Beyond Design, what other services an Architect can offer?
Architects are passionate advocates throughout the process of a project to provide comprehensive results. Design is an extremely important part of being an Architect. Apart from the fact that Architects do designs, many people are not familiar that an Architect’s profession requires much more than that.
On this blog, we are going to discuss what does an Architect like us can do to help clients achieve their dream projects.
Architect as Lead Consultant
An Architect leads the team of Consultants, from Structural and Civil Engineer, Landscape Designer, Interior Designer, MEPS (Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Sanitary), and other Allied Professionals required in the project including the Main Contractor or Builder. The Team prepares all the required documents and submit them to the City Administrator or Building Official. They must submit good construction documents for seamless and fast approval, which makes the job easier and cost-efficient. For most instances, it is the Main Contractor’s job to submit and get approval for all these construction documents to the required authorities, signed and sealed by all the Allied Professionals involve in the project.
Legalities and Code Compliance
Every project is different, and Architects make sure that you can build your house or project legally. Lots of requirements, such as compliance to zoning ordinances, lot coverage and setbacks, building height and other compliance with the National Building Code. All these play important roles for a project. Aside from that, if a project is about conservation, the Architect must study conservation access that limits the construction or renovation of a house and preservation of a historical building. It is the Architect’s main job to understand what he/she needs to comply with to be legal.
Budget Allocation and Management
From the very start, be upfront with your Architect about your budget because no Architect wants to design a home you can’t afford to build. Architects can help you approximate or estimate, with the help of Civil Engineer how much will be the construction cost. Just be honest and they can certainly help you.
We have encountered Clients who wants an estimate for a project when there still no design and details in place. At IDEAR, we always encourage Clients to engage an Architect or a Designer first to have a basis of the cost estimate. Once you discuss all the requirements with the Architect, he or she will prepare concepts where a ballpark figure can be given as a basis.
Final costing can be derived during the Design Development phase. In a separate blog, we will discuss the design process before the construction stage.
If the Client really likes the outcome of the design, the Architect can suggest to build the project by phase so as to maximize the budget without compromising the design, details and specs of the project.
Always be mindful that Value Engineering can be done but there has to be some sacrifices to be given.
Design and Build
The Architect works with other Allied Professionals to create a seamless process that makes the most of your budget and gives you the best design and construction possible. It is very effective when there is a collaboration between an Architect and the best Builder.
For smaller projects, the Architect can build the project with his own team of laborers. This may not apply to all Architects, but we at IDEAR incorporates this into our services. But this only applies to smaller projects and interior renovations.
For larger projects, a collaboration with the Main Contractor and Builder is a must. The Architect will make a periodic visit into the site to supervise the development of the project, to make sure that all design and details are properly implemented, then report to the Client or if there is a Project Manager engage by the Client.
Customizing and Sustainable Development
You always want your home design to visualize your plan, but an Architect will keep in mind about resale value in the future when designing your home because it is a critical factor, but you don’t have to worry because your Architect will recommend you on ways to create your dream home while maximizing your finance. Another thing you should talk about with your Architect is the aging-in-place features. If you think this will be your forever home, it will be more comfortable for you to stay. Another factor to consider is future development especially if you have an ample space that you want to expand in the future. During the design stage, the Architect will incorporate some sustainable features and development within the project to cater future plans.
Aside from those mentioned above, there are other Services an Architect can offer such as Client Advocate, Project Manager, Construction Manager, and other roles related to Design and Construction.
You can check out https://www.united-architects.org/publications/standards-of-professional/ for other related services of an Architect with the corresponding fees.