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.
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.
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.
HR Policy Templates
Comprehensive and written in plain English, the HR Policy Templates can be readily tailored to suit the needs of specific practices.
ACA Resource Sharing System
The ACA Resource Sharing System (RSS) is a very timely employment initiative designed to assist members in retaining valuable staff by entering into short-term secondment agreements.
Advice for Workplace Safety
As restrictions ease around the country and more people return to work, employers are now facing the challenge of ensuring their workplaces are safe and healthy for all. Safe Work Australia (SWA) has developed extensive resources, fact sheets and checklists to assist with health and safety in the workplace and we provide a summary here.
Architects' Time/Cost Calculator
The ACA Architects’ Time/Cost Calculator Version 3 helps practices assess the time and costs involved in providing an appropriate level of service for a broad range of building types.
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.
The Architects Award
Download the current awards here, and understand your obligations under the Architects Award and how the ACA can help.
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.
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.
ACA Pulse Check No. 2
A lot has changed over the last two weeks. Tracking the impacts of COVID-19 over time is essential to developing the most effective support. The second ACA Pulse Check Survey will help build a clear understanding of the experiences of Australian architectural practices so far, and identify the assistance needed.
Force Majeure - Special Conditions for ABIC SW 2018
Special conditions for the ABIC small works 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.
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.
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.
ACA Pulse Check no. 1 - COVID-19
The ACA’s quick ‘pulse check’ survey will help us better understand the impact of COVID-19 on Australian architectural practices. The Survey is now closed. We are analysing the results now.
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.
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?
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.
Architectural Education and the Profession
The ACA welcomes the release of the Architectural Education and the Profession in Australia and New Zealand, and looks forward to putting the knowledge to work and collaborating on future research.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Guide for Mental Wellbeing
The Architects Mental Wellbeing Toolkit offers simple practical advice to individuals and practices on coping with the stresses of an increasingly pressured profession.
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 Salary Calculator
The ACA Salary Calculator provides architectural practices with a clear methodology for determining the appropriate award-compliant salaries. Now updated to 2019–20 rates.
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.
How to Achieve Pay Equity
Compare and contrast pay rates and don’t misread confidence for competence, advises Cassandra Keller.
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.
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.
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.
Deloitte Private Principal Adam Russell explores how cloud computing and balanced strategic decision making can drive performance and growth.
Deloitte Private Principal Adam Russell explores how cloud computing and balanced strategic decision making can drive performance and growth.
Special Conditions for ABIC BW 2018 C
Special conditions allow the ABIC Commercial Basic Works Contract to be adapted for use on small residential projects in New South Wales.
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.
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.
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.
Building Skills in Practice
Informal learning, partnered with formal training and development, are of enormous benefit to practices as well as individuals. ACA partner Cbus identifies some of the ways you can amplify learning in your practice.
Short Form Architect Client Agreement
Just three pages and a cover letter, the ACA Short Form Architect Client Agreement is a fair and balanced model contract for use on small to medium sized projects. Edition 3 out now!
A Matter of Privacy
Are you doing enough to protect your employees’ personal information? ACA partner Cbus explores the issues, identifying resources to assist in the protection of your employees and your practice.
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.
New Construction Product Register
NATSPEC’s National Construction Product Register is a new tool to ensure quality control and reduce the number of non-conforming products in the Australian built environment. Emma Green from NATSPEC Communications tells us more about how it works.
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.
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.
A Balanced Outlook for Construction
The Australian Construction Industry Forum has released its new ACIF Forecasts, with growth expected in non-residential building and infrastructure construction, but the decline in residential building expected to continue.
Have Your Say
Don't delay. Take the AACA's Architectural Education and the Profession Practitioner Survey before 14 December and help shape the future of education.
Architectural Education Survey
The AACA is leading a major study of architectural education and the profession. Take their 15-minute survey to help support this important work.
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.
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.
Challenging the Banks’ Discrimination Against ABIC
Warwick Mihaly outlines the findings of the recent survey on the banks and ABIC contracts. The worrying results provided the foundation for the joint submission to the Banking Royal Commission by the ACA, ArchiTeam and the Institute of Architects.
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.
