The ACA Knowledge Hub provides a rich and deep resource on the business of architecture. Explore expert advice and informed opinion on current issues, running a practice and developing a strong and productive workplace culture.
A Guide for Mental Wellbeing
The Australian AMWF has adapted the Architects Mental Wellbeing Toolkit (UK), with local resources and simple practical advice to individuals and practices on coping with the stresses of an increasingly pressured profession. Available for download today!
Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum in Australia
The ACA is delighted to take the lead on the development of an Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum (AMWF) in Australia, which will build on the great work being done by AMWF in the UK. Forums were established in Victoria, Queensland and NSW in 2020, with SA and WA groups up and running in early 2021.
CPD Webinars On Demand
Did you miss out on a particularly interesting webinar? Are you working towards fulfilling your CPD requirements? Five years of relevant ACA CPD webinars are now available for purchase on demand.
COVID-19 & the Workplace – January 2022 Update
As the Omicron strain continues to wreak havoc across the country, Emma Avey from Fair Work Lawyers provides timely advice on workplace issues, including WHS consultation with employees, Rapid Antigen Testing, and managing leave entitlements.
COVID Resource Roundup
Creating a COVID safe workplace and keeping on top of rapidly changing restrictions, while also keeping projects on track, is a constant challenge. The following is a list of useful links providing up-to-date Coronavirus advice and information.
Favourite Podcasts for Summer
We are big fans of sharing knowledge and learning through conversation. Emma Brain has compiled a list of some of her favourite podcasts to get stuck into once the end-of-year stress has passed.
Securing Talent in 2021
This year has been one of the toughest periods for sourcing talent in the Australian construction industry. Recruitment specialist Anna Roussos offers some timely tips for attracting and securing candidates.
Confidentiality in Practice
Confidentiality agreements are common in practice, but how do you manage them? Cordilia Thomas, Risk Manager from Planned Cover, takes us through the basics and offers tips on managing your confidentiality obligations.
Work-related Wellbeing – Initial Findings
Monash University Professor of Architecture Naomi Stead provides an update on the three-year, Australian Research Council–funded research project about the wellbeing of practitioners and students in architecture, with an emphasis on some early findings of the recent practitioner survey.
Fostering Connection & Offering Support
Conrad Gargett HR Manager and AMWF member Brooke Tranberg outlines some of the practice’s wellbeing initiatives, including in-house Social and Wellbeing Committees, a well-promoted EAP, open conversations about mental health, and a pre-COVID all-company Archi-Tour to foster connection.
Zoom, EAPs & Lockdown Love
Popular wellbeing initiatives for Fulton Trotter have included Wellness Wednesday, a formal EAP, Zoom drinks, yoga and art classes, and a little ‘lockdown love’, says FT Director and Chair of the AMWF QLD/NT Justine Ebzery.
The Three Pillars of Wellbeing
BVN’s Head of People & Character Brian Clohessy describes the practice’s wellbeing initiatives, including inhouse Working Cultural Groups, which focus on the three pillars of physical, social and mental wellbeing.
Vaccinations – September Update
Our legal advisor, Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers, has provided a further timely update for ACA members on the current advice around vaccination for employers, with a focus on assessing risks and implementing control measures, third-party mandates, workplace discrimination laws, employee refusal and vaccine incentives.
Ventilation, Air Quality & the Need for a National Taskforce
Former Premier of Victoria and trained architect Ted Baillieu emphasises that ventilation in buildings is an urgent priority, deserving of a national taskforce to offer guidance and highlight the importance of air quality management.
Workplaces & COVID-19
Orla Hegarty, Assistant Professor at University College Dublin, has been advocating and educating on the important issue of ventilation in buildings for the last 18 months. Here she shares some clear, simple advice and watchpoints.
There are a number of organisations and experts providing insights and advice about the importance of natural and mechanical ventilation within buildings in relation to the COVID-19 response.
Resources for Wellbeing
Our Architects Mental Wellbeing Forums have been sharing podcasts, videos, TED Talks and lots of excellent ideas on how to get through lockdowns and difficult times during this pandemic. Here are a few of their recommendations.
Business of Small Practice – Fee Talk
The BoSP CPD online session on Fees features In Detail podcast members Kate Fitzgerald, Warwick Mihaly and Mick Moloney. This popular discussion is now for purchase on demand.
Waterproofing Specification Webinar
Watch our Waterproofing Specification webinar with James Muir from Ardex to learn more about the critical area of waterproofing, its specification, and changes in the industry.
The Value of Architecture
Rachael Bernstone of Sounds like Design connects the wellbeing of architects with fee-setting and communicating the value of architecture.
IR Update – Free for ACA members!
Watch our latest Industrial Relations webinar with legal advisor Tom Earls, who takes us through the new casual employment regime. Free for ACA members. This popular discussion is now available on demand.
NSW D&BP Act, part 1 – The Architect’s Perspective
The first of a five-part CPD series on the NSW Design & Building Practitioners Act (DBP Act) features an information session by special counsel Christopher Larcos of Moray & Agnew Lawyers. The presentation sets out key issues as they apply to architects.
Vaccinations & the Workplace
Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers provides a timely update for ACA members on the current advice around vaccinations and the workplace.
Architectural Work Cultures Survey Update
Great news! The recent Architects & Wellbeing survey had a huge response, doubling its target, with more than 2100 participants.
NSW D&BP Act, part 3 – Consequences of the Act
The third of a five-part CPD series on the NSW Design & Building Practitioners Act (DBP Act) features an information session by Paul Viney on the consequences of the Act in relation to regulated design requirements and the provision of architectural services.
NSW D&BP Act, part 4 – Insurance Implications
Number four in a five-part CPD series on the NSW Design & Building Practitioners Act (DBP Act) features Simon Gray and Carina Bogaard from Planned Cover discussing the insurance implications of the bill.
Mental Health First Aid Courses
With one in five Australians experiencing a mental illness every year, and COVID amplifying the stresses of life even further, the need for education around mental health is more important than ever. Here we explore some of the options.
Physical Office Environment
The quality of the physical office environment in which you work, whether in practice or at home, can have a huge impact on wellbeing and productivity. Section five of the Architects Mental Wellbeing Toolkit offers tips on how to make positive adaptations to work spaces.
Championing an Active, Mindful Approach
Regular movement, physical exercise and mindful activities help to improve mental wellbeing during the work day but also productivity. The final section of the Architects Mental Wellbeing Toolkit offers useful reminders on prioritising group activities and exercise.
Promoting a Healthy Workplace
Adopting wellbeing initiatives in practice is important, but monitoring how these are going should also be a priority. Section seven of the Architects Mental Wellbeing Toolkit offers tips and resources around maintaining a healthy, positive and supportive workplace.
New technologies can help us complete tasks more quickly and efficiently, as well as offering us increased accessibility and convenience – but there is a downside. The sixth section of the Architects Mental Wellbeing Toolkit warns against us becoming slaves to new technology, with increased stress and information overload.
Contracts, Clients & Deadlines
Low fees, under-resourced projects and difficult clients can have an enormous impact on the wellbeing of all within practice. The fourth section of the Architects Mental Wellbeing Toolkit tackles these important issues.
Caring for Students, Interns & Graduates in Practice
The third section of the Architects Mental Wellbeing Toolkit emphasises the importance of structured development and a supportive environment to help make the work/study balance as easy as possible for students, interns, and graduates on the pathway to registration.
Support Systems & Education
How can support systems and workplace training opportunities help staff wellbeing? The second section of the Architects Mental Wellbeing Toolkit offers tips and resources on creating a mentally healthy workplace.
