14th February 2020

Top Architectural Trends for 2020 – Maximising the Outdoors



Terraces, balconies and glass curtains, to name but a few. There are a multitude of different ways in which you can create and maximise your outdoor living experience. Also how one can blur the lines between outdoor and indoor, a great Architectural trick.If we focus however on pure outdoor  space, then no matter how big or small, there are a multitude of interventions one can use to cater for any size of space.

When it comes to seating, the most effective way to accommodate those bums in any outdoor area is with perimeter seating. This not only maximises the space, but also helps with foot traffic and how this traffic pattern forms in and around the area. Dedicated seating will eliminate furniture being in the way enabling you to get creative when it comes to the loose standing items that you buy. Before investing in an outdoor coffee table, consider going for something that has multiple functions, such as foot stools that can double up as side tables or extra seating.

Be sure to add lighting to your outdoor space. Giving the appearance of spaciousness is just one of the many reasons to install lighting and how your eye is drawn to certain aspects of the space. If you plan to spend many evenings socialising in and enjoying your outdoor area, light fixtures must be included in your planning upfront, rather than an afterthought. It also adds to ambiance, safety and yes, security.

When considering your space, no one likes to sit outside with the sun beaming into their eyes, so make use of trees, either planted or within decorative pots in their natural environment to help shade. Yes everyone likes sunlight and playful shadows, but at the same time you want to minimise and control sunlight during those harsh summer days by directing the rays to areas that count.

Planting can further reinforce divisions between spaces, assist as wind breaks and become attractive privacy screens. These simple things can help reduce costs before considering built structures. Don’t let your small outdoor area get you down when it comes to things like greenery, vertical gardens are the perfect way to spruce up your space, and they are also a growing (pun intended) fad at the moment.

Combat the cold by making use of mobile stoves and fireplaces, so that you can enjoy the outdoors all year round.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to make your space great, although if budget isn’t an issue, like in all things, then the sky is the limit.

4th February 2020

Property Compliance Audit

Buying or selling a property?

Are you in ownership of all the correct documents when selling your property? Or are wanting to buy a property and are unsure of whether you are being provided with all the correct documents? Do you require more information regarding the property you are in the process of buying? With a property compliance audit; you will receive an in-depth audit with all the relevant background information for the property.

Within a property compliance audit, the following main checklist items should apply:

  • Approved municipal drawings
    • Does your property have up-to-date approved municipal plans?
  • Occupation certificates
    • Does the building on the property have all the applicable occupation certificates?
  • Property zoning
    • What is your property currently zoned as and can you re-zone your property for a different use?
  • Illegal building structures
    • Are there any illegal building structures on the property and can they be made legal?
  • Building line restrictions
    • Are there any building line restrictions and is the building on the property within these building lines?
  • Title deed restrictions
    • What title deed restrictions does the property have and can they be lifted?
  • Town planning queries
    • Any further town planning queries that need to be made, such as a Site Development Plan (SDP)?
  • Servitudes
    • Are there any servitudes within the ERF and what are the restrictions therein?


Do you require any of the following?

21st January 2020

Occupation Certificates

What is it?

An occupation certificate is to certify that a building (commercial or residential) has been completed according to its approved municipal building plans along with clearance (COC) certificates. It is vital that a building inspector for your area has checked and approved the building in accordance to the aforementioned documents upon completion of the said building.

Why do you need it?

One of the main reasons for the occupation certificate is safety. It is important that a building is compliant with its approved plans and meets all SANS rules and regulations.

Building insurance would usually be subject to the homeowner providing a copy of the occupational certificate to the insurer, along with the approved building plans. The building owner runs the risk of the insurance company not paying out in the event of a claim due to non-compliance, regardless of whether the fault lies with a builder, electrician, engineer or architect.

As required by the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act (1977) an occupation certificate has to be obtained prior to the building being occupied. By law, a building owner may not occupy his/hers premises without an official occupation certificate as signed off by the area building inspector.

What documents are required to obtain the occupation certificate?

  • Municipal approved building plans
  • Relevant documentation from town planning (i.e. re-zoning, building line relaxation, consent) and if necessary, an approved Site Development Plan (SDP)
  • Engineering completion certificate, signed by a registered structural/civil engineer
  • Roof truss certificate issued by a competent person or structural engineer
  • Plumbing certificate issued by a registered plumber
  • Glazing certificate issued by the glazing installer
  • Electrical certificate issued by a registered electrician
  • Fire certificate (for public buildings and thatched roofs)
  • Gas certificate issued by a registered gas installer
  • Architectural certificate issued by the appointed registered person

How can DMV help?

We can assist in obtaining all the necessary certificates and relevant municipal approved drawings for your building.

15th May 2019

Why you should choose an architect…

Whether you are looking at building your new home or corporate offices for your company the first question that comes to mind is; whether you need an architect or not. This question is influenced by various factors, like your budget, the area in which you want to build and most importantly your vision for the new building.

These are exciting times as you embark on a journey to bring your vision to reality, and it requires you to be decisive of what you want and how you want it – and that there is the exact reason you need an architect. Someone who will be there to help you make the decisions you need to make, while assisting in bringing your vision to life and provide you with the tangible experiences you require.

A well-planned design is well worth its weight in gold. Employing the services of a professional architect with the experience relevant to your needs and lifestyle will pay dividends in the long-term. An architect not only presents options that are tailor-made to your taste and requirements, but also ensures a cost-effective project.

Before we look at an in-depth role of an architect, let us look at what architecture is and the role it plays in our life. This will aid us in getting a concise understanding of why you need an architect in bringing your vision to reality.

Architecture has proven to be many things – comfort, elegance, modern, expressive, indexical, vernacular – and yet, one of its most exciting aspects is its capacity to reflect the spirit of time, in a way that might be even more substantial than how we see it happen with art. Just by having a glance at buildings built in different places at different moments in time would help us understand our past without using any words. That is the true beauty of architecture; it can be both timeless and personal at the same time, and that is what you want your home or office to represent.


DMV Architecture aims for continuous development within the office through the exploration of space making, we take great pride in the buildings we produce. Our Architecture is rooted in modernist planning principles but is expressed in a timeless aesthetic.

We believe Architecture is a part of the environment and needs to be developed through the careful design and consideration of the surrounding context, this is achieved by understanding, exploring and implementing the fundamental principles that result in good design.  We believe that a successful building will evoke a sense of emotion upon the user that will automatically showcase the hierarchy of the space, thereby creating a feeling of fulfilment not only for the architect but even more so for our clients.

Our aim is to identify and establish the core concept and brand identity along with client’s expectations and needs. Our ideas are born from the site and developed on the sketch pad. Through this DMV Architecture seeks to visualise client’s ideas while setting a realistic benchmark with regards to the budget and time constraints.  Our client’s needs are important to us, this enables us to investigate, evaluate and develop a conclusive brief. We aspire to provide a comprehensive service ranging from spatial design, municipal submission and on-site management.

Our approach in developing a holistic design is unique, and specific to each client’s brief, to embody the essence of your personal space or corporate/retail brand. Creating a unified design language which translates to a space that adheres to every detail and aspect of your identity.

Get in touch with our dynamic and creative team at DMV Architecture to help bring your vision to life. Alternatively, you can visit us at our new offices at The 1054, 254 Main Rd, Walmer, Port Elizabeth.

We’d love to grab a coffee with you and talk about our approach. We help forward thinking clients, like yourself, to succeed in their projects by taking an idea and turning it into great architecture.