We get asked this question a lot. An architect is a trained, accredited, and registered professional. Architects provide professional services in connection with the planning, design, construction, enlargement, conservation, restoration or alteration of a building or group of buildings. These services include, but are not limited to, planning, strategic land-use planning, urban design, preliminary studies, models, drawings, specifications, coordination of technical documentation prepared by other professionals such as consulting engineers, landscape architects and other specialist consultants, contract administration, and project management.
While a draftsperson on the other hand, may provide building design services but there is no guarantee they have any formal qualifications or training to ensure that the project will be error free. It is interesting that people will negotiate fiercely on the cost of a TV. Yet when it comes to the biggest investment most people make in their entire life some are prepared to gamble their life savings to save a few dollars in design fees.
What are the benefits of choosing an architect?
Architects provide a level of consumer protection to their clients that cannot be matched by a draftsperson as our work is governed by a Code of Conduct under the Architects Act. Architects must be insured and registered with the Architects Registration Board in the state or territory in which they practise, plus you need to undertake Continuing Professional Development every year to maintain your registration as an architect.
Apart from all that legislative stuff architects are problem solvers. Most of our job is about solving problems for our clients. We spend a lot of our time assisting our clients to find the right site, assess the potential of the site, design a building to satisfy the end users requirements, find solutions to tricky council requirements, add another storey without taking views away from the neighbour, squeeze an extra room in while still maintaining efficient flow, natural light and ventilation, provide disability access in an integrated and efficient manner, deal with bushfire requirements, underground services, overhead services, flood prone land, heritage listings and the list goes on.
What is the process to become an architect?
After completing a degree in architecture, you have to accumulate professional experience in every aspect of the profession before being able to register. You cannot legally call yourself an architect until you have completed the registration process and registered as an architect. The registration process involves submitting a statement, a logbook detailing the experience you have accumulated, passing both a written examination set by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia and a verbal interview, and then applying to join the register. On average this process takes about 12-13 years.
Are you looking for an architect for your next residential or commercial project? Contact our team today on 02 6651 4104 or Email us.