ffAruba - HJC Engineering N.V.

     An Aruban Engineering Company
 


Contact Us:
HJC Engineering N.V.,
Schotlandstraat #79,
Aruba,
Dutch Caribbean.
Tel: (297) 588-5151
Fax: (297) 582-1978
info@hjcaruba.com

 

 
 



1.  How does one go about choosing a professional for a construction project?
2. What is the next step after choosing an engineer or architect?
3. What information is essential for a project?
4. How does one form a clear view of a construction project?
5. How does one determine the preliminary costs of a project?
6. How to select a contractor?
7. What happens after the contractor is selected?
8. What are the costs of hiring an architect and/or engineer?
9.  What are the construction costs?
A.  Appendix - some functions of the engineer / architect

 

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How to choose a professional in the desired field?

The Association of Aruban Engineers and Architects (ADIAA) has a list of renowned professionals in the field of Architecture and Engineering in Aruba. You can obtain a copy of this list so that you can make an informed choice as to the professional you wish to use for your project.

You might have seen or heard about the work of one of these professionals. The best thing is a face-to-face meeting: visit the architectural or engineering firm, talk to them, ask for samples of their work and see if they are up to your project. Decide if you like their construction experience, or their modern and professional way of working.

See if there is chemistry between yourself and the person who will be overseeing your project, since a good relationship between client and professional will definitely produce the most favorable results.

When and only when you are certain about the professional and his work, make your pick. This decision will have a considerable impact on the way the project is tackled and completed so take the time to assess and choose carefully!

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What is the next step after choosing an engineer or architect?


Once you have decided, ask your professional for a detailed proposal where all services are included. This is crucial to avoid misunderstandings later on.

After studying the proposal and accepting it, you will need to sign a contract. It is recommended to refer to the "ARNA '78" norm, acknowledged by court to rule the Administrative and Legal Relation of the contract. This document will protect both parties.

With the help and professionalism of your architect or engineer you are ready to begin the process of realizing your project.

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What information is essential for a project?

A construction project has various pieces of information that are essential and must be connected to each other. The professional must assess the client's needs in terms of space, comfort and use. Furthermore costs, existing building norms and permits required must all be considered. The selected professional will need to understand whether there are any restrictions about the location of the project.

Once the client understands all the information pertaining to the project, he will consult his architect or engineer about how he sees the project once it is finished, how much money will be required he has to put in the project and if there are any time restrictions.

The client must be given the time to explain all the specifics of the project, all the requirements and so on. This could possibly involve several meetings with the professional. Between the client and the professional, the shapes and sizes of the pieces of the puzzle will be defined.

 

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How does one form a clear view of a construction project?
 
The client has thoroughly explained what he wants and once the professional has studied and adapted to the specific situation of the project he will start analyzing the information.
 
The architect or engineer will visit the intended site of the project (if the client has one already), or he will help the client in the process of finding the best location under the circumstances. The architect or engineer may also refer the project to other similar existing projects so that the client gets a clear idea of what is involved.
 
Together the client and professional must form a clear view of the project, how to realize it according to the budget and adapt it to the construction site. The architect or engineer and the client will decide among the available options. All information about the project should have been identified at this point.
 
The next step is for the professional to prepare the preliminary design (initial sketches). These sketches will explore and illustrate the possible solutions. When making these sketches, the professional will take into account the budget, realization time, and the existing codes and norms that are applicable to the project. The professional will try to give a visual explanation to the requirements and desires of the client. At each phase of design the professional must explain what he is doing and be attentive to the reaction of his client.
 
This creative process is a necessary collaboration between the client and the professional and again, understanding this is essential to achieve the most favorable results. The architect or engineer will use his expertise and knowledge to assess all the project information, taking into consideration practical as well as emotional elements to achieve the most efficient design possible. The professional will strive to comply with the needs and wishes of his client, and will try to save his client money, by suggesting the best solutions possible to make the project efficient in construction costs as well as post-construction costs such as energy and maintencnace costs.

 

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How does one determine the preliminary costs of a project?

By now all the project information is available on paper. Subsequently, the architect or engineer will prepare a report of the project costs - a budget. Based on knowledge of the actual market prices for materials and labor, the professional will be able to prepare and accurate estimate of the construction expenses, based on the selected preliminary design.

If this initial estimate does not fit in with the client's budget, the client will have the opportunity to modify the plans to meet his budget or he will have to adjust the budget to match his desires and needs.

At this stage the creativity of the engineer or architect is very important, to attempt to match the budget with the needs of the client. The professional can adjust the plans, offering different alternatives to match as closely as possible the client's ideal budget/specification balance.

 

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How to select a Contractor?

Once the architectural/engineering drawings and the project specifications are complete, the architect or engineer and the client will agree on how to choose a Contractor. Normally this process will involve a competitive bid.