Submission to the Banking Royal Commission
The ACA has joined forces with the Institute and ArchiTeam to condemn the unfair treatment of industry-standard construction contracts by banks in a submission to the Banking Royal Commission.
New Building Product Ban in NSW
The NSW Commissioner for Fair Trading has announced a building product ban for certain types of aluminium composite panel (ACP) cladding.
New BIM Ready Report Released
The Queensland BIM Taskforce has released its findings from its recent BIM Survey.
John Held provides an overview on recent discussions at the COAG Building Ministers Forum regarding the Shergold-Weir Report, Building Confidence.
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.
Have you have been involved in a project that has been impacted by the banks’ resistance to loan against ABIC or AS contracts? Tell us all about it!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Update on Building Products
Risk Manager Wendy Poulton offers a comprehensive update on the latest research and investigations on building product compliance in Australia.
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.
Join the SA Practice Admin Group!
The ACA – SA Practice Administrators Group meets regularly to share knowledge, views and experiences. New members welcome.
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.
Federal Budget, Superannuation and Your Business
The 2017/18 Federal Budget includes a few announcements that may impact both your business and your employees. ACA corporate partner Cbus provides an update.
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.
What Does the 2017 Federal Budget Mean for Architects?
John Held reflects on the findings of the 2017 ACA Federal Budget Impact Survey.
2017 ACA Budget Impact Survey
What does the 2017 Federal Budget mean for architectural practices and the profession?
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.
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.
Procuring Architectural Services - an Industry Discussion Paper
The ACA Industry Discussion Paper on Procuring Architectural Services aims to provoke conversation and thought about the role procurement plays in the development of our cities and communities.
ACIF Forecasts Launch - May 2017
ACIF is launching its new ten-year forecasts for building and construction at the ACIF Briefing in Sydney on Thursday 4 May.
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.
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.
Learning Environment Opportunity Study
ACA – SA has been working closely with the SA Department of Education and Child Development to introduce a new type of planning study for schools.
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.
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.
Design WA Submissions
ACA – WA has submitted responses to four Design WA documents and policies.
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.
What Do Clients Think of Architects?
Outcomes of the RIBA survey on client attitudes are mostly positive, with most clients pleased with their projects overall and rating architects' design skills highly. Less positively, architects work in managing the process was less well rated and contractors were less satisfied than other clients. The report includes a discussion of implications and opportunities, which will provide useful reading for architects in Australia also.Link
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.
ACA - WA Welcomes Changes to the DAP System
ACA – WA welcomes the announcement of amendments and improvements to the Development Assessment Panel (DAP) process in Western Australia by the Hon Donna Faragher MLC, Minister for Planning; Disability Services.
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.
Give SA graduates a chance!
South Australia produces some great architecture graduates. ACA – SA argues that they should also have the chance to design buildings for their universities as they proceed with their careers.
DAP and DACs in WA - survey report
The ACA – WA member survey on WA Development Assessment Panel and local authority Design Advisory Committees is providing an important evidence base for advocacy with the Minister for Planning.
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.
Safe Design Proformas
The ACA's Safe Design Proformas help architects to meet their obligations under the Model Work Health and Safety Act 2011 and state-specific regulations.
Guide Employment Agreements
The ACA Employment Agreements provide member practices with guides that they can review and adjust to suit their particular practice.
Why Architecture Graduates Do Not Register as Architects
“Australia is not making the most of its architecture skills base because gender-based issues appear to be deterring female graduates from completing their registration as architects; gaining suitable employment is also a factor in non-registration for men and women.”
A paper by Susan Shannon, Naomi Webb, Yishu Zeng and Jenna Holder, based in a study of South Australian graduates.Link
Practice Administrators Group
The ACA – SA Practice Administrators Group meets informally to discuss matters of common interest.
2016 Salary Survey Report and Analysis
The ACA has released the report on findings of the 2016 National Salary Survey – salaries are up very slightly, but worrying trends continue – there is still a gender pay gap and some practices persist in paying under Award minimums!
Roof Access Checklist
ACA – SA has developed a model checklist for roof access on site inspections.
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.
ACA - SA: DPTI Prequalification and Contract Changes Survey
South Australian architects, please take our survey about the SA government prequalification system for consultants, builders and trades.
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.
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.
Fast Track Pathways to Registration
The AACA has introduced two fast track pathways to registration for experienced practitioners.
