Are you are embarking on a building project and plan to use an Architect for some of the services but unsure of exactly what they do and how best you can use them to get the best value for your money? The post below outlines some of the functions your Architect may carry out for you during the course of your project.Understanding thesewill enable you plan properly and save you time and money.
The scope of service ultimately depends on you-the client-and the project requirements.For instance,small or low budget builds may not require elaborate services when compared to their larger counterparts.
1. Strategic brief preparation:
Strategic brief relates to the ‘statement of need’ or ‘business case’ for your project. Why are you engaging on the project? What are the gains to be reaped from the project now or later? This may not necessarily apply to private residential projects but is mostly required on commercial projects in explaining the project to stakeholders .It communicates the project essence and may help in raising funds for a project.
2. Feasibility studies:
Before going too far on your project and meeting dead ends due to unforeseen reasons, your Architect can conduct feasibility studies to see if the proposed project will meet your expectations and government regulations.
3. Project Brief development:
During the planning stage, you may have an idea of what you want. However,your Architect can advise appropriately on the requirements to make your building project a success.This relates to spatial requirements,project type demand,preliminary/rough estimates, returns on investment,planning requirements etc.
Your Architect can carry out necessary studies and research to ensure your project plan is the best possible for the intended use considering all other constraints. After this, a written document containing the scope and requirements of the project is done. This is the project brief.
4. Preparing the concept design:
The concept design is the immediate response to the project brief. Your Architect develops a preliminary document which outlines the basic design possibilities for the project. This should be simple for ease of understanding but hold enough information to be deliberated upon by necessary stakeholders.
5. Developed design:
After the concept design,More information is provided for better understanding of the project. The design is further developed such that the project scope,schedule and cost can be deduced from the documents with higher accuracy.
6. Detailed design/Production information:
At this stage, your Architect produces detailed information required to build the structure. All drawings are done and coordinated with Engineering disciplines to ensure there are no surprises on site.The output of this stage is a set of drawings and specifications which can be used on site also called construction documentation.
7. Appointing other professionals:
There are other professionals involved in the building industry which you will need on your project.These include but not limited to Engineers,quantity surveyors,builders etc.Your Architect can help or advise during the selection of these professionals.
8. Planning applications:
Your Architect can oversee the submission of your drawings to the planning authorities. while liaising with planners to get all permits required (eg demolition permits,renovation permits ,approved drawings etc).
9. Tender documentation:
Your Architect may prepare Architecture design documents required for tender (for contractors to bid) on your project
The contract for your building can be administered/managed by the Architect.
This entails inspection works carried out to ensure project is carried out to scope,time and cost and quality.This pertains only to project execution.
Project management is a broad area which stands on its own. This should not be confused with supervision which only takes care of project execution. Your Architect can serve as the project manager to save you time and money.For bigger projects, it’s desirable he/she has a project management certification such as PMP or PRINCE2 with adequate project management experience. In addition to scope,other aspects to be managed in this case include:
- Human resource,
- Stakeholder management
- Integration (bringing together all parts of the project)
There are other services of your Architect can render,however the write up above summarizes the major services. Endeavor to liaise with your Architect regarding required items as stated above in order to get adequate information prior to embarking on your project.These will ultimately save you time and money.
Thanks for your time.