A guide to the process of design and documentation of successful building projects

Architects are trained to advise and guide clients through all facets of the design & building process. This process will be discussed at an initial meeting together with a proposal for services and fees. A detailed analysis of the process is setout below.

Initial Meeting

For a new project we suggest a meeting at the potential site/home/work environment or in our office. This allows both parties to ‘sound out’ each other while discussing the project, personal design philosophies and examining examples of work or previous projects. Depending on the project we will explain the scope of architectural services and other consultant services that maybe required, an indication of architectural, building and consultant costs, programming and site suitability.

Tip:  Have a preliminary ‘written’ Brief for the project


The success of any project depends on a detailed brief which will become more defined as the pre-design process unfolds, including function, outcome, activity, spatial requirements, materials and finishes. A feasibility study maybe necessary to confirm the budget, programme and other specialist services that maybe required.

Tip:  Review examples of buildings, fittings and finishes that maybe relevant to the project

Preliminary & Developed Design

In this phase detailed design and documentation will occur and will shape the final building. Designs are developed and commitments made that will confirm that the proposed building complies with local building regulations, energy and sustainability requirements and a more detailed estimate of costs will be obtained. The project may at this time be submitted to Council for a Planning Permit.

Tip:  Be comfortable with the design at this stage before proceeding to the next step

Contract Documentation & Tendering

This stage will deliver a detailed set of drawings that can be given to a Builder to provide a quotation and to a Building Surveyor for acquisition of a Building Permit. The drawings given to the prospective builders should be as complete as possible so that a realistic quotation is obtained and the tender does not require too much interpretation.

Tip:  Find a good builder!

Contract Administration

This is the construction phase of the project. The Builder’s responsibility is to ensure that the works are completed in accordance with the Contract Documents and the building regulations. The architect can visit the site to inspect the works and advise on progress of the construction programme, provide additional details, review completed finishes and provide a defects list.

Tip:  The Contract is between the Client and the Builder. The architect may administer the contract on the Clients behalf (this means that the architect acts impartially between the Client and the Builder).


Initial complementary discussion in our office.

Fees for architectural and project management services will be negotiated with regard to the scope of works and extent of services to be provided.