What questions should you ask when shortlisting a Singapore Architect?

You have a landed property to rebuild or redevelop and you need an architect. You have done your homework and you have shortlisted 2 architect firms, firm A and firm B.

Based on your preliminary research, both architect firm A and architect firm B seem capable of delivering your landed property project so how do you decide who to hire?

As the property owner, you will place different emphasis and value on different questions.
For example, some property owners will place high emphasis on the question “Who from the architect firm will I be dealing with on a regular basis?  Is this the same person who will design my project?”
They may place this question as #1 on their list because they want to deal directly with the principal architect of the Singapore architect firm and they don’t want their project to be handed off to someone else.

These property owners see value of having the principal’s direct involvement because he/she is the most invested in your project’s success.

After receiving answers to your questions, you will immediately have a decision-making tool at your disposal to decide which Singapore architect firm to go with.

Below are some questions for you to consider.


What is your design philosophy?

What sets your firm apart from other architects with similar experience?

Do you have experience with the building type and size of my project?

Could you share with me a portfolio of similar projects and provide a list of client references?



What are the steps in your design process, and how are they organized?

What criteria will you use to create priorities and make design decisions?

As a landed property owner, what do you expect me to provide?


Who from the architecture firm will I be dealing with on a regular basis? Is this the person who will design my project?
How do you manage the project in terms of progress, updates and change management?


What is your recommended process to appoint a builder?
What steps will be taken to ensure that qualified builders have a fair and equal opportunity to submit their applications?

How disruptive will construction be?

What role do you play during pre-construction, actual construction and post-construction?
Am I expected to work with the builder directly?

Green Design

Do you have experience with “green” or sustainable design?

Do you regularly integrate low or no cost sustainable design strategies into projects?

Considering the many areas that may be affected by sustainable design, how will you determine which options to pursue?

If sustainable design technologies are implemented, do upfront costs exist that may affect the construction budget? Are there potential return on investments or government rebates?


How are your architect professional fees calculated?

In anticipation of a formal quotation from the builder with costs, what would you expect your fee to be for my landed property project?

What is included in your basic services and what services would incur additional fees?

If the scope of the project changes later in the project, will there be additional fees?

How will these fees be justified? How will this be communicated to me?

What is your track record with completing a project within the original budget? What are the possible variations in costs and will it affect your professional fees?

Interest and Schedule

Are you interested in taking on this job?

How busy are you? Are you able to fit this into your schedule?


We hope you will find the above questions helpful during your Singapore architect selection process.

As professional architects ourselves, it is our hope that the above list of questions we have prepared will:
i. lead you to a clearer decision on selecting a suitable Singapore architect.

ii. also prepare you mentally that your choice of architect will directly impact the process, implementation, overall experience and outcome of your landed property project.

For additional questions about developing your Singapore landed property, feel free to talk to us about your project. ADX Architects will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

The Benefits of a Good Architect for Your Bungalow Project in Singapore

Hiring the services of an architect in Singapore may seem like an added expense for your bungalow project, especially if you have a tight budget. But, in reality, hiring an architect is an investment that will add value to your property. Whether it is building a bungalow from scratch or renovating your existing bungalow, an architect can save you sleepless nights and potential headaches in trying to get the most out of your bungalow project.

Here are some of the top benefits of hiring a good architect –

Excellent Understanding of Your Needs

A great bungalow design is not just about the appearance. It should also fulfil the needs of the owner. An experienced architect knows the importance of spending time to understand the owner’s present lifestyle and future needs. The Architect will explore several possibilities when it comes to the bungalow design to ensure the owner’s likes and dislikes are incorporated into it.

Creative & Sustainable Solutions

It is common for unforeseen issues to arise throughout the process of design to the construction of the bungalow project. Afterall, the lifestyles do vary from one house owner to another. Almost anyone can find complex solutions to a problem but it is the Architect that uses simple and creative solutions to solve complex design problems that stands out above the crowd. Through experience, careful research and creative planning of the space, they are able to find the right strategies and materials that would make your project stand out while still being cost effective.

