When it comes to designing and building a new home, many homeowners may be unsure of the difference between an architect and an architectural designer. Both architects and architectural designers are involved in the design and construction of buildings, but there are some key differences between the two professions.
Architects are registered with the New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) and have completed a masters degree in architecture. They are responsible for the overall design and construction of a building, ensuring that it complies with all applicable codes and regulations, and overseeing the construction process.
On the other hand, architectural designers are not registered with the NZIA, but are backed by the New Zealand government's Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) scheme having proven they are responsible for the overall design and construction of a building, ensuring that it complies with all applicable codes and regulations, and overseeing the construction process. They are authorised to design and specify building work in New Zealand. Some architectural designers may work in a technical or draughting capacity only, however, architectural designer-led companies often offer the same services as registered architectural firms.
It is important to note that architectural designers and registered architects can both offer full architectural services, but architectural designers may have a specific focus or expertise that sets them apart. Additionally, architectural designers can have established relationships with builders and other consultants, which can make the construction process smoother.