Architect Design ProcessArchitect Design ProcessArchitect Design Process

Our Quality Design Process

Design is the most important element in the creation of a new building, renovation or extension. Every building site is unique and has its own set of problems and possibilities. It is the Architect’s task as your building designer to be aware of and overcome the problems, while making the most of the possibilities.

Good design exists not only in the aesthetic sense. It can also be utilised:

  • Practically – to take advantage of views and prevailing breezes;
  • Thermally – to employ principles of environmentally sustainable design (ESD), passive solar design and insulation;
  • Acoustically – to block traffic noise and to isolate noisy areas within the building;
  • Technically – by use of modern materials such as engineered timber beams, insulated custom roofing panels, expanded polystyrene (EPS) insulated wall panelling, etc;
  • Financially – many modern materials can save money when compared with traditional materials.

The design process includes:

  • Assessing the Site – Considering elements such as view, solar orientation, prevailing winds, land shape and slope, privacy issues, vehicular access, location of neighbouring buildings and any other constraints.
  • Establishing your Requirements – including consideration for your budget and the relationship between different rooms, including outdoor spaces.
  • Evaluating Council Requirements – including boundary set backs, height limitations, floor space ratios, building envelopes, proposed use, demolition controls, etc.
  • Preparing the Design Concept – usually an outline of the approximate layout, or a preliminary floor plan and a general elevation or 3D sketch. At Dion Seminara Architecture our Architectural Advice Services or Architects Design (incorporating Sketch Design) Service are where a first design concept can be prepared.
  • Revising and Developing Concept and Design – following presentation and feedback of the concept, it will then be modified until agreement is reached on the overall design solution. The detail will then be increased to indicate particular finishes, construction methods, building materials and so forth.

View details of these on the Residential Architecture Services and Commercial Architecture Services pages)

Building Permit Drawings Stage & Contract Documentation

When you are satisfied with the preliminaries, further design elements will be developed until the building permit application drawings and contract documentation are completed.

These documents-

  • Inform the builder on how to construct the building to ensure the desired quality.
  • Allow all builders who are tendering on your building to provide quote s for the same thing.
  • Form part of your contract with the builder.

Actual drawings included are:

  • Site plan
  • External works plan (For large projects only)
  • Floor plans
  • Floor finishes layout (For large projects only)
  • 1:100 Sections as needed (general 2 to 3 for large projects)
  • 1:100 Elevations as needed (generally 4 for large projects)
  • Drawn window and door schedule
  • Roof plan
  • Reflected ceiling plan
  • Electrical layout plan
  • Detail 1:20 wall sections and particular non standard details
  • Full extent of works written specification
  • Interior design – 1:50 bathroom, ensuite and laundry design and documentation layouts
  • Interior design – 1:50 kitchen design and documentation
  • Interior design – For any other interior details like bars, niches, display units, entertainment units
  • Garden Architecture detailing of pools, water features fences, screens, gatehouses, letterboxes, garden locations, edging, paving and driveways.

Project Tendering & Administration of Your Building Contract

  • Project tendering & administration of your building contract – Competitive tendering/negotiation services with 1 or more builders. We select builders for your final approval and can negotiate on your behalf. This is to ensure the best price, with possible final adjustments to improve quality and/or adjust price.
  • Design management- Design management throughout the construction stage.
  • Contract administration during construction – Your building contract is administered by us on your behalf. Acting as your agent we will deal with the day to day issues of the project to ensure a successful outcome.

The following features can only be found in a Dion Seminara Architecture administered building contract:

  • Professional assistance in building matters from someone other than the builder.
  • Monthly payments to builder, based on the actual value of work completed as assessed by the architect – therefore cash-flow is more accurately tuned to the project progress.
  • During construction, up to 5% of the contract amount is held as security so that the builder will perform all works in accordance with the contract.
  • After completion, up to 2.5% of the contract amount is held as security so that any defects will be rectified under contract within the defects liability period (typically from 3 to 6 months).
  • Compensation to the owner if the builder exceeds the agreed completion date without justifiable cause.

What about the approval process?

For new buildings or alterations & additions, it is necessary to obtain building approval. In some situations, planning approval also may be required. These processes vary across municipalities and, depending on the service you require, involve the completion of application forms, payment of statutory and other fees, and the submission of a number of sets of drawings. Additional information may be required such as sun shadow diagrams, a statement of environmental impacts, colour schedules, energy assessment, waste management plans and sometimes much more.

What about tendering building prices?

It is important to understand who owns the copyright of a design. This normally rests with the person who created it.

If you have Dion Seminara Architecture prepare your design completely, you may submit the design as you wish to obtain a number of quotations, ensuring you retain a competitive advantage.