Our experience and knowledge.
Like any major investment, what you want from your investment in a building project is value, and the knowledge that the value of your investment in good design – grows and continues to grow.
Designing and building a home, office or investment property is an extraordinarily complex undertaking. If you are new to the design and planning of a building project, the process can seem overwhelming. This is where we can provide our experience and expertise to assist you through your project.
Some in the building industry might claim that they can ‘provide some plans for you‘ as they have a library of existing plans that have been used on other sites before. This approach usually ignores the unique requirements and constraints of your project and the consequences can be underwhelming, disappointing and permanent.
Would you get your architect to construct your home or investment property, rather than use a qualified and experienced builder? Of course not! Why would you then consider getting the wrong person to provide you with architectural services rather than engage a qualified and experienced architect? It doesn’t make sense!
If you already have a preferred builder in mind for your project, we will work together with you and your builder to create the most appropriate solution for your project. If you don’t have a builder, and will be looking for quotes or a tender price for your building work, then you will need an architect to document and specify the design and the finishes, so that all tenderers are quoting on the same requirements. That way you can compare apples with apples, and know you’re getting the right price for your project.
Arriving at the optimum design, navigating the planning and approvals processes, setting a realistic budget, managing and coordinating other consultants such as engineers and cost planners, selecting materials and methods of construction, finding the right builder and managing the building contract are just some of the tasks you will need to involve yourself with, if you decide to undertake a new building project or to carry out alterations and additions.
- We assist clients through, development of the project brief, project budgeting and the cost control process to determine a viable and realistic budget.
- We help you define, refine and create possibilities of what you want to build.
- We present options that you may never have considered and help you get the most for your dollar.
- We offer services that deliver the benefits of our knowledge and experience in order to achieve the best possible outcome for your building project.
Needs and Options Review.
If you are not yet ready to commence the planning and design of your project, but need to begin thinking about where to begin, you will benefit from our Needs & Options Review.
The Needs & Options Review is appropriate for those who are at a preliminary feasibility stage of a building project. If you are new to working with an architect, or are unsure where to begin to get your project underway, your first step is to call or contact us to arrange for a Needs & Option Review. During this review we may review and assist with,
- site selection and evaluation
- master planning and facility planning
- brief preparation
- feasibility studies
- measured drawings
- adaptive reuse studies.
Low Commitment Consultation. The cost of a Needs & Option Review can be negotiated as a fixed fee with no further commitment. It can also be part of a selection from our full range of architectural services.
Request a Needs & Options Review
Practical Action Plan.
If you generally know what you want and are ready to commence your project, you will benefit by arranging for a Practical Action Plan.
The Practical Action Plan is appropriate if you have a basic project brief and enough of a description of what you want from your project. Your first step now, is to call or contact us to arrange for a Practical Action Plan. At our first meeting we will be introduced to your requirements for the building project and discuss what services you should consider. After discussing your project with you and considering some of the site constraints and opportunities, this first step can result in a ‘concept diagram’ showing the preliminary area and functional relationships, flow diagrams and the prevailing conditions of your site. It will identify what services and specialist consultants you should consider using for the project. It may also identify climatic and geographical issues to be addressed. The concept diagram will not necessarily be the answer to your requirements , but it is a good place to begin developing your ‘project specific’ design brief as a road map for the project.
Low Commitment Consultation. The cost for Step 1 of your Practical Action Plan can be negotiated as a fixed fee with no further commitment. It can also be part of a selection from our full range of architectural services.
Request a Practical Action Plan
Step 1: Site analysis and research stage.
During this first step, some of the topics we can discuss and consider include:
- the quality and depth of the ‘project specific’ design brief
- climate responsive design and site specific variables
- cool breeze access
- solar access
- overshadowing by landforms, trees and buildings (site survey)
- slope (site survey)
- soil type (geotechnical report)
- bushfires risks
- flood prone land
- stormwater drainage
- access and transport
- services (power, gas, phone, water, sewer)
- local authority development controls.