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.
Architects in Australia
Insightful reports by Gill Matthewson chart the professional profile of architects and the industry’s growth and development in recent years through the 2001, 2006 and 2011 Censuses.
What Does the 2016 Federal Budget Mean For Architects?
The 2016 Budget Impact Survey indicates a fairly neutral overall response to the 2016 Federal Budget by architectural practices. The good news is that a over half of respondents are busier than last year, although not all are more profitable. John Held considers the findings.
2016 Budget Impact Survey - Findings
The results of this year's ACA Federal Budget Impact Survey.
SA State of the Profession - the research is in
We now know a great deal more about architectural practice in South Australia – three reports provide a comprehensive account of the state of the profession and the opportunities and challenges for the future.
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.
ACA - SA State of the Profession Survey Report
The ACA – SA State of the Architectural Profession survey provides crucial research on the size, shape and characteristics of architectural practice in SA – the first study of its kind in Australia.
Architects in SA - A View from the APBSA data
A report on data from the APBSA provides and overview of the demographics of registered architects in South Australia.
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.
What is productivity and how should we measure it? Robert Peake reports on recent survey findings and suggests strategies for architectural practices.
Splitting the difference
Is 'splitting the difference' really fair? Ian Motley explains how to respond to suggestions in fee negotiations.
Keith Neighbour Graduate Study Program
The Keith Neighbour Graduate Study Program assists those sitting registration exams in South Australia.
Architects in SA - A view from the census
Architects in SA – A View from the Census is the first report on the Australian architectural profession to look at census data over time.
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 Secuity of Payments Act, based in firsthand experience.
Australian Government Response to the Competition Policy Review
An update on the Australian Government’s response to the “Harper Review” into competition policy.
ACA - SA State of the Profession Survey
The ACA – SA State of the Profession survey seeks to understand the state of the profession and its potential futures. The survey is now closed and the results are being analysed.
ACA + AusSearch
‘AusSearch for ACA Members’ is an online service that enables fast and efficient searching for the documents you need for site analysis and property services.
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.
What Are We Going to Do with All the Architects?
Steve Kennedy contemplates the future and the coming challenges to the architectural industry in Australia.
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.
New AACA Overseas Qualification Assessment Process
The Architects Accreditation Council of Australia has recently revised the Overseas Qualification Assessment, resulting in a simpler and more direct process.
Investing in Cities
A new report from ASBEC – Investing in Cities – calls for action by at all levels of government “to increase the productivity, prosperity and liveability of Australia’s cities”.
Findings - 2015 Federal Budget Impact Survey
The ACA’s 2015 Federal Budget Impact Survey sought to better understand what the budget means for architectural practices and the profession.
What does the 2015 Federal Budget mean for architecture?
The message from the 2015 Federal Budget Impact Survey is clear – some short-term gains for some, but few long terms benefits.
SEPP 65 update
The ATO has released its 2015 performance benchmarks for architecture.
Growth, Ownership & Exit Strategies Conference
The Growth, Ownership and Exit Strategies conference will exploreinternal and external options for transitioning ownership in professional services firms of all kinds.
Unfair Contract Terms
The Federal Treasury has committed to extending unfair contract protections to small businesses. Mario Dreosti provides an overview.
Taxable Payments Reporting
Taxable Payments Reports for businesses in the construction industry are now due on 28 August.
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.
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.
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.
Ten Principles for Procuring Better Outcomes
The RIBA has released guidelines to explain how client organisations can get the best possible outcomes when they procure architectural services.
The Devil is in the Data - BIM demystified!
Let's talk about BIM... Join ACA – Qld/NT for lunch and a presentantion on BIM and what it means for your practice.
Mario Dreosti outlines the sections of the Competition Policy Review that are of immediate relevance to the profession.
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.
New Trilateral Agreement between Australia, Canada and New Zealand
A new agreement signed by the AACA means that experienced registered architects can be recognised in all three countries.
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.
The State of the Profession
ACA wins Architectural Practice Board of SA Research Fellowship to research the state of the profession
Professional Services Subcontract
A new Professional Services Subcontract is available for members to use when a back-to-back agreement is required with the Lead Consultant.
