Why use an Architect?


Planning to build your home? Here are all the reasons why you need the services of an architect to ensure that your project is a success.


Building a house is an exciting adventure and probably the biggest single financial venture that the average citizen will make. It therefore makes all the more sense to appoint a suitable qualified and experienced person.


Embarking on such a decision will involve substantial commitments, therefore it is most important that you have a clear understanding of the procedure and that you obtain the best professional assistance for the project. An architect is suitably qualified to offer such a service. The architect’s extensive training and experience has equipped him to guide you through the entire building process from the first design proposals to the completion of the project. He is both a designer and an adviser, skilled in translating your requirements into reality. He will blend the ingredients of your needs – the restrictions of your budget, the desired program for completion, legal and statutory requirements, building regulations and conditions imposed by the nature of your site – with his creative abilities to produce a building that incorporates good design with function. The architect coordinates the complete building operation and is knowledgeable in the many related fields such as principles of building construction, engineering structures and systems, building economics and budgeting, business administration and legal matters. All building projects have the need for various combinations of these skills. Employing an architect has become a real and necessary part of any construction process, being equipped by training and experience to deal with design matters, inspect construction and administer the building contract. Professional architects usually carry professional indemnity insurance, thereby protecting their own as well as their client’s interests.

The South African Institute of Architects maintains with confidence and pride that architectural education in this country is of the highest quality, and that the great majority of its members are thoroughly reliable, inventive and trustworthy professionals, capable of producing excellent work in all facets of building; including design, technical, financial and legal aspects.


South African law requires that every architect, before he can call himself an architect, be registered with the South African Council for the Architecture Profession (SACAP). Registration with SACAP requires that a person has complied with the requirements of the Act, which normally are:


  • A University Degree, Diploma or Certificate in Architecture at a School of Architecture whose standard of qualifications is approved by SACAP. Architects with qualifications from approved universities outside South Africa are also eligible for registration.

  • 24 months practical experience that complies with the council’s rules regarding the type of experience.

Registration tells the public that architects have satisfied all the statutory requirements laid down by the profession; that they have been through a rigorous university education, where design techniques, theory and project handling and many other courses have been taught. The title Pr Arch after his name is indication of a person’s registration. Membership of the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) is on a voluntary basis, through the different Regional Institutes. Through its various committees, the Institute is continuously engaged in a broad spectrum of activities in order to represent the profession, both government and the formal private sector, as a responsible and effective one. It is mindful of the need for continued education in every profession and offers courses for this purpose on a countrywide and ongoing basis. It strives to encourage and support its members on all related matters. Membership of the Institute is designated thus: MIArch.

Until recently it was taken for granted that a client contemplating building would approach an architect. However, with the vast increase in building programmes, over recent decades, the participation of independent professional advisors, architects and engineers has sometimes been excluded, or limited to the performance of specific functions.