What does an architect do?

People often feel that architects are too expensive without really knowing what they do or without considering the long term benefits of making use of their services.  Building in today's marketplace is a complex undertaking requiring many different products and skills.  An architect understands these complexities and works closely with you so as to design an appropriate response to your requirements.  A SACAP (www.sacapsa.com) registered architect is professionally qualified, legally registered and bound by a professional code of conduct, thereby  being appropriately  trained and experienced to perfectly  coordinate and manage your building project.

By investing in the services of an architect, you ensure an exploration of various options for the design of your building.  With involvement from the initial design concept your architect will consider aesthetics, orientation, massing, circulation, energy efficiency, furnishing and siting.  Your architect can produce site studies, help secure planning and zoning approvals, and also perform a variety of other pre-design tasks.  Plus, when architects are involved in the earliest planning stage, they gain more opportunities to understand your business, develop creative solutions, and propose ways to reduce costs.  Thus through good design, an architect can increase the value of your building and may produce significant savings. Your architect's understanding of space, especially when it comes to operating, staffing and/or tenanting the building can lead to a facility that adds to the productivity and efficiency of your operation.

Architects work in five broad stages:

  • Appraisal and definition of the project
  • Design concept
  • Design development
  • Technical documentation
  • Contract administration and inspection.

Throughout the project, your architect will thus control the design, planning and quality of workmanship and materials to meet time and budgetary constraints. Your architect will be your independent adviser, liaising on your behalf with consultants, builders, and suppliers and ensuring compliance with the spirit and intent of the project. On large projects your architect will act as principal agent (team leader) where his/her role will be to coordinate a team of specialist consultants such as civil-, structural-, electrical- and mechanical engineers, quantity surveyors, interior designers and landscape architects.

Successful projects - i.e. those that achieve the desired results for their owners, users and architects - result from informed clients working with skilled architects to form professional, business (and often personal) relationships.

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