Your Architect is NDIS ready



Registered Architects are trained to procure your built environment from inception to post occupancy. The NDIS provides an outstanding opportunity for self determination and empowerment. Participants can control their own environment in a way that is peculiar to their needs and the needs of their families. However, there is nothing new for an architect, in assisting people to adapt their built environment, their homes, to suit the peculiarities of a family, or indeed, a group of co-habitants residing in the same community. Large or small, we are trained to tackle all of the challenges presented to us.

The first step

The NDIS provides for participants to engage approved service providers for home modification, so, what’s the first step? Should you engage a builder? Your OT? As architects, we would say engage us now, to assist you to prepare a plan of attack. I would call this a feasibility study. As a mind map, it probably looks something like this, no matter how large or small your project is:


PDF: NDIS Home Modifications

The complexity of the first step is obvious, but Architects are used to planning within large complicated organisational, accountable processes where probity is essential, the design for a hospital for instance, as well as less complicated plans, like your bathroom modifications for instance. With training we take large complicated concepts and reduce them to small manageable bite sized chunks. The Construction process is that kind of process. You could ask an expert to assist you to set out your plan for your home modifications, incorporating all of the niggling little details you might have otherwise overlooked until you are faced with it, left with it, annoying you every time it reminds you that you could have done it right, if only you had the foresight.

The architects advisory service is putting together a team of architects suitable for the NDIS projects. It involves a peer review design strategy, so that you get the best out of your NDIS.

Gary Finn – Architect 5774 (NSW)

Sydney Access Consultants is an approved NDIS provider.







Limitation on NSW Architect’s liability confirmed.

 s 109ZK of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) (“the EPA Act”) provides a long stop period of 10 years from the date of the final occupation certificate preventing a “building action” and thereby limiting an architect’s exposure to a claim in tort or contract for its “building work.”
1. “Building action” is defined in s 109ZI of the EPA Act as “an action (including a counter-claim) for loss or damage arising out of or concerning defective building work”.

2. “Building work” is defined in the same section to include the “design” of the building and “inspection and issuing” of “compliance certificates” under s 109C of the EPA Act.
In a decision of the NSW Supreme Court last month the 10 year time bar was tested. 

See court report
In short, the Body Corporate [plaintiff] sought to amend its long held claim against the builder [defendant] of an occupied apartment building to include a substantial claim for damages for alleged waterproofing defects. The plaintiff filed its amended pleadings within the long stop limit, however, it served its expert witness reports detailing the allegations after 10 years had passed from the date of the final occupation certificate. 
It was held that the defendant contractor would, if the amended pleadings were allowed, be prevented from bringing cross-claims and joining potential co-defendants. Consequently the plaintiff’s amended pleadings were denied. 

Therefore it seems, that in NSW, the 10 year limitation of an Architect’s liability, except for negligence causing death, remains a steadfast defence.

Click for background Story
Gary Finn

Architect #5774

Unfair Contract Terms legislation now in effect!

A term of a “small business contract” as defined, is liable to be declared void, if the term is unfair, and the contract is a “standard form contract”.
A term will be considered unfair if it meets all of the following criteria:

(a) It would cause a significant imbalance in the parties’ rights and obligations arising under the contract

(b) It is not reasonably necessary in order to protect the legitimate interests of the party who would be advantaged by the term

(c) It would cause detriment (whether financial or otherwise) to a party if it were to be applied or relied on

Implications of the Reform

This new regime has the potential to render unenforceable, a number of clauses common in contracts in the construction industry. For example:

(a) Terms that permit a party to unilaterally vary “the characteristics of the goods or services to be supplied” under a contract as raised as an example of a potentially unfair term in the ACL

(b) Time bars may potentially fall foul of the unfair term regime as they tend to be imposed on one party to the contract (creating an imbalance) and, if relied upon, cause a detriment by restraining a party’s entitlement to make claims for time or money

(c) Liquidated damages clauses which are not considered penal on the test in Andrews v ANZ, may nevertheless be rendered unenforceable as unfair because the standard required to be considered unfair is arguably lower than that to be considered penal 
See: Lexology

Rooftop Gardens are made compulsory for developments in Burwood NSW

View from domestic rooftop pool in Hurstville NSW

There is a substantial benefit in providing further recreational spaces on a residential roof top. Some of the issues to overcome are for example:

  • visual privacy involves not just the ability to overlook your neighbour’s back yard or private windows, but also the sense of overlooking. That feeling like someone is watching you can be detrimental to your enjoyment of your private recreation areas.
  • aural privacy is a real problem. Get a half dozen of your closest friends on your rooftop enjoying themselves until 3am and your neighbours are unlikely to be happy about it, no matter how much fun you’ve been having up there. Noise travels far in the quiet of night.
  • artificial lighting flooding across your boundary and through your neighbour’s bedroom windows can become an issue of dispute.

An experienced architect appreciates all of the issues that can arise in the process of obtaining development consent and has the imagination and foresight to develop strategies that solve these questions during the design process. If you want that rooftop pool on your dwelling to catch all the sunlight, then an experienced architect will have seen it done and will recognise all of the traps before you’re dream is ensnared in red tape.

If you want to talk about your renovations, see the Architects Advisory Service NSW, which is fast becoming the go-to place to find the right architect for your project.


see: Outdoor Spaces

Enter to Win photo contest

Christmas Banner

Enter to win photo contest

Win an architect designed renovation report



We work from our understanding of the world. We also want to see the world through your eyes. For our 2016 Photo Contest, we’d like to know: what does the place called ‘home’ mean to you?

Is it tucked away in the city? Is it near the beach or located in a hidden valley surrounded by pristine bushland? Are there people, animals, or perhaps it’s the tiniest of details that contribute to make a sense of home for you? How do you want to live? What emotions are evoked when you arrive at home? Capture those vibrant emotions in a picture and express what ‘home’ means to you! Let us understand what it is to be at your place and assist you to realise your vision of home.

Competition closes 04 January 2017 at 6pm and is open to residents of NSW. Members of the Architects Advisory Service NSW may upload photos for fun, but their entries will not be considered for awards or recognition.


Agree to the Terms & Conditions

Register then upload your photo to win!


Adaptable Housing AS4299

A person with a disability living in the adaptable dwelling must be able to collect their mail without assistance. The only way to resolve this is to provide a continuous accessible path of travel to the letterbox (and garbage bins) and back again. In practicality, to the street to catch a cab and back again, and to the allocated car space and back again. If it is a class 2 building, then a person with a disability must be able to visit a friend in the apartments serviced by a lift, or on the ground floor where there is no lift. If the mailbox is located at a side laneway, then a person must be able to get to the letterboxes located at the lane and home again.

The DDA establishes enforceable rights so that a person with a disability is not disadvantaged through design decisions. 

The right to access via the principal pedestrian entry, just as an able bodied person can, is expressly stipulated in the legislation.

There are obligations on designers, on owners, developers and consenting authorities, all of whom, individually or concurrently, could face litigation and damages if these provisions are ignored.

The provision of good access is good business. Australia’s aging population will be looking for housing that is designed to provide for permanent occupancy through their lifecycle. Housing loans are inter-generational.

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