2013 Project Showcase – What makes a good project?

by Tania Wannenburg
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The 2013 SA Flooring Awards saw its fair share of innovative, exciting designs that were completed throughout the year. A number of projects, which were judged by a select panel of readers, were submitted by local manufacturers, installers, architects, designers and property owners.

Entrants were required to submit basic details such as the name and location of the project, information about the flooring products or systems that were used, the name of the flooring contractor, total floor area and basic details such as whether the project was a new development or refurbishment. Entrants were also required to submit photographs, get permission from their clients, explain special installation and design techniques and motivate why their project uniquely qualified to win this award.

While all of these details were carefully considered, researched and analysed by our panel of judges, there are a few things besides the above-mentioned checklist that contribute to a winning project. It’s important to note that it’s not always the most complex and intuitive interiors that win the award. Here are a few other things that contributed to the winning projects of 2013:

Understanding your client

Successful projects aren’t simply projects where the designers were able to execute a one-of-a-kind flooring installation or pull off a never-before-seen interior – in many cases, it’s simply obvious to everyone involved that the project team “gets” the client. They understand what the end user needs in order to get maximum benefit from his space. When project managers, designers and specifiers go the extra mile to fully comprehend the property owner’s lifestyle, taste and needs, the foundations are set for a winning project. Knowing what the property owner wants, and how to deliver it, is what keeps some designers, architects and developers a cut above the rest.

The impact of your design

The environmental impact of products and designs continues to draw attention; knowing the environmental impact of the project has become a non-negotiable for many developers. Not only do clients want you to try to source local products, but they also want to know that they’re minimising their impact on the environment and that they can put a ‘green’ label on the project when you’re done. While many people in the construction industry have yet to agree on the criteria that make a project sustainable, everyone knows that steps need to be taken in order to ensure their projects are more environment-friendly than the projects they would have delivered a decade ago.

Cultural relevance

It’s hard to measure – or even pinpoint – what exactly gives a project cultural significance, but this is arguably one of the most important factors that contribute to showcase-worthy projects winning. The way a space speaks to and references its location, history and culture is what makes a project significant, memorable and unique.

Here at Floors in Africa, we do our best to showcase stand-out projects that impress everyone from prominent architects and designers to the man in the street. Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2013 SA Flooring Awards. We look forward to showing you even more groundbreaking projects in 2014.

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