Employee Assistance Programs
Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) aim to improve wellbeing among employees and their families, and to offer expert on-call assistance when needed. Early intervention can help alleviate stress and reduce the likelihood and severity of serious work-based and personal problems.
Office Culture & Overtime
Successfully managing stress levels within the workplace is an important component of long-term health for anyone. The first section of the Architects Mental Wellbeing Toolkit covers the importance of a good healthy office culture, effective time management and prioritising time away from work.
The Power of Vulnerability
Being vulnerable is challenging but it’s often necessary to make change happen. Modelling vulnerability is the action of a leader, writes Michael Lewarne.
Work-related Wellbeing Survey
Improving mental wellbeing in practice is fundamental to the future of the profession. The ACA is proud to support the major research project Architectural Work Cultures: professional identity, education and wellbeing, and encourages all to participate in this important survey on work-related wellbeing.
Emma Williamson’s recent presentation for the ACA’s annual Business of Design lunch in Adelaide took the audience through the strategies she and partner Kieran Wong have used in building and rebuilding their business over the last 25 years.
Risky Business 2021
The popular annual Risky Business webinar, held in July 2021, featured expert speakers offering legal, insurance and practitioner insights on how to actively manage risk in practice.
Ventilation and COVID-19
We’ve been slow to recognise that COVID-19 is airborne and poorly ventilated buildings are hazardous, particularly for vulnerable groups. Geoff Hanmer has been writing about the impacts of indoor air quality since early in the pandemic, and outlines some of his findings here.
That’s a RAP!
On 3 June, the ACA hosted a webinar with TheFulcrum.Agency on the importance of Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs). Emma Brain provides a recap.
Benchmark your Practice
Part self-diagnosis, part interactive, this CPD webinar will help you answer one big question – how should you grow your architecture practice this year? Listen in for insights into industry trends and critical benchmarks to help you succeed and stand out against the competition. Free for ACA members.
Reconciliation Action Plans
What is a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), why are they so important and how do you create one? Listen in to this panel discussion from the ACA and TheFulcrum.Agency to learn more about RAPs, including insights from other practices and what you can do to participate in the program.
ACA Pulse Check 5 – findings
ACA’s first Pulse Check for the year – the fifth since the pandemic began – gives a fairly positive account of the rebound from COVID. Here we outline the key findings, including stats on levels of work and work pipeline, the impact of JobKeeper, changes to employment and workplace arrangements, mental wellbeing, and the future outlook.
PI Insurance – Past, Present & Future
Planned Cover National Business Manager Cos Cirocco reflects on the evolution of PI Insurance in the building industry, the impacts of the NSW D&BP Act on the insurance market, and future changes and complexities in the industry.
Best Practices in Document Management
Efficient document management assists practices in being more profitable and reducing risk. Deltek’s Linda Dininger offers her tips on streamlining processes and freeing up your time for the more enjoyable aspects of practice.
Architecture & Unbuilt Legacy
Michael Lewarne challenges architects to reflect on the legacy they want to leave.
Enhancing Management and Leadership
Parlour’s Work & Wellbeing survey increases understanding of the impacts of the pandemic on Australian architecture. What are the opportunities to improve and change leadership and management in the profession? What might that mean for practices? Anwyn Hocking unpacks the answers to the open questions.
The Many Faces of Social Housing
Social housing is part of the lives of a surprising number of Australians. On any one night in Australia, just over 4% of households rent social housing. Yet it has housed many more people than this for brief, and sometimes repeated, periods.
Proportionate Liability & Contributory Negligence
Proportionate liability and contributory negligence can be powerful legal protections in the event of an alleged claim made against you, but how can you best manage your risk? Felicity Dixon offers some timely advice.
Streamlining Your Resource Planning
Resource management is crucial for architecture practices, but few have an effective planning structure in place. Deltek offers three recommendations for getting it right.
Flexibility and Remote Working
Many practices are at the crossroads of the hybrid working model, but how do we adapt to the new way of working? Fiona Martin reflects on the best way forward for practices big and small.
Negotiating Government Tenders
Architects must collectively resolve to stop accepting unfair or uninsurable contract terms, argues Laura Harding from Hills Thalis Architecture + Urban Projects.
Balancing Flex with the Needs of Business
Successful flexible work arrangements often rely on good communication and an effective (ongoing) consultative process. Angelina Pillai offers some timely advice on rolling out flex in the workplace.
Enhancing Workplace Communication
Parlour’s comprehensive Work & Wellbeing survey increases understanding of the impacts of the pandemic on Australian architecture. The answers to the open questions, in particular, contain a wealth of advice and reflection, and reiterate the need for improved communication. Anwyn Hocking identifies the core themes and assembles key advice.
Flexible Working – A Blended Approach
COVID-19 has been a game-changer in the world of work, with enforced remote working prompting a reassessment of the way we do things. Merilyn Speiser explores the lessons of lockdown.
Industrial Relations Webinar – Free to ACA members
In early 2021, the ACA’s new industrial advisor, Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers, presented a very timely IR Update. This CPD webinar is now available for purchase on demand (free for ACA members).
Mandatory Vaccines – What Employers Need to Know
The COVID crisis continues to pose many challenges for employers, often involving areas of the laws that were largely unexplored until the pandemic. The next such challenge relates to employers mandating vaccines. Tom Earls explores the issues for ACA members.
Architects Declare Update
Since its establishment in July 2019, Architects Declare Australia has continued to advocate and educate, with a guide to going carbon neutral and a number of webinars on topics related to biodiversity and sustainability.
Management for Design FAQs
Management for Design responds to some frequently asked questions for ACA members, covering everything from strategic plans and building a team, to resource and project management, profitability and financial control, and the critical ingredients to successful leadership.
2020 in Review and Beyond
Cos Cirocco and Karen Meiklejohn from Planned Cover review the year that was, offering a snapshot of the state of the professional indemnity market and projecting forward to future trends.
Clerks Award Flexibility Extended
The temporary Schedule I in the Clerks Award, which allows for additional flexibility to assist employers and employees during the pandemic, has been extended to 30 June 2021.
Urgent Stimulus Required for Construction Industry
The ACA is calling for Government to fund and bring forward construction projects, prioritising strategically planned, well-timed projects, supported by effective procurement processes and equitable contract terms.
Communicating the Value of Design Development
How do we advocate for the value of this critical part of the design process? Jennifer Crawford provides a clear, concise explainer on why DD matters.
Mental Wellbeing Resources - An Update
The following updated resource roundup highlights the work of a number of key organisations, who have worked hard during the pandemic to support people at this difficult time and develop useful toolkits, online forums and other avenues of support.
ACA Pulse Check 4 - Preliminary Findings
Announcing the preliminary results of Pulse Check no. 4
Culture in Architectural Practice
What does culture really mean and how do we ensure it is front and centre in our practices? HR experts Rhonda Brighton-Hall and James Hancock discuss the importance of culture in architectural practice.
Collaboration, profitability & technology
Technology is an enabler for A&E firms. But how does it impact collaboration and profitability? In an interview with ACA CEO Angelina Pillai, Deltek explores the issues surrounding their recently published Clarity A&E Industry Report.
Cost Planning & Negotiation
Listen in to our expert speakers giving an introduction into the complexities of Cost Planning and Negotiation and the crucial role these sometimes overlooked skills can play for the success of your practice.
Demystifying Cyber Protection Insurance
Planned Cover demystifies cyber protection insurance, offering an explainer on terminology and what it all means for your business.
MCC Report on Sexual Harassment
‘Disrupting the System: Preventing and responding to workplace sexual harassment’, a new report from the Male Champions of Change, aims to shift the way we understand and respond to sexual harassment. Justine Clark provides a summary.
