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Design Development – the second stage of your core architectural services

The Design Development stage for your project follows the approved Design Concept stage. The approved concept design drawings – which are typically, free hand drawings – will be translated over to CAD. These will help to explain the developed design to you. I will work closely with you during this stage to refine your design; and present samples of the proposed materials and finishes.

As with all stages of your project I will arrange, attend and record meetings with you. I will also arrange, attend and record meetings with authorities (town planners etc.), other consultants and other relevant parties.

As necessary the work of other Specialist Consultants (Structural Engineer, Ecological Sustainable Design (ESD) consultant, Building Surveyor etc.) will be coordinated to assist in the development of your design. Read more…


image by Matija Grguric via flickr

image by Matija Grguric via flickr

The Town Planning Stage – the third stage of your core architectural services

Town planning approval is often required for singular residential project. It is often dependent on your site’s area and whether there are any Planning Overlays. These may include Heritage, Floodway, Wildfire Management, etc.. Typically this is confirmed at the pre-design stage. Occasionally as the design develops a planning overlay may be triggered, which would require a planning permit. For example you may decide to include a new fence in the scope, and depending on the overlays in your council this may or may not trigger a planning permit. As this occurs you will be advised.

Prior to submitting your town planning application a meeting maybe held with the local council. This will be follow with the preparation of the application. This would include plans, diagrams, analyses, studies, reports and other information for the submission. Once these are complete I will assist you in lodging the formal application. Once the planning permit is granted it is time to move onto the Construction Documentation stage.


image by etereal9 via flickr

image by etereal9 via flickr

Finding a Builder – the fifth stage of your core architectural services

This stage, which we refer to as Contractor Selection, occurs after the completion of the Construction Documentation stage. The options for Contractor Selection include tendering or negotiating with a preferred contractor. There are advantages and disadvantages with these two options; which can be discussed in further detail with you.   


If you chose this route the tender documents will be issued to all tenderers. Typically I would recommend three tenderers. There is a huge investment of their time and money in preparing a tender submission; and it is unfair to tender to more than three potential contractors.

I will respond to any inquiries from the tenderers. Upon receiving the tenders and after the closer of the tenders the tenders will be opened. Together with the cost consultant, if any, these tenders will be assessed.

If necessary the preferred tenderer can be negotiated to obtain an offer acceptable to you.

Negotiated Offer

During a negotiated offer I will assist you in determining the preferred negotiation process. The relevant documents will be issued to the prospective contractor to describe the scope of the works. I will arrange and coordinate negotiations and any enquiries they may have. Together with the cost consultant, if any, I will assess all submissions from the prospective contractor required to establish the contract price and final project scope.


Upon completion of the Contractor Selection stage your approval will be obtained to prepare the contract documents; these will form part of the Contract Administration Stage.


image by James Cridland via Flickr

image by James Cridland via Flickr

Being on site – the final stage of your core architectural services

Once a contractor has been selected for your build – which is known as the Contractor Selection stage – it is time to commence the Contract Administration stage.

Pre Construction

This stage begins with the preparation of the contract documents; including making the arrangements for the signing and execution by you (the owner) and the building contractor. This needs to be in place before construction can commence.


Whilst your project is on site I will report regularly to you in regards to time, cost and progress of your build. I will visit 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.

I will arrange and attend regular site meetings along with the preparation of the minutes.

When the need arises the building contractor may present shop drawings for my revision. For a residential project these maybe prepared for the joinery, windows, stairs etc. On occasions it may be necessary to coordinate the construction services provided by other Specialist Consultants; examples of these maybe the co-ordination of services on site.

As required instructions, supplementary details and clarification of the contract documents will be provided to the building contractor. Variations will be assess and determine and your approvals will be obtain.

I will assess and determine the building contractor’s progress claims (and issue progress certificates), and claims for extensions of time. Read more…


Learn more about Town Planning

Town Planning refers to the decisions that change the environment and affect everyday life. These decisions might be about new public transport, the size of a new shopping centre, the location of parks, a bike path or a new road. These planning decisions may influence how we get to work, where we shop and what we do in our spare time.

The council makes most of the planning decisions that affect its municipality. For example, it decides whetheror not to grant a planning permit for a new use or development, and what permit conditions are appropriate.The council’s planning department provides information and advice about the planning scheme, and processes and coordinates planning proposals for council’s consideration.

This is an extract from a document from the Department of Planning and Community. For more infomation click here.


image by gem via flickrLearn more about Building Permits here

Building permits are the documents issued by the building surveyor for the approval of your proposed building. These permits are required prior to its commencement of the work. The Building Act 1993 and Building Regulations 2006 legislate that most building work is subject to the issuing of a building permit.  This includes most alterations, demolitions and removals.

Undertaking building work without obtaining the necessary building permit isn’t a great idea. It is a serious offence and can result in severe penalties.  The Building Act prescribes a penalty of $10,000 for any persons who carry out work without a permit.

Building permits are a way of controlling building construction work. They establish, maintain and improve standards for the construction and maintenance of buildings.  Permits also enhance the amenity of buildings and the protect people who use these building.


image by Save by Images_of_Money via flickr

image by Save by Images_of_Money via flickr

Engaging an architect for your new home can be the best investment you can make.

Architects can help you achieve your needs, aspirations and visions for your project. We can also add value through good design and sound construction.

Undertaking a building project, whether a new build, extension or a renovation, can be a daunting experience.

When you engage an architect you are employing someone who has undertaken seven years of architectural training – no other building professional is trained in design and construction to such a level of expertise.

Do you consider it a good investment? Would you trust your project to anyone else?


image by billaday via flickr

image by billaday via flickr

Do you understand your project budget and cost of works budget?

If you are thinking of carrying out a new build, renovation or extension it is important to understand the difference between the two above terms, and to make adequate allowances in your budget.

The Cost of Works is exclusive of GST and is defined as the final cost of all work designed, specified or scheduled by the architect, including all work designed, specified and/or scheduled by specialist consultants coordinated by the architect, including:

  • •the final adjusted contract price (excluding GST) in accordance with any building contract,

  •  •plus the equivalent final cost (excluding GST) of any work or items supplied to the building contractor by the client (as if provided by the building contractor under the building contract),

  • •along with the final cost (excluding GST) of any part of the project provided under a contract other than the building contract.
  • At the beginning of your project we can derive a preliminary assessment of the indicative Cost of Works. Read more…


image by billaday via flickr

image by billaday via flickr

Architectural jargon – a glossary of terms

Demystify all the architectural jargon by reading this glossary of terms:

A document provided by the client that describes the client’s requirements for a project including accommodation, cost and program.

A person who engages an architect to provide architectural services.

A person who is consulted for paid, expert advice and related services.

Consultant – primary
A consultant, often the architect, whose responsibilities include direction and coordination of the work of specialist consultants. The primary consultant is in contract with the client.

Consultant – secondary
A consultant whose work is subject to the direction and coordination of the primary consultant. The secondary consultant is in contract with the client. Read more…


Building owners and those contemplating a building project frequently ask questions about copyright. The following are some of the most commonly asked questions with answers which are drawn from the Copyright Act 1968.

Can I copy a design I have seen elsewhere and ask my architect to redraw it?

No. Apart from wasting your architect’s design skills that should be applied to the particular problems and advantages of your project, this would usually be a breach of the copyright of the original designer.

When I engage an architect to prepare a design for me, do I own the copyright?

Usually not. In nearly all cases, the architect will have combined your ideas with others and taken them to the stage where they amount to a ‘work’. Read more…