People often wonder what a building designer does! They ask themselves, don’t I need an architect to design and draw my house plans or renovation? This is not the case, building designers on the Sunshine Coast and all over QLD need to be QBCC registered – that means that they need to undertake training through TAFE and generally practice full time for 4 years under an architect or qualified building designer before they can register as a licenced building designer. There are multi licences classes a building designer can have depending on their level of study. Studio 4 (Julie Hourigan) holds a “medium rise” QBCC licence enabling me to do commercial buildings (up to 3 storeys) as well as domestic homes. The understanding about design is identical to an architect after the years of training on the job. You will achieve the same product., building designers often working on medium to high end priced homes, whereas architects generally work on the top end of the design sq.m. budget. Some architects with only a few years experience may charge less than some building designers but generally an architect will charge a higher rate for the same job.
Architects often offer you the additional service of project management which is post certification and watch over the build. This is usually required on high end buildings with a lot of custom made windows and unusual building details, where they will troubleshoot any on site problems that arise. This is at a cost. Studio 4 does not offer this service as most of my buildings are standard building practice with an architectural twist (although builders are free to call to discuss the project build at any time without an additional expense to the client).
Building designers tend to design off the shelf and choose products that do not require so much customisation hence projects tend to be more cost effective for what you get for your budget, often achieving a similar result for less money. Also stretching the limits of design bang for your buck and have a practical understanding of beam spans etc that will get you as far as you can without going next level into custom steel beams etc. In saying that a building designer is always capable of designing architectural looking homes depending on your requests. But we do not do high rise and larger developments like hospitals, shopping centres etc. If you are just looking for a new residence a building designer is your best choice.
When choosing your building designer consider their past experience, their client testimonials, their previous work (and whether it aligns with your taste). Studio 4 will design to your preference and does not particularly have one style. Bring me your ideas and we can work out something to your budget and block.