Quality Materials & Designs

When you are looking for an outstanding look and feel to your bungalow, picking the appropriate materials is crucial. You may pick a material you like, but it may not be the right one that would fit your home’s design. Your Architect ensures that the materials picked are both aesthetically beautiful and of good practicality and quality.

Avoid Design Errors

Architects are trained to keep themselves up-to-date about best designs and good practices. They are extremely detailed and create highly accurate drawings to ensure there are no design errors. Realistic information early on in the process ensures the project is completed well within time and budget.

Coordinating with the Builder

An Architect not only helps you pick a qualified builder but will also act as an advisor during the construction phase. They will visit the site on a regular basis and hold meetings with the builder to ensure that the project is up to the set standards and as per the design documents.

Ensuring Regulatory Compliance

A professional Architect will constantly monitor your bungalow project to ensure it is built to the correct specifications and authority regulations. They work alongside contractors to check and confirm that all works are built right. They also evaluate different materials and systems for performance from the contractor to ensure you are getting what you paid for.

Summary – Architects in Singapore Make Your Life Easier

Hiring an Architect for your bungalow project is invaluable as it gives you peace of mind knowing the right one can help simplify difficult decisions. They can also detect any problems before and during the construction that can help save you money that otherwise might be too costly to change later on. With an excellent design developed in a timely fashion, you can rest assured that your project will be completed efficiently and economically.

At ADX Architects, our passion is to translate your wishes into a beautiful, functional bungalow design that fits your lifestyle needs. If you have decided to hire an architect in Singapore, contact us, and we will be happy to discuss your bungalow project and any needs you may have.

6 Risks of Going into a Residential Building Project without a Singapore Architect

Hiring an architect may seem like an additional cost, but not hiring one can lead to serious problems. Residential projects can be complex, although some people may think they can do the design on their own.  It does seem intuitive sometimes as one just simply needs to designate spaces that suit their own lifestyles. However it is important to understand the risks involved in saving costs and not engaging an architect for your residential home project in Singapore.

Here are some of the biggest risks that people take when they avoid hiring an architect:

Project Overuns Budget

Without professional guidance, the building processes may end up incurring extra costs. This could be due to various reasons – for mistakes in space planning or selection of materials, to miscommunication to builders and sub-contractors on the exact things you have in mind. An architect can help keep expectations clear by issuance of detailed drawings, selection of right materials for use in various situations, good and timely of communication with builders and control of costs to keep them at the same levels as they were originally projected.

Poor Design

If you do not work with an architect for your project, there is a high chance that you will end up with a poorly designed building that might not meet the occupant’s needs. Experience comes to play here. After all, a professional architect has to go through six years of university education, including industry experience. For a registered architect, one has to further earn the qualification by passing the relevant exams set by the Board of Architects (see article XXXX). An architect will definitely be able to help design and develop the project so that it meets your preferences, building codes, and modern design practices.

Doesn’t Comply with Codes and Regulations

In Singapore, a registered architect is the best person to manage a construction site and ensure it is compliant to current standards and codes. While a contractor can help with certain tasks, their strengths could lie in execution rather than management and compliance. On the other hand, an architect helps manage and protect the legality and ensure a safe working environment during the construction phase of your residential project.

Compromise of Project’s Quality

Even though you might have drawn sketches and selected everything you need, there is no guarantee that your contractor will follow all your instructions to the letter. Hiring an architect allows you to take advantage of their professionalism in project administration. All projects needs to be done whereby a contract is in effect between owner and builder. An architect will then administer the contract professionally, acting as the key person in managing the project with the builder. This definitely gives you peace of mind knowing they will do their job the right way.

Delayed Completion

Without an architect, your residential building project in Singapore can stray off track, suffer delay and can take much longer to complete. An experienced architect will be able to keep your project on track and avoid unnecessary delays by the buildert. They offer proper guidance to ensure your team stays on task and completes your project within the stipulated time.

