What to expect when working with an Architect

Each project is different, however irrespective of scale, budget or client, these steps are common when working with an Architect.  In principle, each phase of the process adds layers of detail, from an early concept sketch through to a comprehensive set of documents for construction.  As professionals, we are here to guide you through the process.  So strap yourself in… here we go!


This is really exciting! It’s the time for us to meet and learn a bit about each other.  We are happy to come to you at a time that is convenient and gives you the opportunity to talk about your ideas and for us to consider how we can best help you.  From here we will prepare a fee proposal for your consideration that will be based on your brief and the following process:

Phase 01 – Concept Design

We confirm your brief, consider the opportunities and constraints of your property and then prepare as series of sketch drawings for your consideration.

  • Meet with you to confirm your design brief and offer some ideas.
  • We recommend a land surveyor is engaged to prepare an accurate drawing of your properties features – we can help you to engage one.
  • In some cases, we will need to undertake an accurate measure of existing buildings and structures.
  • We analyse your property, its opportunities and constraints and consider the relevant Local Authority and Building Code requirements.
  • We then go away and prepare hand drawn concept drawings to illustrate how your brief can be realised and present them to you for your consideration.
Concept sketch drawings

Phase 02 – Schematic Design

Once you are happy with the design concept, the next stage is to refine the design with formal drawings and some external advice.

  • We take the concept design and prepare hardline plans, elevations, sections and 3D images with our CAD Software ArchiCad.
  • Continue to meet with you to refine the design, usually presented with plans and 3D images.
  • Seek advice from a town planner to confirm if a Development Application will be required.
  • Work with you to make preliminary selections of materials and fixtures for the building exterior and interior and schedule them.
  • A builder or Quantity Surveyor may be engaged at this point to test the design against budget with a preliminary estimate.
3D CAD render

Development Application [DA]

Some projects require a Development Approval from Council to be built on your property.  We work with some of the best planners in Brisbane who can advise if your project requires a Development Approval [DA]. We coordinate the process and work with them to prepare an application for submission to council.

  • Together with the Planner, establish what elements of the design or particular codes trigger the need for a Development Approval and consider if the design solution is appropriate or should be adjusted.
  • Specialist consultants may be required to submit drawings or reports as part of the submission to Council. This may include a Landscape Architect, Heritage or Visual Assessment Consultant.
  • Coordinate with the consultants, planning requirements and refine the design as required.
  • We prepare a specific set of architectural drawings for submission by the Town Planner to Council for development approval.
Development approval drawing

Phase 03 – Design Development

The design is now refined with detail and coordinated with consultant and trade advice.

  • We continue to collaborate with you to refine the design and to ensure it is meeting your expectations.
  • Fee proposals are sought on your behalf from the required consultants, usually a Structural Engineer and Building Certifier, and then make recommendations to you.
  • Once the consultants are engaged, we work closely with them to coordinate the design drawings with their advice & documentation.
  • Resolve the selection of all materials and fixtures for the building exterior and interior.
  • Prepare detailed drawings of all interior features including kitchens and bathrooms.
  • We refine the architectural design against your brief and incorporate the selected materials and finishes.
Design development drawings

Phase 04 – Building Approval [BA]

At this point, we need ensure the documentation complies with the building code and  seek approval for the construction of your project from the relevant authorities through the building certifier.

  • Coordinate with the Building Certifier and refine the design to comply with building regulation requirements [NCC].
  • Coordinate the documentation and certificates from the consultants for the Building Certifier.
  • Prepare a specific set of architectural drawings for submission by the Building Certifier for a Building Approval [BA] stamping.
National Construction Code

Phase 05 – Construction Documentation

A very detailed set of drawings and specification are prepared so that tenders can be sought, a contract signed and the project built.

  • Highly detailed drawings including plans, sections and elevations that are fully coordinated with all of the consultant documentation.
  • Detailed large scale drawings of the interior and general building details including joinery and wet areas.
  • Reflected ceiling plans and electrical layouts showing lighting layouts, wall sockets and switches and air-conditioning.
  • The fully coordinated specification is finalised and includes the schedules of finishes and fixtures previously selected .
  • We offer full BIM model coordination for consultants and clients.
Archicad construction drawing

Phase 06 – Contract Administration [Construction]

Building is a complex and sometimes long process, however our role is to provide the professional support necessary for you to go to tender, signing a building contract and the have your project built.


  • Assist with the selection of a builder or builders for tender.
  • Liaise with the builders during the tender period.
  • Provide you with a report on the tender outcomes and make a recommendation.
  • Assist with the selection of a building contract – we are highly experienced with the ABIC suite of contracts [more informations available here – http://www.architecture.com.au/services/abic].
  • Prepare the contract documents in accordance with the selected contract and.
  • Witness the signing of the building contract between the you and the builder and provide support where necessary.


  • Visit the site on a regular basis for the duration of construction to monitor it is being built in accordance with the contract documentation.
  • Attend regular site meetings and prepare minutes.
  • Administer the contract, including certifying progress payments to the builder and issuing instructions.
  • Assess variation requests in consultation with you .
  • Assess time extension claims by the builder against the contract terms.
  • Review shop drawings provided by the builder to check they are in accordance with the documentation.
  • Provide the builder with additional construction solutions and details for the duration of the construction period.
  • Consult with and acquire your approvals where required.
  • Instruct the builder to rectify any incomplete works or defects at the completion of construction.
  • Determine and issue notice for Practical Completion [PC].

Additional services we provide:

  • Pre-purchased site advice.
  • Interior design services.
  • High quality external & interior renders.
  • Marketing collateral including coloured plans.
  • Signage & Branding.
  • Interior concepts for leasing & sale.
  • Professional photography of your completed project.
Building progress photographs