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Appointing a registered Architect is an investment that will give you a return.

Updated: Apr 7, 2023

A lot of people that have the opportunity to build their own house will go through the process of considering whether they should appoint a registered Architect or rather save some money by appointing someone that is not registered. What many don't understand or realize is that there is a difference and a substantial one at that.


So what are some of these differences? Well, firstly for someone to become a registered Architect in Namibia, and similarly in most places around the world would mean that person spent many years at university in most cases 5 years, and had to obtain a Masters degree or similar level of education. After this another two years of practical experience and then a couple of professional competency exams to be registered. It is clear that any registered Architect had to undergo extensive training and experience to get the title, hence why the title is so valuable to some. Architects have an in-depth understanding and insight when it comes to design and how to express architecture. Architects see things in perspective because they consider thousands of things that others don't see or even realize and they have an eye for detail as Mies van der Rohe said "God is in the details".


Unregistered persons may also be good designers, and some really have a lot of experience and skill, but it is important to note that in Namibia, you require no education, experience, or exams that need to be passed in order to design and submit drawings for buildings not reserved for architects that are less than 500 sqm. This leaves the door open that you may not get what you bargained for especially when you are dealing with someone that does not necessarily have appropriate experience, skill, or understanding when it comes to the elements of design and architecture. There may also not be many ways to accurately validate whether an unregistered person has the appropriate skills for the job at hand, whereas Architects will have some track record that can be traced, because they had to be mentored by a registered Architect during their practical years as well as a portfolio of works and designs that will go as far back as university.


The tipping point for many clients is the costs when it comes to who to appoint. Architect's fees are regulated by law and they have minimum fees that they must charge, meaning they can't charge less than what is required. Unregistered persons can set their own fees, and can charge considerably less than a registered Architect. For many, the fees of Architects just seem too much and they would rather spend some of that budget on nicer appliances or fixtures.


This may be a big risk especially when it comes to the long-term investment and return on the value of the property. What many clients fail to realize is the added value the architect will bring to the property. Looking at statistics and comparing the values of properties designed by Architects compared to other persons, will show that there is a return and one that will most likely keep on growing. This return may very well pay back the initial investment on the fees paid to a registered Architect.


The question might be which route should you go? It is important that whatever choice you make that it is a well-informed one. Some may just not have the budget to appoint a registered Architect but be aware of the possible challenges and that whoever gets appointed is well suited and equipped to carry out your brief. If you have the budget and want to make sure you secure your investment for years to come a registered Architect will be highly recommended especially if you are planning on high-end designs.


If you have any questions regarding this post, please contact me and I will gladly assist and provide more insight.




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