E: info@janecameronarchitects.com | T: 046.669.2832

HOW WE WORK

As architects we are experts, and professionals who will take the lead on all aspects of your project, we will keeping your best interests in mind.

This blog post sets out to explain some of the key aspects of working with us to enable the best project outcome for you.

The blog starts by discussing the beginning of your project, where we will establish a clear direction for the architecture, interiors, materials, and finishes, through in-depth discussions with you and the use of mood imagery.

It will then discuss the outline brief’s development, which follows with a detailed briefing document, that captures all your needs and requirements.

The last section looks into how the above processes provide a foundation for us, as your architects, to then select all the materials, finishes, and fixtures which we feel will be the best fit for your project.

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PASSIVHAUS COSTS

People love the idea of Passivhaus, however, they are often ‘freaked out’ when they start reading outdated and misinformed articles about cost premiums.

This article sets out to provide an informative understanding of costs associated with Passivhaus. If you are looking to build a project home, which has have a low square meter rate, the premium to go Passivhaus will be high. However, with a higher budget the premium to go Passivhaus can be kept to a minimum, be cost-neutral, or result in a saving.  

Is there a premium to go Passivhaus?

This section explores examples where Passivhaus can be cost neutral, achieve savings, or requires a premium:

European Cost Premium

In Germany, where the Passivhaus standard originated from, it is estimated that the extra construction costs to build to Passivhaus is typically somewhere between 3–8% when compared with a standard build. Whilst, in the UK the increase is around 5%.

COVID-19 & RENOVATING

Q&A IN THE TIMES OF CORONA-19.

We are currently in extremely unusual times, where it often feels like we are placing our lives on hold.

However, does this include putting on hold your dreams of carrying out a new-build, extension, or renovation? Depending on your own individual situation this may not be necessary.

This Q&A article aims to demystify the current situation in the world of COVID-19, and to provide you with the tools for making informed decisions.

This is general advice specific to private residential projects in the state of Victoria. And, we recommend that you obtain your own individual financial advice before proceeding with any project, along with legal advice before signing a building contract. 

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40 QUESTIONS TO ASK AN ARCHITECT

Experience

  • Have you worked on any projects like this before?
  • Have you had any experience with this size of project?
  • What point of difference does you practice have from other architects with similar experience?
  • Can I see your portfolio of similar projects?
  • Who from your practice would I be dealing with on a regular basis? Would this person be designing my project?

My Project

  • Are you interested enough in my project to make it a priority?
  • What challenges do you foresee for my project?

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VALUE MANAGEMENT

MoneyWhat is value management?

In architect’s speak value management is an effective tool for helping us to help you. It assists you to understand the real implications of your requirements (otherwise known as the design brief).

Value management shares the decision-making. It empowers you to make
critical decisions when it comes to your home’s design and budget.

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LEGAL

Some days I feel like I am a lawyer, as I am constantly dealing with legal issues to protect my clients. These rang from planning requirements, building permit issues, to administrating a construction contract on site between the owner and builder.

Planning requires skills in understanding the legislations and rescode, which assists in the town planning negotiation stage with planners and neighbours. It makes it a lot easier to stand your ground when you know what your talking about and you have received an unreasonable objection. It also commands a greater respect from the planners.
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ARCHITECT PROMO VIDEO

Who needs an architect?

This is a great informative video clip illustrating that Architects work on projects of all sizes and complexity, and that they can add value from design and construction to the resale of your home. Warning: it is slightly cheesy.

 

MATERIALITY

This image is of the concrete, which has been formed on site, for one of my inner-city Melbourne projects. It has been used for the kitchen joinery, on the sides and the bench top. For the bench top a smooth concrete surface was created, whilst the sides were as per the image. I love the materiality of the concrete, it almost looks like limestone. The use of concrete was my client’s wonderful idea, whilst the builders did an amazing job, which included some experimentation. This is what I call true collaboration: client, builder and architect.

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BUDGETS

image by Tax Credit via flickr

image by Tax Credit via flickr

It has come to my attention that my approach to budgets may be different to the majority of architects.

This is where my point of difference lays. Firstly, I discuss with the client what they would like to achieve. As you can suspect a lot of client’s needs and aspirations far exceed their budgets; so I then work closely with the client to see what can be achieved within their budget.

I suspect a lot of architects establish the client’s brief then announce the estimated cost; which normally exceeds the client’s budget. This results in the architect not being engaged.

Clients have budgets and it is important to keep within these budgets. The last thing you want on a project is for the client’s dreams to be turned into a nightmare with costs exceeding their budgets. It is the architect’s role to keep the project within the Cost of Works budget; and it is important to have contingencies to prevent overruns of costs. It is vital to communicate clearly to the client when an added item or a design change will affect their budget; then they can make a considered decision on whether they want to proceed with this. Life is too short to have the unnecessary burden of debt.

SMALL PROJECTS ARE FUN

image by Alexandre Dulaunoy via flickr

I have a thing for small projects. I adore doing residential renovations and extensions in the inner-city of Melbourne. It ticks all my boxes. It gets me excited.

Firstly, you get to work with existing homes. The inner-city of Melbourne has some beautiful period homes. I adore their detailing with their ornate cornices, ceiling roses, skirting and architraves. I am happy to restore; however, I never recreate. To me recreating has a level of dishonesty. It is always void of the years of use – and often layers of paint – that gives it added character. Re-creating period homes simply does not work. Trust me. I also love how these houses represent a period of time in the past.

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