Undesired Outcome

The level of detail that a home needs is overwhelming. Working without an architect can lead you to miss those details that often have a big effect on how you use your home, its functionality, convenience, and its aesthetics. An architect can ensure the finished look of your home is as you had desired.

How to Find the Right Architect for Your Project?

Once you decide to hire an architect, you need to choose the right one. You need to hire an architect who is not just skilled and professional but also communicates well and whose cost models work perfectly for you. Remember, the architect your friend hired may not be the right one for you.

In summary, there can be many issues that can arise when you do not engage an architect for your Singapore residential project. At ADX Architects, we have a team of qualified professionals that can assist you in your project. As a registered professional architectural firm in Singapore, we have the experience and expertise after having working on many projects in the past decade. We have the right experience that can save you the headache of not having professional advice and guidance for your upcoming Singapore residential project.

Why Does It Cost So Much to Hire a Singapore Architect?

There was a time when an architect’s fees were based on a fixed percentage of the project and the construction cost. But, over the years, the fee structure has become much more complex. One of the major reasons for it is a wide array of specialized services offered by architects these days, which wasn’t the case earlier. But, even then, many people continue to question why Singapore architects charge exorbitantly.

“Why does it cost so much for a set of blueprints?”

It is one question most architects in Singapore have heard before. However, just like any other service-based profession, architecture involves a series of complex tasks throughout the project. Here are some of the things that factor into a Singapore architect’s fees –

Their Vast Experience

A good Singapore architect will have hundreds of completed projects under their belt. This experience is invaluable when it comes to investing in a sizeable real estate project. Hiring a qualified and licensed architect allows you to tap into their experience, making them well worth their fees. They have the expertise to translate your wish list of needs and wants into a beautiful yet functional built design. Years of experience provide them with the ability to see the bigger picture.

Their Willingness to Go Beyond Your Expectations

An architect sees much more than the intended design; they see the entire project as a whole. Every project is unique and has its own set of requirements and challenges. An architect’s knowledge covers everything from design, law, sociology, ergonomics, and other areas such as construction techniques and materials. They are capable of coordinating all aspects of the project to minimize any unforeseen problems and costly errors.

Ensuring Smooth Flow of Project

The construction of a house is a cumbersome process and is often messy and disruptive. Involving a Singapore architect throughout the designing and construction process ensures they monitor if what is drawn on paper is actually realized in the building stage. While most other contractors involved in the building process will come and go, an architect will be there till the end to ensure consistent and sustainable results.

Handling All Project Stakeholders’ Expectations

All stakeholders of a real estate project do not have the same objectives. Therefore, it is critical to establish qualities of the project that will help satisfy the needs and expectations of the clients and that of the end-users. An architect can identify the areas of convergence and those of differences between them and manage their expectations accordingly. An architect is well-versed with the technicalities of the design and construction process and understands that it needs to be simplified for the stakeholders and end-users to gain clarity.

To satiate the expectations of all the parties involved, the architect often uses a mix of traditional and modern forms of communication. It includes reports, briefs, feasibility studies, risk management surveys, health and safety reports, cost plans, construction progress reports, photography, models, certificates, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), 3D Printing, Building Information Modelling, project schedules, and more. Which of these measures are used by an architect depends on the scale, complexity, and economics of the project. The primary aim of these measures is to ensure the outcome of the project aligns with its objectives and owners/stakeholders’ vision.

Leading Design and Coordinating Other Consultants

Singapore’s design and construction process involve coordination with other consultants such as engineers, interior designers, painters, and others. An architect has prior experience working with local construction professionals, ensuring perfect coordination among them. It offloads the worries of the owner and takes care of the many cumbersome tasks on their behalf. Architects negotiate with the planners on planning permits, coordinate with the engineers, builders, and surveyors to keep schedules and budgets in check.

Meet Deadlines and Ensure Quality

The role of an architect goes beyond design and drawing. Their responsibility also includes project administration. In this capacity, they can keep tighter control over the project’s activities and cost. It is this area where the value of a good architect is demonstrated in monetary terms. They reduce the risk of the project not meeting its deadlines or getting substandard works. Some design decisions continue to be made till the last day of the project. An architect helps protect the project’s integrity and prevent things from going awry.

