Building a Better Future: Why Collin Sherriff Architecture is the Go-To Choice in the Western Cape
Tuesday, January 24, 2023

The Western Cape region of South Africa is a haven for architecture enthusiasts, with its diverse and dynamic building and architecture industry. From Cape Dutch gables to contemporary designs, the region has it all. But let's not forget about the real gem in the Western Cape's architectural crown- Collin Sherriff Architecture.

Collin Sherriff Architecture, a prestigious firm in the Western Cape, has established itself as the go-to option for anyone looking to build in the region. With a portfolio that boasts a range of projects, from residential homes to commercial and public buildings, they have proven time and time again that they can handle any challenge thrown their way.

But it's not just their impressive portfolio that sets them apart, it's their commitment to sustainability and community engagement that truly sets them apart. Collin Sherriff Architecture's designs not only reflect the natural beauty of the Western Cape, but they also prioritize reducing the environmental impact of building while meeting the needs and preferences of the local communities.

So, whether you're a local looking to build your dream home or a foreign investor looking to make your mark in the Western Cape, Collin Sherriff Architecture is the best option for you. Their designs will not only leave you in awe but also make you feel good about your contribution to the environment and community.

Architecture in South Africa
Friday, July 22, 2022 architecture minimalism

There's no denying that modern architecture is a popular design style and trend that has transcended decades and has proven to stand the test of time. This architecture and design approach is defined by clean, sleek lines and a minimalist style.

Modernism has taken hold in South Africa over the years, and its impact on building and home design is undeniable. Its minimalist style has led to a proliferation of light and airy homes, as well as an increased focus on sustainable materials and methods to create an eco-friendly look and feel. Add to that striking structural elements and simplistic colour schemes and you have a winning combination that promises to stick around for years to come.


If you're looking to update your home's look without breaking the bank, modern architecture with CSA ( is a great option to consider - here are a few tips and trends to get you started.

Start with a concept or idea

Before you get ahead of yourself and start designing your new home or room addition, you need to sit down and think about what you want the space to be and what you'll need to do to achieve it. When embarking on a project as significant as a building project, knowing what you want is important so that you ensure you end up with a home you love living in rather than a house that makes you unhappy.

Break the project into manageable steps

Just like any other big project, designing and building a home or room addition doesn't have to be done all at once. Instead, break the project down into steps and tackle them one at a time. This will help you stay organized and on track, making the entire process much easier.

Think about how you want to use the space

Once you have a good idea of what you want your space to be, it's time to start thinking more specifically about how you'll use the space and how you want it to function on a daily basis. This includes things like layout, storage options, and exterior features. Getting these things right will not only allow you to enjoy using your new space, it will also make the design process easier because you'll have a clear idea of what you want the end result to look like.


Stick to the basics with colour and finishes


When it comes to modern design, simple colours and finished reign supreme. This means using neutrals, whites, and light colors throughout the space to create a clean and modern look. Of course, you can still incoporate some pops of colour here and there to add a little personality - just be sure to use them in moderation.

For a beautiful, timeless and afforable minimalistic design, choose CSA. We're experts with a pinch of love. Chat soon.


What is SACAP and why is it important?
Saturday, April 30, 2022

SACAP stands for the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP). To put it simply, they are the legal body which regulates everybody in the architectural profession. They have many responsibilities like:

• Registering everybody in the Architectural profession

• Collecting and deciding on professional fees (renewals, annual fees etc)

• Accrediting Architectural educational institutions

• Protecting you – the public – in your dealings with architectural professionals

• Investigating complaints about unprofessional conduct

For this blog though, we will focus on two main responsibilities that they cover because they relate to you:

1. Registration of Professionals

2. Protecting the public

SACAP Guides the Registration of Professionals

SACAP is responsible for the registration of professionals and candidates into specific categories of registration according to their level of education and or experience. As with other professions, architecture has different categories of registration.

These categories are based on one’s level of education and or work experience. The categories can be broken down into two basic groups:

• Professionals (practising ‘experienced’ professionals)

• Candidates (in training to become a professional)

Now, within these two basic groups are sub-categories defined by SACAP, again based on one’s education and or work experience.

