DCA Design has extensive project design and documentation experience in the Residential, Commercial, Industrial & Institutional sectors.

Past projects includes a diverse range of experience in areas such as: Facilities Management, Heritage, Alpine, Medical, Aged Care & Religious sectors. Industry Design Awards have won by DCA Design been in some of these highly specialized areas.

We also have an enviable reputation in obtaining Town Planning and Building Permit approvals, developed through excellent working relationships with local Councils and other authorities. We seek to facilitate the smooth progress of your project through the various planning stages, reducing costs associated with delays. DCA Design can prepare and coordinate all of the required documentation and approvals necessary to enable the construction of your project. We also provide administration services for the construction of your project, including tendering, contracts, site inspections, progress payment inspections and quality control.

While not all clients require a full range of services, DCA Design have the expertise to deliver a ‘start to finish’ solution where required.

DCA Design’s range of Building Design & Consultancy services includes:


  • Private Client, Builder-Developer, Facilities Manager


  • Pre-purchase Site Selection Advice
  • Preliminary Design Consultation
  • Feasibility Study


  • Supporting Consultant Team
  • Site Feature Surveys
  • Site Measure & Existing Conditions Plan
  • Preliminary Design Development
  • Design Development
  • Sustainability & Energy Rating/Reporting


  • Planning Permit Application – Drawings and Reports
  • Planning Submissions to Council & Advertising


  • Working Drawings
  • Interior Design Detailing
  • Electrical & Services Layout Plans
  • Project Specification & Schedule of Finishes
  • Liaise with Building Surveyors & Lodge Building Permits


  • Tenders & Contracts
  • Site Attendance & Contract Administration


  • Required Compliance Reports
  • Artistic/graphic Presentation Images

Private Client

As a private client we understand the significance of your personal involvement in the design process and that you have your own vision of the finished product. Our role is to work with you to create a design that is true to your vision, while providing practical , regulatory and design guidance along the way. We work closely with you to turn your dream into a reality.
Building your dream can often be a difficult process involving a lot of paperwork and delays, but with our knowledge, expertise and long-standing relationships with relevant authorities we can ensure that your project is delivered on time and to budget. Our aim is to guide you through the complexities of the design and building process, providing you with an rewarding overall experience and a great building outcome.

Builder – Developer

As a builder or developer we understand that you need us to expedite the design and planning process as quickly as possible. Time is money. Our aim is to take you through to the documentation phase as efficiently and smoothly as possible and to achieve the maximum development potential of the site. We are able to provide you with clear and concise early feedback and we will liaise with Council to avoid delays.

Facilities Manager

As a Facilities Manager we understand that you have ‘end to end’ responsibility for the design and construction process. Our aim is to provide the required design, documentation and approvals for your project ‘on time’ and ‘on budget’. You can rest assured that the project will be in capable hands and that you’ll be kept informed along the way.


Pre-purchase Site Selection Advice

We can provide you with research and advice services to establish your site’s potential and to suit your occupancy or development needs prior to making a purchase.

Preliminary Design Consultation

We undertake a detailed project briefing with you to assess your needs, and provide advice on various options including discussion of possible future plans, resale, etc.

Preliminary layout sketches can be produced and an indicative budget prepared. The intent of this briefing is to assess available options so that a value judgment can be made for further detailed development.

Feasibility Study

In some cases, we may prepare detailed feasibility studies for proposed projects involving analysis of design options, scope of works and likely costs based on historical data.


Supporting Consultant Team

We can recommend a range of experienced supporting consultants, where required, or will work alongside your regular consultants. DCA Design is able to act on your behalf to coordinate the various consultants that may be required to ensure that these services are integrated into the design and documentation process.

Supporting consultants may be required for such things as: town planning, land surveying, structural engineering, geo-technical engineering, fire service engineering, waste management, building surveying, dangerous goods, interior design and landscape design.

Site Feature Survey

We carry out a feature and levels survey of the building site including noting of features such as fences, large trees, drainage, pits, adjacent properties, views, local features, etc. A ‘re-establishment survey’ might be required to re-peg the site boundaries (if required, this needs to be carried out by a Licensed Surveyor at extra cost). In some cases a Licensed Survey is a mandatory requirement of a Council if building on a boundary is anticipated.

Site Measure & Existing Conditions Plan

When working with existing buildings requiring alterations or additions, we record and document the state of existing works prior to the design of any alterations or additions.

Preliminary Design Development

This stage involves confirming the design brief with you and preparing preliminary concept sketches suitable for subsequent detailed development. Often included at this time is an assessment of options designed to analyze various benefits, long-term aims or budget considerations. Where required, discussions with neighbours, real estate advisors or other interested parties may be reviewed.

