Architecture Republic is an award-winning architectural and interior design studio working Canberra, Bowral, Sydney & Rural NSW

Our Design Process



Let us get to know you, your brief, and your site


We’ll work with you to turn your vision into a detailed written brief. We’ll develop an ideabook or vision board to share images to pin down your style.

Site investigation

We’ll investigate site conditions, analyse the local planning rules, organise a site survey, model the existing house, draw existing plans, and establish the perfect orientation for passive solar design.


Concept Design

Developing the initial idea

Sketching & brainstorming

Now that we have all the information we need, we’ll develop an initial concept design.

Our team of designers will sketch and brainstorm ideas to meet your brief, work with your site, and achieve a high level of thermal performance. We’ll meet with you to show you the floor plan and 3D model and then discuss your feedback.


Design Development

We collaborate with you to develop a design that meets your needs

Developing the design

Next, we go on to refine the design with your input in a back-and-forth process. The level of detail in the design increases as you make decisions. We fine-tune the design for energy efficiency and your preferred green technologies (e.g. off-grid solar PV).

Design documentation

Once you’ve settled on the design, we’ll produce draft design plans. These are useful for getting preliminary cost estimates from builders and pre-application advice from ACTPLA or your local Council.

Interior design

If we’re designing your interiors, we’ll start here with ideabooks and moodboards. With your input, we’ll make sure you have the products, finishes and details to make your home unique.


Development Application (DA)

We prepare the plans and documents to ensure your home meets every requirement


We have an established network of engineers, surveyors, energy assessors, builders, etc. Our team will organise the consultant advice you’ll need to get your design just right. Your energy rater will provide detailed analysis of your home’s heating, cooling, and energy requirements and provide advice on improvement.


DA stage drawings explain the size, siting, style, and environmental impact of the design. Our drawings are tailored to satisfy the project’s local Council/ACTPLA requirements and include plans, sections, elevations, shadow diagrams, BASIX/ACTHERS compliance drawings, and others as required.


We will submit the development application on your behalf and manage inquiries from Council/ACTPLA. They will then assess and approve your plans. In the case of complying developments, no submission is required at the DA stage (the approvals will happen in the next stage).


Building Approval / Construction Certificate

Exactly what you want and need in your home, specified to the letter

Construction Drawings & Specifications

We will develop detailed drawings and written specifications showing how every aspect of your project is constructed. Together with your structural engineering drawings, these demonstrate how the building complies with the National Construction Code and Australian Standards. From insulation to hydronic heating, we can specify the latest and best in green techniques, products and technology.

Interior Details

If we’re designing your interiors, we’ll specify everything from paint colours to light switches.


We will work with your Certifier and Builder to organise the final approvals. The Certifier will then give the go-ahead to start building work.




We have a great network of builders who frequently work on our projects. With your consultation, we will organise and compare quotes from a variety of builders and trades to find the perfect team for you.

Contract Administration

We can act as your agent on site in all dealings with the builder and trades. We can organise progress payments, ensure the contract is being fulfilled by all parties and resolve any issues that come up during the build.

About Architecture Republic

Architecture Republic is a young, award winning architectural and interior design studio. We specialise in environmentally-aware Australian design. We practice throughout south-eastern Australia, with offices in Bowral, NSW and Canberra, ACT. Our team is passionate about architecture, sustainability and beautiful Australian spaces.

We take a collaborative approach with every client so we can develop a design that truly works with your lifestyle, aesthetic, site and budget. From initial concepts to the finished product, we strive to keep our feet on the ground. Our designers, architects and documentation experts make the perfect team to move smoothly through the design, approval and construction process. We enjoy creating practical, sustainable solutions for both large and small budgets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Architecture Republic?
We are a young, award-winning architectural and interior design practice. We design and document home renovations, new houses and small commercial buildings. Our team can manage council submissions, builder tendering and contract admin.
We draw inspiration from large vibrant cities and historic country towns alike. It’s a privilege to experience the world the way we do. We step into the homes of people across NSW + ACT and help them to create architecture. Our goal is to equip Australia’s homes and businesses for our uncertain future. Our passion for sustainability and green design underscores all our design thinking.
Where is Architecture Republic located?