The sub-categories are:

• Architect- Masters Degree

• Senior Architectural Technologist- Honours Degree/ B-Tech Degree

• Architectural Technologist- National Diploma

• Architectural draughtsperson- Higher certificate

BUT, you didn’t know this right? because everyone who draws plans is an architect. According to SACAP – there are levels to this. This is an important consideration depending on the nature of the project you want to complete.

Architectural professionals will have a different level of skills and expertise based on their category of registration as well as the number of years of experience they have.

Pricing may also differ significantly depending on the category of registration. The best thing for you to do is shop around for what’s suitable for you.

SACAP Protects the Public

SACAP has a duty to protect the public against unprofessional conduct by these registered persons and to ensure that the profession maintains acceptable professional standards and technical competence.

This related to SACAP’s code of Professional Conduct which can be found here.

Registered professionals are required to comply with the 6 main rules of the code of professional conduct as outlined by SACAP:

1. Unprofessional conduct– you’re not allowed to be #Unprofessional

2. Technical competence and professional work– you have to know what you’re doing, based on your level of registration. #StayInYourLane

3. Promotion of services– you have to be truthful and responsible when you promote yourself and not take credit for work you didn’t do #DontMisleadThePublic

4. Professional responsibilities– the terms of your appointment for a particular job have to be outlined clearly #AlwaysPutItInWriting

5. Establishment of an architectural practice and carrying on of a business– you have to let SACAP know that you are running a business #GetKnown

6. International work– all international work must be done under a locally recognised legal body #InternationalStandards

Clients are allowed to complain about you – if you have any issues just speak to SACAP about the professional involved.

Putting things into perspective:

It is illegal to provide architectural services of any nature without being registered with SACAP.

Candidates are not permitted to do any architectural work without supervision by a registered professional or affiliation to a SACAP registered firm & MD.
This ultimately means that candidates are not permitted to submit any architectural work on their own.
To check whether or not the person you’ve appointed to draw your plan is registered or not, simply ask for their registration number and verify on their link.

SACAP plays a significant role in ensuring that the profession maintains acceptable professional standards and technical competence.

One of their responsibilities is to create awareness about the importance of protecting the built environment against unsound architecture, and ensuring public health and safety within the built environment.

And there you have it… SACAP in a nutshell. We hope you find that helpful – make sure to tell a friend that might be starting a renovation project!

Blog by Urbn Blu (

Architectural plan submission 101

There are crucially important reasons why you need planning permission before you build, renovate or extend your home, not least of which is compliance to the law.

It is a legal requirement in South Africa to obtain planning permission prior to building, renovating or extending your home, as per Section 4(1) of the National Building Regulations and Buildings Standards Act, which states: No person shall without the prior approval in writing of the local authority in question, erect any building in respect of which plans and specifications are to be drawn and submitted in terms of this Act.

Broadly, regulations around planning permissions are the same across the country, although there may be variations particularly if you live in a protected area, such as a natural bush estate or in a heritage building, in which case stricter planning rules will apply, even for minor developments. There are also specific complex rules that have to be considered, which can be obtained from a Body Corporate.


Compliance with regulations

In terms of compliance, the first and most important step is the knowledge that no home build, be that new or an upgrade, will be approved by any local council authority unless the home building plans have been submitted by a registered professional with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP). SACAP is the regulator of the architectural profession, protecting the public on services received from its registered members.

Mandisa Daki, Professional Architectural Technologist for Qhakaza Africa Consulting, and spokesperson for SACAP, unpacks the procedures that must be followed to ensure that any major developments do not affect the integrity of the home structure, which is what compliance to the Act ensures.


Sourcing and appointing a professional planner

“Appointing a registered SACAP professional is the most important first step,” says Daki. “Be aware that while a local directory or municipality may list those, you’ll need to ensure they are registered with SACAP and carry the qualification of being an architect, senior architectural technologist, architectural technologist, or draughtsperson.

“Along with the supply of a SACP-registration number, such a professional should be able to provide you with the status of the limits of their indemnity insurance. Without either of these you will not be able to progress any plan submitted to local authorities for approvals.”

Whether you find your professional through SACAP, or references from family or friends, it is highly recommended that you obtain at least three quotes. Bear in mind that although most architects/designers have the ability to draw up plans in accordance with your desires, there are those that specialise, particularly if you are keen on retro-fitting or renovating to green or environmentally-conscious standards.


