Nicholas Murray Architects (NMA) can provide many levels of service from simple verbal advice to full architectural services including assistance of building handover and beyond. Below are the key services we provide.
If you are considering undertaking a building project NMA can provide advice and valuable foresight to assist in the decision making process. If your potential project site is within 15km of the CBD I can visit you at the project site for a fixed fee of $340 +GST. At this meeting we can discuss planning controls, site constraints, project brief and process. I can also give you my ideas on the best way to develop your property. If you decide to engage NMA to provide further architectural services this initial fee will be deducted from my professional fees.
The project generally starts with a comprehensive brief written by the client with the assistance of the NMA. This brief will normally outline a building budget and other constraints. An existing building may need to be measured or land surveyed to provide the architect with further parameters and design constraints. Sketches are then produced and presented to the client of potential design outcomes. Once these sketches have been agreed on NMA will produce 3D resolved design drawings to allow the client to understand and appreciate the design spatially. The 3D modeling allows us to fully explore all aspects of the building and its impacts on surrounding properties before preparing a Town Planning application. At this stage the services of a qualified Quantity Surveyor is highly recommended to ensure the project remains aligned with the budget.
When a project requires planning approval NMA can prepare all of the drawn documents that form a Town Planning Application. The services of some of Melbourne’s leading planning consultants are generally engaged to provide accompanying reports and manage the specialised process of obtaining a planning permit from council.
Following town planning or schematic design approval NMA would require several design development meetings with the client to discuss the more detailed aspects of a project. This may include interior design, joinery design, lighting design and selection of all of the required fixtures, fittings, appliances that make up a building. Other considerations during these meetings are material selections, heating and cooling, and the selection of suitable consultants to assist us with the next stage. We bring many years of experience to these meetings to assist you in making the best decisions.
Once we have compiled all of the information in the Design Development stage we need to produce a set of construction documents that thoroughly describes the extent and quality of building we require. These plans and specifications along with other consultant’s documents form what we refer to as the contract documentation set. At NMA we insist on producing accurate and thorough documents to protect the client and architect from variations and problems during construction. These are the documents that are also lodged to obtain a Building Permit.
To ensure competitive pricing NMA will tender your project to selected builders. Preferably we would include familiar builders who are qualified, registered and competent based on our experience in dealing with them in the past. During the tender period, which is normally about a month we answer queries, issue instructions and assist builders with site inspections. When the tender closes we assess the tenders and advise you on the differences between the tenders. A tender is often not won on price alone and maybe influenced by other factors such as timing and quality.
Once a builder is selected and the terms have been agreed NMA will assist in the preparation of the Construction Contract. During the construction phase NMA will assess claims for time and money, conduct periodic site inspections, inspect shop drawings, issue instructions to the builder, certify payments, co-ordinate sub-consultants, and assist in the hand over of the building. After you have occupied the building NMA will remain involved during the defects liability period to ensure the builder fulfills his obligations.
Importantly, at this stage of the project the architect acts as an independent assessor and certifier of the works, owing an equal professional duty to both client and builder.