What Does an Architect Do? (It may be more than you think)
An architect is like the composer and conductor of an orchestra — he or she has a major role within a team. Architects of community spaces – such as schools, offices, and neighborhood buildings – are not just designing a building or drawing lines on paper; they are bringing a lot of people together to coordinate something that people will see, use, and experience, every single day, probably for decades to come. With that in mind, it makes sense to choose an architect that understands how to conduct and coordinate multiple parties, along with being able to design something functional and beautiful. The value of an architect lies in their well-rounded professional training, skill, and expertise.
Architecture as a Personal Choice, Not a Commodity
Architects are often seen as a commodity – meaning they are viewed as being the same, and providing the same result regardless of who you hire; so why not find the cheapest one? But in fact, every architect has different strengths and shortcomings, and your architect should match with your needs. Poor architecture can leave you with cramped spaces, unhappy occupants, and a loss of money, productivity, and happiness. But good, thoughtful building design can greatly impact a business or organization housed in that space. Good architecture can make money, improve test scores, boost productivity and health, and ensure longevity.
That’s why it is important to partner with an architect that you can trust to take care of your interests and make the right decisions. It comes down to choosing an architect who understands your goals and your vision, and can translate it to real-world situations and issues that pop up during the building process.
Architects Offer Coordination and Creativity
Architects can be the lead coordinators of a building project, and in managing all of the various complexities of any design and construction, they have to be creative in finding solutions that work. A great architect is one who ensures that every piece fits together, as a master team builder, a budget keeper, a schedule coordinator, a codes and regulations expert, a sustainability pro, and a project leader ready to work with a variety of engineers, contractors, and client interests. A lot goes into a building project, and your architect conducts it all.
An architect should make your life easier, not more difficult. As a creative coordinator, the value of an architect is that he or she facilitates and communicates on your behalf. Whether it is handling design plans to make sure everything is up to code, re-working a design to fit in with natural elements of the site or to meet budget constraints, or problem-solving to use your money wisely, your architect is there to find and implement the solutions that meet your objectives.
Value of an Architect – More than Just Design Plans
Yes, developing plan layouts and designing the look of buildings is a major part of what architects do, but if that were their only role, you could indeed hire nearly anyone. It’s the full package of architecture services that sets excellent firms apart. The value of an architect goes beyond drawing and design skills, into the research skills needed to promote efficiency and safety, resulting in a building that is tailored to cost-effectiveness yet high quality, safe, functional. It’s the ability to look ahead and consider historical weather and climate patterns to create building designs that are resilient and withstand natural events, from floods to intense heat. It’s the assurance that your building will be up to code and accessible to people with disabilities, ensuring that customers and visitors of all backgrounds will be able to enjoy your space. There are very few parts of a building project that an architect does not touch, and that goes well beyond drawing designs.
We understand that building can be complicated and expensive, and that it can be tempting to cut costs by going with an architect that offers low prices. But in the end, if you choose a sub-par architect (or even try advancing a project without one), you may save money in the short term while putting your organization at a serious disadvantage over time. Think of it this way – when looking at the long-term costs of operating a facility, including construction, utilities, maintenance, and salaries of the occupants, the cost of an architect is less than 1% of the overall expense. Yet that 1% can be quickly returned in energy efficiency, maintenance, and productivity.
Good architects keep projects running smoothly, relying on training, education, experience, and vision to coordinate and guide others through the building process. They will save your organization money in the long-term view, with cost-effective materials and design choices, energy-efficiency built into the space, and durable construction to cut future costs, now. Your space will be attractive and engaging for the users, inviting the clients you need to keep your organization going. And, with an efficient, durable, and well-constructed building, if you choose to sell in the future, you will not lose money, having partnered with an architect who planned for resale value from the start.
As community architects, the team at SSP Architects understands the value of an architect and what they add to communities, schools, business, and neighborhoods like yours. We are here to help you with any building project that could benefit from the services of forward-thinking, collaborative professionals like our team. Contact us today to learn more about our services!