Briefing your designer

To save time and costs it is important to have a clear idea of what you hope to achieve with the end result. This means giving consideration to all aspects of the build, inclusive of finishes. The more ideas you present to your designer, the better so that those can be incorporated into the plans from the start.

The architect will be able to advise whether your ideas can be interpreted through design, and if indeed they are even legal. Changing plans once they have reached finalisation stage could incur additional costs. Minor adjustments are generally acceptable, but adding in additional windows, electrical points, water access and structural changes may impact on the entire plan.


Submitting plans to town planning departments

Daki confirms that first applications are submitted to municipalities’ Town Planning Departments. “However be aware that across the country, while the standards remain the same, that being compliance to regulations and the Act, the processes differ from council to council.”

“Town Planning ascertains if the proposal is in-line with the permitted zoning/use of site, after which the plans go to the Building Inspectorate where all aspects of the building elements are scrutinised, such as foundations and building specification, energy efficiency, disability access, and fire safety.”

Depending on the nature of the application, further submissions may be required to be submitted to the municipal departments of health, fire, traffic, environmental, water & sanitation (waste), and stormwater management.

Although timeframes vary, a rule of thumb is that plan approval can take up to 30 days.


Documentation required

There are, generally, seven types of documents that comprise a submission:

  • Building plans: four to eight copies, depending on the size and nature of the proposal. These are circulated among the many departments that council may require to be in simultaneous circulation;
  • Municipal submission form, particular to the individual council;
  • SANS 10400 forms: Signed by the owner or registered person of the property, these apply in instances when special expertise is employed, such as mechanical, structural and/or civil engineers, who are also required to sign the forms as per their contribution to the project;
  • SACAP registration confirmation form, and in some instances the SACAP-registration certificate;
  • Title Deeds;
  • SG Diagram, which is the Surveyor General’s registered document, which importantly includes the boundary details of the property;
  • Zoning Certificate;
  • Geotechnical Report;
  • Rational Assessment Report from Engineers, applicable when adding to existing buildings;
  • Storm water Management Plan;
  • Authorisation letter, applicable if the property is owned by a company/trust;
  • Death certificate, applicable is one of the listed owners, indicated in the Title Deeds, is deceased.


Title Deeds

“Title Deeds can be obtained from the financial house where a bond/morgate is being held,” says Daki. “It is every client’s right to have a copy of the Title Deeds bearing their name.

“In the case where the owner has paid the home loan off in full, the financial house should still be able to provide the Title Deeds. If however these have been lost, any provincial Deeds Office will be able to provide a copy to the registered property owner for a menial fee.”


Current approved plans

Each municipality has a registry/records department housing records of all previously-approved plans. Owners need to approve any access to such records, inclusive of copy of ID, utility bill, and if not applying directly, an authorisation letter. Fee’s for copies vary among the various councils.


Relative fees

Again these vary from council to council. “Town planning is normally a free service unless the application has relaxation, neighbours’ consent, and rezoning needs. Same with the Building Inspectorate. It all depends on the area in which the project is being developed,” Daki explains.


During the construction

Once building plans have been approved, the relative council issues a building inspectors form outlining all inspection stages. “It is imperative to follow these to ensure the timeous issue of an occupation certificate,” says Daki. “It is illegal to occupy a building without one.”

Once the building has been validated through the inspection process, the council stamps the plans, and they are registered as final.


Consequences of non-approval construction

If you’ve undertaken major renovations/construction without plans, a building inspector is entitled to enter your property and stop construction. Thereafter you may be allowed to complete the process of obtaining plan approvals before construction can restart, or you may be issued with a court order to demolish the structure at your own expense, in which case you would be liable for any associated legal costs. In severe cases, you may be fined or even receive a prison term.

If you attempt to sell a property that has been renovated or built without approvals, when attempting to sell the property, the prospective buyer may withdraw the offer. A savvy buyer will request a copy of the existing building plans. Should those not reflect the upgrades the authorities may be alerted to the unapproved alterations and there will be no recourse other than appointing a professional to draw up the changes and obtain approvals. This also applies to those who buy a home with unapproved plans.


After the upgrades

After the renovation it is recommended you have your home revalued, which can be undertaken by an estate agent, or even an official from the financial house that holds your bond. This may be important if you wish to apply for additional finance through your home loan, or intend on selling the property in the near future.

Article by Kerry Dimmer • Sep 16, 2019