While BRD Studio is only 12 months old it is the culmination of a process that has been going for over a decade…
My first taste of the construction was as a high school student working on building sites for my uncle’s building company. This early indoctrination into construction was what led me to pursue a career in architecture and building.
I consciously made the choice to become both an architect and a builder very early on in my professional career. In the years between my undergraduate degree and master’s I actively worked towards my builder’s registration. Completing a Cert IV in Building & Construction by attending night classes (6pm – 10pm, 3 days a week for a year) and sought out a position that allowed me to be hands on constructing pieces of architecture.
In a world that is increasing digital it is refreshing to work hands on. Whenever I am overwhelmed by spreadsheets, emails, notifications, etc. I find inspiration in spending time outdoors building. Working on site gives you an unrivalled appreciation of shade, ventilation and the surrounding environment.
Other than the personal benefits I find in being a both architect and builder there is a range of benefits to clients that comes with the architect led design-build process:
Single point responsibility
Working as an architect and a builder gives BRD Studio greater responsibility towards our clients. This gives clients greater peace of mind during the design and build process. There is little scope for us to pass the buck on cost over runs or other issues when we are also delivering the construction. This common complaint that architects fail to design to clients budgets can be mitigated by the architect led design build process. There is also further legislative responsibility as a builder most noticeably our 6 year obligation to rectify defects under the Home Building Act.
Architect led design build gives clients the opportunity to fast track their build if need be. Traditional architect-builder processes would require full construction documentation to be completed to allow the contractor to prepare a tender. With architect led design-build the opportunity exists to begin construction prior to completed documentation. This would likely require a cost-plus contract as absolute final costs could not be confirmed at the beginning of the build.
Easier and fewer variations
Traditional architect-builder-client relationships set up the project team to make “win/lose” decisions between the design and build teams. This especially happens around variations that arise during construction. An architect who is also the builder will be more attuned to cost, schedules and material issues during the design process, minimising the need for variations. An architect as builder will also be more capable of resolving issues that arrive during construction.
There are obvious architectural benefits to having an architect led design-build. By also delivering the construction, architects can ensure their design intent is maintained in the final product. An architect who has an intimate knowledge of construction methods and an appreciation for the labour of the trades on site is better placed to utilise those methods in inventive ways. The numerous architectural awards and accolades won by those who work in this manner are testament to its benefits.
Ultimately I am an architect & a builder because being only one would be limiting. Having the creative control to work with clients from conception to handover gives me a greater satisfaction than any one individual part of the process.