Before You Start the Design Process

What do you think you need to know before you start the design process?

Before you start your design process, there are many things that can be learned and seems to be important for you. However, in this paper I choose to discuss only three things that I think are the most important in the preliminary design process which are: standards in architecture, local rules, and technical terms in architecture.

Standards in Architecture

If you want to achieve a good results in architectural design, you need to know the relevant design standards.

In the field of architecture, one of such important standards to note is Neufert Data Architects.

Neufert Data Architect is a book containing a set of standard sizes of architectural products/architectural elements, which include room sizes up to standard furniture sizes.

Although Neufert Data Architects are the most common standards used by architects in designing, keep in mind that they are standards which reflect Western’s architectural element standards.

Thus, although it can be directly utilized, we still need a few modifications to adjust the standard to the general size corressponding to the size of local users.

In fact, if you try to read and learn about the traditional architecture of Indonesia you will find that our ancestors also already have and set the traditional standard of size just like “Data Architect”.

If you have heard or read about the size of “jengkal“, “depa” or “tombak” in books, radio plays and Indonesia’s silat films, maybe you already familiar with those traditionally size standards.

This is important for you to know, considering that the ideas pop up in your mind can vary, including the possibility that you are like traditional architecture more than modern or postmodern architecture.

However, you don’t have to go into much detail on those technical aspects. You just need to realize that if you want a comfortable house, you really need to pay attention to architectural standards.

One of the simplest example we can find for the design standard consideration is the height and the number of stairs.

This sounds trivial, but you will be able to feel a significant difference as you climb the staircase designed with attention to architectural standards with the ordinary ones.

In architectural standards, the height of the optrade is between 15-20 cm (typically 18 cm in diameter) with an aantrade of approximately 30-35 cm (taking into account the skill of craftsman in Indonesia in general, sometimes we need adding several sizes a few centimeters to anticipate the lack of precision at work).

Well, if you are less careful you may be going to forget these small details. If you use the help of an architect in designing your house, the things like this could be aesier to handle. But if you plan for yourself in the early stages, you need to carefully consider the standard sizes in the architecture.

Neufert Data Architects book itself is very easy to find in bookstores in Indonesia because it has been translated into Indonesian.

If you want to read and learn more about the architectural standard size in Neufert Data Architects book, you can go to this page to search for books that match what you need.

before you start the design process
Local building rules. (Source:

Local Rules

Before you start the design process, you should also start to learn the local rules and regulation related to house construction. Starting from Building Law Act, Architect Law, to Spatial Planning document (RTRW), Spatial Detail Plan (RDTR), or Urban Design Guidelines (UDGL/RTBL), Perda (local regulation) on building design and IMB, and other related rules.

By studying and understanding each of these rules, you will be able to understand the broader point of view.

In addition, this will make it easier for you later when you start to submit the building permits, such as Building Permit (IMB) because you already know what to prepare and what conditions to comply with.

Reading and studying local regulations on RTRW, RDTR also allows you to avoid violations of Zoning Regulation.

You may rarely hear about this rule. This Zoning Regulation consists of Zoning Map and Zoning Text which regulate certain zones that can be utilized to build houses in a region.

The Zoning Regulation stipulates rules on what is allowed to be built (I), what is allowed to be built on a limited basis (T), what is allowed to be built under certain conditions (B) and what is forbidden to build (X).

To be able to read about the RTRW rules in your district / city, you can go to the Directorate General of Bina Bangda Kemendagri page. In addition, if your city has a planning gallery (such as in Jakarta and Bandung), you can go directly to the planning gallery facilities and ask about the zone and location of your house there.

before you start the design process
Know the rules. (Source:

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