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Envisioning Planning Living!

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SERVICES

01

Contractor Plan Set Services

Production Home Projects
  • Single Family
  • Single Family (w/Suites)
  • Duplex (Attached or Detached)
  • Multi-Family (3&4-Plex Units)

We provide established building contractors with basic plan sets suitable for building permit application purposes.

NO FRILLS...

Just the basic bits to get you through permit, and onto the building site...

FAST and EASY!

  • Single Lots
  • Subdivision Developments
  • Stock Plan Revisions
  • Additional Services Available...

02

Client Custom Plan Set Services

Custom Residential Projects
  • Single Family
w/ Secondary Suites
w/ Detached Guest Cottages
w/ Pool Houses

We provide this tailored high-level of service to clients who require more attention to detail for their envisioned dream home.

We will collaborate with you to get you started enjoying your new home!

  • Oceanside / view Lots
  • Rural Acreage Estate Lots
  • Single Residence Development Lots
  • Additional Services Available...

03

Commercial Plan Set Services

Commercial Projects:
  • Landlord Improvements
  • Tenant Improvements
  • New Space Development

We provide our building design and

project coordination services to land - developers, consulting engineers and architects.

With many years of BCBC - Part 3 compliant project experience, we bring external resource value to your project design team!

  • CRP/Coordination Services
  • Rezoning / Variances
  • Development Permit Services
  • Additional Services Available...
We don't get paid for that hour... We get paid for the 'value' we bring to that hour
SERVICES
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ABOUT US

DATUM POINT STUDIOS INC. is an Award Winning building design studio, specializing in the planning + design of:

  • Fine Custom Residences

  • Quality Market-Ready Production Homes

  • Market-Multiple Residential Developments

DATUM POINT STUDIOS is an ASTTBC licensed, insured and registered building designer studio practice who believe in exceeding our client's expectations!

Our goal is to provide design solutions through insightful  collaboration. To not only strive to find the balance between comfort, practicality and beauty, but to ultimately create spaces in which to live and work, that enhance people's lives!

Award Winner - Planning or Design Firm of the Year (2017) BAA, Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce.

Award Winner - Houzz Best in Service (2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2017)

ABOUT

2015

110

08

06

Year Established
Projects Completed
Contractors Appointed
Awards Won

luxury custom home

Envisioned to impress... This mainpage image featured residence boasts 10' ceilings in an open concept + 16' elevated central core ceilings through main entry - formal dining + great room.

 

This luxury residence is designed for entertaining!

Breath-taking views to Georgia Strait & Coastal Mainland Mountains beyond can be enjoyed from either inside or out

 

  • CHBA-VI 'VIBE Award' Finalist - Custom Home over 3000 SF

  • Featured in Boulevard Magazine.

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PROJECTS

PROJECTS

START HERE

CONGRATULATIONS!!

You have started your search to learn how ENVISIONING + PLANNING = LIVING in your new home. Exciting times to be sure!

This is all great... But now what?

 

  • How do I get the emotions and expectations I have of this new home, organized into an understandable written framework.

  • How can I then communicate these feelings to all the talented professionals who will make this really happen.

  • How to correctly understand what the whole design process is, what's actually possible vs. how I envision it.

If you are unfamiliar to this whole process, we have prepared a few white papers in PDF format which will provide some general insight into the various aspects one should be thinking about, and prior to hiring anyone. If you are interested in receiving these, please click the following green button.

 

 

 

These white papers are free to download. Information to review at your leisure, which may prompt you to ask additional, informed questions of yourself, and in turn the other parties who you will ultimately hire and entrust to seeing your envisioned plan, become your new home reality!

DATUM POINT STUDIOS is a proud member of the following organizations and associations:

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START HERE
FAQ

FAQ

Help + Advice

I'M A HOMEOWNER, AND NEED A HOUSE PLAN... SO MANY CHOICES, WHICH DIRECTION IS BEST FOR ME?

How you honestly answer that most important first question relates directly to how you envision your Needs and Expectations.

  1. Ask yourself this, "Do I currently KNOW what is actually required when submitting a house plan "package" for a (BP) building permit?

    • Be completely honest with yourselves at this junction in your decision making process.

    • The term, "package" is the key item in that statement above.

  2. Where do we go to find out?​

STOCK PLANS?.. CUSTOM HOME PLANS?

