Who needs an architect?

We've all admired, and perhaps even been moved by great architecture at some stage in our life, whether by one of the grand cathedrals of Europe, or by something as humble as a bach. Even if we can't articulate what good design is exactly, there's no doubt that we recognize and respond to it when we are exposed to it.

Yet when it comes to creating the spaces that we live our own lives in, many of us opt for the ordinary or the expedient without much thought to creating architecture that will enrich our lives and those of generations to come.

So, while great architecture certainly owes a great debt to the architect's vision, perhaps it owes even more to the client who is willing to give considered thought to what their home means to them - physically, psychologically, spiritually, emotionally – and who, most importantly, is able to communicate that to an architect.

Well-informed, confident clients play a vital role in this richly-rewarding journey of creative collaboration .

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Invest in a qualified architect

We would be outraged if a pharmacist or a physiotherapist claimed to be a doctor as they do not have the appropriate training or qualifications to call themselves that. It is equally inappropriate and misleading when people without an architecture degree, registration and the requisite experience claim to be architects.

New Zealand architects' professional status is protected by statute. Registration is earned through a combination of academic qualifications, significant practical experience and examination. The term 'Architectural Designer' is frequently used by people who are not registered and cannot call themselves Architects. It's easy to see how this has led to confusion for members of the public, so be aware; only registered architects can call themselves architects. To check that your architect is registered, visit the NZ Registered Architects Board web site.

The majority of New Zealand architects are members of the New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA), a professional body which supports its members and promotes outstanding practice in architecture. NZIA architects have access to ongoing professional development and training opportunities and support in policy developments and practice issues.

The NZIA is responsible for encouraging excellence in New Zealand architecture. We strive to ensure that our member architects uphold the philosophies and values of architecture, and work to create an exciting, innovative and sustainable built environment in New Zealand.

Whichever way you look at it, building or renovating your home is a big undertaking; not just financially, but also in terms of the time, energy, and emotion you will invest in it. Doesn't it make sense that the first decision you make should be to choose a fully qualified, registered architect?

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Are Architects licenced building practitioners?

The new Licenced Building Practitioner (LBP) scheme came into force on 1st March 2012 to encourage better building design and construction. From that date, certain types of restricted design and building work as found in normal house construction can only be undertaken by a LBP.

Registered Architects are already deemed to be LBP’s and do not need to apply to become licenced because the rigorous standards and university qualifications required to become a Registered Architect greatly exceed the LBP standards of competence. Other designers like Architectural Designers, will need to apply to become a LBP before 2012.

Because Registered Architects have always been qualified at a much higher level of design standard you can engage a Registered Architect with confidence knowing that they have all the necessary skills and experience to design and manage your home construction project.

Builders and other trades will also need to become an LBP if they are to undertake restricted building work on your home.

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