What Jane Cameron Architects (JCA) can bring to your project
We can help you realise your ambitions and guide you through the design and construction process. We provide a service that extends well beyond producing a set of drawings – we can handle the paperwork, bring value for money, imagination and peace of mind to your project, whilst keeping it on track and on budget.
Value for money
We are professional problem-solvers. Our experience and insight can help stretch what can be achieved within your budget and add value to your project. We can suggest new ways of utilising space and light, enrich the palette of materials, finishes or fittings, find a builder at the right price, and propose design solutions that will reduce your overall running costs whilst maximising the energy efficiency of your home. At a fraction of the cost of your project, our fees will prove a sound investment.
We can lift your project out of the ordinary and help you achieve your aspirations and vision. We are trained designers who will explore your needs and desires and find inventive and practical ways of enhancing your living environment.
Peace of mind
When you hire architect, you have a professional on your side who knows the construction industry inside out. You are working with someone who has undertaken seven years of architectural training – no other building professional is trained in design and construction to such a high level of expertise. The term “Architect” is a protected title and Australian law requires those that use it to be registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB).
What JCA can do for you
We can provide you with much more than just drawings, we have the experience to see your project successfully through to completion. We can oversee the design, assist with the approvals process, manage the build and keep track of your budget.
Consulting with JCA at the earliest stage will allow us to get a real feel for your needs so that together you can establish a clear brief and a realistic budget. We will help reduce the overall design costs and help ensure the project comes in on time and on budget whilst identifying and reducing any potential problems early on.
Developing the design
We will work with you to develop designs that will interpret your ideas imaginatively, maximise your investment, ensure your project is cost effective and can help add real value to your project. We will come up with a range of ideas for you to discuss, develop and refine together.
The Approvals Process
We can help with the approvals required before your project can go ahead, including preparation of the Town Planning and Building permits.
Guiding you through the building phase we can help you select suitable builders, obtain appropriate prices for construction, monitor progress and standards, supervise safety on site, liaise with other specialists and oversee the construction through to successful completion.
Setting the design brief
A brief is your wish-list. It will cover everything we needs to know about what you want from your project. A well-written design brief is essential to success. It should be clear and unambiguous, setting out key requirements, outlining the vision and communicating your aims and aspirations.
The brief should describe the main function of the finished project; outline motivation and expectation; design direction; establish a single point of contact and set a realistic timeframe and budget.
One of our most important skills and roles is helping to formulate the brief. We can point out what is possible in terms of cost and design, asking you questions and making suggestions. We are well placed to help identify the best and worst spatial characteristics of your project and to offer ideas that will enhance your living space.
Your contribution at this stage is vital and will involve a number of discussions which is essential for the success of a project. The brief will form the basis of the contract between yourself and JCA.
The Client & Architect Agreement
The responsibilities of each party and the services to be provided by JCA are set down in a formal contract, referred to as the Client & Architect Agreement.
It is important before you start your project that you are aware of the approvals that will be needed from the local authority for Planning and Building Regulations, as well as legislation that might affect your plans.
We can guide you through matters as they develop the design. They will also be able to assist you in making the necessary submission for approvals and handle negotiations with the statutory bodies.
The building contract
This is a vital document – the legally binding commitment between your builder and you as the client to deliver your project. We can administer this contract on your behalf. It is not uncommon for building projects to contain hidden surprises – structural difficulties such as unexpected ground conditions, for example – that can have an impact on the design and the building cost. The best way of preparing yourself is an adequate written contract, designed to manage such events fairly from each party’s point of view.
Fees and expenses
The architectural fee will reflect the degree of personal service and bespoke design that your project involves, and will be affected by the complexity of the project. For instance, projects involving house extensions and refurbishment can be significantly more resource intensive than new builds and the repair and conservation of historic buildings even more complex leading to fees being proportionately higher.
The fee quoted may be a percentage of the building cost or as a lump sum. In cases where the scope of your work is harder to predict, or for services such as feasibility studies or those not relating to construction work, the quote can consist of an hourly rate together with an estimate of the time required.
These will generally be added to the fee and will be charged for items such as the cost of travel, copying drawings and documents, and for making planning or Building Regulations applications.
We will typically invoice about one third of the fee during the design stage, the same at the tender stage, and the balance during and following construction. Variable invoices may be issued monthly, or regular payments can be budgeted over a period.
Being a good client
Good architecture needs collaboration and dialogue from the outset. Be ready to add your own views and banish the misplaced idea that we will impose our own tastes and ideas on your project. On the contrary, our aim will be to follow your brief closely and reflect the aspirations it contains.
UNDERSTANDING THE PROCESS – WORKING WITH JANE CAMERON ARCHITECTS
We believe that all designs should evolve by working closely with the client in order to create a bespoke product that is crafted to your own individual needs and aspirations. We avoids using standard solutions with the belief that each individual project should be a response to the client needs and the site’s context. Most of the practice’s projects can be broken down into identifiable stages; each stage being seen as a two way creative process between architect and client.
The process begins with the initial phone call to set up a meeting where discussions are had on your aspirations. From here a fee proposal is prepared and issued along with a preliminary budget. Once the Client and Architect Agreement is signed the project begins.
Concept Design Stage
Firstly, a detailed brief is obtained and approved by you, the client. Discussions are also had on any strong ideas that you may have. From here an assessment of the site conditions and constraints are assessed and authority regulations are investigated. A number of design options are explored. These are presented to you in the form of sketches, free hand perspectives, mood images, diagrams, and other information to adequately explain the concept, along with preliminary materials and finishes. Some clients may have strong ideas for the fittings and finishes; and some may prefer for us to make suggestions. Again, some clients like us to bring the design to them whilst others prefer a more collaborative workshop approach. From here a preliminary estimate of the Cost of Works is coordinated; and client approvals are obtained before proceeding to the next stage.
Design Development Stage
The Design Concept is developed and documents are presented to you to adequately explain the developed design. A schedule of proposed fixtures and fittings, materials and finishes is also provided. Again, the design is then reviewed against the Cost of Works budget. A Town Planning Application (if required) is made and submitted. At the end of this stage your approvals are obtained.
Construction Documentation Stage
The drawings are then prepared for the Building Permit; and further drawings, specifications and schedules are progressed to enable the project’s construction. A pre-tender estimate of the Cost of Works is prepared, and recommendations are made for the building contractor selection. Before proceeding with the next stage your approvals are obtained.
Contractor Selection Stage
Discussions are had on the preferred tender process, and tender documents are prepared and issued to all tenderers. Assistance is given to you in determining the preferred negotiation process, and all tenders are assessed.
Contract Administration Stage
At the beginning of this stage the contract documents are prepared, and arrangements are made for signing and execution of the building contract. During construction the client is regularly reported to in regards to time, cost and progress of the project. We visits the site periodically to observe the general conformance of the construction works with the building contract documents and instruct the building contractor regarding design quality control, materials selections and performance in regard to the building contract documents.
As Contract Administrator we assesses variations, progress claims, claims for extensions of time, adjusts prime cost and provisional sums and other monetary sums, instruct the building contractor in regard to incomplete work and rectification of any defects, issues progress certificates, and determine practical completion, issues the notice of practical completion, and obtain your approvals where required.
During the defects liability period, we instructs the building contractor in regards to incomplete work and rectification of defects. At the end of the defects liability period the final certificate is issued.
If you’d like to discuss your project, please contact me for an obligation free consultation.