FAQ

F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1. What is the legal difference between an Architect and a Building Designer?

An Architect is registered to practice under the Architects Act 1985. Building Designers are licensed to practice under the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991 and the Queensland Building Services Authority Regulation 1992.

Registered Architects have registration numbers and Licensed Building Designers have QBSA license numbers.

De-registered Architects and unlicensed Building Designers are prohibited from practising yet some continue to do so. When making initial enquiries to Building Designers or Architects, for it is advisable to ask for their registration/license number. Then check if the licence number/registration is current and if there have been any actions taken against the license holder/registration.

Q2. What is the practical difference between an Architect and a Building Designer?

In Queensland, there is no difference in the work that can be done by a Building Designer as opposed to an Architect. There are some differences in education and regulation between the professions but these make little difference to their work output.

A Building Designer must be licensed by the Queensland Building Services Authority at a level suitable for the type of work to be undertaken. Please give one of our friendly staff a call today and discuss your building design requirements that we can help you with.

For design and/or documentation you should only contract with a BSA licensed Building Designer or a Board Registered Architect or Engineer. It’s your choice.

Others who offer to do design or documentation work, are working illegally and this may jeopardise the chance of your project gaining the required approvals.

“Did you know that around 75% of residential and over 40% of commercial and industrial buildings are designed by Building Designers? Builders, construction companies, developers, project managers, mums and dads, even Architects use Building Designers to design their buildings and prepare all of the necessary working drawings and documentation needed for approval and construction”. – Ref – BDAQ.

Q3. What is the difference between a building plan, a council plan, a construction plan and a working drawing?

All of the above descriptions refer to plan prepared for the purpose of obtaining a building permit (Building Application) and for showing the builder exactly how you want your new project to be built.

We prefer to call these plans ‘Construction Plans’ as we are preparing plans for construction purposes only and not, for example, a ‘Sketch Plan’ of your ideas.

Q7. Now that I have commissioned MRDstudio, how long does it take to draw plans?

This depends on the extent and nature of the work, please call us to get an indication for your specific type of project. We prefer to draw a ‘Sketch Plan/Preliminary Plan’ before we draw the final Construction Plans.

A Sketch Plan/Preliminary Plan is a rough plan prepared from our initial discussions with you. This plan is to allow you the opportunity to check these plans to ensure your complete satisfaction with the final Construction Drawings. This service has been very beneficial to our previous Clients and well worth the extra week or so that it may take to finish the Construction Plans.

These plans can also be issued for certain council approvals such as; Development Applications, Relaxation Applications, Build Over Sewer/Stormwater Applications etc.. prior to starting Construction Plans just in case the re-work is required due to council advice/imput.

Q8. How do I determine the total value of building works?

Consult your Builder for an estimated value. We work closely with a number of different types of Builders and we can liaise with these Builders at the end of each drawing phase to get an estimated building quote to make sure your budget is on track. Please talk with your nominated building designer looking after your project.

Q9.What is a QBSA insurance receipt?

A Queensland Building Services Authority Insurance Receipt is proof of a payment which relates to the insurance details of your Builder’s QBSA license, the estimated value of the building works, the details of the site, who the owners are and the insurance fee paid.

Q10. How do I know if I require a QBSA receipt?

If the estimated value of your building works exceeds the cost of $3,300.00 then under the Queensland Building Services Authority Act 1991, your Builder is required to provide a QBSA insurance receipt.
For more information related to QBSA receipts , refer http://www.bsa.qld.gov.au

Q11. If I am an owner builder, am I still required to produce a QBSA receipt?

Yes, (if the value of the work is over $11,000.00) you will be required to obtain an owner builder permit from the Building Services Authority.

If the value of the work is under $11,000.00 you can carry out the works without a QBSA receipt as long as you advise our recommended Private Certifier that you are an owner builder.

For more information related to owner builders, refer http://www.bsa.qld.gov.au

Q12. Why do I need a QBSA insurance receipt?

Firstly, you need to provide the receipt so that our Private Certifier can release the approved plans to you.

Secondly, should there be a problem with the Builder’s performance, you have a measure of consumer protection.

Q13. How do I obtain a QBSA receipt?

You can obtain a QBSA insurance receipt from your selected registered Builder who is familiar with the procedures. For further enquires, you may wish to phone the QBSA on 1300 272 727 or visit www.bsa.qld.gov.au.

Q14. How long will the assessment of my building application take?

The assessment process can take approximately 14-21 working days to assess, provided all documentation has been submitted with the building application.

Q15. When can I commence building works?

When your building application has been approved and is issued to you (or your Builder) you are then able to commence building works immediately.

Q16. If we do not wish to commence building works immediately, how long do I have before the building works must be carried out?

You have 12 months to carry out the entire building works.

Q17. When will your Private Certifier carry out their inspections?

Your builder or if you (if you’re an owner builder), will need to contact your Private Certifier to arrange for inspections. These inspections will be carried out progressively throughout the building process as per their building approval conditions.

Q18. Do I need to pay for Portable Long Service Leave Levy?

To find out your rights and responsibilities, you should contact the Authority on 1800 803 481.

Q19. Where can I obtain a Portable Long Service Leave Levy?

Forms are available at any Australia Post office or online at www.qleave.qld.gov.au.

Q20. Where do I lodge and pay for Portable Long Service Leave Levy?

Payments are also accepted by Australia Post or online at www.qleave.qld.gov.au.

More Frequently asked questions Coming soon..

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MRD specialises in all types of home building design projects with 1000's of satisfied clients since 1978. "We draw on our experience"