ACA Response to National Registration Framework
The ACA, in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Architects, has responded to the ABCB’s discussion paper on the proposed national registration framework, pointing out the problematic lack of distinction made between a registered architect and building designer.
The Future Workplace
How will the global pandemic change the workplaces of the future? Listen in to this panel discussion to explore where we go from here.
Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum in Australia
The ACA is delighted to take the lead on the development of an Architects Mental Wellbeing Forum (AMWF) in Australia, which will build on the great work being done by AMWF in the UK. Forums were established in Victoria, Queensland and NSW in 2020, with SA and WA groups up and running in early 2021.
The ACA – Vic/Tas has released the results of the first VicPulse survey. Top level findings reveal worrying levels of work cancelled or on hold. On the other hand, the survey responses are quite positive in terms of wellbeing and many practices have been able to keep staff on due to the support of JobKeeper.
On 1 September, the parliament passed legislation amending JobKeeper provisions as part of its JobKeeper 2.0 announcement. These changes will come into effect on 28 September. Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers unpacks the detail.
Cyber Security webinar
Join the ACA and speakers from NexSys IT, Cythera and Planned Cover to learn more about how you can take control of your cyber security in 2020. Rescheduled event. On Demand Purchase available.
Stage 3 and 4 Restrictions in Victoria
One week into Stage 4 ‘Stay at Home’ restrictions in Melbourne and Stage 3 restrictions in regional Victoria, key information and resources for individuals and business continues to be rolled out. The following is a summary of useful information and links.
JobKeeper Package - Update
The JobKeeper Package was announced on 30 March 2020 by the Federal Government, assisting a significant proportion of architectural practices with the retention of staff. On 21 June, the JobKeeper payment was extended until 28 March 2021, albeit at a reduced rate. On 7 August, further changes were announced regarding eligibility.
Architecture’s Gig Economy, COVID-19 & Building Resilience
As the global pandemic hits architects hard, Peter Raisbeck proposes a few ideas about how to build professional resilience.
The Value of Good Communication
UK-based communications professional Celeste Bolte argues that architects need to become better storytellers, to engage the public, and assert their relevance through simple and meaningful communication.
Clarification of Stage 4 Restrictions
The ACA – Victoria/Tasmania provides further clarification of COVID-19 Stage 4 restrictions, with advice on construction site access, worker permits, COVID Safe Plans and ongoing advocacy.
COVID-19 Stage 4 Restrictions
On Monday 3 August, the Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews announced Stage 4 Restrictions, which apply to the Melbourne area and do impact architectural practices.
Targeted funding & thinking long term
Justine Ebzery reflects on the need for targeted funding for new public housing, public schools and community health infrastructure, with adequate resources for design and planning.
JobKeeper, HomeBuilder & going solo
Jennifer Crawford highlights the eligibility issues of JobKeeper and HomeBuilder, and describes her recent move back to the life of a sole practitioner.
Infrastructure of long-term benefit
ACA – WA President Malcolm Jones reflects on JobKeeper, the flexible workplace, and the need for more resources for infrastructure of long-term benefit.
COVID-19 Building Industry Guidelines for Victoria
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) has issued an update of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidelines for the Victorian building and construction industry, incorporating recent changes to restrictions and government subsidies.
Investment Needed in Civic Projects & Social Housing
ACA - Vic/Tas President and FFPV Director Paul Viney reflects on his experiences with past and present economic downturns, the need for more government investment in civic projects and social housing, and the challenges of COVID-19 and remote working.
Risky Business 2020
The 2020 Risky Business webinar covers common legal issues for architectural practices, with lawyer John Moore and Planned Cover manager Karen Meiklejohn.
Pulse Checks & the Construction Outlook
If architecture is the canary in the coalmine, the outlook for construction is appalling, writes Geoff Hanmer.
Unpaid Pandemic Leave & Annual Leave at Half Pay
The Fair Work Commission has extended the entitlement to unpaid pandemic leave and annual leave at half pay for many awards to 30 June 2022.
Cyber Crime in the Age of COVID-19
As we all try to adapt to a changed world, cyber criminals are taking advantage of changes to our physical working conditions and day-to-day processes. Planned Cover takes a look at the issues around cybersecurity and offers tips on protecting your practice.
Pulse Check No. 3 - Preliminary Findings
The preliminary findings of the ACA Pulse Check No. 3 are out now. Concerns about workflow continue, but some projects have restarted and JobKeeper payments have enabled many practices to keep staff on. Mental wellbeing results are positive overall, with some toll on senior management. Practices are returning to the office and considering necessary changes.
Elevation Architecture’s Digital Transformation
Rachel Tilleyshort of Elevation Architecture takes us through her firm’s digital transformation, with substantial profitability and productivity gains since implementing Deltek Project Information Management (PIM).
COVID-19 & Industrial Manslaughter
By 1 July 2020, Victoria will introduce industrial manslaughter laws for the first time. At the same time, Australia continues its efforts to contain COVID-19, including significant restrictions on work and workplaces. Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers explores the issues for ACA members.
Running a Practice in Lockdown
Warwick Mihaly shares the challenges of trying to run a small practice in lockdown while supervising remote learning with small children and keeping his business afloat.
Leadership for Architects: 101
Peter Raisbeck explores how ethical leadership and decision making are crucial in these uncertain times.
Cash Flow Management Webinar
Gordana Milosevska, founding director of Management for Design, offers a timely and comprehensive presentation on essential cash flow management.
How COVID-19 Will Change the Traditional Workplace
What will be the impact of COVID-19 on the traditional workplace and what can we learn from this giant workplace experiment, writes Hames Sharley Principal and Workplace Portfolio Leader Stephen Moorcroft.
COVID-19 Guidelines for the Victorian Building and Construction Industry
The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) has released the latest version of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidelines for the building and construction industry in Victoria.
Making Marketing Gold From Your Award Entries
Rachael Bernstone, journalist and comms consultant, offers some tips on how to increase your return-on-investment for awards entries.
Remote Working Advice
Working remotely can be challenging and disruptive, and requires realistic expectations and a flexible approach, says Charmaine Kai of Brisbane-based practice 8i Architects.
Innovation, Resilience & Relationship Building
COVID-19 disruption has been all-encompassing, but there are signs of innovation, community resilience and relationship building emerging all around us, observes Kate Fitzgerald of Fremantle-based Whispering Smith.
Investment in Digital Design
Existing investment in new digital platforms has meant that dwp|design worldwide partnership was well placed to switch to working mode when the COVID-19 crisis arose.
The JobKeeper Package Unpacked
From Monday 20 April 2020, businesses can enrol for the JobKeeper scheme to help retain staff during the downturn caused by COVID-19. The following update provides answers to frequently asked questions for architectural practices.
Planning for Health, Wellbeing & Financial Sustainability
As Queensland prepared for lockdown, Cairns-based practice People Oriented Design worked on strategies with health, wellbeing and the long-term financial sustainability of the practice firmly in mind.
ACA Pulse Check Advice on Mental Wellbeing
The ACA Pulse Check No 2 survey invited participants to answer questions about the mental wellbeing of their practice and people. Susie Ashworth unpacks the results and highlights the best tips and advice for looking after the mental wellbeing of all within practice.
Culture and Wellbeing Presentation
The full video presentation of the Architects Leadership Series Culture + Wellbeing breakfast event is now available online.
Temporary COVID-19 Leave Variations Announced for Modern Awards
The Fair Work Commission has made changes to a wide variety of modern awards, including the Architects Award, to include unpaid pandemic leave and the capacity to take annual leave at half pay.
New Challenges & Modes of Working
Hayball has explored varied modes of working and learning over many years, but the rapid shift to remote, distributed workplaces in the era of COVID-19 is a new challenge.
