Showing posts from May, 2013


A brief description of the stages in a construction project, written for those embarking on a project.

1. Create a Design Brief While you may have a vision for your project in your head, in practice, you need to convert this into a design brief. A design brief is a short document that describes the project. It is essentially a list of spaces that you need in your project. For example, if you wish to build a college of music, the brief will include the major spaces that you envisage, such as 10 piano practice rooms, 15 guitar practice rooms, one 200-person auditorium, 20 lecture rooms, and so on. To achieve an accurate and complete design brief, hire an architect, as there are many requirements you may not know about, such as fire pump rooms, corridors, and utility areas.
2. Hire a Design Team Hire your design team. See our page on how to hire an architect. The team will consist of an architect, a structural engineer, and building services engineers at the very least. Larger projects req…

How to Hire a Architect - Mumbai, India

Here is our guide to hiring an architect.  Read on...

1. Understand the technical competence of the architect
No matter how creative the architect's sketches are, ultimately, you want a building that will not leak, rot, fall apart, or need maintenance. Every architect is not as technically competent as the other. A good architect will have a basic understanding of structural engineering,building constructionbuilding services (such as electrical, plumbing, air-conditioning, and information systems), quality management, local building regulations, and project management. Not every architect has these skills. Look at the architect's previous work, and ask to see buildings that she has completed. If possible, speak to the owners of these buildings. Ensuring that the architect is licensed to practice in your area is a key step in hiring an architect.

2. Get a feel of the style of work of the architect
Conflicts crop up during the design process when the architect and the clients h…


Architect Samir D'Monte was the principal architect for the Jet Airways MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Hangar) at Mumbai airport.

The 70m span hangar contains spaces for:

Parking of 2 x Boeing 737 series aircraft OR 3 x ATR aircrafta Composite Repair ShopA Paint ShopA Cleaning ShopAn Engine ShopAn Avionics ShopA Wheel & Brake ShopA Seat Repair ShopTools RoomAircraft StoresA training facilityOffices for the Aircraft Maintenance and Ground Support TeamsA Dining HallAMOS Server SpacesA complete Aircraft Docking System, which Samir also worked on in detail

In 2013, Jet Airways asked SDM Architects to upgrade and overhaul parts of this facility.

Samir was also the principal architect for the Essar Hangar at Mumbai airport, a smaller hangar that houses a Gulfstream G5, and has light maintenance facilities, and a small departure / waiting lounge.  Both these hangars were designed with Shirish Patel &…

Building Regulations in Mumbai - Building Bye-Laws in Mumbai

Our simple outline of important building regulations in Mumbai...

1. FSI: for residential buildings is 1.33 from South Mumbai till Mahim in the West and Sion in the centre.  North of that it is 1.0.  For educational, healthcare and hospitality projects, it is 1.33 plus 300% extra, which is 1.33 x 4 = 5.32.

The following are not counted in FSI calculations:
• Basements
• Stilt Parking
• Staircases
• Lifts and lift lobby (lobby area to an extent equal to lift area, additional lobby areas are counted)
• Pump rooms, utility areas, security cabins
• Shafts
• Society Office upto 12 m2 if there are less than 20 apartments, and 20 m2 if more
• Gymnasium upto 2% of FSI area
• One Servants’ toilet per floor upto 2.2 m2 with access from lift lobby
• Refuge Areas and terraces
Normally, 15% of the plot must be reserved as a recreation area.  If the plot area is greater than 2,500m2, then this 15% is also subtracted from the total FSI of the plot. Note that this explanation pre-dates the concept of "Fungib…

SDM Architects is one of the leading industrial architects in Mumbai, India

SDM Architects has extensive experience of projects in the industrial sector.  We believe that an industrial architect should first understand a production process in great detail, and then design the building to suit this process.  The building is only an envelope that enables the smooth functioning of the industrial process.
SDMA is also experienced in Master Planning of Industrial Complexes.
For every industrial building, SDMA will study the following in detail: Raw Materials: how they are brought in, unloaded, and storedProduction Process: as industrial building designers we study the production process in great detailCirculation Efficiency: if 250 people are made to walk an extra 1 minute to the toilet, that is a loss of over 15,000 man-hours per year! Therefore an idustrial architect should take great pains to ensure the efficiency of an industrial building design.  Similarly, the path of movement of materials should also be optimisedFinished Goods Storage: a well-designed finishe…

Sustainable Design Ideas & Understanding

We have a very strong interest in sustainable design at SDM Architects, and believe in design solutions that produce actual, measurable results rather than green certificates for a building.
We believe in intelligent design based on scientific reasoning, and not airy-fairy architectural ideas.  Our goals in design are as follows: To reduce the energy consumption of the building To make the building comfortable for humans without the use of large air-conditioning or heating systems that consume massive energy.  Remember that because you switch on your air-conditioner, somewhere, a coal power station is spewing out tons of emissions into the air! To ensure that building materials are not sourced from a mine in Australia or a factory in Helsinki, but rather, to use materials that are naturally found in the region of the building

How we do it
We do this in a number of ways.
Fundamental to everything is a scientific understanding of the energy balance of the building.  If a building is con…