The Many Hats of an Architect

Richard Andrews Architects

 

If you saw our infographic ‘How to become an architect,’ then you will know it takes several years of intense study and practical experience to become a fully qualified architect who is registered with the Architects Registration Board. (ARB).

What many don’t realise is that architects become not only experts in the architectural field, but also need to train extensively and gain a vast body of knowledge in other disciplines also.

 

Effectively architects have to know about several other professions namely Structural Engineer, Quantity Surveyor and a Builder/Contractor. We also have to adhere to legal processes and be equipped with project running skills. Then comes buildability of the design versus creativity. Always a challenge but one we enjoy!"

Richard Andrews – Director, RA Architects

 

 

In a typical working week an architect will wear the hat of many professions, so as such we thought it would be interesting to highlight a few common examples;

Structural and Civil Engineer - As the design lead for a project, an architect needs to ensure that the structure of the building they have designed can withstand the stresses exerted on it through human and environmental factors. It is crucial that an architect be able to anticipate and solve potential structural problems during the design process.  

Building Contractor – It is an architect’s responsibility to create a set of documents that can be relayed accurately to (and understood completely) by a building contractor. These documents not only convey the aesthetics of a build but also the detailed technical instructions on how to physically make it. Architects will continue to monitor the build process through site visits to ensure that the design brief is being met in full.

Quantity Surveyor – Cost consultancy plays a role as an architect needs to be able to accurately assess building costs and work collaboratively with a quantity surveyor to ensure the budget for the build stays on track.

Construction Design Manager (CDM)- Architects need to ensure that the correct health and safety regulation requirements within the design are being adhered to. With rules updated frequently this is an area to which an architect needs to keep on top of the newest best practice.

Ecologist- Surveys for trees, plants and protected species are a common occurrence and one which an architect needs to be well equipped to understand and advise upon.

Contract and Construction Law – Architects need a thorough and up to date understanding of both contract and construction law as it is utilised daily. Construction law incorporates topics such as building and planning regulations and an architect may use contract law when dealing with sub-contractors as it covers topics such as dispute resolution and avoidance, liability and insurance to name a few areas.

Researcher – You may have noticed in our own list of services we offer options to carry out research for our clients, with flood risk assessments being one example.

And finally, as the design lead on a project, an architect needs to act as both project manager and communicator bringing together all the different contractors; ensuring the correct products have been selected and installed properly all whilst making sure our client’s brief has been fulfilled. A lot of work, but as Richard said, always a challenge but one we enjoy!

 

We hope you have enjoyed this post, keep following us to be kept updated on future posts as we have lots of behind the scenes tips and inspiration lined up to show you! As always if you'd like some help or advice on a project feel free to get in touch on 01633 744144.

 

 

 

How to become an architect

Fancy a career in architecture? Our fun infographic explains what it takes to become licensed with the Architects Registration Board, ARB.

 

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For those of you who may have already started on their journey in architecture, we currently have an architectural assistant vacancy. Contact the office on 01633 744144 or email admin@ra-architects.co.uk for more information!

Why Should I Choose a RIBA Chartered Practice?

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Continuing to answer our most frequently asked questions, today we are discussing 'Why Should I Choose a RIBA Chartered Practice?'

 

RIBA (The Royal Institute of British Architects) is a professional body that enforces a strict criteria threshold for potential architectural practices to adhere to if they wish to be classed as a RIBA Chartered Practice. 

By working with a RIBA Chartered Practice, clients can expect to receive a quality service that meets a recognised set of standards. Clients will also find peace of mind that the RIBA will only endorse and support practices who can demonstrate effective business performance with a commitment to excellence.

 

RIBA state that all practices must;

  • employ a required number of individual RIBA Chartered Architects
  • have appropriate Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • have an effective Quality Management system
  • have comprehensive Health and Safety and Environmental policies in place
  • are expected to conduct themselves in accordance with a Code of Practice in a manor appropriate to their status. View the full Code of Practice.

They are committed to excellence in design and customer service. That's why the RIBA only promotes accredited Chartered Practices to clients.’

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           – www.architecture.com

 

How do I find out if my architect is a genuine RIBA Chartered Practice?

RIBA keeps a directory of all current members (including Richard Andrews Architects) on its website which you can visit at www.architecture.com

 

Will my build need planning permission?