Improving Government Procurement in South Australia
ACA – SA is on the front foot with changes in government procurement – a report on the recent DPTI priorities survey.
Launching the ACA Architects' Time/Cost Calculation Guide
The ACA is delighted to announce the launch of the Architects' Time/Cost Calculation 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.
2015 - The Year of Procurement
Steve Kennedy announces the ACA Year of Procurement, and argues for the value of enjoying what we do.
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.
Trust, Fees and Experience
Richard Choy argues that the profession needs to clearly value professional skills and expertise, and to invest in the young.
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.
Finally there is some movement on procurement reform in NSW. Steve Kennedy provides an update.
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?
The Changing World of Architecture
The way we deliver projects is changing at an ever-increasing rate. Are we keeping up?
Fee Structures and Productivity Output
How do we improve practice profitability? Job-by-job, day-by-day. Greg Wines reports on the discussion at the ACA – Qld/NT’s November event.
Architecture and Journalism - not so different after all
Michael Bleby reflects on architecture and journalism.
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.
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.
Fee Structures and Productivity Output
The next ACA – Qld / NT event is a panel discussion on fees and productivity.
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.
Professions and Business Study
The ACA is delighted to be the first architecture industry association to participate in the Annual Professions and Business Study conducted by Beaton Research + Consulting.
The Infrastructure Q Directions Statement from the Queensland Government.
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.
No More 'Best and Final Offer' in Qld!
The Queensland Government has removed ‘Best and Final Offer’ processes from all tendering procedures.
New Fixed Fee Scale from Victoria's Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
Good news on architects fees from Victoria.
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.
Price is positively correlated with the value perceived by clients
“In times when every practitioner is struggling with price-down pressures, these research findings are as vital as life blood itself.”
This blog post by professional services consultant George Beaton draws on his company's research about profesional services in general, but architects should find it useful in the current tight fee environment.Link
The Technology Paradox
“For architects, technology isn’t about productivity. Keeping up with technology is a way for firms stay competitive in the marketplace.”
Interesting article by Daniel Davis on The Architect, which argues that standard measures of productivity are not very helpful when considering architectural work and output. Instead Davis suggests that “we should reconsider what it means to be productive in the construction industry as well as the benefits that technology affords our practices, our clients, and society as a whole”.Link
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.
Into the Abyss
Does excessive fee-cutting mean the profession is presiding over its own demise? George Zillante outlines the issues.
What are We Doing to Ourselves?
Nic MacCormac reports on a vibrant discussion in Perth on architectural business issues, changes in the industry and how we can adapt to them.
Unfair Contracts Consultation Submission
The ACA’s submission to the Treasury consultation on Extending Unfair Contract Term Protections To Small Businesses.
Public Infrastructure Report
The ACA welcomes the release of the final inquiry report of the Productivity Commission into Public Infrastructure.
John Pastorelli workshops
Step into the creative sandpit – two workshops in Tasmania with John Pastorelli.
10 Principles for Building an Architectural Business
How do you build an architectural business? Charles Justin offers 10 principles to guide a practice.
Unfair Contract Terms
The Australian Government is investigating the use of unfair terms in contracts, with the intent of providing better proteaction for small business. Have your say in the consultation phase.
Findings of the 2014 Federal Budget Impact Survey
An overview of the results.
The Canary Sings - Architectural Practices Concerned About the 2014 Federal Budget
What does the federal budget mean for practices, the profession and society?
2014 Federal Budget
What does the 2014 Federal Budget mean for the business of architecture? We provide initial key points and a roundup of coverage so far.
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.
Design and Construction for a Sustainable Industry
The new ACIF policy on Design and Construction for a Sustainable Industry was led by ACA – SA President John Held.
New ACIF Forecasts - ACA Member Discounts
ACA members are offered a 25% discount on subscriptions to the new ACIF Customised Forecasts Dashboard.
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.
Health & Safety in the Workplace - Get Involved!
Anna Piatkowska invites members to help develop a set of guidelines on architects’ duties as employers under health and safety legislation.
Government Review of the OHS Accreditation Scheme
A discussion paper and the terms of reference for the review of the Australian Government Building and Construction OHS Accreditation Scheme are now available.
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.
Unions Royal Commission
The terms of reference have been released for the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption.
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.
Is Your Head in the Cloud?
