Q?Why do I need an architect?
  • A client appoints an architectural professional to provide a service for a project as contemplated by the Architectural Profession Act, No 44 of 2000, the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act, No 103 of 1977 as amended and the National Building Regulations published in terms of this Act. Architects are educated, trained, licensed to design various structures.
Q?Why should I submit a Building Plan?
  • The requirement to obtain approval before building is not just a local authority requirement, but also a requirement in terms of the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act and applies throughout the Country.
Q?Who can submit a Building Plan?
  • SACAP is charged with the protection of the public interest through its requirement that all architectural work which affects the human and natural environments, is only carried out by registered professionals who are properly qualified, competent, ethical and who must comply with the Act and Code of Conduct (The Architectural Profession Act No. 44 of 2000). Registration with SACAP as PD (Professional Architectural Draughtsperson), PT (Professional Architectural Technologist), PST (Professional Senior Technologist) and PA (Professional Architect) allows the architectural professional to submit plans along with his/her SACAP Registration Form.
Q?Does my Building Plan need approval?
  • Any building which you plan to build on your property requires that a plan be submitted for approval. This would include new buildings, alterations or additions to buildings, boundary walls, swimming pools, garages, wendy houses and tools sheds to name a few. Where the use of a property is to be changed, a plan submission for rezoning will also be required.
Q?What structures do architects design?
  • A
Places of Assembly Restaurants, Entertainment / Assembly, Theatrical / Music, Places of Instruction, Places of Worship, Indoor Sport, Outdoor Sport
  • B
Commercial High Risk Commercial, Moderate Risk Commercial, Low Risk Commercial
  • C
Exhibition Spaces Exhibition Building, Museum, Library, Outdoor Exhibition Space
  • D
Industrial High Risk Industrial, Moderate Risk Industrial, Low Risk Industrial, Plant Room
  • E
Institutional Correctional & Juridical, Hospital / Medical Facility, Residential Institution, Research Facility
  • F
Shopping Centres Large Shop, Small Shop, Wholesaler’s Store
  • G
Offices Office complex
  • H
Residential Hotel / Hospitality, Multi-Unit Residential, Dwelling House
  • I
Storage High Risk Storage, Moderate Risk Storage, Low Risk Storage, Parking Garage, Cold Storage
  • J
Agricultural Farm Buildings
  • K
Transportation Terminal Building, Goods Handling Facilities
  • L
Facilities for Handling Mortal Remains Human Remains, Animal Remains
  • M
Alterations within Existing Buildings Buildings of Basic or Low Complexity, Complex Buildings
  • N
Site Development Plans Groups of Buildings or Structures
Q?What regulatory aspects will influence my proposed structure?
  • This relates to the zoning scheme of the property in question such as Agricultural, Business, Commercial, Residential 1/2/3 or Special Use. A zoning scheme is a legal document that records all land-use rights on properties in its area of jurisdiction. It includes regulations and restrictions on such rights and how they can be exercised. All municipalities have such a scheme, and they usually serve to manage urban growth and development, as well as conserve the natural and cultural environment within their area of jurisdiction.
  • This information is usually contained within the Title Deed of the Property, along with other information such as the registered owner of the property, the conditions affecting such property, interdicts and contracts in respect of the property, purchase price of the property, rules of a sectional title scheme (if applicable).
  • Often in conjunction with the Title Deed, exists the SG (Surveyor General) Diagram of the property. This diagram is the fundamental registerable document prepared by a land surveyor. Information shown on a diagram is the unique designation of the property, an illustration depicting the property, the boundary description listing the corner beacons and the details of any curvilinear boundary, descriptions of the corner beacons, a table listing the numerical data of the boundaries, the area of the property.
  • If your property is located within an estate / cluster- / townhouse complex, regulations are subject to the Estate Guidelines from the Aesthetics Committee / Body Corporate / Residents Association.
  • Restrictive clauses can be removed by application to the Town Planning Department / Provincial Municipality such as relaxation of Building Lines etc.
Q?Which documents will I need to supply my architect with?

The following documents will at some stage of the design process become necessary to the designer:

  • The Title Deed of the Property
  • The SG Diagram or Sectional Property Scheme
  • Existing Municipal or Construction Drawings of the Property
  • If the client is not in possession of these documents, certified copies can be obtained from the following institutions by the registered owner.
  • Title Deed – Deeds Office
  • SG Diagrams – Chief Surveyor General
  • Existing Municipal or Construction Drawings – Local Municipal Office
Q?What do I need to submit my Building Plan?
  • Generally 4 sets of building plans, 3 in colour
  • Application Form
  • SACAP Registration Form
  • Title Deed
  • Fire Department / Environmental Health / Roads / Water Stamps etc. if applicable.
  • Engineer Certificate of Appointment / Completion – if applicable
  • Permission letter and stamp from Body Corporate / Aesthetics Committee etc. if applicable.
  • Letter from Town Planning for Building Line Relaxation, Consent, Rezoning etc. if applicable
  • Approved updated SDP (Site Development Plan) if applicable.
  • Plan Submission / Courier Fees
  • Power of Attorney authorizing the Architect / Courier to act on your behalf in respect of gaining building plan approval.
  • SAIAT certificate of completion of recognised XA course