  1. Good first thoughts of which direction to follow that 'ticks the boxes' best.

    • Important to note: Stock plan book resources may not be the 'one stop shop' they used to be.​

  2. We have product offerings addressing both these options, one of which may work for you!

ARCHITECT vs BUILDING DESIGNER vs DRAFTSPERSON

WHO IS THE RIGHT OPTION FOR MY HOME DESIGN NEEDS?

  • When you venture into the world of construction, either for a new building or a remodel, you are going to get a lot of advice from a lot of different people. The first thing people will usually tell you is to hire an architect, a building designer or a draftsperson.

  • The problem is on the surface, these three (3) job titles can seem incredibly similar and yet, the level of service and associated costs can vary pretty significantly. So what separates them, and more importantly who do you need to hire?

WHAT DOES A DRAFTSPERSON DO?

  • A draftsperson is an individual who undertakes the task of 'drawing' up plans. They focus on putting together the documentation and delivery of plans.

  • The other thing that separates 'draftspersons' from architects and building designers is training and licensing. Currently, there are no requirements to become a draftsperson or certifications you need to hold, to operate as one. This is great for those who want to be self-taught, but that also means there is no way of guaranteeing the level of skill or expertise of a given draftsperson.

WHAT DOES AN ARCHITECT DO?

  • Architects are the most licensed and therefore, the most expensive of the group offering. To be an architect, you must have at least a university degree and pass a licensing exam. On top of that, architects must continually get re-registered every year. That means they have to build the cost of their own education, licensing, errors & omissions insurance cover, etc. into their rates.

  • Architects along with building designers, can offer and undertake all of the functions of a draftsperson. They can 'draw' up plans, give valuable input in the design materials and process, and deliver accurate documentation. However, architects and building designers also have the necessary knowledge and skill to make formal design decisions on the building to improve its form and function.

  • Essentially, they can take what a client wants out of a building and ensure that it looks good, serves the purpose it needs to, and stays on budget. Anyone who has dealt with construction projects knows this isn't an easy thing to do!

WHAT DOES A BUILDING DESIGNER DO?​

  • Building designers are, in essence, the 'middle ground' between a draftsperson and an architect. They have more training and licensing than a draftsperson, but typically do not carry the same hefty price tag as an architect.

  • A building designer can effectively offer and undertake the same tasks (delivery, documentation and design) in a cost-effective way.

  • It's worth noting that depending on where you live, building designers, like architects, still have to be certified to offer and do the work on certain types of buildings.

    • Currently in BC, provincial registration of building designers is not required. However under current legislation of the Professional Governance Act, these design services will be defined and deemed as 'restricted work' having 'reserved rights to practice'. Mandatory registration and licensing will be required within the next few years.

    • Those building designers that are registered through a recognized association such as ASTTBC, will be able to hold and use 'rights to title' with granted designations to demonstrate their level of professionalism.

    • Much like architects, those registered building designers are also required to continually get re-registered every year. That also means they have to build the cost of their own education, licensing, errors & omissions insurance cover, etc. into their rates.

    • Those same registered building designers are also required each year to take professional development courses and log them with their association to demonstrate commitment to the general safety of the public through continual education of building technologies.

  • Building designers must individually qualify to offer and undertake design work on residential homes, small commercial buildings, multi-residential developments, etc. This gives them an extra layer of accountability and, therefore credibility.

    • Case in point, many building designers start their careers as a draftsperson and then later acquire the necessary education and licenses to operate as a building designer. Another interesting fact is that even after acquiring an architecture degree, a person is legally considered a building designer until they take the architect's licensing exam.

  • Building designers are also more qualified to assist in the beginning stages of the construction process. Because of their extra experience and education, they can offer valuable insight into materials, use and even help you find contractors and construction companies.​

  • To keep it simple, the biggest difference between a draftsperson, a building designer, and an architect is:

    • knowledge

    • experience

    • cost

SO WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR ME?​

  • If your project is relatively small, like a quick remodel, it's usually best to use a draftsperson or a building designer. In these cases they can give you everything you need without the unnecessary cost of an architect.

  • For larger projects, most people choose to use either a building designer or an architect. More in-depth and complicated builds need the problem-solving abilities of people with extra training, education and experience.

  • This is a good time to talk about budget. Generally speaking, an architect is more expensive to hire than a draftsperson or a building designer. A draftsperson is usually the cheapest of the three (3) thanks to the 'low bar of entry'. Building designers almost always fall somewhere in the middle.

FINAL WORD...​

  • Depending on the scale of, and type of construction you are doing, you may actually be required to hire at least a building designer for the construction project.

