Just a few FAQ’s
What is an "Architect"?
An Architect is a person who plans, designs, and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design and construction of buildings, and the space within the site surrounding the buildings, that have as their principal purpose human occupancy or use.
Why should I hire an Architect?
Architects are trained to design creative and practical solutions to any project, whilst addressing particular needs and applying specialist knowledge of design and construction. A good architect can produce results that will be well designed, practical and good value, with a carefully managed process and greater certainty of outcome.
What does "Registered Architect" mean?
In Australia, the term ‘Architect’ and ‘Registered Architect’ are one in the same. A person must be registered with a formal State body to be legally entitled to use the word ‘Architect’.
To become an Architect you must gain the necessary qualifications, complete specific practical experience and pass the Board’s examination to become registered in one or more states of Australia.
All Architects are bound by a Code of Professional Conduct, are required to maintain professional indemnity insurance and undertake a minimum level of professional development every year.
If a person is using the title of Draftsman or Building Designer this may mean that they are trained and able to document building plans suitable to gain approval, and have passed a certified drafting diploma, but have no formal qualifications for project management, tendering services, contractual arrangements or construction procurement or supervision.
Architects, Interior Designers, Architectural Students and Graduates, and Draftsmen make up the experienced team at BPSM. Not only are our Architects certified to practice in all Australian states and territories, but one of our directors (Damian Rogers) is also an examiner on the Board of Architects.
Is an Architects advice independent?
By employing an Architect, you are hiring an expert in design and construction who’s job it is to act on your behalf, and in your interest. Architects are bound by legislated codes of ethics to provide unbiased, objective advice that is in their clients’ best interest. Architects are not permitted to benefit personally or professionally from any advice or opinion offered and they must be made without any self interest.
How much will hiring an Architect cost?
Architectural fees vary based upon the scope of services required and the complexity of the build.
An Architect will discuss the brief with the clients first, to discover more about the projects needs and budgetary requirements, explore various design approaches and then provide an appropriate quote.
A good, well-considered design can produce an attractive building that not only functions well, but is efficient, sustainable and low-maintenance.
After I have hired my Architect, who else will I need to employ?
Your Architect is your Primary Consultant. What this means is that your Architect will co-ordinate and manage your entire project from inception to completion, dealing with the nitty-gritty and leaving you stress-free. They will ensure that everything is organised – from designs, plans and permits to builders, electricians and landscapers. All of this will be managed in your best interest to budget, time, cost and quality.
Your Architect will also manage all your projects’ sub-consultants. The most common sub-consultants that may be employed on your build are Land Surveyors, Structural Engineers, Civil Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Hydraulic Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Acoustic Engineers, Traffic Engineers, Planners, ESD Environmental Consultants, Landscapers, Access Consultants, Interior Designers and OH&S Consultants.
Is all this documentation really necessary?
An Architect will produce very thorough documentation in order to completely define the scope and the quality of the work required. This is so that you, the client, knows exactly what has been allowed for and the builder knows exactly what to produce.
This documentation ensures that there won’t be any areas of possible misunderstanding and confusion, avoiding expensive and time consuming mistakes and possible disputes – especially during the construction process.
Do I need a planning permit for my project?
For nearly all projects the answer is “yes”, although there are some exceptions.
Most builds will require not only planning and building permits, but also a permit from your water corporation as well as a CLC*. An easy way to find out is to contact your local council, who will be able to provide you with all the necessary information.
*A CLC, or “Certificate of Likely Compliance”, is a statement obtained from a qualified building surveyor which certifies that your proposed structure is likely to meet the requirements of the Building Code of Australia and will comply with relevant legislation.
How do I get all the necessary permits?
BPSM Architects will take care of all the planning and building permits pertaining your design, including the final building permits. We will also ensure the engagement of any subconsultants needed on the project e.g. engineers, surveyors and certifiers, leaving you stress-free and able to enjoy the process as your project comes together.
Am I tied to a certain builder?
No. Once BPSM Architects have drawn up your plans you are free to have any builder quote your project.
However, should you decide to have your plans drawn up directly by a builder, be aware that they will fix you into a contract.
Can my Architect help me find a builder?
Absolutely! An architect will be able to find you local, available and appropriately qualified builders.
An Architect is also trained to competitively tender your project. Tender documents prepared by an architect will define the scope and quality of the works and makes sure you are receiving fair market value.
What is Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD)?
The purpose of Environmentally Sustainable Design is used to reduce the impacts of the construction and use of buildings on the natural environment, whilst improving the comfort of the inhabitants.
Up to 40% of energy use in the home is used for heating and cooling, and by using the appropriate materials and simple planning methods, like orientating a building to maximise natural light and shading to reduce heat load, the transmission of heat and cold into the home and be can greatly minimised, and energy use and carbon dioxide production diminished.