Can an Architect make a guarantee of success?

Can an Architect make a guarantee of success?

Some clients seek a guarantee that their project will be approved by Council or can be built into their budget at the very first meeting. Before a line has even been drawn, this is a tough request. Many other professionals face the same request for absolute certainty.

You may be tempted to ask for a guarantee your surgery will be successful, your court case will settle in your favour, or your tax return will be bountiful.

Nothing in life is certain. No professional can make a 100% guarantee.

While it may be human nature to seek certainty about the outcomes as soon as possible, in many situations, this is simply not possible. There is a certain level of risk in all our activities (e.g. driving to work, playing sport). However, these risks can be minimised. Generally, risk can be reduced by obtaining professional advice, considering all options and proceeding cautiously before committing to a course of action.

All professionals attain a level of expertise through their lengthy University studies (5 years for an Architect). Most professions then require practical experience working under a qualified practitioner prior to registration (2 years for an Architect). For an Architect to maintain registration, there is continuing professional development that must be undertaken every year. These formal qualifications give the public some confidence about the services they may receive.

Having gained the necessary formal qualification, a professional’s expertise is further enhanced through their years of experience.

At Mark Lawler Architects, the two directors have combined experience of over 50 years of practice and a large track record of successfully completed projects.

As Architects, we follow a strategy of analysis and investigation of the project parameters such as the site details, the client briefing, the planning controls and the cost factors. By proceeding incrementally through the initial feasibility study, sketch design and then detailed design any major obstacles to development success are identified relatively early in the process, well before a client has incurred substantial expenditure on a development strategy that may not be viable. Creative design can be used to overcome various constraints, to develop unique solutions best suited to the proposal and the site.

Therefore, at each step along the development process, there is an opportunity for review, adjustment of the design and evaluation of the information obtained to date. This process ensures a level of certainty that the final design will be approved by the authorities and can be built within the target budget.

So the answer to the question often asked of many professions at the very outset is very similar. The extensive qualifications we hold, the many years of experience gained, the long list of completed projects and the rational, sequential design process all help to ensure a successful result. This is the best that can be done to minimise the risks.

For ultimately, in this life, the only certainties are death and taxes.


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