The following is a guide to the services we provide from the inception through to completion of a typical building project:

Pre Design

Before we begin any design work we will meet with you to discuss your project and visit your site.  We will listen to your needs, hopes and ideas and help you define your brief.  We will then carry out an initial review of your property to gather all the information required begin the design process.

Concept & preliminary design

Once you have established your brief and engaged our professional services we will begin the concept design.  Initially, we will carry out an investigation into your site or existing building, the surrounding context, climate, orientation and planning constraints.   From here we will produce some concepts that respond to your specific site and brief and present you with sketches and basic 3D models which will explore the location and form the design may take.

When we have agreed on which concept to progress with, we will develop this design in more detail.  At this early stage you may need to seek advice from other professionals such as a Geotech Engineer, Surveyor or Planner to assess the feasibility of the proposal.

Developed Design & Resource Consent

After we have agreed on the preliminary design we will develop the design further, confirming the structural approach, materials and the size and layout of the project.

A Resource Consent may be required, depending on the location and type of work proposed.  When the council review the resource consent application they are looking at what effect your proposal will have on the surrounding natural and built environment and the local community and how your proposal relates to the plan for the area.  The drawings submitted as part of the Resource Consent application will describe the bulk and location of the proposed work, the design, aesthetics, materials and how this relates to the rules of the plan.  We would normally recommend you engage a Planner to work together with us to provide advice on the proposal and prepare the report to submit to the council.  You may also need input from other specialists such as Engineers, Arborists or Heritage Consultants.

Detailed Design & Building Consent

When the Resource Consent has been granted, we can begin the Detailed Design documentation and prepare the Building Consent application.  A Building Consent is required for most building activities and establishes that the work complies with the Building Act and the Building Code.  The documentation prepared at this stage is a highly detailed set of drawings, schedules and specifications that are used not only to obtain a building consent, but also to tender the project and subsequently by the contractor to build from.  It includes technical details, material selections of the building itself, along with working drawings of interior fittings such as kitchens, bathrooms and cabinetry. During this phase we will work closely with other consultants such as the Structural Engineer to ensure our documents are co-ordinated. 

Contract Procurement

We can assist you in selecting an appropriate method to price your project and we are able to manage the tender process for you.  When you have selected a builder, we can prepare the contract between yourself and the builder.  

contract administration & observation

This is the construction period of the project and it is usually the most complex phase.  Our clients are often busy and may not have the time or experience to manage the contract themselves.  We would highly recommend that you engage Milieu to administer the contract as we will have an in depth knowledge of your project and the professional skills to oversee that the builder delivers your project within the time frame and cost set out in the contract.

In our role as contract administrator we will convene site meetings, issue time or cost variations, monitor the costs, certify the monthly payment certificates, carry out defects inspections and issue the Practical Completion certificate.  Through regular site visits we will observe that the construction works are being carried out in accordance with the drawings and specifications and work closely with the builder to resolve issues as they arise.

other services

We can help you bring your project to life by providing advice on furniture, lighting and colour selections to work with the overall style of architecture. 


Our fees are based on the New Zealand Institute of Architects Guide to Architects Charges.  As no two projects are the same our fees are tailored to suit the scale, complexity and specific requirements of your project.  We are happy to meet with you to establish the scope of your project and discuss the services we provide.