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Build a development project team

As part of demonstrating compliance with the Assessment Benchmarks, you may need to provide supporting documentation, plans, or reports from specialist consultants. It is important to understand what these consultants do and what their limitations are, so you can quickly respond to any issues that you encounter during your assessment.

You won’t always need to bring on additional consultants, but it is worth noting how different specialists can help you.

This module provides an overview of the most common consultants you might need to reach out to or bring onto your team, in order to assist in supporting your development application.

Architect or Building Designer

In almost all instances, you’ll need a set of proposed plans. This can be provided by an architect or a building designer/draftsperson. Depending on how complicated the proposal is, this will change whether you will use an architect or building designer. Generally speaking, a building designer/draftsperson will be cheaper, but you also get what you pay for as they may not have as much input into the design as you would hope.

An architect is a qualified professional who designs holistically. They don’t just take into account the buildings, but also the internal and external spaces, and how they interact to create a livable and workable space. They can design houses, office buildings, landscapes, multi-level buildings, ships, and public spaces. To become an architect, you must meet certain criteria. This includes a formal degree in architecture, necessary liability insurances, and you must be registered as an architect.

A building designer, on the other hand, does not necessarily need to be a trained professional and can come from a range of backgrounds. Building designers and draftspersons can actually be ex-builders and are sometimes noted as being more practical designers.


Land/Cadastral Surveyor

A cadastral or land surveyor accurately measures distances, directions, and angles between points on, above, and below the Earth’s surface.

More importantly, they can measure the exact location of buildings, structures, vegetation, and property boundaries on an allotment. They can also measure the exact contours of a property so you can precisely determine the slope affecting said property.

A surveyor can become important at various stages of development. As part of reconfiguring a lot, you may need a ‘contour and detail’ plan for the preparation of a subdivision proposal. Alternatively, you may require the architect to draw their proposed plans.

Other consultants on the team might also need information from the surveyor, including most engineering disciplines.

Surveyors will usually provide their plans in PDF format and a DWG format.

A DWG file is something that can be opened in a Cad program (programs used to design and draw buildings).


Civil Engineer

Civil engineers design, build, supervise, operate, construct, and maintain infrastructure in both the private and public sectors. This may include road networks, buildings, infrastructure (sewer/water/stormwater), dams, and bridges.

A civil engineer usually comes on to the development application team to provide information about how a development will connect to the aforementioned services. They’ll also assess how the land will change (with filling or excavation) to accommodate for the buildings and infrastructure.

A civil engineer forms an integral part of a development team, in cases when a development has the potential to increase the demand on local services (such as doing a multiple dwelling development, new commercial or industrial development, or reconfiguring a lot).

Ever seen the acronym ‘RPEQ’?

It stands for ‘Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland’ and encompasses a range of engineering disciplines across the state.

It is a formal recognition of qualification and competency, and most engineering design or construction work needs to be certified by an RPEQ.

There is so many more team members that you need, want to learn more? Check out our full development assessment course: https://learn.urpec.com.au/courses/online-town-planning-course/

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