Why would I choose an architect over the other alternatives?
The ease and finish of your project, its beauty and suitability to your needs, will be greatly enhanced by having an experienced, professional architect manage the process. An architect prepares unique designs for your project based on your specific needs and wants. They will create design proposals which complement and enhance your site, as well as taking responsibility for overseeing the entire design, planning and construction process, including cost control. This support makes turning your vision into reality a positive experience, where your wants and needs are always central to the process, ensuring that the finished project reflects and fulfils your original vision.
How do I choose the architect that is right for me?
A review of several architects is recommended, which should include looking at their aesthetic style, and previous projects they have completed. You should consider their values and the working ethos they evidence, and take note of the level of personal connection you experience with them during meetings and phone calls.
Why would I choose Soft Loud House Architects?
With many completed projects founded in creative, sustainable and sensitive design, our organic architectural style offers a deeper connection with nature, minimises negative environmental impact and creates a sense of delight in movement, space and form.
Our design process is unique in the way that we explore and develop the experiential and emotional, as well as the physical and practical dimensions of each project. We place a high value on the relationship that is established between each client and ourselves, and understand how this relationship ensures that your finished project is a success.
What is the Soft Loud House Architects process and what will it be like for me?
After engaging Soft Loud House Architects the process commences with a series of briefing meetings and a site visit during which time your project brief is created. A consultative feel permeates this stage as we get to know one another and explore the relevant needs, lifestyle and budget considerations that are to shape the project.
A number of design options will be presented for feedback. Your preferred option will then be developed and documented ready for building approval, tender and construction, all of which we can coordinate on your behalf. Choices on materials, finishes and fittings will be presented and the opportunity for feedback provided at every stage.
We can oversee the nitty-gritty detail of the construction stage through to completion, and liaise between you, the builders and other consultants and suppliers, offering you a stress-free and positive building experience.
What are the average costs associated with building an architect designed house?
For an architect designed house in 2010/2011, building costs range from $2,500 to over $4,000 per square metre. This means a 100 square metre home will cost from $250,000 to over $400,000 depending upon materials, quality, site and other variables including building industry inflation.
Why do architect designed houses cost more?
“Off the shelf” building designs, used by kit home and project home builders are reproduced many times over. Because these building companies produce a huge volume of houses each year, and are able to exert a degree of control over the market, they can build very cheaply. One-off buildings built by an individual builder cost considerably more, with or without an architect involved.
Concepts prepared by an architect typically are one-off designs developed to meet a specific client’s brief through in-depth consultation, taking into account landscape and environmental impacts as well as regulatory requirements. This personal and consultative approach translates into a finished project that more deeply reflects each client’s unique wants and needs. The real estate market puts an increased value on architect designed houses in recognition of the higher level of quality, aesthetic appeal and prestige they offer.
What fees do soft loud house architects charge?
Our architectural fees range from 10 - 15% of the completed building cost. Fees can be structured as a fixed fee, hourly rate or on a percentage basis, and are stepped over the different stages of the project. We can also provide part services and advice, with the architectural fees apportioned accordingly. Other consultants needed may include surveyors, engineers, building inspectors etc.
We recommend that clients allow a budget for all consultants’ fees (including architectural fees) and council permits of 15 to 20% of the completed building cost.
Do sustainable buildings cost more?
Yes and no. Big inefficient houses cost a lot to build and use enormous amounts of energy to heat, cool and maintain. In comparison, creating smaller efficient houses and using clever design can reduce the construction cost as well as dramatically cutting the running costs over a long time. There are infinite possibilities in between.
Some sustainable measures, for example passive solar design (like facing a house to the north) cost nothing, whilst others cost more, such as installing solar panels or geothermal heating. These initial expenditures can be assessed in a balanced way against the significant long term savings generated through the increased efficiency of the building and overall environmental impact. At Soft Loud House Architects we determine the appropriate sustainability measures to meet the needs of the client and give the best environmental outcome to fit within the project budget.
Local, ethical and high durability materials often cost more to purchase than equivalent materials produced unsustainably and unethically. However these costs reflect the true environmental and social costs of production and we support our clients in making responsible choices that take into consideration the wider implications of their actions.
What are some of the ethical, healthy and sustainable options that can be used on my project?
Land use… the sensitive and efficient use of land for settlement, dwellings, production, resources, wildness and spirit is integral to our projects. A careful and respectful balance is sought between the needs of the client and that of the environment and the site, with mindfulness of the impact on all living things.
Low energy materials …use the minimum amount of energy in their sourcing, manufacture, transport and installation.
Low toxicity materials … non-toxic alternatives are available for most materials. Toxic materials like paints, tiles, adhesives, some plastics, insulation and some building board products can off-gas toxic fumes which can impact on health and vitality.
Low environmental cost materials …and recycled materials (like concrete timber and brick) are favoured over materials that cannot be sourced without some environmental impact. I.e., we avoid the use of materials that use poisons and damaging processes in production, utilise dwindling supplies or otherwise cause effect damage to the environment.
Salvaged timber supplies...... source unwanted, diseased and fallen timber from plantations, farms and backyards. This timber has a low environmental cost, protecting forests, while providing interesting and exotic woods to furniture manufacturers and the building industry.
Locally sourced materials.....can be won from the site, such as earth, straw and stone. These may have a higher human energy cost in obtaining them but offer reduced transport costs and off site material production costs.
Passive energy performance.... passive solar design and insulation of buildings are popular and simple techniques for improving sustainability. They reduce the running costs and improve environmental performance without increasing the project cost.
Sustainable power... solar and wind powered energy solutions can be used for lighting, transport, space heating and water heating.
Water responsibility.... is a critical environmental aspect of dwellings. We incorporate rain water tanks, grey water recycling and water sensitive landscape design into many of our projects.
Waste, waste management and recyclability.... some wastes provide valuable domestic resources used for recycling, composting and grey water. Others, including waste created during construction and demolition can be carefully managed into separate elements to increase recycling value.