The professional will advise the client how to evaluate the bids, according to the responsibility, experience and capacity of the Contractors as well as the most realistic price. Unfortunately, contractors will often offer a bid below the price just to get the contract, only to produce additional costs not mentioned in the bid at a later stage. For this reason, it is essential for the engineer or architect to pay close attention to bids of each contractor and compare them on an equal base according to the quantity and quality of the materials. If the case should present itself that every bid is higher than the proposal that the professional suggested, the architect or engineer can make changes to meet the budget, without additional costs for the client.

The client will choose the best contractor for the project and they will sign a contract. This contract is between the client and the contractor and if the client desires it, the engineer or the architect can also act as the client's agent.

 

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What happens after the Contractor is selected?

If the client has hired the professional to supervise the construction process or if this was part of the contract between the architect or engineer and the client, the professional will periodically visit the construction site to check the quality of the work and check the process and progress of the work and report to the Client.

The professional shall be the guardian of the project. He will ensure that the contractor is complying with the drawings and specifications mentioned in the construction contract. If he sees any mistakes he will notify the contractor immediately to avoid delays and unnecessary expenses later on.

The architect or engineer will periodically report on the progress of the construction project. He will sign and approve billings by the Contractor to make sure that the client gets his money's worth from the project. The professional will also advise about necessary changes that might have additional construction costs over and above those specified in the contract.

It is the responsibility of the engineer or architect to certify that the project is finished in compliance with the contract, drawings and specifications. There is normally a warranty on certain parts of the project for labor and materials. Normally the warranty lasts from six months up to a year on electrical works, plumbing and airconditioning. On the building the warranty may last from one to up to five years (depending on the construction contract signed). It is also customary to hold part of the pay until the period of maintenance is expired (this varies from one to three months according to the contract and the project). The professional will make sure to observe any faults that may appear during the maintenance period and if there should be any, the contractor will be obliged to rectify these without additional cost as long as it is clearly the fault of the contractor.

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What are the costs of an Architect and/or Engineer?

When you are talking about a complete project, from the moment the idea comes to mind until the construction, you must consider some important costs that will make a difference to the final result. Inevitably one will come across people who have some experience with computer programs such as Autocad or who can draw some sketches on paper. This does not mean that they can design a house or project and make the architectural or engineering drawings. Sometimes clients leave the details to the contractor, who interpret the drawings to their own advantage because the drawings are not realistically drawn. These things result in a construction that does not match the vision of the client, and ends up being a regrettable experience for the client at the end - both emotionally and financially. In addition, such situations often lead to arguments between the contractor and the client that invariably end up in court.

In Aruba as in many other countries there exist pricing guidelines that are applicable to projects according to size or complexity. These guidelines regulate the costs of architectural drawings, of construction and also guide the construction of the project. These regulations are known as A.R.N.A. (Architecten Regeling Nederlandse Antillen) and R.V.O.I. (Regeling van de Verhouding tussen Opdrachtgever en adviserend Ingenieursbureau).

Using these guidelines, the rates are calculated as a percentage of the total construction costs. The calculated rates are further subdivided according to the level of professional work demanded by the client.

The Architectural costs are divided as follows:

      
Total Rate 2% to 7% of the total Construction costs.
(+/- Afls.35,= to Afls.150,= per square meter)


Preliminary Design

15% of the total rate
(+/- Afls.5,= to Afls.15,= per square meter)
Final Design 20% of the total rate
(+/- Afls.7,= to Afls.21,= per square meter)
Architectural Drawings      22.5% of the total rate
(+/- Afls.9,= to Afls.33,= per square meter)
Description 10% of the total rate
(+/- Afls.3,50 to Afls.15,= per square meter)
Budget 5% of the total rate
(+/- Afls.5,= to Afls.15,= per square meter)
Preparing of Bids 2.5% of the total rate
(+/- Afls.3,= to Afls.7,= per square meter)
Project Management 22.5% of the total rate
(+/- Afls.9,= to Afls.33,= per square meter)
Supervision Afls.1500,= to Afls.9500 per month

Project Delivery 2.5% of the total rate
(+/- Afls. 3,= to Afls.7,= per square meter)


Detailed Drawings

1% to 3% of the Construction costs

 
The Engineering costs are divided as follows:

Calculation and Structural Drawings
  
1% to 3% of the Construction costs
(+/- Afls.15,= to 55,= per square meter)
MEP Supervision
  
Afls.1500,= to Afls.9500 per month
Structural Supervision 3% to 5% of the Construction costs
(+/- Afls.2500,= to Afls.9000,= per month)
Design and Electrical and Airconditioning Drawings  2% to 5% of the Construction costs
(+/- Afls.15,= to 60,= per square meter)

These rates are only a guideline and vary depending on the complexity and specific requirements of the project at hand as well as the level of involvement and responsibility the client requires the architect or engineer to have in the overall project.

 

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What are the construction costs?

