What is the difference between using an Accredited Building Designer and an Architect?
When talking about private homes there is very little difference between using an accredited building designer and an architect. In fact there are many similarities.
Accredited building designers and architects are permitted to supply documentation to council and government for approval via a Development Application or a Complying Development for an extension, renovation or new home.
Both building designers’ and architects’ businesses are set up to create designs for buildings. They are responsible for the concept design, subsequent drawings of floor plans, elevations, sections and reports which are necessary to submit an Application for an approval, and construction documentation.
Building designers and architects advocate sustainable design concepts by “reducing energy demand and increasing the energy efficiency of buildings” – (Reference: Institute of Architects website). Extensions and renovations of existing buildings, rather than knock down and rebuild, is an excellent example of sustainability itself.
Both categories of designer aim to achieve the highest degree of professionalism. The accreditation or registration for both provides a level of endorsement by a professional body which benefits clients, contractors and councils.
To maintain their annual re-registration, there is a strict requirement for continuing professional development. This ensures that each designer is up to date with all aspects of new legislations and building practices that apply to their industry.
Quality and Style
Accredited building designers and architects both provide appropriate standards of service. However like everything, the individual person you deal with is the most relevant factor for quality and style. This will depend as much on the client and their brief, as it does on the individual building designer or architect.
“Currently, the Building Designers Association of Australia estimates that 75-80% of residential work is designed by Building Designers” – Reference: Building Designers Association of Australia website.
Who is right for you?
You will have a close association with your designer for an extended period of time. This includes the design, approval and construction phase of your project. Therefore selecting someone you feel both comfortable and confident with is imperative.
The designer you select needs to be the craftsman, artist and realist who will capture your dreams and integrate them with what is possible. This includes adding your desired ambience, to achieve a home that you will be excited to live in.
Expect that they will challenge you, your Brief and what you think you want to ensure your design maximises every opportunity and the investment you are making.
The design is paramount. Good design is always a wise investment because it costs a similar amount to build a good design or a bad design.
To decide who is right for you, I recommend you assess each of the building designers and/or architects you are considering as follows:
What are their proposed Facts and figures?
- Their fees. These can vary widely and are usually a function of experience and type of project. No designer or architect can give you a fixed price when you first speak to them.
- The extent of work they are quoting on (e.g. concepts only or a full service)
- The amount of time to complete your project
- How you connect on a personal level
- Whether you like their portfolio of previous projects
- How do their early ideas resonate with you? (These ideas will only be indicators, as many more solutions evolve as they develop the concept design)
Your intuition will be your strongest guide, as this is a personal decision.
Do you feel comfortable and confident with this designer or architect? Hence, do you think you could work together to have a successful outcome?