What does an architect actually do?Tips and Advice
A recent survey conducted in the United Kingdom revealed some startling information about how little people in the UK understand about the architecture profession and what it is that architects actually do.
Here are just some of the results:
- 15% don’t know architects design buildings
- 72% don’t know architects apply for planning permission
- 79% don’t know architects ensure construction sites comply with health and safety legislation
- 86% don’t know architects select, negotiate with and manage all contractors used
- 22% didn’t know that architects prepare detailed drawings for building projects
- 48% don’t know architects prepare specifications of materials and workmanship to be used
- 91% don’t know architects run the financial accounts for building projects
- 74% don’t know architects deal with all certification for building projects
Reading these results made me wonder how many people in Australia don’t understand everything that an architect can offer. I mean, if you’re thinking about building a new home or renovating a home in Brisbane do you Google ‘Brisbane Architects’ or do you go searching for builders instead?
So I thought I would take this opportunity to just make sure that everyone knows what dion seminara architecture offers by addressing each of the points in this survey.
15% don’t know architects design buildings
Okay, I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this one, other than to wonder where they found the 15% of people that didn’t know that architects designed buildings. I mean seriously, what do those people think we do?
72% don’t know architects apply for planning permission
This is an additional service so it’s understandable that some people might not know that architects offer this service. Also, you should understand that due to the complexity of Brisbane town planning we work hand in hand with a town planning consultant, whereas in more straightforward locations such as the Northern Territory we would produce the submissions ourselves. At dion seminara architecture we have a wealth of experience in the building and design industry. There is little doubt that our understanding of the planning permission process and our ability to work closely with town planning consultants is why many of our clients engage us to apply for planning permission for them, rather than dealing with the stress and hassle of it themselves.
79% don’t know architects ensure construction sites comply with health and safety legislation
In fairness, this is not commonly a role that an architect would undertake here in Australia for a residential project. Instead, the responsibility for this would normally fall to the builder.
86% don’t know architects select, negotiate with and manage all contractors used
Not all architects offer this service and this again is an additional service that clients will engage us to do on their behalf. Certainly, when it comes to surveyors, cost estimators etc we make recommendations to our clients who then engage these contractors during the planning and design process if required. But during the construction phase, a lot of clients engage us to supply our contract administration service and have us manage contractors on their behalf rather than solely relying on their builder.
22% don’t know architects prepare detailed drawings for building projects
Whilst every architect will produce detailed drawings, not everyone does them to the same high standards. At dion seminara architecture we are well known in the building industry for the high level of detail that we include in our drawings, to help to ensure that there are no ‘grey areas’ when it comes to what is to be constructed and the standard to which it needs to be built.
48% don’t know architects prepare specifications of materials and workmanship to be used
Again the level of detail that we provide in our specifications is often much higher than the level produced by some other firms, but it needs to be kept in mind that our detailed drawings and specifications are an extra level of service over and above our most basic service offering, although the majority of our clients take up this option to ensure that they receive a high-quality outcome for their project.
91% don’t know architects run the financial accounts for building projects
Here in Australia, we don’t so much run the financial accounts for building projects, as help to manage them. For example, if we have been engaged to do the contract administration on a project we will advise our client on when to release progress payments based on our assessment of completed work. We will also assess and make recommendations on any requests for variations that are made by the builder. However, the actual payments are made by the client themselves.
74% don’t know architects deal with all certification for building projects
Certification for building projects do not have to be dealt with by an architect, however, we offer a service whereby we manage your private certifier. This is offered as part of our most comprehensive service package. Many of our client’s find it reassuring to know that we are looking after this on their behalf.
So as you can see there are a lot of services that we offer that many people don’t realise is the domain of a residential architect. Not all architects in Brisbane offer all of these services and certainly not to the extent and detail that we do, but if it involves the design, planning, approval and construction of a home in Brisbane, we have services that take the stress out of the process and helps to ensure a better quality result.