The services of a Singapore architect may seem expensive at first as it doesn’t involve buying something tangible for your project. However, you are hiring them for their skills and time that is hard to quantify. Hiring an architect for your project ensures you get the best out of your project, regardless of its scale and complexity. When considering their services, their fees should always be in conjunction with the value they bring to the project.

A Client’s Role in a Singapore Architectural Project

As a Singaporean architect, one of the biggest hurdles you’ll face is coming up with the idea that will meet the client’s needs and ultimately makes the client happy. Your creative side must be bursting out of your ears with ideas, but you’ll have to contain it until you can meet with your client. Your client is the single most important person in the entire design process, responsible for all the decisions for project.

Of course, the Client has to be guided by you as the architect. Nonetheless, their input can dramatically affect the final outcome of the project. The following below enlisted are some critical contributions from the client that will have a big impact on the process and the result. By taking a closer look at the role that clients play in the design process, you’ll be able to better understand the journey of creating an architectural project that responds to the Client’s requirement.

1. Initial Project Ideation- Formulation of Design Brief

Your client is like your audience- who provides you with the context, requirements and guidelines for the project. It helps you to better understand what you need to bring to the table for the architectural project. Your client may have a fairly extensive brief that helps you to create a sound design. On the other hand, your client may not know exactly what they want, providing you with the freedom to come up with a unique design.

In either case, the project brief, once formulated, will guide you on how to design the project, including the strategies, technologies, and design solutions that can be used. This may be the rooms, areas and materials required for the various areas of the building. During this process, it is important to involve the client as much as possible. This will make them more invested in the project and help them better understand what is happening at every stage of the design process.

2. Appoint Architect and Other Consultants

Your client is the one who owns the project, and has the power to appoint the architect and other consultants (such as structural engineers, lighting designers, etc.) for the project. They may not have a specific individual in mind and would like to have an open competition or tender.

This is a good opportunity for you to try and convince them that you are the right person for the job. During this process, your client will have a lot of questions for you about your credentials, as well as your experience. You may be provided with opportunities to show your experience and portfolio, as well as to meet with the client in person. The meeting will be an opportunity for you to present yourself and your work in a convincing way to the Client – an opportunity to convince and impress. How would you convince the Client that you are the Singapore architect best suited for the job? Be aware that after these meetings, the client may still decide to appoint another architect based on a variety of reasons.

3. Work Closely with Architect on Architectural Design

The next stage is where you and your client can get to work on the project. Meetings with your client will be frequent and may occur very often. This is where your creative ideas have to be presented in a clear and understandable way. You have to demonstrate how your design will be able to address the client’s issues and solve the problems. Your client will make decisions that you may not agree with but must respect, as they have the final say. The main point to understand is that you and your client have a common goal, which is to create the best possible design. The more involved you are with the client and their ideas, the better the end result will be.

4. Award Main Contractor

Based on the brief and your design proposal, your client will have to decide on a contractor to award for the project. During the entire tender process, you as the architect will have a key role to play. Working closely with the client will mean the process of award will be smooth. At the end of the day, the client does rely on the architect’s recommendation on the builder to award for the entire project.

5. Make Decisions and Selections That Affect Cost and Time

As the project progresses, your client will start to make decisions that affect the cost and time. The simplest of decisions – such as what materials to use to for the floor or wall of a space can have an impact on the overall budget. During this stage, you will need to discuss and propose to your client on all these things so as to enable the client to make these decisions. These decisions will have to be made with consideration of overall costs, material durability and aesthetic considerations. Furthermore, the decisions have to be made in a timely fashion so as to allow the project to proceed smoothly and on schedule for completion.

