What do Architects do? And how can they help you?
Few people realize how complicated it is to build-that is until they find themselves lost in a maze of design options, building codes, zoning laws, contractors and so on. No two building projects are exactly alike, so there is no single clear-cut path to follow. Whether you’re about to expand your current facility, adapt an existing structure to a new use, or construct an entirely new building, your building project represents a major investment that will affect the productivity and efficiency of your organization for years. Smart decision-makers know that the way to maximize such an investment begins with consulting an architect. Architects are the only professionals who have the education, training, experience and vision to maximize your construction dollar and ease the entire design and construction process.
Early involvement is key. By helping you define the building project, architects can provide meaningful guidance for design. They can conduct site studies, help secure planning and zoning approvals, and perform a variety of other pre-design tasks. Plus, when architects are involved at the earliest planning stage, they gain more opportunities to understand your business, develop creative solutions, and propose ways to reduce costs. The long-term result is a facility that adds to the productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness of your operation.
Speak with an architect who is a member of The American Institute of Architects (AIA) at the earliest stage of your planning process.
Why an AIA architect?
Look for the AIA initials after the name of any architect you consider for your project. AIA architects remain current with professional standards through continuing education and subscribe to a Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct that assure clients, the public, and colleagues of their dedication to high standards in professional practice.
Involving an AIA architect at the earliest stage in project planning can allow for a better opportunity to analyze your needs, develop effective solutions, and propose more ways to reduce costs from the beginning. With a broad understanding of design and construction, an AIA architect can help guide you through the entire process more smoothly.
AIA architects can help you:
- Clarify and define your building needs.
AIA architects can fully examine your requirements, budget, and building site to help define the scope of what’s to be built.
- Look ahead.
AIA architects look beyond your immediate requirements to design flexible buildings that will adapt with the changing needs of your business.
- Manage your project.
From site selection to move-in, AIA architects act as project leaders. They manage and coordinate key project elements, allowing you to focus on your organization’s activities.
- Maximize your investment.
AIA architects are a wise investment of today’s dollars for big savings tomorrow. A building designed for maximum energy efficiency can reduce bills now and down the road. Plus, efficient use of space can reduce the total square footage you require. And a well-designed building can reduce initial costs and also increase its long-term value.
- See the big picture.
AIA architects don’t just design four walls and a roof—they create total environments, both interior and exterior, that are pleasing and functional for the people who work and do business within them.
- Solve problems.
Most building projects start with a want or a need. “I need more file space in my office.” Or, “We’ve outgrown our house.” But how does that need or want get translated into square feet and three-dimensional space?
That is what architects are trained to do solve problems in creative ways. With their broad knowledge of design and construction, architects can show you alternatives and options you might never think of on your own.
Need more room for your growing family? An architect can show you how to enlarge your home so you don’t have to move. Not sure how fast your business is going to grow? An architect can design an office that meets your needs today and can be adapted for tomorrow. Have a limited budget? The architect looks for ways to make your project cost effective.
The architect can save you money
The architect’s services are a wise investment for the money, not an added cost to your project. Why?
Because a well-conceived project can be built more efficiently and economically.
Architects plan your projects with you. As your ideas evolve, changes can be made on paper much less expensively than later on when construction is underway. Thorough drawings also make it easier for the contractor to accurately price and build your project.
Because energy efficient buildings can save you money on fuel bills down the road.
An architect can design a building to maximize heating from the sun and let in natural light, thus reducing your heating, cooling and electric bills over time.
Because the architect can work with your budget and help you select the appropriate materials and workmanship at a fair price.
Architects develop the drawings and specifications to help you get bids for construction that are based on your requirements.
Because an architect can help you choose materials and finishes that are durable as well as beautiful, saving on frequent maintenance and replacement costs.
Architects work to stay abreast of advances in roofing, brick work, floor tiling, paint finishes, etc. Their familiarity with the full range of materials enables them to suggest the appropriate materials for your project.
Because good design sells.
A well-designed house has a higher resale value. A well-designed work environment attracts employees and increases productivity.
The architect can make your life easier.
Let’s face it, building is a long process that is often messy and disruptive, particularly if you are living and working in the space under construction. The architect you hire looks out for your interests and tries to find ways to make that process go smoothly.
If your project requires engineering or other design services, the architect can coordinate this team of experts so you don’t have to. The architect sorts out complex building codes and zoning laws. The architect can help you find qualified construction contractors based on your requirements. The architect visits the construction site to help verify that the project is being built according to plans and specifications.