How to Lead a Remote Workforce
Robert Peake, principal of Management for Design, offers his top tips for effective leadership with remote teams, including setting clear expectations and following through, giving trust freely, and managing achievement, not time.
Building on Existing Flex Systems
For BVN, the transition to all staff working from home has been ‘seamless’. The ease of the move is an outcome of already having robust flex systems in place, a commitment to open honest communication, and a focus on health and wellbeing.
COVID-19 Fallout - Contract Questions
As COVID-19 disruption hits projects, supply chains and timelines, Wendy Poulton, Principal of informed Lawyers Pty Ltd, looks at some popular contract questions.
How to Retain Staff During the Coronavirus Pandemic
The response to COVID-19 is unprecedented and evolving daily. As government decisions directly and indirectly impact on businesses, employers are looking at ways to continue operating in the face of enormous challenges. Tom Earls from Fair Work Lawyers briefly describes the options available to architecture practices.
The JobKeeper Package, announced on 30 March 2020 by the Federal Government, offers desperately needed relief to businesses to enable them to retain employees. This will assist a significant proportion of architectural practices with the retention of staff.
Clerks Award Flexibility
The Clerks Award has been temporarily amended to enable more flexibility during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Force Majeure - Special Conditions for ABIC Contracts
Special conditions for the ABIC SW and ABIC MW contracts introduce the concept of Force Majeure, including pandemics.
Government Support and What Employers Can Do
As we face a crisis of unknown proportions, Rob Peake, Principal of Management for Design, outlines what is needed from the Federal Government, and what architectural practices can do to weather the storm.
Practice Management and COVID-19
Building on knowledge gleaned from the recent ACA Pulse Check Survey No.1, Fiona Martin outlines the key areas practices should be working on, and answers some FAQs about leave under various circumstances.
COVID-19 and Construction Contracts
What does COVID-19 mean for architects administering ABIC contracts? Christopher Larcos and Shanna Beaton of Moray and Agnew Lawyers outline key considerations.
ACA President’s Comment – March 2020
As architectural practices face uncertain futures in the time of COVID-19, ACA National President John Held discusses the importance of sharing stories, ideas, and love and consideration for each other.
COVID-19 and Mental Health
As we face unprecedented challenges and stress with the COVID-19 health crisis and inevitable economic effects, it’s critical that we maintain and protect our mental wellbeing and that of our colleagues, employees and families. The following resource round-up points to useful tips, reminders and strategies to help maintain positive mental health during this difficult time.
How are You Responding to COVID-19?
Online support is more important than ever. The ACA invites architectural practices across Australia to share practice experiences, knowledge and strategies.
Communication, Autonomy and Initiative
Brown Falconer is in the process of transitioning all staff to remote working. Mario Dreosti emphasises the importance of open communication and sharing both the knowns and the unknowns as essential to building trust, autonomy and initiative.
Policy, Process and Restricted Contact
Thomson Rossi’s approach to managing the practice in the context of the novel coronavirus is guided by a COVID-19 Policy Statement, which establishes clear boundaries and habits. Simon Thomson explains that the intent is to keep the office open as long as possible.
Tight Financial Management and Open Communication
TheFulcrum.Agency partner Emma Williamson explains how the consultancy is responding to COVID-19 and offers advice about how to proactively manage through a crisis while maintaining the cultural integrity of your practice.
Clear Communication and Patience
Justine Ebzery outlines the steps Fulton Trotter has taken in response to COVID-19 so far, including clear, regular communication to clients and employees, transitioning to more work from home arrangements, and a focus on patience and kindness.
Government Support for Business
The Federal Government and all state and territory governments in Australia have now responded to the COVID-19 outbreak with announcements of economic stimulus and assistance packages.
Coronavirus: Stand Down Considerations
Tom Earls and David Putland from Fair Work Lawyers provide an update on key considerations for employers when circumstances force them to stand down parts of their workforce.
Trialling Remote Working
Taylor Robinson Chaney Broderick (TRCB) has been trialling staff working from home for a number of weeks. Leigh Robinson generously shares details about how this is working, lessons learned, and the guidelines the practice has developed.
ACA Pulse Check no. 1 - Preliminary Findings
The ACA has released the preliminary results of the ACA Pulse Check no. 1. We are now analysing these further.
IT Advice for Working Remotely
As many practices start shifting employees to working from home arrangements, Peter Johns offers comprehensive advice on all things tech, from computers, software, internet and email to useful apps and file storage solutions. He also offers some terrific tips on ergonomics, team morale and using that downtime productively.
AACA National Examination Paper Postponed
Given the evolving Coronavirus situation across Australia, the AACA has postponed the APE National Examination Paper currently scheduled for 21 April until 18 August.
Coronavirus: Implications for Employers
With COVID-19 threatening to have significant impacts on businesses and workplaces around Australia in the coming weeks and months, Tom Earls and David Putland from Fair Work Lawyers provide insights into the complex and often competing legal concepts relating to employment.
Preparing for COVID-19
The situation in relation to COVID-19 is changing rapidly. We encourage all ACA members to show leadership within their practice, to understand their obligations as employers and business owners, and to plan ahead for potential disruption as much as possible.
Green Light: The Rise of the Energy Efficient Building
Drawing on her research into sustainable building policy in five global cities, 2018 Byera Hadley Travelling Scholarship winner Kate Nason reflects on the critical role architects can play in decarbonising our built environment.
Housing Displaced Residents
Peter Johns recalls the project to provide temporary housing at Kinglake following the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires, and reflects on lessons learned and how the profession might be effectively involved in the current recovery.
Climate Change Consideration in Design
informed by Planned Cover Risk Manager Kathryn Budd offers advice on managing your risk and your professional obligations related to environmental standards and climate change. What is the role of construction industry professionals in making positive change?
Tips for Pro Bono Work
Dunn and Hillam Director Lee Hillam shares her experiences and tips about incorporating pro bono work into practice in a sustainable way.
Architects’ Potential for Community Recovery
As architects discuss how best to support recovery from the current bushfires, it is helpful to reflect on previous experiences and processes. What can we learn? Rob Stent’s examination of the recovery process after the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires provides cautionary insight and suggestions for the future.
ACA President’s Comment – February 2020
As disaster strikes, John Held discusses the importance of sharing knowledge and experiences, and the broader role of the architect in society.
CPD Webinars On Demand
Did you miss out on a particularly interesting webinar? Are you working towards fulfilling your CPD requirements? Five years of relevant ACA CPD webinars are now available for purchase on demand.
Working Closely with Bushfire-Affected Communities
BVN co-CEO Ninotschka Titchkosky revisits the rebuilding of the Narbethong Community Hall and offers some invaluable advice about bushfire recovery work.
Resources for the Bushfire Crisis
Unprecedented nationwide bushfire activity in 2019-2020 has had devastating and wide-ranging impacts, not just on those who have seen their homes and properties destroyed or damaged by the bushfires, but also businesses suffering financial hardship. This Resource Roundup includes updated information, resources and other pertinent links.
After the Fire: Be Patient, Considerate and Strategic
Kim Irons of Irons McDuff Architecture cautions patience to those keen to offer aid to those affected by the bushfires.
Bushfire Response: Information & Resources
The national bushfire crisis is devastating, and our hearts go out to all affected. The ACA offers the following information as a starting point, and will develop further resources and publish more in-depth information over time.
A Review of the 2019 Insurance Market
As 2019 draws to a close, Planned Cover's Cos Cirocco and Adele Monaco take a look back, reviewing the insurance market and claims landscape of the past 12 months and advising on how best to navigate it in the immediate future.
Internet Chat in Practice
As online chat gains popularity, and boundaries between home and work become blurred, how do we take advantage of quick, easy communication without compromising our work or our mental health? Sarah Hobday-North explores the issues.
