— Our process.
Our goal is to make your design journey as smooth, enjoyable and stress-free as possible. We’ll work with you every step of the way to make sure you understand the process, what’s involved and what you need to do. Here’s a quick look at what happens during each design phase.
The first step is to make sure we understand what you’re looking for. We’ll meet up to discuss your requirements, determine how you want the home or building to be used, and what your non-negotiables are. We’ll investigate the site and surroundings, establish the design parameters and pull together relevant information to inform and influence the design.
From this we’ll create a design brief to make sure we’re all on the same page. We’ll also take you through the remaining steps of the design process, discuss procurement options and answer any questions you might have.
This is the first stage of design. It’s where the basic form, spatial configuration and materiality of the building begin to take shape – so it’s your first chance to see what the building will look like.
This stage is really important as it establishes the design foundation that we’ll build upon going forward – so we want to get it right! It can often take longer than you think, as we may need to prepare numerous concepts before we’re both happy and ready to move onto the next stage.
Preliminary & Developed Design
This stage is all about developing and refining our initial concept. Here we’ll establish the structural system, develop critical design details and compile the materials palette for the building. We’re huge fans of 3D digital modelling and we play around with the building model together – investigating different options and walking you through the 3D space.
We’ll often require input from other design consultants such as structural and mechanical engineers at this point. If resource consent is required for your project we would prepare and lodge it for you during this stage.
As the name suggests, this is where we document the design to a high level of detail. The result will be the final, signed off design which will enable the contractor to build the project. Again, we’ll use 3D modelling to ensure you’re happy with the final design.
The culmination of the detailed design stage is lodging the building consent application with the council. We’ll take care of this for you, and will answer any questions the council may have to ensure sign off is received as quickly as possible.
The procurement stage is where we help you engage a contractor to build the project, and there are many ways to do this. Typically we’ll competitively tender to a number of selected builders to get you the best deal. Sometimes you’ll already have a builder in mind, in which case we’ll negotiate solely with them.
Tendering is usually carried out while we’re waiting for the building consent to be approved, although there are other types of procurement that may start earlier in the design process. We’ll discuss all your options with you in the early design stages.
No matter how well-drawn the design, the end result comes down to how it’s built on site. One of our key roles is site observation – where we periodically visit the site to review the work taking place against the consented design.
While there’s no legal requirement for site observation, we believe it gives you the best chance of achieving quality construction that complies with the building code. As architects, we’re also ideally placed to act as contract administrators – looking after the construction contract on your behalf, instructing the builder and managing payment claims.
R ― A ― What our clients say
“Respond Architects recently worked on the design of our new administration block. Lead architect Andrea Boon was invaluable in taking our brief and turning it into an amazing reality. I really appreciated her eye for detail and ability to 'hear' what our needs were and make it real. She supported us throughout the building process and we couldn’t be happier with the finished result.”
“Respond are quite simply the experts when it comes to remediation design. Because they’re on the weathertightness review panel they can peer review and sign off drawings and we’re good to go, and when structural work is involved they simply partner with the Prendos engineering team. It’s so easy.”
“Respond are totally connected to the needs of today’s schools. Their designs are clever, detailed and reflect our requirements of quality, open learning spaces. Most importantly they provide excellent, responsive service; we couldn’t be happier.”
“Respond’s designs for our home renovation really opened our eyes to how we could create better living spaces and flow. Their knowledge of council guidelines and restrictions was invaluable, and they made it so easy – managing the design process end-to-end and staying on top of how the build was going. Most importantly, they were genuinely passionate about our project.”
“Respond’s design ideas really make sense and their concepts often challenge our thinking around how we approach a project. They’re fantastic to work with; on the ball and completely transparent. I wouldn’t hesitate to work with them again.”
"Performance is what cuts it for me, and Respond is absolutely exceptional at what they do. Their designers are some of the smartest in the industry, and their recent work on one of our boutique townhouse developments is outstanding – our clients are really impressed with the finished product."