- total project budget and construction budget
- completion dates and staging of the works
After you have considered the concept diagram and preliminary recommendations, you may now wish to proceed to Step 2. If however, Step 1 has identified some deficiencies or threats to the viability of the project, now is the time to reassess or adjust these before committing to further work and expense.
Step 2: Project specific brief and design development stage.
If you are now ready to proceed with the project following the completion of Step 1, the next two steps will be required to complete the Project Design Stage. Usually, the concept diagram from Step 1 will be the basis for developing a more detailed project specific brief and preparing design development plans. The cost of our services for these two stages can be negotiated as a percentage of the estimated construction cost, or can be a lump sum fee. To progress to Stage 2 & 3, we will prepare a Client and Architect Agreement setting out the roles and responsibilities of each party, the services to be provided and the fees payable, for both parties to sign.
- The brief will usually be updated as the design development progresses and more detailed questions are asked about how the building is to be used.
- Design development stage usually includes preliminary room arrangements, circulation, window and door opening sizes and orientation, and preliminary choice of construction systems and finishes.
- Review site analysis from Stage 1.
- An opinion of probable construction costs can be given, usually within a range of dollars per square meter. The gross floor area of the building is the major determinant of cost but other variables include; preliminaries (e.g. council, geotechnical and engineers fees), site difficulty (e.g. slope, access, fire hazard, wind exposure), the construction system used, number and size of wet areas (bathrooms, laundry and kitchen), services (cost of water, sewer and energy supply) and access (e.g. drive construction, materials transport distances, travel times for trades).
- Recommendations on additional consultants and engineers that may be required will also be given.
Step 3: Final design stage.
The final design will include selection decisions of the following matters.
- floor plan and building form
- construction systems
- window type, size and orientation
- shading solutions
- external finishes
- heating/cooling system
- major appliances
- water systems, e.g. rainwater tanks and water recycling
- interior design and finishes.
At the completion of these 3 steps you will have drawings produced at an appropriate scale showing a site plan, a floor plan, elevations of the external façades and cross sections through the building. This covers the Project Design Stage shown below. Our engagement for further services necessary to get the required building approvals/permits and Project Documentation and Design and Construction Detailing, through to Contract Administration and Project Management will be discussed and agreed at this time as well.
Our full range of architectural services.
- Project Design: (Steps 1 – 3 above)
- Briefing discussions to clarify the design brief, budget and project requirements.
- Preliminary designs to explore possibilities usually with some consideration of cost options.
- Design development to produce a developed virtual model with suggestions for materials and methods of construction.
- Consider requirements of local Council for the project.
- Preparation of Planning Approval Applications: (Core services)
- Review compliance with local Council development controls
- Assist with submissions of applications to local Council
- Project Documentation and Design and Construction detailing: (Core services)
- Produce developed technical drawings and specifications suitable to support construction certificate applications, to invite tenders or quotations and ultimately for use in construction of the project.
- Tendering and negotiations with builders: (Core services)
- Assist with the planning and undertaking the tender process for the project and answering questions from tenderers.
- Contract Administration & Project Management: (Core services)
- Liaise with the builder to assess quality of work at key stages and ensure that contract and specifications are complied with.
- Keep you informed of progress
- Approve, with you, any variations needed or required
- Certify progress payments to the builder
- Identify defects and re-inspect after rectification by the builder
- Decide when practical completion occurs for occupancy
- Accessibility and Mobility Planning and Assessment: (Non-core services)
- Facilitate the development of Disability Discrimination Act Action Plans.
- Conduct building access audits
- Assess building plans
- Develop designs for accessible buildings, playgrounds and urban streetscapes
- Livable Housing Design: (Non-core services)
- Conduct assessments of dwelling design features against the elements described in the Livable Housing Design Guidelines and report the findings to inform the decisions made by LHA about whether a dwelling will be accredited.