SUPACOUSTIC ceiling at Ravenswood School for Girls, Gordon NSW

How do you achieve best practice architectural detailing?

Ask any good architect and they will tell you that the difference between an average design and an award-winning design is in the details.

“The devil is in the detail”.

Many architectural details that may not sound very important can make or break a good design.

This article goes over some of the areas many architects get caught out by, and what you can do about it.

Chervalier College Performing Arts Centre.
Superior engineered SUPACOUSTIC acoustic panels at Chervalier College PAC.

First, typical details you need to watch out for include the following:

  • Access panels
  • Provision for lighting
  • Provision for airconditioning
  • Provision for other services such as sprinklers and emergency lighting.
  • Joint details to surrounding services, including doors.
  • Alignment points to surrounding objects such as windows or columns.

What many architects don’t realise is that even if you have drawn every detail exactly how you want it, you are still at risk of a contractor taking a short cut, or attempting a difficult detail and getting it badly wrong.

Well planned and installed integrated services.
Well planned and correctly installed integrated services.

The worst of this is that it is often too late to rectify this after the event, due to issues such as programming restrictions, access, site tolerances, risk of variation charges, and risk of disputes and the embarrassment this causes.

This is why Supawood supplies best practice detailing for all common scenarios.

If we don’t have the detail you want from our vast library of typical situations, we will quite happily work through your unique case and sketch or draw up the detail that you need to be included in your specification.

Supawood promote the use of the following paragraph in our standard specification wording:

“Panels to be supplied from the factory ready to install, any shaping etc to be done in the factory and factory finished.”

This up front warns the contractor and builder of the level of finish required, and encourages them to use Supawood to supply our best practice detailing already provided within the panels.

This prevents the contractor from doing such things as cutting and edging or painting panels on site, making access panels that later drop open, cutting through slots or perforation holes, and many other common mistakes as shown in these examples.

If a contractor or builder takes the risk of doing finishing and detailing on site, and you are not happy with what they have done, you can refer to your specification wording and the assurance of Supawood’s high standards.

Failed onsite manufactured access panel.
Failed onsite manufactured access panel.
Cutting through perforations onsite.
Cutting through perforations onsite.
Onsite manufactured access panel.
Onsite manufactured access panel.

Without Supawood on your side, a builder or contractor can easily argue their case against you, using their practical experience to demolish statements you may make.

As an aside, this is why an architect with practical experience in construction, joinery or the like, has an advantage over against an architect with little practical or site experience.

Don’t ever let a builder or contractor tell you again, "it can’t be done"!

Romeo's IGA at the MLC Center Sydney
Mixed and highly customised products at Romeo's IGA in the MLC Center, Sydney NSW.

Julian Beattie
Director - Business and Product Innovation.

For further help and training, SUPAWOOD can provide a free 1 point CPD course covering ten areas where you can be caught out when detailing. To find out more or register your interest go here>>>

Or contact us for more information on 1800 002 123 or [email protected].

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