An architect to construction is like a chef to a dish, both impart their creative vision to make routine work splendid. The curious and beautiful highrises, bridges, office complexes, and urban townships that mark the incredible advances of the construction industry originate on the drawing board of the architects.
Traditionally the roles of an architect in the construction industry have been designing and planning of the project and very importantly, maintaining visual appeals of structures and buildings. The below steps provide an outline of how architects go about their job:
- The architect meets with clients to determine their needs and then prepares concept drawings and specifications. Building safety, and local planning regulations and restrictions are taken into account. The design proposals are discussed at regular client meetings.
- The architect prepares the design draft. They use CADD technology to create detailed drawings to ensure the design’s feasibility. To meet the needs of the clients, the designs may be revised and redrawn several times. Upon approval, the design is translated into construction instructions and technical specifications for professional implementation on-site.Upon approval, the design is converted into construction instructions and technical specifications for onsite implementation.
- During this phase, the architect visits the construction site and meets the civil and structural engineers to oversee the construction. negotiate with contractors if necessary, and resolve any problems that arise.
But in the present day scenario, the architect firms are taking part in all phases of construction projects, from explaining ideas to clients and contractors to drawing plans and specifications to overseeing construction. See below for more details.
The revised role of architects in construction management
Unlike in the past, when architects only dealt with the design and creative aspects of a building project, architectural firms have now recognised the importance of being involved in the other aspects of the construction management.
These are also important factors for clients, such as delivery, cost control, construction quality of a project, and user satisfaction, which ultimately contribute to satisfactory implementation of the planning and design. This ensures that the hard work is rewarded monetarily and through preciation. Project management is now an important addition to the architectural toolbox.
With so many specialists needed to complete the project, architects assume the role of project managers who can collaborate with the operational heads and other team members. As the architects are natural team leaders, it helps them motivate the team and get the best out of them to make sure that the project goals and quality are achieved as expected by the clients.
So, what are the duties and responsibilities of an architect in the changed scenario?
It is important for architects to be able to achieve a balance between technical skills and creative aptitude in a fast-paced environment. They are expected to supervise the design and construction process, from site preparation to building completion. Some of the responsibilities increasingly being handled by architects include:
- Developing, organizing, and reviewing building plans.
- Preparing construction contracts for general contractors.
- Taking part in interviewing and hiring contractors.
- Consulting with clients, preparing a cost estimate based on equipment, materials, and labor requirements.
- Ensuring that construction projects meet environmental, safety, structural, zoning, and aesthetic standards.
- Determining and scheduling different stages of the building process according to client needs.
- Monitoring progress during construction site visits and ensuring that the phases of the construction process are in compliance with building plans and project deadlines.
The architects should take more leadership roles in project execution because the success of their design depends on the proper handling of other aspects of the project. Businesses are increasingly turning to architects for project management roles. That makes it important for architects to develop skills in the areas like communication & teamwork, engineering practices, building ordinances, negotiation, and decision making and contribute substantially to the construction industry growth.