Our practice serves four main regions – Canberra, the Southern Highlands, Sydney and Regional NSW. We have offices in Bowral, NSW and Canberra, ACT but usually we prefer to travel to your building site to meet with you in person.

How much does an architect cost in Australia?
It is common to base architectural and interior design fees on a percentage of the final build cost. We think it is important not to calculate our fees this way. It’s complicated (budgets often change) and discourages the architect from cost-effective design. It is often more difficult to work on a project with a tight budget than one which is more generous. We would prefer to cost based on the workload in front of us, not the look or cost of the final built home.
We calculate our fees based on the complexity of the project. We apply a base price to each project type (new home, renovation etc). We then apply add-ons based on number of rooms and site challenges (bushfire risk, slope, protected trees). This final sum is split over five stage payments. Each of these stages is linked to milestones and deliverables.
Interior Design Fees
We calculate fees for interior design on a per-room basis. We have different price points for room function (wet areas cost more than bedrooms, for example). Again, this final sum is split over four stage payments. Each of these stages is linked to milestones and deliverables.
Hourly Rates
We charge extra hourly-rate fees for tendering, contract admin and working with Council/PCA. This covers time working with other consultants outside of our direct control.
Other Fees
Other consultants will charge their own fees directly to you during the process. They generally include: surveyor (to measure existing site), engineer, and energy rater. If relevant, you may also need a bushfire consultant or heritage consultant.
What's the process of working with an architect?
We split our process into five stages:

1 – Preliminaries

We meet with you, establish your brief and investigate site conditions, planning restrictions. We will also order a site survey (and, if relevant, original plans) of your project.

2 – The Concept Design Stage

In this stage, we develop initial design ideas that respond to your brief and site conditions. We will present these to you and go through our thinking in detail.

3 – The Design Development Stage

Next, we go on to refine the design with your input in a back-and-forth process. From here, you can get cost estimates for your project from builders and other trades.

4 – The Development Approval Stage

We resolve the size, siting and style of the design to a high level of detail. In this stage we prepare documentation for approval. Either the Development Application or Complying Development Certificate. It’s the same document set for both. If a Development Application is required, we will submit it as part of this stage.

5 – The Building Approval or Construction Certificate Stage

Here, we work with engineers/builders to create a cohesive final documentation set. We then submit this to your certifier for the Building Approval (ACT), Construction Certificate (NSW) or Complying Development Certificate (NSW) application. Your builder and certifier look after the construction process. We can help you with colour schemes, fixtures and fittings (interior design/specifications). Our team can also help you choose a builder (tendering). We can also administer the contract between you and your builder throughout construction.
How long does it take for an architect to design a house?

You’re going to hate this; every project is different. Much like any bespoke item (like a wedding dress) it depends entirely on what you want. We will work together with you until you are overjoyed with the design. Our shortest project has taken three months to complete and our longest is now over two years. It depends on project complexity, client motivation and consultant availability.

What do I need to provide for an architect to design my house?

For starters, all we need are your ideas. We will work with you to put together a solid vision of your future home; how you want to feel when you walk in the front door. We will need a clear idea of the amount you want to invest and what are the must-have elements of the design. If the project is a renovation, any existing plans are helpful, though we can often get these via council. Please don’t be afraid of drawing things, even if you aren’t great at it. Everything you can give us helps.

How much does it cost to build or renovate a house in Australia?

Costing for construction is difficult, especially now. We will have a discussion with you early on to establish your vision for your project. From there, we can provide advice about potential construction costs and opportunities. Our goal is always to make the most of your budget. Every home is different. Costs depend on the size of the build, the location, the quality of the fitout and so many other factors. We use cost modelling software throughout the process to make sure we stay on track.

As a general rule of thumb, standard non-luxury construction starts at around $4000/sqm (as of mid-2023). It tends to be cheapest to build in Sydney. Materials cost less because the warehouses are nearby. In Regional NSW, we find the builders are cheaper, but this is offset by higher material costs. These are guidelines, though. We’ve had builder quotes come back with $100,000 differences for the same project. It definitely pays to shop around.

What documents should my architect provide?

The documentation and approvals process (even for simple home extensions) is now very rigorous. This is great for you as the consumer. If there is a fault in the final build, there is clear documentation for you to go back to and see what went wrong. It does mean that the single-page set of plans from the 90’s will no longer suffice for building approval. Below is a list of plans and drawings you will probably need. Our document sets often run 16 sheets for small, single storey extensions.