How to Prevent Burnout in the Lead-up to Christmas
The lead-up to Christmas may be a magical time of year for some. But for many of us, it’s much more about increased workloads, stress and trying to stay on top of it all. Merilyn Speiser explores what you can do to avoid suffering burnout in the Christmas busy period.
International Men’s Day Reflections
ACA CEO Angelina Pillai reflects on a week of inspirational panel discussions and events that will hopefully spur others on to further action.
The No. 1 Mistake Architects Make With Design Fees
Design fee consultant Ian Motley explains how architects can increase architectural fees and profit margins with a simple change to their pricing strategy.
The Business of Design
Kerstin Thompson’s recent presentation for the ACA - SA was a thoughtful reflection on the business of design, busting some stubborn myths about architectural practice, and emphasising the need to balance design quality with business practice excellence, financial strength, thriving people and workplace health.
Fixing the Building Industry - A Wishlist
With defect-prone apartment buildings in the spotlight, it’s clear that Australia’s apartment procurement system needs a serious redesign. Michael Smith highlights the state of play in the building industry, and lays out his wishlist of reforms.
A Question of Standards
With the high cost of accessing Australian Standards, how can we expect high levels of compliance in the building industry? Easy access to clear, understandable Standards must be a priority, argues John Held.
The Benefits of Giving Back
Improving the built environment of communities in need does not have to be an all or nothing proposition, says Leeanne Marshall, who presents a variety of ways to make an impact, both big and small.
State of the Insurance Market
The world of insurance has changed rapidly over the last 12 to 18 months. Planned Cover Victorian State Manager Laurence Gottlieb gives us an overview of a toughening market.
How Can Architects Take Action?
As governments tackle systemic issues in the building industry, John Held outlines some of the ways that architects can make an impact.
The Social Conscience of Architecture
Robert Goodliffe recently spoke at an ACA – Vic/Tas event on the importance of social responsibility in architecture, revealing how a holistic approach can build culture internally and provide a resilient business model.
Building Industry Needs Significant Cultural Change
Newly appointed Victorian State Building Surveyor Andrew Cialini says it’s time for the building industry to preference public safety and quality over cost, and to implement change for the good of overall outcomes rather than self-interest.
Tips for Time Management
Running a practice can be unrelenting, changeable and extremely demanding. How do you manage your time in such an unpredictable environment? Rena M. Klein offers some tips.
How to Hire, Fire & Manage Employees
Recruiting the right people and then managing them well is essential to the success of your practice. Merilyn Speiser offers a guide to getting the HR fundamentals right.
Hundreds of Australian architects have signed up to the Architects Declare movement, which aims to raise awareness of the climate crisis and the urgent need for action in the built environment.
Partnership Protection Insurance
Do you have partners in your business? Have you got a safety net in place in case disaster strikes? Planned Cover’s Sherren Hepburn explores the benefits of partnership protection insurance.
ACA Response to BMF Decision
The BMF announcement to adopt a consistent national approach to reform in the Australian construction industry is welcome news.
Industry Groups Call for Australia-wide Action on Building Regulation
Five industry groups have issued a call for co-ordinated, nation-wide action on building regulation. The ACA supports this call, and is part of it through membership of the Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF).
Pay Equity: Resources & Reading
The issue of pay equity has been on the agenda for Australian governments and business for decades, but pay disparities remain a persistent problem in many workplaces.
Consumer Confidence in the Title ‘Architect’
ACA - WA Committee member Kate Fitzgerald discusses the growing trend for incorrect use of the title ‘Architect’ in an age of declining consumer confidence, and how the time is right to reclaim the title.
How to Solve the Building Practitioner Insurance Crisis in Australia
The PI insurance crisis is upon us - but how did it come to this? Senior Construction Lawyer Kim Lovegrove identifies the key challenges, and outlines his ideas for bringing the Australian building industry back from the brink.
Implementing a New HR Policy
How do you build a strong HR policy without impacting on the culture of your practice? Merilyn Speiser provides a brief guide on implementing change as seamlessly as possible.
How to Achieve Pay Equity
Compare and contrast pay rates and don’t misread confidence for competence, advises Cassandra Keller.
Joint Statement - Implementing the Building Confidence Report
The government must act now to ensure the design and construction of safe, well-constructed buildings and to restore public trust in Australia’s built environment.
Putting People in the Picture
Why are people largely absent from our architectural imagery? As a profession that designs and builds spaces for people, perhaps we need to be more conscious of including people in our floorplans and models, writes Fiona Young.
Avoiding Cyber Attacks
What are the crown jewels of your practice? Where are they stored and how secure are they? Sherren Hepburn from Planned Cover takes a look at the issues around cybersecurity and offers tips on protecting your precious assets.
Builders and Architects Have Their Say
Architects and builders talked novation at a recent roundtable discussion in South Australia, agreeing that early, meaningful collaboration and communication can only lead to better outcomes. Mario Dreosti recaps the main points of the discussion.
Resources for Mental Health
There are a number of excellent organisations providing a range of initiatives and services to support Australians living with mental illness.
Designing Support in the Modern World
Katie Vivian from the UK-based Architects Benevolent Society introduces us to the charity’s history, the modernisation of its support services and its current AnxietyArch campaign.
Running and directing an architecture practice is often gruelling, and can take a real toll on your mental health. Peter Raisbeck identifies the stress factors and offers some basic tips on self care.
Is Architectural Practice Making Architects Sick?
Professor Naomi Stead, Head of Architecture at Monash University, is one of the champions of a proposed new research project currently under development, Mental Wellbeing of Architects and Architecture Students: Culture, Education and the Workplace, which aims to examine links between architectural culture and identity and mental wellbeing. Here, Naomi takes a quick look at the issues.
Collective Action on Mental Health
Ben Channon is an Associate and Mental Wellbeing Ambassador at Assael Architecture, and chair of the Architects' Mental Wellbeing Forum in the UK. Ben talks us through the forum's origins and ambitions.
A Guide to Architecture and Wellbeing
Ben Channon's new book Happy by Design: A Guide to Architecture and Wellbeing explores the ways that buildings and spaces can impact on our mental health and wellbeing.
WA Cladding Update
ACA - WA President Malcolm Jones gives an overview of the WA cladding audit, issues around ACP compliance, and some early next steps.
Deloitte Private Principal Adam Russell explores how cloud computing and balanced strategic decision making can drive performance and growth.
Shergold Weir Report Implementation
The Building Confidence Report Implementation Plan has now been released. What does it mean for the architecture profession? Where are the opportunities and what are the challenges? How is the ACA working on a response? We present a summary of the plan and ACA commentary for each state and territory.
ACA President's Comment – April 2019
In light of the release of the Building Confidence Implementation Plan, ACA National President John Held revisits the recent history of regulation in the Australian construction industry and the challenge of timely reform and coordination between all states and territories.
Novation - A Guide for Architects
Novation can create confusion for architects and builders alike. Christopher Larcos offers a legal primer to the contractual rights and obligations of a novated project.
Forget Design Quality, it’s all about Design Risk!
Thinking about design risk in strategic terms is imperative for the profession, but it is often sidelined in practice, and is barely mentioned in architecture schools. Peter Raisbeck explores the concept of design risk.
Quality Outcomes and a Culture Shift
Architects and building certifiers found much common ground at a recent roundtable discussion in South Australia. Mario Dreosti reviews the main points, including the current appetite for increased speed and reduced cost over quality, and the importance of professional culture in effecting change.
Risk Management - A Refresher
Risk Manager Felicity Dixon takes us through the fundamentals of risk management, advising on how best to identify, manage and allocate risk.
