It Takes a Village

By May 17, 2018Architecture, General

That old saying ‘it takes a village’ is certainly true when it comes to architecture. To give life to a new project the client and Architect are just two parts of a larger team. Great ideas and spaces on paper are simply that, ideas, until a specially skilled team is involved to turn them into a reality.

Finding the Team

The best Architect for you is one who shares your vision, and understands your budget, brief, and context. But it doesn’t stop there. Your architect must also co-ordinate a number of critical consultants and third parties (such as council) who make your project come to life. These should be experts in their area with a trusted pedigree of work and a straightforward and honest approach. There is no place for smoke and mirrors in architecture, and aligning yourself with an Architect and their network of trusted specialists is the safest approach for ensuring your project’s realisation.

Below are a few of the people you will most likely need to engage over the course of your project.

Private/Council Planners

Planners look at how your proposal fits into the surrounding environment, and assess your proposal against the relevant qualitative and quantitative controls impacting your site. You need to have these people on your side to gain important feedback on what is permissible and what boundaries your architect must work with.

Land Surveyor

This person provides a detailed level survey of your property which includes contours and levels of the property, the adjacent properties and the street including ridge lines, boundaries, roads, kerbs, driveways, fences, easements and any restrictions. This is a critical first step in the design process.

Structural Engineer

Engaged early in the project, structural engineers review and provide structural design to suit the intent of the project. This could be voids, excavations, underpinning, large spans, stairs and pools.

Quantity Surveyors (QS)

Useful to bring in at the early stages to ascertain the costs of the building and proposed design. If a QS estimate comes in high at the early stages you have a chance to adapt design and reduce scope to fit better with your budget.

Hydraulic Engineers

Often a council requirement on larger scope projects, these people help design the stormwater drainage on your site.

BASIX Consultant

BASIX is an energy efficiency certificate that is required of all development proposals. It aims to promote good design that is mindful of the heat loads or loss on a building. Larger jobs require specialist window consultants who can help assess the BASIX on a project. With sustainability becoming an increasing issue in the building industry it is important to get this right.

Final Thoughts

The success of a project relies on good communication between client, architect, consultants and builders. This is your design village and everyone should be committed to see the success of your project by meeting timelines, budgets and ensuring the successful and safe construction of your final building.

In our books, this type of collaboration is one of the best contributors to great design.

Posted by Jen Baxter