  • It's always smart to check in with your local jurisdiction's planning or building official staff to get their general advice is always a great place to start. They can best advise you on local bylaws, building code and permitting requirements before starting any major project to avoid any potential legal trouble and red tape halfway through.

 

DO YOU NEED POTENTIAL GUIDANCE or EDUCATION

We are Building Designers yes, but we are also here to help guide and educate you on what needs to happen in an organized methodical manner to see your house plan package submission be a successful one!

 

Not all home plan providers are the same, so it's incumbent of yourself to ask lots of questions...

  • Be informed FIRST

  • Then decide which level of service and provider is the BEST FIT for you and your new home project!

  • Know what is required for submission... Then ask potential "designers":

    • What they include in their services, and more importantly what they do not include!

      • The answers that come back could directly impact and influence your anticipated overall project direct costs. You may need to engage (hire) additional technical design consultants as a result.

HOW DOES DATUM POINT STUDIOS DETERMINE WHAT DESIGN SERVICE LEVEL IS RIGHT FOR ME?

That's actually easy to answer... With every potential client we ask lots of questions upfront to best understand a few key things first. Commonly known as 'the client brief'. We have developed a series of PDF pages that can be emailed to you to review and answer in your leisure, and returned to us. Once we get that 'snapshot' of what you envision in your new home, our conversations can be focused, rather than in general terms.

 

The answers you provide to us guides our process in providing accurate, informed follow up to those 'age-old' questions of:

  • How much?

  • How long?

Much like a doctor, they would not prescribe any treatment if they do not know what the issue is... so they set an appointment to have a chat about aches and pains you may have. Then they provide a specific, targeted approach to wellness and a return to good health... 

The conversations we have regarding your new home is similar in a way. It's a major investment, yes. More importantly, this new home is an extension of yourselves, and requires the respect it deserves to arrive into this world looking smart, healthy and strong.

Single-family residential building design should have a much higher value proposition in the built environment. Today, this profession is way more complex than simply 'drawing' house plans.

Quite simply... without an informed, quality building design process, there is no accurate build process. Full stop!

WHAT CERTIFICATIONS DOES DATUM POINT STUDIOS BUILDING DESIGNERS HAVE?

 

Through ASTTBC (Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC) there are two (2) technical specialist designation 'Rights to Title' which have their own limits to practice:

  • CRD (Certified Residential Designer) - Permitted to undertake limited scope projects of single family detached and duplex multi-family dwelling units within BC Building Code: Division B, Part 9 - Housing and Small Buildings.

  • RBD (Registered Building Designer) - Permitted to undertake full scope of building design within BC Building Code: Division B, Part 9 - Housing and Small Buildings.

Austin Werner CTech, RBD (founder, principal) is registered and in good standing with the following certifications:

  • Designation title 'CTech' (Certified Technician - Building Engineering)

  • Designation title "RBD" (Registered Building Designer - Building Design, Technical Specialist)

 

Professional & Executive Board Member - (BCABD) Building Designers

Board Member - ASTTBC Building Designers Working Group

WHAT AREAS DOES DATUM POINT STUDIOS WORK IN?

As per our registration and certifications, our permitted range in providing professional building design services falls within the  BC Building Code (current edition): Division B, Part 9 - Housing and Small Buildings.

Division A - Part 1, Article 1.3.3.3. Application of Part 9:

Part 9 of Division B applies to all buildings described in Article 1.1.1.1. of 3-storey or less in building height, having a building area not exceeding 600m² [6458.3 sf], and used for major occupancies classified as:

  • Group C - residential occupancies (single family detached dwelling, up to four (4) multi-family dwelling units.

  • Group D - business and personal services occupancies (commercial), not exceeding 470m² [5059.0 sf].

  • Group E - mercantile occupancies (commercial), not exceeding 470m² [5059.0 sf], or

  • Group F - Division 2 and 3, medium and low-hazard occupancies (industrial), not exceeding 470m² [5059.0 sf].

WHEN YOU NEED AN ARCHITECT, AND NOT?

Short answer, any building intended to be designed within BC which falls outside the descriptions above typically require the services of a provincially registered Architect AIBC as mandated under the provincial (PGA) Professional Governance Act.

Certified and Registered Building Designers who have the required education, training and experience would be able to undertake most residential, small commercial and small industrial project opportunities, provided they carry the appropriate certification, and insurance cover. Fee considerations are typically less than what an Architect might charge for the same level of required work.

ARE DATUM POINT STUDIOS BUILDING DESIGNERS, ARCHITECTS?

