Registered Building Designer
What is a Registered Building Designer, you ask? Formerly known as a draftsman or draftsperson, Registered Building Designers will comply with local building and planning authorities in their builds across residential, commercial or industrial projects.
While they may hold a degree in architecture, but may not be registered as architects, a Registered Building Designer will have established practice in their field, with prior experience in the building and construction industry.
But if that’s the case, does that mean anyone with any kind of design experience can call themselves building designers? What about licenses? Does this mean there’s less protection when choosing a building designer instead of an architect?
No, not for Victoria and across a good number of states in Australia. Yes, there are many. And no, definitely not when you do your due diligence.
The general principle we need to outline when contracting someone of any profession in this industry be it an architect, draftsman or a designer is more education, more training and more licensing leads to higher expectations, which in turn garners higher risk and requires higher insurance.
What does this imply? All this may lead to a higher cost of service. But the quality of result for your project will vary due to the client brief and details of your designs. In reality, clients who enlist a Registered Building Designer to build their dream home receive award-winning designs on par with those who commission decorated architects. EDG’s own team of building designers can attest to this.
What Does It Mean To Be A Registered Building Designer
For any profession in this industry, the accreditation or registration of someone employed justifies a level of endorsement by a professional body. This in turn provides assurance for clients, contractors and councils.
For an architect, this means it would be illegal for them to trade professionally under that title if they aren’t registered with the state architecture body. To achieve the highest degree of professionalism, building designers do not escape from similar requirements. When a building designer has satisfied their academic prerequisites, they must be able to provide industry references for consumer protection, proving that they’ve done long-term viable work under supervision. Their drawings must meet high working standards, but more than that they also will undergo extensive examination. They’ll be tested on laws and building rules in accordance with the National Construction Code, Australian Standards and the Building Regulations.
Once they’ve obtained their license, they’ll continue professional development as well as gather credentials in relevant professional communities while undertaking work that furthers their practice. Our major governing professional body is Design Matters National, which is recognised throughout Australia to represent the largest association of Registered Building Designers. This provides designers further networking opportunities and the chance for government advocacy to preserve and advertise their profession on a national scale.
Upholding a building designer’s accreditation requires annual re-registration which involves continuing professional development. This is a strict requirement that cannot be negotiated. When clients choose a Registered Building Designer, it is expected of them to be attuned to current legislations and building practices that applies to their industry.
Why You Should Hire A Registered Building Designer
When you have a defined concept in mind and need professional execution to help you realise it, a Registered Building Designer will be your best choice. They can draft plans for approval and when you build with them, they’ll help oversee the construction stage.
Most of you are likely here because you’re either aiming to build a new home or renovate spaces for residential use so you’re likely very invested in your building process. A building designer’s involvement in your working drawings will help respect your vision and build a property that suits your current and future living needs. They’ll give you more than your money’s worth with the level of detail in their designs in case you choose to independently source your own contractor, saving costs for when you build and assuring your professionally designed property appreciates in value in the long run. They’re also extremely capable in getting your finished home ready to live in, outfitting everything from furnishings, exteriors, and finishes to create your desired aesthetic and atmosphere.
You’re going to work with your designer over the course of your project, and it helps to reflect on the following questions to make your decision:
- Do I like the style of their past portfolio?
- Do the demands and scope of my project suit their skillset?
- Can I see myself working with them for X amount of time?
- Do their ideas mesh well with mine?
- Can they give me a real perspective on the resources I’ll need to complete my build?
- Do I trust this person to realise my vision and integrate it into my property?
It’s important to note that beyond their official capacity as a Registered Building Designer i.e. their role in town planning, permit documentation and such, you’ll be relying on their guidance and support for your project. You’ll forge a close working relationship with them, which requires a level of comfort, personal connection and confidence in their ability.
If you’d like to know more about what our building designers can do for your home, have a look at our portfolio.