What you should know when engaging an Architectural Designer Part 3

  1. Part 1
  2. Part 2
  3. Part 3

Design procedure

After receiving the deposit, the design process starts with going over all the supplied notes drawings and sketches received from the client. With the input of the designer, the first-floor plan proposal will be drawn upon CAD (Computer Aided Designs).

After completion of the first-floor plan proposal, we send a pdf copy of the first-floor plan to the client for approval. At this stage, the client can make up to 3 design changes without being charged extra. If the client wants changes on the first-floor plan the designer will alter the floor plan drawing according to their wishes and send the revised version back to the client for approval. The client can make a total of 3 changes to the floor plan design. When the final floor plan has been approved by the clients the elevations drawings will commence.

There are 4 elevations. Front, Rear, Left Side and Right Side elevations. Also, the cut-a-way section drawing will start. This drawing is a drawing that if you cut through your structure with a knife you will be able to see what materials inside the building is made of. The completed front elevation will be sent to the clients in pdf form for comments and approval.

When the elevations have been approved by the clients the Structural Engineering phase will commence if you have commissioned our company to design your construction project. If your designer does not provide you with structural engineering drawings you will engage your own structural engineer or your designer will recommend you a professional who will provide you with the required structural drawings. All design drawings have to comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) local council LEP and DCP and State planning Department SEPP.

When the structural engineering phase has been completed the final drawing section is the “Site Plan”. The site plan is a plan that shows the extreme boundaries of your property the land dimensions, fall of the property sometimes a contour plan will be required that shows the fall of the land in increments of 1.0m or similar. Finished Ground Levels (FGL) and Finished Floor Levels (FFL) should be shown on the Site Plan including Lot Number, Street Number, Deposited Plan (DP), Street Name, Facing North Sign and Total Land Area should be shown on the Site Plan.

A survey is usually prepared by a Registered Surveyor. If you have a building on your property that building will be shown on the survey drawing including the Front Setback, Side Setback and sometimes the Rear setback. If no building is on your property the proposed new construction will be placed on the site plan to indicate setback measurements and other regulations required by your local council.

This is the final drawing required for the submission of a DA and CC by your local council.

During this stage of design, the client will be kept informed of the progress of the project. Also during the drawing process progress payments are being made by the clients. Our usual payments are made in four (4) stages:

  • Deposit paid before commencement of Design work.
  • Completion of the Floor Plan.
  • Completion of all Elevations.
  • Completion of structural engineering design, all documentation and final printing, handover of finalized project.

The documentation stage has become an important process that the council requires as much information from you. The past few years have seen a more professional approach adopted by both Council and State Government. This has resulted in a substantial increase in the amount of information now required to submit a DA and CC application. Each application is different and the amount of information required is assessed by us in order to determine the amount of additional work that will be required to accompany our application to Local Council.

Councils will request in some cases, Landscaping plan, Shadow diagrams for double-storey buildings, Hydraulic Engineering Details, Streetscape Plan, Certificate of Adequacy, Heritage Impact Statement, Building Code of Australia report, Bush Fire Assessment report, NATHERS Certificate, and Traffic Management reports.

In NSW you will need a Basix Certificate that is no older than 3 months if your building project has a value of $ 50,000.- and over. A Statement of environmental effect, Waste Management Report, Sediment Control Plan and we also include a Safety Notes Program for workers on site, builders, owners and designers. These are the minimum documents required by the council.

The average Council Package that we prepare consists of:

  • Council DA & CC Application form.
  • Depending on the Council’s requirements some councils are happy with a minimum of 5 A1 architectural & structural engineering drawings, 2 building specifications, 2 structural engineering specifications,  2  Statement of environmental effects, 2 Sediment control plans, 2 Basix Certificates, 2 Waste management reports, 2 Safety Notes, 6 A4 site plans and 1 reduction plans to A3 size paper.

Other Council Package can be very different:

  • Council DA & CC Application form.
  • Depending on the Council’s requirements some council are happy with a minimum of 6 A1 architectural & structural engineering drawings, 6 building specifications, 6 structural engineering specifications, 6 Statement of environmental effects, 6 Sediment control plans, 2 Basix Certificates, 6 Waste management reports, 2 Safety Notes, 6 A4 site plans and 6 reduction plans to A3 size paper and 1CD disk with all the information as per hard copy.

Any other reports that the council requires will be charged as an extra.

After all drawings and reports are printed the council package is completed. We propose that the client or his builder submit this package to their local council for approval. In our opinion, it is better to let the nominated builder submit this package because if the council has any questions regarding the application, the builder will be the most qualified person to answer council’s enquiry. Also, the builder has to submit to council his builder’s license number and homeowners warranty insurance details.

This is the procedure if you want to build your home or additions/extensions in the State of New South Wales, Australia.

The above “Design Procedure” is the procedure adopted by John Gersteling & Associates after being nearly 40 years in the building design and construction business. Not all Building Designers have the same “Design Procedure” in place, please check with your building designer regarding their business etiquette.

For more information please contact us.