Renovation Tip #4
Use only qualified designers or architects who come recommended
Look for an architect or designer whose work you like or an area of expertise relevant to your particular job, and who you believe you can work with. Use recommendations from friends or visit the New Zealand Institute of Architects and Architectural Designers New Zealand websites to find them in your locale.
To be eligible for membership of Architectural Designers New Zealand Inc. (ADNZ), members must hold a recognised certificate or diploma, undertaking mandatory professional development, and have their skills assessed to ensure they meet the requirements of the ADNZ Competency Standards. They are also bound by the ADNZ Code of Ethics.
Choose a Registered and Professional Architect
ADNZ (Architectural Designers New Zealand Inc.) is the national professional body representing architectural designers. ADNZ members are specialists in building design and construction, undertaking residential and commercial projects at all stages of the construction process. In selecting a professional member of ADNZ, you can be confident that you are engaging and working with an architectural designer who will bring professionalism, accountability and honesty to their work. For more information and to contact an ADNZ member visit www.adnz.org.nz
In order to register with the New Zealand Registered Architects Board (NZRAB), architects must first graduate from university with a Bachelor of Architecture Degree, and after some three years’ practical experience in a mentored environment, they complete a vigorous registration assessment.
Professional Architects Must Undertake Continual Professional Development
Registered architects must re-register every five years, and to do so must demonstrate that they have undertaken Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Most registered architects are members of the New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA), which actively provisions graduate development and CPD, provides a wide range of technical documentation to its members, and promotes excellence in design through award programs.
The New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) is a professional organisation representing more than ninety percent of all registered architects in New Zealand. In addition to supporting their members with a range of services, they are committed to promoting and celebrating outstanding architecture in New Zealand, and to creating greater awareness of the values and benefits that architecture brings to your built environments today and for generations to come.
The NZIA has around 3000 members. Approximately fifty per cent of these are registered architects working in New Zealand. New Zealand architects working overseas, architectural graduates who are not yet registered, architecture students, teachers of architecture and retired architects make up the balance of their members.
One of the Institute’s membership categories is specific to practices, which must accept and comply with the following five rules:
- NZIA Practices will strive to ensure that they are competent to deal effectively with duties undertaken and maintain and extend their competence.
- NZIA Practices will have architecture as their core business or a core component of it and a Principal will be an NZIA member.
- All Architect Principals of NZIA Practices will be NZIA members and all architectural work will be the responsibility of an NZIA Architect.
- NZIA Practices will undertake continuing education and training. 5) NZIA Practices will accept peer review in the event of a complaint.
Choosing an Architect or Architectural Designer
Those who can prepare a custom-designed home are:
- A Registered Architect, only those who register can call themselves an ‘Architect’
- An Architectural Designer
- An Architectural Draught person
- All Group Home Builders have Designers who can design your home from scratch – Group Home Builders can offer a cheaper and faster option, especially now that there are now consents available for pre-approved designs that can be built anywhere in the country – meaning you can build that design without having to go through the normal consent process and thus saving you time and money.
Finding the right architect or designer can be a formidable task, but like most decision making skills, it can easy by setting a criteria for selection and evaluating a small group of designers who can provide you with the appropriate services you need.
- It is important that the designer you select can comprehend and understand your needs and wants so they can adapt to that particular architect style.
- Establish a list of small appropriate designers. Then begin the detailed process of find which one that is suitable for you and your renovation project.
The criteria may include:
- • Scope of service required
- • Experience
- • Personality fit
- • Creativity
- • Skill level
It is important that you thoroughly discuss what your plans and expectations are – and importantly what services offered to you so that you will have the right support throughout the whole building process. Most Architects and designers prefer to be engaged for a full service. This means they manage the whole building process for you including choosing the builder and subcontractors, and monitoring construction. Observation on the building site is an important role carried out by architectural designers and lack of supervision is often the reason things go wrong.
The main tasks includes:
- Arranging finance
- Organising the design.
- Organising the builder and sometimes the subcontractors:
- Asking selected builders and/or subcontractors for prices or tenders to do the work.
- Selecting the form of contract that best suits your needs
- Getting building consents (and resource consents if necessary)
- Managing Construction:
- Arranging for subcontractors to be available when needed
- Dealing with suppliers and making sure materials are ordered and transported on time
- Monitoring and controlling progress once work starts to make sure everything conforms to the contract and consent documentation (including plans and specifications)
- Arranging for examinations by your own professionals
- Arranging for inspections by the building inspectors at the end of each stage
- Answering questions that arise during building, and clarifying anything in the construction documents with the contractors.
- Knowing when progress payments are due and checking claims for payment
- Negotiating with the builder and subcontractors to come back and fix any work not completed, done properly or defects
- Processing variations and anything else that can affect the project along the way
- Arranging amendments to the building consent where necessary
- Arranging the final inspection for the code compliance certificate.
A skilled architect can:
- • Help clarify what you want
- • Bring vision, design skill, and creativity to the project
- • Maximise potential and create value by taking the project beyond the ordinary
- • Avoid predictable responses to a site or brief, and offer practical solutions to problems
- • Offer a broad range of skills, including; design, cost analysis, contract management and project supervision
- • Liaise and consult with other professionals including engineers, quantity surveyors and building contractors.
The architect will want to ensure you have the best advice throughout the building process. The architect’s full service will ensure that there is no unconventionality from the consent documents and that the work is at a high level of standard. The architect can also arrange any variations to your plans as work proceeds. They will also ensure that the Building Consent Authority is properly informed of changes and the Building Consent altered suitably. Failure to do this will cause problems when trying to obtain the Code Compliance Certificate and legal liabilities.
It is particularly important that someone experienced in building work carries out supervision of your project on your behalf if you do not have these skills. This will smooth the building process and help to avoid future problems such as leaky buildings and other defects in your property. Some architectural designers will also manage the project for you if this is part of their brief.
If you contract them just to do the plans, you could rehire them later at an hourly rate to advise on changes or solve unforeseen problems. But be aware that most architects are not comfortable to take on only part of the process – they would rather see the whole job through from design to completion. This may include internal furnishings, fittings and colour schemes. They will want to see the contract documentation followed faithfully to prevent mistakes by the builder or subcontractors.
This way they are on the spot to keep the project on track and anticipate problems. For example, if the builder uses a different grade of timber than specified, and it is not noticed until the house is nearly built, you could find that the affected area will need to be rebuilt.
Continue to Renovation Tip #5:
> Having a complete specification for the project and knowing exactly what you want and communication with your builder