No. Datum Point Studios, it's employees and contracted technical design resources are not in any way affiliated with the (AIBC) Architectural Institute of British Columbia.

We respect their association and it's members, by upholding an ethical mandate in not designating ourselves by using the 'reserved titles' or referencing of the terms: Architectural Technologist, or Architectural Designer.

IF YOUR PROJECT NEEDS AN ENGINEER (or engineers).. WHAT HAPPENS?

No worries there. We have you covered by referring you to a full range of professional design consultants which 'may' be required to be involved on your specific project. These qualified, registered professionals would typically be engaged (hired) by you directly, and we would then provide the coordination services making sure everyone is on the same page (so to speak)...

 

Through our collaborative client process, potential requirements for these specialized consultants can be quickly assessed, and we can then best advise you of available options.

MOST IMPORTANTLY

  • Allow yourselves TIME to distill what is before you in this journey to enjoying this new home of yours. It need not be an experience full of stress and dread. With some guidance and education, this can be one of discovery. Collaborating in designing the spaces, the relationship they each have with one another... the flow from one room to another, from one floor level to the next, from inside to outside. Its purpose driven, and special to you and your needs alone.

    • These conversations/decisions during the design phases are so important.

    • Take ownership. Do not let others drive this initial process.

  • It is incumbent of anyone seeking building design services to ask informed questions of individuals or companies offering, and undertaking such services. If you are unsure as to who may be required to provide such services to your project, you can reach out to our technical staff at your convenience for answers to any questions.

 

Our experienced staff are here to help at no obligation and hopefully answer any 'general questions' or concerns you may have.

CONTACT

Inquiries

Get in touch...

We would like to hear what you have planned!

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Thanks for submitting! We will get back to you shortly.

Mailing Address

101-5170 Dunster Road, Suite 256

Nanaimo, BC Canada V9T 6M4

+1 250 667 3286

Licensed, Insured and Registered through
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Registered Professional Member of
CONTACT
TESTIMONIALS
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Stu Hopewell,

COO, Regional Partner

We have had the privilege of working with Datum Point Studios for the past number of years. Austin and his team take extreme care that all the design drawings are completed to the utmost level of accuracy. Our clients have been very happy with the finished drawings and this past year one of our custom residences designed for us has been nominated for the Best House Award for the Canadian Home Builders Association - Vancouver Island (VIBE Awards) This nomination reflects the high level of work you can expect from Datum Point Studios.

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Lisa Birnie,

Home Owner

Datum Point Studios designed our new home in Nanaimo, BC and complete with the ocean views, it turned out beautifully. Austin was a pleasure to work with, highly professional throughout the design process. We met at the site first, to discuss our "vision", then communicated long distance via emails and phone calls, ultimately ensuring that the final design was exactly what we wanted. Our mountain-side lot presented challenges with respect to floor plans, but Austin worked through these challenges to enable quality construction (by Alair Homes - Nanaimo) of a fabulous, one-of-a-kind home that we well enjoy for years to come!

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Al Herle, P. Eng

President - AHLT Holdings

We engaged Datum Point Studios to design (2) detached duplex units for our land development project in Nanaimo BC, and Austin was very creative and responsive to our needs. The resulting designs helped us show off the property to its best advantage and get a good price for it... Austin also designed a detached garage/workshop for my personal residence - which might not sound like the most exciting project, but he did a great job interpreting my specific needs for the building while also making the workshop building attractive and compatible with our 1908 heritage home.

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Nick Farrington

Home Owner

Austin and his team at Datum Point Studios have been incredible to work with. They took a very difficult building lot and designed our dream house. We couldn't be happier with their service.

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Dan Sartori

President

Austin has designed a wonderful and striking home for our mutual client. From curb appeal to functionality, we are most pleased with how it is all coming together!

THE FOOTHIILS

THE FOOTHILLS

L A N T Z V I L L E, B C

THE FOOTHILLS IS AN 1,838 ACRE, MASTER-PLANNED NEIGHBOURHOOD, CURRENTLY ZONED FOR 731 HOMES, A MIXED-USE VILLAGE AREA, AND A 730 ACRE PARK.

PHASE TWO

NOW SELLING STUNNING VIEW HOMES SITES!

TO INQUIRE:

B R O A D   R I D G E  P A S S

D A T U M   P O I N T   S T U D I O S

DEVELOPER AUTHORIZED

'PREFERRED DESIGNER'

FOR THIS PRESTIGIOUS COMMUNITY

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