. When you are considering a change of use of your property/asset/land.
Is your property, asset or land designated to a certain kind of use by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) or the Singapore Land Authority (SLA)?
If you would like to utilize your property, asset or land in a different way, you would have to submit a proposal to the authorities for a change of use. The URA provides guidelines for this application process here
Such a proposal would need to consider various factors like existing regulations, neighbouring premises, impact on residents, how it relates to the Singapore government’s master plan, etc.
A multi-faceted proposal that takes into account multiple considerations is best left in the hands of a trained Singapore Architect.
3. When you are considering addition and alteration works(even minor works like painting) to your property/home within a designated URA conservation area.
Do you own a property like a house or shophouse in a conservation area?
If yes, you might be an owner of a conserved building as seen in the eyes of the URA.
Even painting your house or shophouse in a conservation area needs to be done in accordance to URA's rules and regulations.
For retrofitting or additions and alternations, you will most likely require submissions and approvals from the URA before work can start.
You can read more about URA’s guidelines with regards to conservation property here
4. When you are considering to develop a property on a given piece of land.
You have a piece of land and you are asking yourself the magic question: What can I do with it?
Will you do what everyone seems to be doing or will you do something different? How do you weigh the pros and cons of each idea/concept?
There are various factors to consider like: initial area distribution, set backs and height limits in concept masterplan design. Within the Singapore context, you will need to estimate areas and usage of this build up within URA guidelines.
Will you build Good Class Bungalows, Cluster Houses, Apartments or a commercial building?
Would you like a side-by-side comparison to see your potential return on investments with each idea/concept?
A qualified Singapore Architect is essential in terms of proposing ideas to maximise the potential of the given piece of land.
5. When you are considering taking up a tenancy agreement in a property that differs from your intended use.
A typical example in Singapore is this: an F&B operator wants to take a tenancy agreement in a property that is originally assigned for retail use.
A qualified Architect will be essential in terms of proposing a change of use to F&B, which needs to be cleared by the landlord as well as the SCDF.
You can read more about URA guidelines with regards to business use here.
Hiring a Singapore Architect is not really a need or a want. It is a choice that wise people make.
Here at ADX Architects, we welcome you to allow us to share our experience and knowledge with you. Get ready to be surprised.