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IN THE PRESS: Teamwork critical in project delivery

When considering which building process best suits your needs, there are a few fundamental issues that need to be considered. You can choose a standard, of-the-plan design, hire an architect to design and control the entire process, or opt for a collaboration between a builder you trust and an architect.

We operate under the collaborative approach, whereby we work together with an architect we believe can best achieve our clients’ goals with us. There are, I believe, many benefits to this method to provide clients with a well-designed, practical home built to budget.

Here are some of the strengths of the collaborative method.

If the builder, architect and client have an open and healthy approach to the project and work to each others’ strengths, then the result can be – and should be – fantastic. There is no way a builder could have the creativity, insight and flair that a good architect has. It is no different in the building process, where I am trying to source and use the best trades and suppliers to keep creating great homes. I love working with the best architects who can keep surprising and challenging me.

Likewise, the architects I work with appreciate practical input. While I will never have their creative flair, they do not have a builder’s ‘get your hands dirty’ practical knowledge. I know by experience what materials work better, where a change in roof design can reduce the risk of a leak or where money can be saved while still achieving the result they want.

Budget is always a critical component of the design brief. There are countless stories where a job has gone out to tender only to come back miles above the expected price. A collaborative approach sees the builder keeping a constant eye on costs. It’s not only my duty to my client, it’s common sense. If the budget gets blown the job usually doesn’t proceed and a lot of time and money has been wasted by everyone involved.

That responsibility rolls over to the actual build. While always well-meaning and trying to make the design the best they can, an architect doesn’t always have an appreciation on how delayed decisions and changes can impact on the build timelines. A builder does, and that is why we micro-manage the selection process to make sure the build runs smoothly and on time.

And when it’s all finished and you are living in your stunning new home, it is the builder who has the ultimate responsibility for the finished quality. If your home leaks you call the builder, not the architect, even though the cause of the leak could be a design fault. If that builder has managed the entire process, they are responsible for everything. There is no ‘buck passing’ or blame games.

In the end, I believe that a good honest partnership between a quality builder and a creative architect will always provide the client the best outcome financially, creatively and emotionally. When both builder and architect can park the egos at the door and work together in the very best interests of the client, the client wins.

From our 37 years’ experience, we believe collaboration is a method which works.

17 Sep 2019