What is a Residential Building Designer.

Helpful Info

April 29, 2022

A building designer or drafter will have a keen eye for detail and can specialise in residential projects, including new buildings, heritage restorations and additions or renovations, or undertake commercial and industrial projects, such as factories, motels, offices, restaurants, retail or service outlets and warehouses. The nationally recognised Diploma of Building Design ensures they’ve studied the Building Code of Australia (BCA/NCC) and comply with local council and development requirements (CDC).


Required qualifications for building designers

In many parts of Australia, anyone can operate as a building designer with no qualifications or credentials whatsoever. There are no registration or licensing requirements for building designers in the following states and territories:

  • Western Australia
  • New South Wales
  • South Australia
  • Northern Territory, and
  • ACT

While anyone can operate as a building designer in these places, it’s crucial to remember that ultimately their work needs to fully comply with building and planning regulations, or it simply won’t be built. For that reason, you’ll need to choose carefully in these states and territories.

In Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania, you have greater protection. Building designers in Victoria are required by the Victorian Building Act (1993) to be registered with the Building Practitioners Board under the category of Draftsperson, Class of Building Design (Architectural).

In Queensland, building designers must hold a current BSA Building Design License. In Tasmania, building designers working on projects costing more than $5000 are required to hold a Building Practitioner Accreditation.

Insurance and the necessary technical skills and qualifications (typically an Advanced Diploma in Building Design) are required in order to qualify for any of these accreditations/registrations / licenses.

It’s a good idea to look for building designers who are members of professional associations like the BDAV (Building Designers Association of Victoria) or the BDAA (Building Designers Australia) too. Those who belong to these associations are likely to have done continuing professional development (or ‘CPD’), which means in theory that they’ll be up with the latest changes to local planning laws and similar issues affecting their work.




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