AllyCAD Showcase

'Building on Success'

Pierre Marais Architectural Designs
Cape Town

Some of the most beautiful homes in and around the Western Cape have been designed by Pierre Marais, owner of Pierre Marais Architectural Designs. Each one of his designs is characterised by a high level of meticulous detail and a strong focus on customer service. "When I design a client's home, I like to get to know their character so that I can provide the best possible advice when drafting the plans," says Pierre.

Pierre's passion for structural buildings first started when he was involved in the building trade. "I was introduced to construction work while working in Israel, Tel Aviv, and found the industry to be incredibly rewarding. This prompted me to join my cousin on various building projects in order to gain some valuable experience before starting my own construction business," says Pierre, remembering the early years.

Today, Pierre offers his clients an architectural designing service with a difference. "With years of experience in the building trade, I know what works and what doesn't, so I can provide the best solution to accommodate my clients needs and still get the plans approved by the Municipality."

"Customer requests vary depending on the individual, and ranges from a new house design, an alteration to an existing home, or an addition to a current house. I also liaise with the Municipality as a value added service and perform all the necessary administrative requirements that are needed to get the plans passed. My latest house design in Knysna took an incredible four days to approve," says Pierre, adding that this was one of the fastest approvals.

"Most of the designs that I produce are fairly straightforward, as many of my clients know exactly what they want. In these cases, I am merely the facilitator, and the design process consists of a series of interviews with the customer, a quick survey of the erf and finally the drafting of plans. In cases where a client needs my guidance the interviewing process is a lot longer so that I can gather information about his lifestyle and character and offer him the best advice.

"Thanks to Knowledge Base's software, I am able to output my work in record time. I find CIVIL DESIGNER'S Design Centre module to be particularly useful during the erf survey, as the program is able to generate contours of the plot based on the co-ordinates that I input.
  From the model, I am able to view the exact position of the foundation in relation to the size of the plot and can then complete the actual design in AllyCAD."

"I taught myself how to use AllyCAD five years ago and I wouldn't dream of switching to another program. I am able to impress my clients with a high standard of design and this has lead to repeat business and positive referrals. Today I no longer need to advertise as most of my clients are informed of my services by word of mouth," says Pierre with a huge grin on his face.

When asked what Pierre enjoys most about drafting plans for clients, he answers: "There are many reasons, but what I enjoy most is using my creativity and knowledge to bring alive someone's dream. I also enjoy seeing the look of amazement on a clients face when they approach me with a hand drawn sketch and a rough idea of what they want, and then visit me a few days later to see the final design. A satisfied customer gives me a tremendous sense of accomplishment."

"Although my clients are located all over the country this does not present a problem as the rules and regulations of Municipalities are standard throughout South Africa. I am also able to draw on my knowledge and experience gained in the building trade when tackling a project."

Pierre is pleased with his growth to date and looks forward to the next challenge. "When I look at the road I've travelled, I can't believe how much I've grown. I started out building houses and now I am drafting intricate building plans with different floor levels and varying ceiling heights. No matter how complicated the project, I know that I can meet the next challenge head on."

Block I, The Terraces, Steenberg Office Park, 1 Silverwood Close, Tokai 7945.
Tel: +27 +21 701-1850 Fax: +27 +21 701-1822
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