Managing Risk 101
Risk management is crucial to effective practice management. Robert Peake outlines the key issues, from business structures and insurances to fee agreements and negotiation.
It’s time to ditch the idea of the architectural rock star, embrace a more collaborative approach, and communicate far and wide, argues Jennifer Crawford.
As International Women's Day 2019 approaches, ACA CEO Angelina Pillai reflects on her upbringing, the importance of seeing strong women leaders in public life, and the need to push for basic human rights for all.
Not Just a Matter of Good Design
As architects, we should be selling our ability to realise a well-constructed, quality, safe building rather than focusing solely on design, argues Michael Lewarne.
Current fragmented systems for procuring and delivering complex building projects are compromising the built outcome, to the detriment of the consumer, the public and the built environment professions. Stephen Pearse argues that the building procurement process needs a complete defrag.
Building Commissioner Auditing Not Enough
The NSW Government announcement of a new Building Commissioner to audit building design and construction does not go far enough. Government needs to investigate the construction contracting methods, relationships and behaviours that affect building quality and safety.
Key Findings from Non-conforming Building Products Inquiry
The final report of the inquiry into non-conforming building products was tabled by the Senate Economics References Committee in December 2018. Subtitled “the need for a coherent and robust regulatory regime”, it aims to strengthen accountability and compliance in relation to building products.
What difficulties can ensue if client and architect fall out? Christopher Larcos has prepared a fascinating case note on a recent court decision that could affect architects who take over mid-project.
Don't Throttle Design Education
Professor Tom Kvan argues the case for broad access to a design-based education and points out the profound societal benefits it brings.
Building Industry Fairness
The Queensland government recently issued a series of reforms to improve security of payment for subcontractors. Risk Manager Cordilia Thomas looks at the detail.
Welcome to 2019
The year has begun with a focus on quality - and the lack of it. ACA President John Held considers what architects and the ACA can do to improve the quality of the built environment.
Bring Back the Clerk of Works
In the wake of the Opal Tower debacle, Michael Hegarty explores the role of the Clerk of Works, and the need to return this key project role to Australian construction sites.
Survey Results Available!
The second independent survey of business and practice management systems has uncovered some interesting findings.
Tips for Maternity Leave
Sarah Lebner reviews her experience of preparing for maternity leave while balancing her responsibilities as a principal architect.
Flexibility - New Award Clauses
New clauses in Modern Awards aim to further support flexible work. The ACA outlines what this might mean, how employers can prepare for these changes, and where to find good material to support flexible workplaces.
Right to Request Flexible Work
The Modern Awards include a new clause outlining the right to request flexible work.
Parlour Research and Data Analysis
New data analysis by Parlour's Gill Matthewson shows that we've seen some improvement in the stats for women architects, particularly registration and business ownership, but the gender pay gap persists and it's clear there is still much work to be done.
The State of the Profession Q&A with Flora Samuel
Michael Smith interviews Flora Samuel about the state of the profession, future challenges, and whether we need more or less architects.
Rethinking Culture, Communication and Boundaries
Michael Lewarne offers prognostications and provocations about cultural change and leadership in the architecture profession.
Non-compliant Cladding and Insurance Exclusions
Insurance specialist Laurence Gottlieb explores the issue of non-compliant cladding and other materials, warning of the changes afoot in the insurance industry.
How to Make Flexibility Work for your Practice
Think flexible working will hurt your bottom line? A recent study found flexible workers were more, not less productive than their peers. So, how can you make it work in your practice? Merilyn Speiser from Catalina Consultants looks at the issues.
A Quick Look at Anchoring
How can architects benefit from the subtle nudge of an anchor? Ian Motley takes another look at the psychology of negotiation.
The Business of Small Practice
The ACA - WA’s first Business of Small Practice forum focused on the importance of the ‘connected economy’, with networking and relationships at its core, writes Rachael Bernstone.
Report Identifies Widespread Sexual Harassment
The Australian Human Rights Commission has released the findings of its national survey on sexual harassment in Australian workplaces.
John Held provides an overview on recent discussions at the COAG Building Ministers Forum regarding the Shergold-Weir Report, Building Confidence.
Future Practice? Conversations from the heart (of architecture)
What would Macquarie and Greenway say? Sean Godsell reflects on the state of the profession.
Valuable Experience or Exploitation? The Story of Unpaid Internships
In a profession under pressure, unpaid internships are becoming increasingly common, but they may be placing our most vulnerable students and graduates at risk. Melonie Bayl-Smith unpacks the issues.
Managing the Risk of Sexual Harassment
Implementing policies and staff training around harassment are important, but enforcement is crucial. Employers must be prepared to take direct action when required, advises employment law specialist Elizabeth Radley.
New Business Models
Jennifer Crawford argues that the question of fees is really a question of business models. Architects need to work out what their ‘super power’ is, and charge accordingly.
Is Regulation the Answer to Fee Madness?
Is reintroducing fee scales and further regulation the solution to fee slashing and ‘the race for the bottom’ among architects? Is this really feasible in a world of increasing globalisation and diversification of service providers? Ceilidh Higgins considers other options.
Addressing Architecture’s Wicked Problems through Affordances
Fiona Young argues that we need to understand briefing as a key part of the architect's role, develop a common understanding with clients to ensure the best outcome, and charge fees accordingly.
Fee Redemption: A mutually assured future
The conversation about fees is taking off across social media. John Held argues that many of the contemporary problems facing architects derive from unpriced risk, and that nationwide research and smarter business practices are part of the solution.
Insurance and Sexual Harassment Claims
Special Counsel Sarah Wood outlines the insurance implications of sexual harassment claims, and suggests risk mitigation strategies for architectural practices.
We Need to Stop Innovating in Indigenous Housing and get on with Closing the Gap
Kieran Wong argues that the National Indigenous Housing Guide must be mandated by law to ensure the best housing outcomes for Indigenous communities.
Non-compliant Cladding - A Year in Review
Can Design Deliver Positive Economic Outcomes?
Broadening the procurement process to consider the value of good design brings economic benefits to the state, argues SA Industry Advocate Ian Nightingale.
Building Confidence: The Shergold-Weir Report and its Implications for Architects
The Shergold-Weir Report argues for better quality documentation and improved oversight. ACA - SA President John Held digs down to see what the recommendations might mean for architects.
Insurance for Architectural Practices
Planned Cover Manager of Projects and Compliance Vanessa Collins gives a full rundown of the different types of insurance and the protections they provide.
The Ultimate Return to Work
Providing support and easing the transition for an employee returning to work makes good business sense, argues Jennekin Dicks.
Common Claims and How to Avoid Them
Experienced Claims Manager Kerrie McLeish discusses the most common claims she sees and gives valuable advice on how to avoid them.
Keeping on Top of Tech
Delegating your technology needs to your IT team is a mistake, argues Robert Peake. As a leader you need to understand and drive the IT strategy within your business.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
Is the limit on your professional indemnity insurance policy enough? Planned Cover’s Kerrie McLeish explores the issues.
New BIM Taskforce
ACA - Qld/NT and the Australian Institute of Architects Qld have joined forces to create a BIM Taskforce to help architects and practices become BIM capable.
Should You Merge Your Firm? Probably!
Merging your firm can make good business sense. Robert Peake outlines the many benefits that a company merge can have for small practice owners.
Stopping Harassment in its Tracks
How does your practice address sexual harassment at work? Merilyn Speiser from Catalina Consultants offers a 10-step approach to keep your business harassment-free.
Three Keys to Creating a Valuable Social Media Presence
Social media should be an important part of the every architectural practice's communication program, but not all architects know how to proceed. Kate Potter explains how to get started.
