Architects and building designers provide essentially the same type of services. They consult with a client and other industry professionals to transform a client’s ideas into practical written drawings that are structurally sound. The drawings can then be used as part of a building application process and to construct the building. Architects and building designers may provide extensive advice about the expected construction process including planning regulations. They can also liaise between the builder and client to ensure that contract requirements are met and variations approved appropriately.
The primary difference between architects and building designers is the process of government registration. Architects are required to have specific and extensive education and experience as well as passing a registration exam. Architects must also meet other criteria such as insurance cover and ongoing education. The registration requirements for building designers vary between the Australian states. In some states, a person can call themselves a building designer without having any qualifications. In Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland building designers must have completed an approved study course, obtained a licence (or registration approval) and have insurance cover to operate as a building designer. In the states where building designers require a licence, the designers scope of work may be limited to certain types of buildings (eg: residential up to three storeys).
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Reardon, C 2013 The design process, Pdf, accessed 22 March 2014, <http://www.yourhome.gov.au/you-begin/design-process>.
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