Project Management
Apr 26, 2024

The Job of an Architect

An architect is often seen as someone who draws nice pictures of buildings. While presentation is a big part, it’s just...

An architect is often seen as someone who draws nice pictures of buildings. While presentation is a big part, it’s just the tip of the iceberg that they have to tackle daily.

Beyond aesthetics, architects blend drawn and written data into intricate diagrams that detail a complex and layered decision-making process. It takes experience, training, knowledge, and contacts to lead a design from start to finish. Although each project is different, there is a structured design process the majority follow.

Design

To start off, the architect evaluates the site with all its opportunities and constraints. They will gather information from you—the client—from your lifestyle aspirations to budgetary considerations. All this gets transformed into a project brief which will be your road map through completion.

There may be some hurdles that you need to jump through in terms of legislation—such as planning regulations, covenants etc. At this stage though you would also bring in people like structural engineers and party wall surveyors to help you out along the way.

With all this new information considered together, an architect can begin their initial drawing work which will show massing and styling concepts. This goes through many options and iterations with collaboration between you, the architect, and everyone else on your team to get it right.

Planning

As drawings become more refined they will evolve into something suitable for statutory scrutiny (planning). 

You’ll be surprised how much back-and-forth there usually is here—especially for projects pushing boundaries. Architects often lead these negotiations with local planning authorities while advising on the best approach.

Once you are past planning then other statutory matters become resolvable by simply making sure everything conforms properly which is still easier said than done.

Construction drawings go in-depth on details including quantities and specifications. These form the tender documents for contractors to quote for.

Construction

The moment construction starts the role of architect remains the same—oversee and address on-site challenges while maintaining design intent. The process should be relatively straightforward with frequent site visits and coordination with contractors, surveyors and contractors.

Quality

Quality control becomes key for architects right up until the project is completed. They monitor works to ensure they meet standards while reviewing materials, construction methods, and workmanship.

Problem Solving

No matter how much planning there is, there will always be unexpected issues that crop up. When these occur your project team work together to solve them creatively. The surveyor can definitely help with this by drawing from project management experience.

Project Administration

Your project management team should help manage contracts, process payments, communicate updates to you and so forth particularly as the final stages of construction come to a close. The architect and surveyor continue making sure every regulation is met, all contractual requirements have been fulfilled, and designs match the build. 

The process of handing over control is made easier by addressing any remaining issues altogether. Before stepping away for good the architect provides their client with all the relevant paperwork they might need for future reference.

The artistic aspect of architecture that most people associate it with makes sense. Contrary to what people believe though this job requires more than just an imagination. From concept to completion architects have to work with the surveyor in every aspect of project management which you can find out more about by contacting us.