6. Client Plays Many Crucial Roles from Conception to Implementation

In conclusion, it is important to remember that your client plays many crucial roles from conception to implementation. The best way to ensure that your client is happy with the end result is to create a strong relationship with them from the very beginning. The success of the project rests on you as the architect and your client. The more involved you are with the client throughout the process, the better the end result will be. You can either win over the client’s heart by listening to their problems and working closely with them or lose them by not being able to keep up with their demands and losing control of the project. When both of you are happy with the end result, that’s when it’s a job well done.

5 ways to evaluate and select a Singapore Architect

If the infrastructure is the lifeblood of a nation, then architects are its heart and sinews. Experts at conceptualizing, designing, and tailoring buildings for functional use is their primary objective. Without them, there would be no hospitals, no schools, no entertainment venues, no residential landed houses in Singapore, and definitely no shopping malls.

An architect works on the problems of space, environment, and ideas. His work can either make or break down a millennia-old traditional culture. Although the important functions of architects can be found in other disciplines as well, in general, architects are considered to be at the pinnacle of all construction professionals. However, with countless architects at your disposal in Singapore, choosing the best one can be a daunting task.

To assist you in this difficult task, enlisted are some of the most important things to keep in mind when choosing your architect.

Singapore Architect – 5 Essential Questions

1. How Does the Design Process Work?

Buildings are made to accommodate people’s lifestyles. Designing a building is actually more like designing a lifestyle than designing a simple dwelling. Buildings are on a never-ending evolution process from their conception to the actual construction of the first project. This is given the nature of technology and the social influence that modern-day changes have on buildings. So when looking for a Singapore architect, first identify how the architect adapts to changing trends. Is he or she aware of new designs as they become available? Is he or she able to relate the trends and influences with the client’s preferences and wants? Most importantly, does the architect re-evaluate the design as construction practices, regulations and technology progresses over time?

2. Estimated Timeline: How Long Will It Take to Construct the Work?

As the process of constructing buildings is long and tedious, it is important for the architect to at least give you an estimated timeline. A defined timeline will enable you to allocate the budget more effectively since you will already know how expensive the project is going to be. However, change is an often-experienced concept in the field of architecture. Moreover, construction phases are dependent on a number of different factors making the process less concrete than one would expect. Architects do not control the time schedules of the constructor. Whereas most contractors are careful in adhering to the deadlines, unexpected problems can easily stall construction. Hence, it is prudent for a Singapore architect to give you an estimated timeline, but I would advise you to cross-check other references on how much it should take for your project to be completed.

3. Experience in the Market: Does the Singapore Architect Have the Relevant Qualifications?

If you are in the market for an architect, avoid just going on by looks or catchy advertisement campaigns but instead go for an architect with the relevant qualifications. We have all heard stories of people who can’t afford a fancy house but got a little bit interested in what the architect had to say. An architect’s education and qualification are a lengthy journey that includes 6 years of study and on-the-job training. The qualification process then takes at least 2 years that includes compiling a log book of relevant experience and taking the Singapore Board of Architects examination. Many architects take almost 10 years for qualification. Hence, it is important for you to find out whether the architect is fully qualified before deciding to work with him or her.

Be wary of an architect who claims to possess a high level of expertise but is devoid of any formal education, training or certification. In Singapore, it is illegal for anyone to use the word “architect” unless the person is registered (Refer to Board of Architects Singapore FAQ)

At the end of the day, a professional Architect has to adhere to strict standards of service and ethical practice as stipulated by the law.

4. Charge: How Much Does the Architect Plan to Charge for His Services?

Although some might call it impolite to discuss business immediately, money is usually on everyone’s mind when it comes to doing business. Because building is a major undertaking – be it a hotel, office building or a landed home, it is important to enquire how much money the architect will plan to charge for his services. Ask a number of questions regarding the what the cost covers and the schedule of payment. In general, there are three parts to the cost of the construction process- Architectural consultancy fees, Authority submission fees and Construction costs.

All of these three components are important to the Client – the last fee component – “construction” being the bulk of the cost for any project. The client can set the budget that will cover each of these parts independently, or the seek an architect for guidance and estimates. To avoid issues and misunderstandings, it is crucial that both the client and the architect agree on the scope of the project and costs involved for each part. This will help the Client work out an appropriate budget for the project.