Individual Flexible Arrangements
Individual flexibility arrangements provide the opportunity to vary modern awards or enterprise agreements to provide flexibility in a fair and appropriate manner.
We Need to Talk about Money
Peter Raisbeck provides a snappy outline of the ten profit drivers of small architectural practice.
Business Systems Survey Results
Do you know where to start when choosing a new business management system for your practice?
Construction contracts - avoiding the pitfalls
Do your construction project contracts reflect your appetite for risk? Mark Glynn explores the issues.
Managing your way to profitability
Dynamic leadership, talented employees, exciting projects and appreciative clients mean little if a firm is stressed and struggling with its bottom line, says Jennekin Dicks. Managing profitability well can make all the difference.
The powerful impact of part-time work
Part-time employment can have enormous benefits - to employers and employees, but also to the creative process, argues Madeline Sewall.
Mental Health for Small Business Owners
Self-care is often not a top priority in the life of the small business owner, but it is the most fundamental - not only to your personal health and wellbeing but the success of your business.
Procurement in WA: Government as ‘model client’
A joint submission to the WA Commission of Inquiry into Government Programs and Projects.
Step Up, Don’t Step Back
John Held argues that stepping up to the small stuff is also the path to improving the profession's wider role in society.
Supporting Mental Health in the Workplace
The topic of mental health is receiving increasing attention in architecture. So, how can you ensure that your practice is safe and healthy? ACA partner Cbus works with SuperFriend to provide knowledge and resources about mental health, some of which is shared below.
Five Tips for Successful Novation
For better or worse, it seems that novation is here to stay. So, how can consultants get the best outcomes on novated projects? Wendy Poulton of informed suggested five key factors that can lead to a better novation experience.
6 Business Tips for Architects
How do you increase the value of your business and put your clients front and centre? Lindy Johnson shares six helpful tips.
Negotiation tactics: Preconditioned to succeed
Preconditioning is a negotiation tactic with a friendly facade and a dangerous bite. Ian Motley from Blue Turtle Consulting shows us how to use the preconditioning tactic to our advantage.
The Merits of Mentoring
When it comes to creating a motivated and well-supported architectural workforce, mentoring is a no-brainer, argues Michael Smith.
Social media in practice - a case study
Emma Brain outlines CODA's approach to social media, which has enabled the Fremantle-based practice to build a national profile and engage with clients and colleagues across the country.
Who Takes the Risk?
Wendy Poulton reflects on the changing landscape of risk in architectural practice, and offers a check list of ten things to look for in commercial consultancy agreements.
Part of the Territory? A response from the ACA
Poor workplace cultures and conditions are bad for everyone - employee, employer and the wider profession. David Wagner responds to one recent account.
Go Hard or Go Home!
Lee Hillam reflects on the long-hours culture in architecture.
Research in Practice
John Held reflects on conjunctions of research and practice in a talk presented at the Australian Institute of Architects Flipped Forum, which asked ‘Can practice lead research?’
Wanted: More women at the top
Women make great leaders, but a seat at the top table is often elusive. Emma Williamson explores the obstacles women face on the road to the top.
Do Your Contracts Contain ‘Unfair Terms’?
What will the new Unfair Contract Terms law mean for architects? Planned Cover and Jackson Macdonald take a look.
The ACA and the Institute - Distinct but Complementary
An interview with ACA - WA President Kieran Wong about the ACA and potential collaborations with the Institute of Architects.
Knowledge Futures: Future Proofing the Architectural Firm.
Do we want a downstream future or an upstream one? The choice is ours, and the consequences are far-reaching. Peter Raisbeck outlines two scenarios.
Negotiation - Beware the Nibble
One of the least ethical negotiation tactics clients can use is the nibble. Design fee consultant Ian Motley explains what it is and how to strategise to achieve a good outcome for all.
Research in Architectural Practice - 6 ways for architects to create upstream knowledge
How can your practice amplify its research capability? Peter Raisback suggests six strategies.
Ensuring Australia's future in BIM
It's essential that Australia has a consistent approach towards BIM implementation, ensuring its future growth can support international opportunities, argues Rebecca De Cicco.
Architecture and Design Fees: Why Hourly Rates?
The value of a company today is based on ideas rather than assets or staff numbers, so why do architects still charge by the hour? Ceilidh Higgins explores the possibilities for non-traditional fee structures.
Business Suits vs. Designers: Why architectural practice is going down the gurgler
Peter Raisbeck argues that the false opposition between design and business is crippling architecture. We need to bridge the divide to ensure the ongoing viability of the profession.
Reverse mentoring has much to offer architectural practices, with potential benefits to employees, employers and the whole business.
Becoming a B Corp: Using business for the power of good
Lee Hillam outlines the process of becoming a B Corp and the benefits that flow from it.
A Cautionary Note on Software Cost Structures
Software costs structures are changing; this could have significant impact on your business’s long-term profitability. ACA - WA outlines the issues.
EOFY: Remuneration resolutions
Leone Lorrimer offers a series of resolutions to help ensure that architectural practices provide fair and equitable remuneration, and a set of resources to support them.
Where to From Here: Embracing technological change
Is architecture on the verge of the greatest change in centuries? Ceilidh Higgins looks to the future and predicts disruption of epic proportions. Part of the ACA's Where to From Here series.
Where to from here: A promising outlook
A rapidly changing profession brings fresh opportunities for flexibility and specialisation, says emerging architect Emily Chalk.
Managing for Happiness
Nurturing a company culture of opportunity and challenge, support and appreciation is not just about giving you a warm fuzzy feeling - it can increase your bottom line. Rena Klein makes the case.
Where to From Here: Clients Drive Collaboration and Consolidation
Michael Hegarty reflects on the rise of the integrated architecture and engineering practice, arguing that we need to reframe design as process that is essential to client needs.
Architecture's State of Play: Where to Next
Michael Pilkington takes a close look at the ACA - SA State of the Profession research, and argues we must take a ‘let's make the cake bigger’ approach to both practice and the way serve the community, “because, simply, we can and we do live fundamentally for some kind of human-betterment”.
Where to From Here: It's Not Even Architecture
As young practitioners and thinkers deeply invested in our profession's future, Jenna Holder and Athanasios Lazarou consider the issues and make a strong call for collective action. Part of the ACA's Where to From Here series, which invites reflections on the recent ACA SA State of the Profession research.
Where to From Here? The View From an Emerging Practice
Sonia Sarangi and Michael Smith of Atelier Red and Black argue that we need to understand and 'own' the changes facing the profession, to help make them work for rather than against us.
Attracting and retaining great employees
Competition for good architectural staff is keen across much of Australia at the moment. Salaries matter, but as Krista Shearer from Bespoke points out, there are other things your practice can do to attract and retain good people - and people rarely move for salary alone.
How to Improve Productivity with Design Thinking
Your staff are the best people to work out how to improve the productivity of your practice. Rena Klein explains the benefits of an Operational Improvement Charette, and provides a guide to running one.
Want to be More Profitable? Here's How.
How can small architectural practices be more profitable? Rena Klein outlines the issues to consider, and some strategies for getting started.
Splitting the difference
Is 'splitting the difference' really fair? Ian Motley explains how to respond to suggestions in fee negotiations.
Using the Security of Payment Act - Q&A
Robert Macindoe has successfully used the Security of Payment Act to recover outstanding fees. He answers key questions about the process.
A Seven-Step Guide to using the Security of Payment Act
Robert Macindoe offers a guide to using the Security of Payments Act, based in firsthand experience.
When to Keep Silent in a Fee Negotiation
Ian Motley discusses body language, the power of silence and how architects can turn these tactics to their advantage.