The construction costs normally form the largest proportion of the total cost of a construction project. The construction costs shown below are based on traditional construction methods in Aruba: foundation works with steel reinforcement, blocks of concrete, pouring of floors with steel reinforcement, pouring of concrete ringbeam and roof-structure of wood or poured concrete reinforced with steel. A construction cost guideline is as follows:

A single-story house (bungalow):

  • From the foundation to the height of your floor varies from 15% to 20% of
    your total cost.
  • From the floor up to the Ringbeam varies from 20% to 25% of your total cost.
  • Complete Roof varies from 15% to 30% of the total cost.
  • Windows and Doors (including hardware) vary from 5% to 10% of your total cost.
  • Complete paintjob varies from 3% to 8% of your total cost.
  • Electricity varies from 7% to 12% of your total cost.
  • Plumbing including septic tank varies from 3% to 7% of your total cost.
  • Airconditioning varies from 3% to 8% of your total cost.

A two-story house:

  • From the foundation to the height of your floor varies from 10% to 15% of
    your total cost.
  • From the floor up to the Ringbeam varies from 15% to 20% of your total cost.
  • Second floor up to the second Ringbeam varies from 15% to 20% of your total cost.
  • Complete Roof varies from 10% to 20% of the total cost.
  • Windows and Doors (including hardware) vary from 5% to 10% of your total cost.
  • Complete paintjob varies from 3% to 8% of your total cost.
  • Electricity varies from 7% to 12% of your total cost.
  • Plumbing including septic tank varies from 3% to 8% of your total cost.
  • Airconditioning varies from 3% to 8% of your total cost.

You might ask why there is a range (from-to) of percentages....

The possible differences lie firstly in the finishing materials that you want to use on your project and the shapes that they have. A house or building with a lot of unconventional forms and shapes (e.g. non-square, several curves or several corners) will cost you more money than a simple one since in the former type a lot of material will be lost by cutting and perhaps special machinery will be required for cutting and positioning the materials. This adds to the complexity of putting a price tag per square meter (M2) if no architectural drawings exist yet! Prices per square meter could vary from Afls.1500,= up to Afls.3500,= or more.

Your taste and the quality of the materials that you want to use in your project can make a world of difference in the costs of materials and of labor. For this reason a professional architect or engineer is required to make an architectural drawing and accompanying budget for you - to avoid unpleasant surprises in the future.

Floor- and Wall Tiles (bathroom & kitchen) can vary from Afls.15,= per M2 up to Afls.125,= per M2; from low quality tiles to high quality Italian tiles or marble. Add to this the cost of labor for tiling - depending on how well the floor has been poured, how level it is as well as how square and plumb the walls have been erected, the tiling costs can vary from Afls.25,= per M2 up to Afls.55,= per M2.

The Roof can vary from Zinc plates to Dutch roofing-tiles; which prices will vary from Afls.150,= per M2 up to Afls.450,= per M2 of rooftop (labor & materials included)

The Windows can vary from Afls.350,= per M2 of window up to Afls.1250,= per M2 of window and the difference is in the materials and the quality of the windows that can vary from low quality aluminum up to high quality wood.

The Doors can be solid or hollow; made of PVC, Glass, Aluminum or Wood. The prices vary from Afls.50,= per M2 of door up to Afls.1950,= per M2 of door.

The types of locks and handles (hardware) for doors and windows, hinges, can be of brass or stainless steel, which will make a difference in the price.

The Electrical installation costs will depend on the complexity of the lighting and the equipment you want in the project, or how much electricity they will consume (Watts) and the necessary voltage for operation.

The Airconditioning costs will depend on whether window units, split units or a central system will be installed.

The Plumbing costs will depend on whether the tubes are of PVC, Copper, Galvanized or Iron; the quality of your bathroom components, faucets and accessories.

     
These rates are only a guideline and vary depending on the complexity and specific requirements of the project at hand as well as the level of involvement and responsibility the client requires the architect or engineer to have in the overall project.

 

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Appendix - some functions of the Engineer / Architect
  
Architectural Drawings - specifications:
Drawings using a scale of 1:100 usually, according to the requirements of DOW (Public Works of Aruba). There must be (at least 4) Fašades, Floor-plans of every story, Roof Structure Plan, Foundation and Sewerage plans, Cross sections, Site Plan (scale 1:500 / 1:2000) with at least three addresses or recognizable reference points.
 
Budget:

The amount of the materials and the value of the labor necessary for the construction.

Delivery of the project:

Make different lists of things that were forgotten or not done properly, take care of the of the project delivery certificate and the warranty certificate and make sure that everything is completed according to building rules and regulations and the Contract.

Specifications:

Quality and Model of the Materials that should be used, the technique of construction and the use of manpower and materials, demands on the technique of construction.

Detailed Drawings:
Drawings of the window-frames and doors, Drawings of the kitchen cabinets, bathroom and bed-rooms. Floor-plans scaled on 1:50 with more detailed measurements, details that have to be taken into account for decoration or structural elements.

Preliminary Design:
The first sketch that the professional makes and on which the client comments.
 
Final Design:
A more definitive design, based on the suggestions of the Client and on the preliminary budget.

Preparation of the Bids:
Preparation of the bidding forms and subsequent evaluation of submitted bids.
 
Project Management and Supervision:
Direct and control the construction (approval of payments, supervision of quality of construction, directing changes, managing the progress of the project)
 

 

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