5. Involvement: What is the Role of an Architect?

The key role of an Architect is the driver and supervisor of a building project. Before you agree to work with any Singapore Architect firm, check if they have the right experience for your type of job, and how they will be actively involved in the construction process. This includes not only design and submission to the relevant Authorities; it also involves project management during construction. Services will include organizing site and progress meetings, coordinating contractor and sub-consultants and issuance of relevant Certificates for progress and payment.
In all projects, architects are directly involved with the project from beginning to end. They constantly meet with clients, consultants and suppliers during the planning and design process. They will facilitate the tender selection process for the main contractor. Hence, it is clear that you want to engage an Architect that has a strong portfolio of experience and contacts in the industry.
Finally, experience of the architect and the level of involvement of the architect will have a considerable effect on the cost of the project. So, before signing any contract, make sure to discuss your involvement needs and your situation with your Singapore architect.


In a mature market, where architects ensure that owners are always satisfied, finding the right architect can be a difficult task. In such an environment, architects are competing with each other to try to impress the client with design, skills and competitive fees. Needless to say, it does not mean a smooth-talking designer with cheap fees has the relevant qualification to execute your building project, however minor or easy it may seem. As you may have observed in the earlier discussion, finding the right architect is as much about studying the architect as it is about studying the client.

If you are in the process of selecting a Singapore architect, you must consider searching the Board of Architects Singapore website to find out if your shortlisted Singapore Architect firm is competent and qualified. As a responsible customer, it’s your duty to find out if your Singapore architect meets the proper requirements and qualifications and have the relevant experience so that your building project will be completed to a level that will bring you satisfaction, delight and enjoyment.

A layman’s perspective: What are some differences between a builder and an architect

The Singapore Architect and the Singapore Builder are both professionals with unique and specialized roles in the completion of construction projects and they often must approach their tasks strategically to reach a common goal. One typically cannot function well without the other. A symbiotic relationship exists. If executed well, an awesome end-product will result, every time.

Architects and builders often work closely together but the nature of what they do is fundamen­tally different. Architects specialize in the abstract, in conceiving suitable configurations, shapes, and spaces. Builders are concerned with the con­crete details of materials and fasteners and with the physical work of construction. The architect is a big-picture person, responsible for envisioning the whole. It is the builder’s and the other tradesmen’s jobs to be concerned with the individual parts.

Who is an architect?

An architect is the one who transplants visions and ideas into blueprints, visualizing a client’s dream and setting the stage for its achievement. An architect focuses on the aesthetics of the structural work, as well as concentrate on the look, feel and functionality. He/she plans everything from the floor layout to the conceptualizing of the façade of the house. Also, the architect must ensure that the blueprints or aesthetics are put as per the correct standards for enhanced safety during the construction of the house.

In short, the architect seeds ideas, germinates them and sees to their fruition. The role is primarily a design role which has to have both imaginative and pragmatic elements. Foresight is a prerequisite as well. Key responsibilities of an architect encompass the following:

Design and Planning

Working with someone to envision your project before construction begins is invaluable. With a well-conceived design determined ahead of time, you can build a more efficient and economical project. As ideas evolve during design, it is easier to incorporate changes (and are far less expensive) than during the construction phase. Laying out your spaces optimally based on your needs and wants is important. Make sure spaces are appropriately sized and that they complement your needs. An ability to create multi-functional spaces where different activities can be performed in the same area is increasingly important to suit the modern lifestyle.

Future Flexibility

Many people are interested in creating age-in-place spaces so that they can enjoy spaces now and as they age. An ability to plan for and account for the changing needs of the users (clearances, mounting heights, etc) is crucial.

Creativity + Problem-Solving

A building project is often a mammoth undertaking. A creative problem solver not only elevates your design from just passable to something really out of this world, he/she can anticipate potential obstacles or challenges the project might face, keeping things a step ahead of the curve.

