Coleman Architects has extensive experience in the design, documentation and management of projects from very simple additions to complex multi-million dollar buildings. We manage the progression of the project from initial consultations, design development, negotiations with authorities and the issue of permits, the appointment and co-ordination of sub-consultants, calling of tenders and the administration of the project during the construction stage.

Our clients include private individuals, companies, and local and state government authorities across a range of types and scale of projects. Over the years, our principal, Ian Coleman, has worked throughout regional Victoria. We are therefore familiar with the issues faced in a variety of Local Government areas and have worked with a range of local contractors.

Every project in the office is under the direct control of the Principal, ensuring personal and expert service. This is supported by the allocation of a project architect for its duration, guaranteeing continuity and familiarity with all aspects of a project. This approach has resulted in longstanding relationships with a number of clients.

Architectural services

Development of project brief
The brief is a clearly stated outline of the clients requirements for a project. It may be very simple or    extremely complex and provides the architect with a guide to the development of the project. We work closely with our clients to create a document that clearly defines requirements and desired outcomes of the project.

Site analysis
The most significant initial step in most projects is to gain a clear understanding of the prevailing conditions that affect the site, including landform, the condition and/or extent of existing buildings and structures, climatic and weather influences, regulatory issues and the character of the immediate neighbourhood.

Concept design
The initial step in the design process, also sometimes called the Schematic Design Stage, involves the exploration of potential design solutions for the project and may, if necessary, involve the preparation of several options for consideration by the client.

Design development
Once the preferred design option has been determined, the design is refined for final presentation to the client and will include selection of the main materials and finishes and the preparation of a preliminary opinion of probable cost.

Town planning
If a Town Planning Permit is required, we will further refine the Developed Design for submission to the local authority. For most projects, we can manage the Town Planning Permit process for our clients, but in complex cases, it may be necessary to work in conjunction with a Town Planning Consultant.

Contract documentation
After approval of the Developed Design and/or the Town Planning Permit, the working drawings and specifications for the project are prepared for tendering and submission for the building permit.

After completion of the construction documentation we will call tenders for the project, then assess and evaluate the tenders received and prepare a recommendation for the client.

Contract administration
During the construction of the project, contract administration services include:

  • preparation of contract documents for signing 
  • undertaking site visits and attending site meetings
  • issuing instructions and directions to the contractor as required
  • assessing and certifying payments to be made to the contractor
  • issuing, assessing, referring and authorising contract variations
  • assessing and ensuring compliance with the documented materials and workmanship
  • assessing and determining any extensions of time
  • determining and certifying the date of practical completion
  • determining faults during the defects liability period
  • finalising the contract 

Additional services

Site Assessment Studies
Site Assessment Studies evaluate the physical conditions affecting a site and/or existing buildings and the regulatory issues that may apply to a site, including parking implications and open space requirements. This provides property owners with an indication of the constraints and possibilities of the property on which they can base future planning.

Design Feasibility Studies
Following on from a Site Assessment Study, a Design Feasibility Study explores the scope of potential uses for the property and the scale and form of potential buildings and other structures. Estimates of project costs can be prepared to assist in determining the viability of potential projects.

Master planning
A master plan provides an overall view of the future or potential growth of a building or facility, so that staged development can be safely undertaken with minimum loss of amenity or limiting the potential for future development. It will also integrate the built structures with siteworks, landscaping and building services.

Poor planning and insufficient forethought invariably results in poor operational solutions and unnecessary expense through the reconstruction of recently built elements of a project. We strongly believe in the value of good master planning in any project, no matter how large or small.

Presentation material
Developed Design documentation will generally include a 3D representation of the project. If more elaborate presentation material is required, for example, for marketing purposes or in support of a complex Town Planning application process, we can organise more detailed renderings of the project.