Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Building Designer?

Building designers typically only design residential buildings and light commercial buildings. Building designers are also commonly known as residential designers due to the fact that many of the people in this field specialize solely in Residential Design and Residential Remodeling. From the American Institute of Building Design:

  • A qualified designer offers a complete array of professional services. The prime task is to furnish preliminary and detailed designs for the proposed structure, ranging from the initial concept to complete working drawings that will comply with all applicable building codes and regulations.
  • A Building designer may supply or arrange additional services such as selecting contractors and overseeing construction. A Building Designer may be retained to provide all or any part of the planning, design, and construction process as the client desires. These services are subject to the policies and services of the individual designer.

The term ‘Registered Building Designer’ is recognized as a person who has fulfilled requirements of a registered organization, enabling them as being suitably experienced and qualified to design residential and light commercial buildings. Building designers in the United States may qualify to sit for a certification exam administered by the National Council of Building Designer Certification (NCBDC). Those who have successful passed the NCBDC exam are given the title Certified Professional Building Designer. The National Council of Building Designer Certification provides National Testing, Accreditation and Certification of Building Design Professionals. The NCBDC Accreditation Program certifies competency of professional building designers in ethics, procedures, architectural styling, structural engineering and construction principles, processes, materials and methods.

The NCBDC program is the only certification for residential and light frame building designers in the nation. The certification program has been certifying building designers for over 40 years and measures a designer’s qualifications on a nationally recognized level. This program is a true test of an applicant’s complete understanding of residential and light frame building design. Certification allows designers to demonstrate professional capabilities and is a designation of professional excellence. A Building Designer that has passed the NCBDC exam has attained the highest level of competency and professionalism as a building designer. In Austin, all remodels, additions, or new construction in the McMansion area require the use of a certified professional building designer (NCBDC) or a licensed architect (AIA).

References: “” “” “” December 2, 2008