Aesthetic Style + Character

The design aesthetics of a project is probably the most obvious area in which a project can be made unique and appealing to suit various tastes and preferences. Working with someone who can bring that to the forefront is invaluable.

Building + Construction Know How

Construction of a building is an undertaking that requires knowledge of working with the building, planning, zoning and other government officials. Regulations and standards are often complex documents and are difficult for those outside of the building industry to comprehend. Working with someone able to navigate the regulatory maze is needless to say, very important. This can speed up the approvals process by many months, saving time and money for all concerned.

Materials + Finishes Selection

Keeping abreast of the latest construction materials and technologies means being able to better recommend materials and systems that fit your budget, tastes, are durable and saves you from frequent maintenance and replacement costs. An ability to discern product quality and value is a valuable asset.

Latest Techniques + Building Assemblies

Continual advances in technology portend for new building techniques and systems coming online with increasing frequency and meeting ever greater demands of society today, such as energy-efficiency requirements. These new products and techniques are rendering many traditional building practices obsolete. Working with someone who can take advantage of the best practices and improved techniques of today’s time will be imperative for the 21st Century.

Site Selection + Building Location

An analysis of the site of a building project is important. Undertaking a review of site features, topography, utility access, vehicular access and views helps you find the most ideal location for your structure on the site. Maximizing energy efficiency based on building orientation can further blend a building into the surrounding landscape yet enabling it to stand out from the rest.

Energy Efficiency

An ability to reduce utility bills, especially for a large house, will pay dividends for years to come. Constructing a building that responds to the site using passive heating and cooling strategies is smart. Successfully harnessing nature’s (free) energy resources also allows you to reduce your carbon footprint. In addition, an architect can suggest ways of conserving energy, water, and other resources altogether.

In Singapore, practising architects need to secure a registration with the Board of Architects (BOA).

some differences between singapore builder and singapore architect-2

Who is a builder?

Most home builders are essentially general contractors specializing in construction. A builder is a professional who can execute home construction from scratch to finish, following the blueprints provided by the architect. A builder concentrates on making sure the structure will be safe and habitable. is able to endure everyday and extreme conditions. The builder will analyze and evaluate the blueprints of the design from the architect and find ways to build it in the most efficient and practical way. This often utilises other professional’s advice that includes the structural and mechanical and electrical engineer. They will look at methods and techniques to turn the architect’s vision into reality.

The general responsibilities of a builder entail the planning and execution of all pertinent activities relating to the construction of a dwelling or building. The builder carries out his/her duties by supervising employees, planning how the project will be carried out and completing the project in a manner which abides by all laws, rules and regulations.

The builder would thus be responsible for providing all the material, labour, equipment (such as engineering vehicles and tools), services and obtaining the licences and permits necessary for the construction of the project. They would also often hire specialized subcontractors to perform all or portions of the construction work. When using subcontractors, the main contractor is responsible for the quality of all work performed by any and all of the hires.

Budget issues are another item which relate to responsibilities of a builder. The builder must establish a budget for the construction project and adhere to that budget as closely as possible. This will allow the builder to obtain supplies, hire workers and finish the construction in a cost-efficient manner. Instituting and following budgets is paramount which builders should be concerned with as they help ensure that the project does not incur cost overruns.

Throughout the construction process, the builder is also responsible for reviewing the progress and implementing any changes along the way. The builder needs to ensure that the building’s construction is going in accordance to plan. If need be, timely changes need to be made.

Last but not least, ensuring safety on the job site at all times is paramount.

In Singapore, licensed builders have to be registered with the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

In conclusion, the architect and the builder play very distinct roles in a building project. It is crucial to engage both the right architect and builder for the project. It is helpful to note that the Singapore Architect will be able to recommend the appropriate builder for the respective building project-based on its design, typology and context.

5 Situations that make hiring a Singapore Architect the right thing to do

Look around you and it will be obvious that our built environment is all around us. The places where we work – our office and commercial buildings, live – our houses and apartments, and play– our entertainment and retail venues are the products brought to live by Architects.