● SketchUp 3D Model

● Coloured floor plan with room sizes

Proposed Design

● SketchUp 3D Model

● Site Plan, Floor Plan, Elevations

Development Approval

● Statement of Environmental Effects

● Demolition Plan

● Detailed Floor Plans

● Neighbour Notification Plan

● Detailed Elevations + Colours/Materials

● Sections (if required)

● Erosion and Sediment Control Plan

● Landscape/Tree Management Plan

● Site Analysis/Shadow Diagrams (if relevant)

● Window Schedule and Glazing Details

Building Approval

● Construction Sections + Details

● Construction Notes

● Wet Area Details + Notes

● Energy Efficiency Details (in consultation with energy rater)

● Services/Lighting Plan (in consultation with electrician)


● Moodboards

● Internal plans, elevations + details

● Cabinetry details

● Wet area details

● Material/product schedules

Can Architecture Republic help with tendering or consultants?

Yes. We can help you choose your builder and act as your ‘agent on-site’ in dealings with all contractors. We can organise tendering, progress payments, ensure the contract is being fulfilled, and resolve any issues during construction.

Does Architecture Republic design sustainable buildings?

Yes. At Architecture Republic, we know green design is affordable and beneficial for everyone. We utilise solar passive design and new technologies to maximise energy efficiency. We will specify a variety of green techniques that will work together to achieve the smallest carbon footprint. Our team has have a record of big improvements to existing homes and high-performance new homes with 8+ NatHERS star ratings. We love working with natural materials like rammed earth, green rooves, recycled hardwood, strawbale and hempcrete. Our team will use a range of green technologies including off-grid power generation + storage. We specify triple-glazed windows, HRV ventilation systems, hydronic slab heating, and heat pumps.

Will my architect help with Development Applications (DA)?

At Architecture Republic, our drawings are tailored to satisfy Council or ACTPLA requirements for DAs. We will liaise with Council/ACTPLA, manage consultants (e.g. energy assessors, surveyors, etc) and submit the Development Application on your behalf.

How do I know what my architectural project will look like?

At Architecture Republic, we design in 3D software so that you can see what your project will look like throughout the design process. While traditional 2D plans are an essential part of the process, they take a lot of imagination and technical knowledge to interpret. With 3D design, we’ll walk you through each part of the house in full colour. Seeing is believing!

Can Architecture Republic help with Bush Fire ratings, BASIX, NatHERS, the Territory Plan, complying development certificates, planning regulations, and other compliance questions?
Yes. Our designs and documentation meet all planning and building code requirements. This includes compliance with:
  • Territory Plan
  • Local Environmental Plans
  • Development Control Plans
  • Exempt and Complying Development Codes
  • The National Construction Code
  • Australian Standards.
To meet the requirements for bushfire ratings, heritage, wind and snow loadings, site conditions, and energy performance (BASIX + NatHERS) we work together with:
  • Energy raters
  • Geotechnical and structural engineers
  • Builders
  • Heritage consultants
  • Town planners
  • Bushfire assessors
How do I contact Architecture Republic?

You can call us (0404 654 225), email us ( or submit an enquiry right here on our website. We’re excited to work with you on your project. If you have any questions, please contact us for a chat. We look forward to hearing from you.

We know that choosing an architect is one of the most important decisions of your project.

We listen

We take the time to understand your needs and the vision you have for your home so we can help your achieve your goals.

We collaborate

It’s your house and you live in it, so your input matters. Our back-and-forth approach makes sure we get ALL the ideas on the table.

We care about the planet

Ever mindful of energy consumption and the need to create environmentally aware housing, we incorporate passive solar and green design so we can tread lightly on the planet.

Is Architecture Republic the right architect for you?

We’ll be a good fit if you…

Have an incredible block of land where you want to build a connection/forever home
Love where you live, but your house just doesn’t work
Want to create a sustainable home
Want to work with an architect who is as passionate about your project as you are

We might not be a good fit if you…

You know exactly what you want and do not need professional design input
Are planning an industrial development, large commercial or civil works project
Want plans drawn up quickly because you have a tight deadline to meet
Your project is for investment or quick-flip real estate profits