The demand for architectural services in the developing world is continuing to grow. Leone Lorrimer considers how Australian architects can make the most of offshore opportunities, and gives the government some pointers on how to help.
BIM - the Architects' Trojan Horse
Peter Barda argues that BIM offers a way for architects to regain their role as trusted advisor.
Cyber Attacks and Insurance
What are the exposures of hacking and other cyber criminal activity to your business? Alex Conlon of BJS Insurance Brokers considers the issues in this emerging risk area.
Are you the Good Cop or the Bad Cop?
Ian Motley provides advice on how to respond when potential clients use the 'good cop / bad cop' tactic during fee negotiations.
Unfair Contract Terms
The Federal Treasury has committed to extending unfair contract protections to small businesses. Mario Dreosti provides an overview.
Champions of Change
Sydney-based representatives from top Australian architecture practices have signed up for the first Male Champions of Change program in architecture. Leone Lorrimer reports on the launch event, the initiative, and what it means for Australian architecture.
Public Private Partnerships For Procurement
PPP projects do not always deliver all that is claimed - and architects rarely benefit. Ann Gorey reflects on the perceived advantages, claimed benefits and actual costs of this common procurement method.
Are You Negotiating Against Yourself?
Ian Motley argues that fee erosion is often the result of standard negotiation tactics. He explains how to recognise when you are ‘negotiating against yourself’ and how to avoid it.
The Gap Between Authority and Expertise - BIM and Government Procurement
John Held reflects on the importance of the educated government client and architects who have a sophisticated understanding of the client organisation.
Successful Leadership Succession
How do you develop a clear, effective process for succession in your practice? Robert Peake outlines the key issues and strategies, and warns of problems you may encounter.
BIM and Insurance
What are the insurance implications of BIM for architects? Alex Conlon of BJS Insurance Brokers considers the issues in this emerging field.
A Guide to Managing Performance
Retaining high performing employees and managing performance have major business benefits. Peta Tumpey and Katie Simon of TressCox Lawyers provide a guide.
A Changing Profession
All professions grow, mature and change - Susan Shannon draws on her extensive body of research to reflect on registration and the shifting shape of the profession.
Is Everyone Experiencing This Right Now?
Design fees, scope creep, government projects: Alexandra Howieson reflects on the state of the profession.
Ten Challenges / Ten Actions
Leone Lorrimer outlines ten challenges facing architecture and ten actions we can take to turn these challenges into opportunities.
Wanted! Business-savvy archi-preneurs
Reflecting on the opportunities ahead, Jane Cameron argues that we need to explore different modes of practice and new ways to recognise competance, and to design new business models.
Deskilling and Reskilling
John Held reflects on deskilling and reskilling in the profession. Have architects lost the role of ‘trusted advisor’? What do low registration rates mean and what skills do we need to be effective in the future?
What Makes a City?
The Hon Dominic Perrottet MP, NSW Minister for Finance and Services, launched the Sydney Architecture Festival with an impressive speech about the role of architects in the making of innovative cities.
Recent research on registration has identified concerns about the way the process impacts negatively on women - and thereby on practice more broadly. What can the ACA and architectural practices do to help improve things?
Making Strategy Happen
Does your practice have an effective strategic plan? Robert Peake, of Management for Design, outlines the importance of strategy, and suggests some ways to get started.
Architecture and Journalism - not so different after all
Michael Bleby reflects on architecture and journalism.
To BIM or not to BIM? What a Question!
How might the industry encourage clients to take up BIM?
Do We Need a Construction Happiness Index?
John Held on happiness, mental health and the construction industry.
Presenting to Government
How architects present in government contexts can have a large impact on their chances of getting the job, or gaining support for a project. Jill Garner, Victorian Associate Government Architect, offers some tips.
Navigating planning systems
Planning lawyer Paul Vergotis offers a set of tips to help manoeuvre an architectural project through planning systems from proposal to success.
The Art and Science of Increasing Profits
Ian Motley argues that the profession needs to radically rethink the overall approach to fees and pricing work.
Architectural Fees: what, how and where to...
Antony Di Mase canvasses the complexities of setting fees and the valuing of architectural work, arguing that we need consensus on how fees are determined.
Design - Does it need a Policy?
How do we ensure the community reaps the benefits of a well-designed built environment? Peter Barda considers what types of policy might be effective.
Supporting Working Parents
What does the recent Human Rights Commission report mean for architectural businesses?
Into the Abyss
Does excessive fee-cutting mean the profession is presiding over its own demise? George Zillante outlines the issues.
An essay by Randy Deutsch that argues that architects need to rethink and redefine their role if the profession is to survive.Link
Client Risk Management
What potential risks might clients present? What are the warning signs? What strategies and structures can architects use to reduce risk?
10 Principles for Building an Architectural Business
How do you build an architectural business? Charles Justin offers 10 principles to guide a practice.
Parlour Guides to Equitable Practice
The Parlour Guides to Equitable Practice aim to help Australian architecture move towards a more equitable profession; one that offers opportunity for all and is better positioned to meet contemporary challenges.
Why HR Policy Matters
With the release of the new ACA HR Policy Templates, we outline the benefits of having policy in place for practices of all sizes.
Head in the Cloud
Is it reassuring or not to be told there are many definitions for ‘the Cloud’? Dean Wood reports and reflects on a recent ACA - WA event.
I've Looked at Clouds From Both Sides Now ...
John Held considers the opportunities and costs of cloud computing in small practice.
Making Email Work
Useful tips from Prodonovich Advisory.
Guide to Hiring New Employees
A new guide for small business from the Fair Work Ombudsman.
ACIF & APCC collaborations
ACIF and the APCC have a number of projects underway relating to procurement, project team integration and BIM.
Professional Indemnity Insurance, Risk and AS 4122
Jack Birrell on the things to consider when choosing your insurance provider.
Changes to the Privacy Act
An overview of changes to the Privacy Act from March 12.
New Insurance Agreement re AS 4122
A new agreement with Planned Cover means that architects insured with it after 17 March are automatically covered for the current version of AS 4122 - 2010.
Getting Paid: Security of Payment
Peter Sarlos explains the Security of Payment Act and how architects might use it to their benefit.
More on Fees and PI Insurance
Damian Harrison, of BJS Insurance Brokers, responds to Peter Sarlos’s concerns about PI insurance precluding claims for fees.
Equal Pay Day draws attention to the pay disparity between men and women. We list some resources to help you ensure this is not an issue in your practice.
Architects & Social Media
How can architects use social media effectively for business and professional development?
AS4122-2010 General Conditions of Contract
The ACA recommends members use AS4122-2010, General Conditions of Contract for consultants.
FEES PART 1 - BEING ABLE TO DO WHAT AN ARCHITECT SHOULD DO
Peter Sarlos on the challenges of calculating fees and conveying the value of an architect's work to clients.
An Insurance Perspective on the Assumed Liability Exclusion in AS 4122-2010
Damian Harrison comments on recent concerns about the ‘assumed liability’ exclusion in AS 4122-2010.
Government as Smart Client & Procurement Case Studies
An excellent guide to procurement from the Office of the Victorian Government Architect.
To Work or Not to Work? The Part-time Question
Melonie Bayl-Smith argues that flexible work arrangements may be the best option for an architectural practice to retain its corporate knowledge and for the profession to retain its talent.
Fees & Professional Indemnity Insurance
Does your PI insurance preclude claims for fees? Peter Sarlos outlines the issues.
How do you make performance reviews productive for both the business and the employee?
Fees - Being Able To Do What An Architect Should Do
Peter Sarlos on the challenges of calculating fees and conveying the value of an architect's work to clients.
Safe Design - What You Need To Know
Anna Piatkowksa provides an update on current safe design requirements and the ACA’s Safe Design Process.