So, what kind of situations make hiring a Singapore Architect the right thing to do? Here are 5 such situations seen from a local context in Singapore.

1. Change in Floor Area

This is an extremely common situation that involves any property owner – to maximise floor area. This is especially so in land-scarce in Singapore. Increasing floor area is often desirable because there is a direct correlation between a property’s floor area and value. The higher the area, the greater the value of the property. Typically, this is calculated on a per square meter (or per square foot) basis.

Do you wish to maximise the floor area of your property? A qualified Singapore Architect will be able to help you with this. They are able to check the relevant URA (Urban Redevelopment Authority) Masterplan parameters, perform relevant calculations and compute the optimum Gross Floor Area possible for your property.

2. Change in Building Configuration

A variation in area may lead to a change in the building configuration. These variations are often called ‘Additions and Alterations’. Whether you wish to vary the façade, add a lift or staircase or change the number of levels in your property (to maximise the area allowable), these will constitute ‘Addition and Alteration@ works.

In Singapore, there are regulations by various Authorities that govern how you can change the configuration or planning of a building. As a property owner who wishes to carry our such changes, it is essential to engage an Architect to advise them on how they can go about these changes.

For example, to carry our ‘Additions and Alterations’ to your house, you will need an Architect to submit these changes to URA. You can get an idea of these URA regulations here.

In certain cases – for example if you own a conservation shophouse – even minor changes will require a nod by the authorities. In fact, even changing the paint colour of the façade of the roof tiles will require the owner to comply to URA’s rules and regulations.
You can read more about URA’s guidelines on conservation buildings here.

Singapore Architect - Change in Building Design or Façade

3. Change in Building Design or Façade

Older buildings in Singapore tend to look aged over time, especially in the hot and tropical weather of Singapore. When there is a change of ownership, usually as a new owner you would like to change the façade design. This may mean larger windows, addition of balcony or simply change of wall paint of cladding materials. This is best done with the guidance of an Architect. While the change may seem easy and minor, an Architect will be able to give you the best advice. This relates to both design, material selection and Authority regulations.

Sometimes, owners may think it better to consult a builder. This is because a builder may be willing to give a price for the works. However, the price may not be accurate. The simple fact is that because there are no drawings for them to calculate the costs; hence there is no basis for their price. At best, this would be just an estimate.

4. Change of Building use

There are instances when a property owner wishes to change the usage of their property. If you would like to utilise your property, asset or land in a different way, you would have to submit a proposal to the authorities for a change of use.

For example, an owner of a commercial property may wish to change its 1st level to a F&B outlet. This will require a change of use. In addition, there may be other parameters that will affect this change. An Architect will be able to advise on whether the property can indeed be permissible to vary its 1st level usage, and the compliances that are required by other relevant Authorities.

The URA provides guidelines for the application for change of use here.

5. Development of land

If you own a plot of land and you are asking what you should do with it – a feasibility study can be done. This will study the pros and cons of each idea/concept. Will you do something typical of the neighbourhood or try something unique?

There are various factors to consider: building typology, authority regulations, area distribution and design expression. Within the Singapore context, you will need to calculate the areas and usage within URA’s guidelines.

A feasibility study can be undertaken by an Architect to help you make your decisions. He or she will be certainly be able to propose creative solutions, whilst still maximising the potential for your plot of land.

Therefore, it is clear from the above that hiring a Singaporean Architect will be the wise choice when it comes to your property in Singapore.

House Tour: A Holland Road Terrace House That Features A Three-Storey Airwell

Having sufficient, evenly-spread lighting is always a challenge for larger houses, and it was no different for this 2.5-storey inter-terrace house at Holland Road. Casey Chua, of ADX Architects, worked around the issue by introducing a soaring central atrium which lets in light from a glazed skylight above.

Since the homeowners have a passion for art and decor, Casey also made sure there were plenty of opportunities to display their collection throughout the house. The decor itself is kept minimal, with neutral tones that serve the dual purpose of creating a relaxing ambience and drawing attention to the artwork.