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There are a few questions that architect practices get asked on a regular basis. So to help our clients become better informed we’ve decided to talk about our most frequently asked questions, starting with the most common; ‘Will my build need planning permission?’

 

Every project undertaken by ourselves is assessed on an individual basis as to whether or not planning permission is required and it is something we can advise further in our initial consultation, but here’s some information to help gauge whether your project is likely to require planning or not.

 

What is planning permission and when might you need it?

In simple terms, planning permission is a request (usually to your local planning office) to carry out a specific type of building work. It ideally needs to be granted before any work begins. So whether you are thinking of adding an extension to an existing home, creating a build from scratch or maybe even looking to change the use of your building, you may require planning permission.

However you can also perform certain types of work without the need to apply for planning at all, as these fall under the category of ‘permitted development rights.’

Permitted development rights, derive from a general planning permission issued by the government and can be more restrictive in designated areas of the country – For example, if your project resided in a national park.

(It is important to stress that permitted development rights, differ between commercial, and residential properties. With differences between domestic homes such as houses and apartments again. So it is especially important to seek expert advice prior to starting a build).

 

Where to find out more?

With so many different factors it can be tricky to know where to start finding out the correct information for your build.

To investigate the particular planning constraints for your project we recommend the following;

 

Speak to your local planning department - The government have given the main responsibility of planning to local council authorities, if you have a specific question regarding your proposal your local planning dept. should be able to help answer it.

 

Look online – There are several reliable online resources you can turn to in order to find out more information regarding planning; most notably planningportal.co.uk. Here you can find comprehensive information (including several interactive guides) relating to the planning constraints of properties in Wales (as well as England).  

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You can also review documents on the Welsh Government’s planning policy by clicking the link below;

http://gov.wales/topics/planning/policy/ppw/?lang=en

 

Chat with us – You can always utilise our team’s knowledge. As experts in our field and thoroughly up to date with local planning we will happily talk you through your proposal. Call us today on 01633 744144.

 

 

 

Career Vacancy – Architectural Technician

 

JOB TITLE: Architectural Technician

RESPONSIBLE TO: Director/Principle Architect

RESPONSIBLE FOR: Day-to-day Technical Aspects of projects such as; new build residentials but also prestigious developments such as The Groomes Event Centre, Guildford and Barry Community Water Activity Centre.

 

Position Overview

We have an exciting role for an architectural technician to join our busy practice based in Newport, South Wales. We are looking for a team player with a positive work ethic who will enjoy working closely with our in-house architect and other external contacts; providing architectural design services and solutions on projects. Candidates will be responsible for the production of all working technical drawings as well as the preparation of feasibility studies, sketch designs, 3D modelling specification and report writing.

 

Main Duties

• Collate and organise technical information;

• Investigate technical information and factors that affect developments, including user needs, site and building surveys and regulatory requirements;

• Monitor health and safety in design with H&S Coordinator;

• Prepare and present design proposals using computer-aided design and other design software, as well as traditional methods;

• Lead the detailed design process and coordinate detailed design information;

• Produce, analyse and advise on detailed specifications for suitable materials or processes to be used;

• Prepare specifications for construction work;

• Carry out design-stage risk assessments;

• Assemble/review tenders for construction work;

• Contribute to meetings and document preparation;

• Liaise between members of the design and construction team, as well as provide professional technical guidance to them;

• Adhere to Health and Safety Legislation/relevant Policies and Procedures and to take reasonable care for the health and safety of yourself and other persons who may be adversely affected by your acts/omissions;

• Represent the office of Richard Andrews Architects at networking events or tradeshows, if required;

• Demonstrate an aptitude to undertake Continuous Professional Development (CPD) as delivered by the office of Richard Andrews Architects.

 

Skill Requirements

• Degree qualified in Architectural Technology or equivalent;

• A minimum 2 years practical work experience on residential/ mixed use projects;

• Knowledge of UK building regulations and construction detailing;

• Highly Proficient in the use of AutoCAD and Revit;

• Knowledge of technical legislation including current building regulations;

• Ability to interpret technical drawings and designs;

• Maths skills for technical calculations;

• Excellent communication and organisational skills;

• Outstanding attention to details and design.

 

Remuneration

• Competitive salary dependent upon experience;

• Excellent holiday package;

• Mon-Fri 9am-5pm with an early Friday finish;

• Plus benefits.

 

About our Practice

Richard Andrews Architects is a thriving and creative design-led architectural practice providing services to commercial and domestic clients across the UK and of course, on our doorstep in Newport, South Wales. We are a Chartered Practice with the RIBA.

With a small and friendly team we work collaboratively together to ensure that the whole design process runs smoothly and efficiently for each client. Our excellent attention to detail delivers great results to the highest standard of every project that we design.

We are currently working on a diverse variety of projects, ranging from domestic extensions and new builds to the extensive redevelopments of Abergwuan Hotel, Fishguard and Cwmbran Village Surgery to name a few.

 

This role is a fantastic opportunity for the right individual to establish themselves within a flourishing and creative environment with a real scope to grow with the firm as the company expands.

 

Please send  your CV to admin@ra-architects.co.uk with a covering letter briefly demonstrating suitability for the role.

 

 

Why you can’t afford to not use an architect…

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When it comes to a building project, we all want to make our budget stretch as far as possible. If you’ve already got a builder in mind to complete the work, it may seem tempting to skip the step of hiring an architect completely. But we’re going to explain why using an architect will actually save you money.

 

A good Architect (and we do recommend using a RIBA Chartered Practice) will start by working with you to fine tune your ideas. Up to date with building regulations and practices they will quickly be able to let you know if your proposal is feasible and will put you in the best position in regards to submitting planning applications. 

 

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The architect will manage the design and build process for you, which includes liaising with building regulation officers and the planning department. Taking control in this way not only ensures the build runs as smooth as possible but also helps to avoid costly (and timely) disputes. 

 

An architect will also assist in the selection of a contractor. Making sure they are adequately insured and competent. Your architect will convey your vision to the building team and will make thorough checks that all work is safe and adheres to both building regulations and your original plans. 

 

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Architects also abide by a statutory plan of works and will also be insured themselves which goes further to minimise risk for your build.

 

And finally, with a vast knowledge of construction, an architect will take in to consideration building materials and the design brief itself in order for you to maximise your budget and help avoid expensive mistakes, thus generating lower running costs of the overall project. 

 

If you’d like to find out more about our process and how we work as a practice we have a quick and easy to watch video explaining all our stages of work and if you'd like to speak to a member of our team, call the office on 01633 744144. 

 

 

Business Showcase South West, 2017

Here are a few images taking at the recent Business Show Case South West, 2017. The eagle eyes among you may spot a cool piece of kit on our stand – the Samsung Gear VR.

This piece of technology allows our clients to see their potential new spaces in 360 degrees! We'll be doing a follow up post specifically on this shortly (so please follow us) for an update. 

(Click the images to view full size)

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5 Minutes with Antonella

 

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Antonella is one of our architectural assistants. Hailing from Rome, Italy where Antonella completed her studies in 2015 she now calls Wales home.

 

Hi Antonella, so what are you currently working on?

Hello, I am busy with a mix of projects, the main bulk being residential which is great as I’m really passionate about these type of home improvements but I am also involved in the exciting development of Barry Community, Water and Activity Centre which has been incredible to work on.

 

sketch of barry community water and activty centre

 

What’s been your favourite project with the company so far?

I have a soft spot for a lovely residential house in Welsh St Donats as it is my first solo project and the build itself has been quite challenging structurally, which is always a nice reason to exercise the mind and think outside the box! The development (which will be a 2 storey extension through converting an existing garage) is due to begin the build stage shortly and I’m really excited to see it all finished. Hopefully we can share the progress of it soon!

 

What is your favourite type of project?

As a keen cyclist I love being outdoors and am influenced by nature, so naturally I really enjoy projects which involve eco-buildings.

 

What project throughout history do you wished you’d worked on?

I’m a big admirer of the late (and great) architect Zaha Hadid who designed the Maxxi Museum in Rome, which is a museum for modern and contemporary art. I remember going to the opening of the building in my second year of university and being awestruck by how fluid the inside rooms were designed, each space meandered perfectly into the next! I’d highly recommend others to visit when next in the country.

 

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Tell us one fun fact about you?

I’m an ace in the kitchen and love to whip up my favourite pasta dishes from home.

 

Thanks Antonella! We hope you enjoyed getting to know our team, we’ll be featuring more mini interviews throughout the year so follow us to keep updated for the next one!