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Working with an Architect

What is an Architect?

The designation ‘Architect’ is generally reserved by law or custom to a person who is professionally and academically qualified and generally registered/licensed/certified to practice architecture in the jurisdiction in which he or she practices and is responsible for advocating the fair and sustainable development, welfare, and the cultural expression of society’s habitat in terms of space, forms, and historical context.

Architects are part of the public and private sectors involved in a larger property development, building, and construction economic sector peopled by those commissioning, conserving, designing, building, furnishing, financing, regulating, and operating our built environment to meet the needs of society. Architects work in a variety of situations and organisational structures. For example, they may work on their own or as members of private or public offices.

Why is an Architect Needed?

Designing and building a home, office or investment property can be extraordinarily complex. Arriving at the right design, navigating the town-planning process, setting a realistic budget, selecting materials, finding the right builder and managing the building contract are just some of the tasks you will need to involve yourself with, intimately, if you decide to do it alone.

Each task requires specialist skills and disciplines. Combined, they can present a daunting, frustrating and time-consuming prospect. Get it wrong and you could be living with your mistake for a long time. Get it right, however, and it will be one of the most satisfying experiences of your life. You will increase your chances of getting it right by engaging an architect who is registered and a member of the TTIA.

What does an Architect Do?

An architect can manage the entire design and construction process. They are trained to understand a client’s needs and support strategic decision making. From site selection to post-completion, your architect can lead the team of specialist consultants: engineers, cost consultants, landscape and interior designers, to achieve your vision and complete the project effectively and efficiently.

A minimum of five years’ university training, mandatory practical experience and a registration exam separates architects from other less-qualified building designers. More than a designer, an architect works with you on an intensive exploration of your requirements, to help you realise your dream. They will help you set a viable and realistic budget, guide you through the town planning process, obtain competitive quotes for the work, manage consultants like surveyors and engineers, monitor the budget and administer the construction contract. Critically, your architect will inspect the work right through the construction period to assist you to get the quality and level of finishes you expect.