ACA – WA's first event for 2014 asks, What can cloud technology do for an architectural practice?
Insurance - an overview
What is the current situation for insurance? Damian Harrison overviews the PI insurance landscape as it pertains to architecture.
The first rule of architectural fees is that you don't talk about architectural fees.
Interesting essay about fees in the US, the need for better business models and smarter approaches to compensation. From Architect magazine.Link
Starting your architecture practice
Mihaly Slocombe has written a series on what you need to know to set up practice. Topics include: Chutzpah, Clients, Identity, The Law, The Studio, Electronics, Cashflow, Support Team, Community, and The Future. Their engaging blog, Panfilocastaldi, includes a range of posts about the business of architecture, as seen through the eyes of a newish, youngish practice.Link
Australia's Second Most Overrated Degree?
A response to recent mainstream media reportage claiming that architecture as Australia's second most overrated degree.
6 Qualities That Make Architects Ideally Suited to Lead Collaborative Integrated Teams
An essay by Randy Deutsch that argues that architects need to rethink and redefine their role if the profession is to survive.Link
Contractors Employed in an Architect's Office
A Guide Employment Agreement for Contractors Employed in an Architect’s Office.
Workforce Diversity Industry Snapshot
Consult Australia has released its 2013 Workforce Diversity Industry Snapshot.
Getting Paid: Security of Payment
Peter Sarlos explains the Security of Payment Act and how architects might use it to their benefit.
An update from Simon Hanger on the integration of the ARBV into the new Victorian Building Authority.
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.
Advice for members
The ACA assists members with formal and informal advice in a range of areas relating to the business of architecture.
What do Architects do in a Financial Crisis?
The Autumn 2013 issue of Architect Victoria canvases the question.Link
American Institute of Architects Foresight Report
The 2014 Foresight Report aims to “highlight key trends and to outline their impact” on architectural business in the US and on current and future practice. It also includes strategies immediately related to business, marketing, operations, practice and design and firm leadership.It is available now from the American Institute of Architects. A PDF version can be purchased for $US 10 from the AIA Store.Link
RIBA Future Trends Survey
The RIBA Future Trends survey “monitors business and employment trends affecting the profession” in the UK on a monthly basis.Link
Architects & Social Media
How can architects use social media effectively for business and professional development?
Architecture & Marketing
A collection of articles to help you think about the role of marketing in your practice.
A roundup of discussions elsewhere about the structure and ownership models of architectural practices.
Internships - Legal Advice
An employer’s legal obligations, rights and responsibilities in relation to students, work experience participants and volunteers.
PI Insurance & AS 4122 - 2010
Does signing the AS 4122 – 2010 General Conditions of Contract put your PI insurance at risk? The ACA – WA is working to rectify this. Richard Young, ACA – WA President, outlines the issues and progress thus far.
SA Workplace Health & Safety Working Group
A new working group in South Australia aims to rationalise the work health and safety material presented to architects.
A New Deal for Urban Australia
The Urban Coalition report argues that significant investment is needed in Australia’s cities.
National Infrastructure Plan
Infrastructure Australia has released the National Infrastructure Plan, a report to the Council of Australian Governments.
Study of Major Project Development Assessment Processes
The Productivity Commission has released the report from its study of major project development assessment processes.
RBA Chart Pack
The RBA Chart Pack includes material of interest to architecture and construction.
AS4122-2010 General Conditions of Contract
The ACA recommends members use AS4122–2010, General Conditions of Contract for consultants.
Where is the construction industry heading? Peter Barda outlines November ACIF Forecasts findings.
ACIF Forecasts in Practice
John Held reflects on how the ACIF Forecasts are used at Russell and Yelland.
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.
Fees & Professional Indemnity Insurance
Does your PI insurance preclude claims for fees? Peter Sarlos outlines the issues.
Architectural Practice Board of SA Code of Conduct
The new Code of Conduct released by the Architectural Practice Board of South Australia requires extra material to be added to standard architect client agreements.
A Report into IT Pricing
Why are IT products more expensive in Australia and what is being done about it?
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.
WA Government Contracts
An update on ACA – WA's ongoing advocacy for better conditions of engagement in government contracts.
Safe Design in South Australia
ACA Safe Design documents are being been adapted for South Australia.