The New Zealand Registered Architect’s Board has launched a new facility by which the public can check if firms offering architectural services actually employ Registered Architects or not.
The initiative reflects concern that too often the public employs firms to design houses or other buildings without knowing whether or not Registered Architects will be responsible for the work done.
Board chair Ron Pynenburg says up to half the complaints the Board receives turn out to be about people who are not Registered Architects.
“In these cases we can not help,” he says. “By law in New Zealand, for the provision of design services for buildings, only a Registered Architect can call him or herself a ‘Registered Architect’ or an ‘Architect’.
“However, a business can offer architectural design services without employing any registered architects because, currently, anyone can design a building — it is the title, not the practice, which is protected and restricted.
“As a result, the public can too easily think they are being served by a Registered Architect when they are not. This matters, given that if people want the benefits of employing a Registered Architect, they should be able to do so.”
“To help resolve this, the NZRAB web site now has a facility by which people can check whether a firm or practice employs Registered Architects. Called ‘Find a Practice’, it allows the public to find out whether any Registered Architects have cited particular firms or practices among their registration details.
“People commissioning building design need to check directly with those they are considering for the work, but a search, via this facility, is a good start.”
This new resource augments the web site’s “Find an Architect” function. To view both services, go to the NZRAB home page at www.nzrab.org.nz.