Learning more about us before we begin.

If you wish to know more about us prior to engaging Baumgart Clark Architects, you can call John or Marcus at any time using the details on the contact page and they will arrange to meet with you. There is no charge or obligation attached to this meeting.

“We are always happy to meet with anyone interested in our business, and because we have active projects all over Australia, we can organise to visit you wherever you might be.”
— John A. Clark

How we begin.

With architectural and building projects, risk management and cost control are essential to weave tightly into the delivery methodology. At Baumgart Clark Architects we always begin our projects as we intend to continue them – in an environment of mutual trust between us and our clients, and with a firm hand on costs, timing, quality and other potential points of risk.

We often secure commissions through formal procurement processes such as tendering. However, regardless of whether a project is procured outside of a formal procurement process, or within a structured tender, to get started we begin with a simple meeting:


Typical Project Methodology.

Step 1: The Inception Meeting.

Step 1 is always the Inception Meeting with the client, attended by its key representatives, where we introduce (or re-introduce) ourselves and discuss the project – including outlining everything that must be achieved by the project. Key to this is agreeing the ‘criteria for success’: how will we both know we have been successful?

Following the Inception Meeting, we move through the Stages described below. Of course, we tailor the detailed methodology for each project specifically, but the description below gives you the broad outline of our approach.

Step 2: Brief & Concept Development.

This is the Brief & Concept Stage. During this stage, we will get to know the site and the existing conditions, and if the project involves an existing building, we will prepare the existing conditions drawings. Also completed during this step are:

  • The first draft of the Brief - a document that lists all your needs, containing both quantitative information (eg. the number and function of rooms, size of rooms, equipment etc.) and the qualitative information (eg. inspirational images, information about what the rooms should feel like.) We develop this document across one or more meetings with you, sometimes on site, during which we discuss all aspects of the project. The brief will be periodically updated during the project.
  • The initial Concept design - this will consist of drawings and images that describe a first reaction to the project. We will prepare this in response to the draft Brief.
  • We will present the Concept to you. Once we have refined the Concept based on your reaction and review, we will organise to have a preliminary Cost Plan completed by the Quantity Surveyor, an additional subconsultant who specialises in estimating. The Cost Plan will provide essential information for us both, following which we can confirm that the 'scope' (extent of works) and budget are in alignment.

Step 3: Consultation.

Many projects that we deliver require a consultation process of some kind. This is comprised of a formal set of techniques and tools that we apply to draw out and analyse the ‘stakeholders’ and their needs.

  • Stakeholders can be external or internal to the client group: we are adept at managing design consultation in either case. We excel at building consensus around design, especially during the Town Planning approvals process, and with projects involving organisational change.
  • We will work with the client at the outset of the project to establish the expectations for consultation in terms of depth and timing. Clarifying the mechanism for feedback to stakeholders is also essential.
  • Consultation may occur at several points during the project sequence. We determine this at the outset of the project.

Step 4: Schematic Design.

This is the Schematic Design Stage. During this stage, we will develop the design up into greater detail, creating the Schematic Design Package.

  • We will meet with you again several times during this stage to develop the overall package, which will include drawings of various types, and may also include physical models, 3D digital models (views of your House, both exterior and interior), and images/samples of materials and finishes.
  • Once the Schematic Design Package is finalised, we will organise for the second Cost Plan to be prepared by the Quantity Surveyor.
  • The Brief may be updated during this stage, to inform the cost plan.

Step 5: Design Approvals.

This is the Design Approvals Stage. This stage is only necessary if your project or site requires a Planning Permit.

  • During this stage we will prepare what we call the Town Planning Package, the series of drawings and reports that answer all the questions that your Council needs answered to make the approval.
  • We are experienced with managing most aspects of the planning process, and work towards building consensus in consultation with Council and stakeholders, including neighbours. For particularly complex situations, if required we can recommend a highly skilled planner, who can assist us with obtaining the permit and negotiating complex technical arguments.
  • Depending on Council's requirements, you may need some expert reports or advice to be submitted as part of your application. We will guide you through this process should it be required.

Step 6: Detailed Design.

This is the Detailed Design Stage. This stage, which is largely self-explanatory, is when we finalise the design process in preparation for documentation (next stage).

  • The Final Design Package is prepared at this stage, which is the stepping-off point for the preparation of Construction Documentation.
  • A review of the cost plan can be sought at this stage.

Step 7: Documentation.

This is the Contract or Construction Documentation Stage. This stage creates the package of documents (drawings and a written document called a 'specification' with attached schedules) that combined tell the builder what to build.

  • The Tender Package is produced at this stage, which is used by potential builders in the next stage to give you a price for the work.
  • We recommend that a 'Pre-Tender Estimate' is developed at this time, which involves the Quantity Surveyor updating the cost plan.

Step 8: Tendering.

This is the Tendering Stage. This stage is where we issue the Tender Package to a selected short list of potential builders, to get a price to build your project.

  • We will assist you by managing the tender process, and assessing the tenders that are received to ensure you can correctly compare 'apples with apples'. Out of this analysis, we will make a recommendation for you to approve, with clear reasoning attached.
  • Following the tender process, and just prior to the next stage (Construction), we will update the Tender Package with any final adjustments, and this will be issued to the successful tenderer as the For-Construction Package.

Step 9: Construction.

This is the Construction Stage. This stage is where we administer the building contract on your behalf, and assist the builder by responding to Requests for Information, and in making any changes or adjustments that might need to happen during construction.

  • We will assess the builder's Progress Claims during the build to ensure that they are only claiming for the amount actually constructed at any given stage.

  • At the end of construction, once satisfied with the end product, we will issue the Notice of Practical Completion that ends the construction stage of the contract.

  • The only thing left after this is the 'Defects Liability Period', a twelve-month period during which the builder will rectify any defects. We will attend to this on your behalf, to ensure that the end product is correct and properly finished in all respects.

A Note about the above process.

The methodology above gives you the basic steps, which generally emerge in one form or another in each of our 'full service' projects.

We understand that our clients may have internal processes and probity or reporting requirements that necessitate an adjustment of the process outlined above. We are very flexible in our approach, and we treat each client as a unique case, tailoring our project methodology to meet their specific needs.

Masterplan and interior design projects, for example, differ from 'straight' architectural projects, and they require a slightly different methodology. This can be confirmed prior to or after our engagement. If you would like more information, please email us using the following address: