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.