Design Development

After establishing the design parameters we commence development of the concept design into a workable building design. This stage is often undertaken in 3D format to assess site location, floor plans and exterior form. After client feedback, the design is further developed to refine it to a point where the building can be visualized in its near to finished form by the client.

Sustainability & Energy Rating/Reporting

Key DCA Design staff are Accredited Energy Raters and can provide Environmental Sustainable Design efficiency input at the conceptual design stage. We can also assess the 5/6 Star Accurate or Greenstar Energy Performance of the design and building components and issue reports to demonstrate compliance required for later stages.


Planning Permit Application – Drawings & Reports

Where required by Council Regulations (and after approval of concept design by the client), we undertake the preparation of presentation drawings for Planning Permit Application purposes. The drawings describe for planning application purposes, the scale and scope of works and relevant visible finishes and site conditions.

DCA Design prepares site context plans and design response plans for the Planning Permit Application. We may also prepare reports (required by Council), which assess the relevant aspects of the project against planning controls or guidelines. In more complex applications these reports are prepared in conjunction with an experienced Planning Consultant.

Planning Submissions to Council & Advertising

Where required by Council, we will lodge the relevant application forms, plans and/or letter of explanation as may be necessary. Where required by Council, we will erect site signs and carry out any other activities necessary to complete the statutory advertising requirements (if not carried out by the Council). It is often necessary at this stage for us to regularly contact the Council and encourage their prompt assessment of the application.


Working Drawings

Working drawings prepared by DCA Design enable the construction of the project by the builder and define the building outcome. We prepare working drawings to show the integration of the structural and finishes elements of the building. Working drawings also demonstrate to the authorities the designs compliance with the Building Code of Australia or related Codes. The drawings provide details of all doors, windows, roof construction, dimensions, site works and also detail specific connections or construction techniques. The drawings feature floor plans, site plans, external elevations and cross sections.

Interior Design Detailing

This is where we prepare detailed drawings of the internal layout, elevations, finishes, etc and show built-in cupboards, fittings, extent of tiling, fittings, etc for kitchens, bathrooms, laundries, cupboards, etc.. These drawings inform the builder’s trades to assist with costing estimates and to clarify details of finish. Accessories, power points and lighting are also located.

Electrical & Services Layout Plans

Non Residential projects include specific needs for building services, such as electrical, fire service or mechanical services. This involves us liaising with specialist services consultants who design these services, to integrate the services into the building structure.

Project Specification & Schedule of Finishes

This is where we provide a written descriptive specification providing a defined basis for builders to prepare their fixed price quotation. The specification document describes the standards of workmanship and includes details of fittings, finishes and materials to be used and the extent to which they will be applied.

Liaise with Building Surveyors & Lodge Building Permits

Where required, we will prepare application forms, co-ordinate all relevant documents and lodge with the appointed building surveyor to obtain a Building Permit. In some cases, liaison with the building surveyor will be required early in the design process to achieve the best regulatory outcome.


Tenders & Contracts

Where required, we can complete tender documents for the calling of competitive tenders from selected builders. We may also assist in selection of, or preparation of contract documents, analyze quotations, make recommendations to you for the appointment of a builder, assist in negotiations and final signing-off on the building contract. It is recommended that all parties prior to signing any contract documents seek appropriate legal advice.

Site Attendance & Contract Administration

This involves representing the client on site during the building process, attending the site on a regular basis to monitor progress, advise and interpret drawings and contract documentation for the builder and/or the owner as required. We monitor the project to obtain quality finishes consistent with the design concept, client’s brief and fair and reasonable trade practice. We may also carry out contract administration such as record variations, progress claims, etc and advise on the validity of such claims.


Required Compliance Reports

DCA Design can assist with the assessment of the numerous compliance reports often required by regulatory authorities and obtaining reports/schedules, demonstrating compliance with the various regulations and codes affecting the building and construction industry. Reports can include the Disability Discrimination Act, Protection Works or Planning Compliance matters to name a few.

Artistic/graphic Presentation Images

DCA Design has skills and capacities to offer realistic 3D artistic images of the project. This is particularly helpful for client evaluation, planning approval or marketing purposes and in assisting to visualize the project concept in three-dimensional form, for example, perspectives, 3D CAD images, walk-throughs. The image produced can be simple 3D massing models or photo-realistic artists’ impressions.

DCA Design - P.O.Box 155, Brunswick East, Victoria, Australia 3057 Phone: +61 3 9682 6655
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