The Architect’s primary concern is the built environment

The architect is not the one who decides to build or not to build. That decision is made by others who control the financial and material resources necessary to build, those who own the land or represent the government. Architects do not build, they make designs that instruct others what and how to build.

People need places to live,eat, play, learn, worship, meet, work, govern and shop . Architects are responsible for designing these places. {private or public; indoors or outdoors;etc}. Architects are licensed professionals trained in the art and science of building design who develop the concepts for structures and turn those concepts into reality.

As an architect you are unlikely to spend all your life designing at the drawing board or on the PC using computer -aided -design programmes. In addition to time spent in the office, the architect moves around between various building sites and is in constant contact with clients and the many disciplines involved in the building process. Skills such as computer literacy, site supervision and project management are essential.

Architects create the overall look of buildings and other structures, but the design of a building involves far more than its appearance. Buildings also must be functional, safe, and economical and must suit the needs of the people who use them. Architects consider all these factors when they design buildings and other structures.

Architects may be involved in all phases of a construction project, from the initial discussion with the client through the final delivery of the completed structure. Their duties require specific skills — designing, engineering, managing, supervising, and communicating with clients and builders. Architects spend a great deal of time explaining their ideas to clients, construction contractors, and others. An architects must be able to communicate their unique vision convincingly.

The architect and client discuss the objectives, requirements, and budget of a project. In some cases, architects provide various predesign services: conducting feasibility and environmental impact studies, selecting a site, preparing cost analysis and land-use studies, or specifying the requirements the design must meet. For example, they may determine space requirements by researching the numbers and types of potential users of a building. The architect then prepares drawings and a report presenting ideas for the client to review.

After discussing and agreeing on the initial proposal, architects develop final construction plans that show the building’s appearance and details for its construction. Accompanying these plans are drawings of the structural system; air-conditioning, heating, and ventilating systems; electrical systems; communications systems; plumbing; and, possibly, site and landscape plans. The plans also specify the building materials and, in some cases, the interior furnishings. In developing designs, architects follow building codes, zoning laws, fire regulations, and other ordinances, such as those requiring easy access by people who are disabled. Computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) and building information modeling (BIM) technology has replaced traditional paper and pencil as the most common method for creating design and construction drawings. Continual revision of plans on the basis of client needs and budget constraints is often necessary.

Architects may also assist clients in obtaining construction bids, selecting contractors, and negotiating construction contracts. As construction proceeds, they may visit building sites to make sure that contractors follow the design, adhere to the schedule, use the specified materials, and meet work quality standards. The job is not complete until all construction is finished, required tests are conducted, and construction costs are paid. Sometimes, architects also provide postconstruction services, such as facilities management. They advise on energy efficiency measures, evaluate how well the building design adapts to the needs of occupants, and make necessary improvements.

Often working with engineers, urban planners, interior designers, landscape architects, and other professionals, architects in fact spend a great deal of their time coordinating information from, and the work of, other professionals engaged in the same project.

They design a wide variety of buildings, such as office and apartment buildings, schools, churches, factories, hospitals, houses, and airport terminals. They also design complexes such as urban centers, college campuses, industrial parks, and entire communities.

Architects sometimes specialize in one phase of work. Some specialize in the design of one type of building; for example, hospitals, schools, or housing. Others focus on planning and predesign services or construction management and do minimal design work

Usually working in a comfortable environment, architects spend most of their time in offices consulting with clients, developing reports and drawings, and working with other architects and engineers. However, they often visit construction sites to review the progress of projects. In 2008, approximately 1 in 5 architects worked more than 50 hours per week, as long hours and work during nights and weekends is often necessary to meet deadlines.

Architects must be able to communicate their ideas visually to their clients. Artistic and drawing ability is helpful, but not essential, to such communication. More important are a visual orientation and the ability to understand spatial relationships. Other important qualities for anyone interested in becoming an architect are creativity and the ability to work independently and as part of a team. Computer skills are also required for writing specifications, for 2-dimensional and 3- dimensional drafting using CADD programs, and for financial management.

An Architectural Designer is an Architect who excuses themselves from the construction aspects of the building process, choosing instead to spend their time focusing on the actual design. This is a somewhat privileged position for an Architect to attain-most Architects prefer to design, but involve themselves in construction management because of business demands. So if you want to stay on the creative side of architecture as an Architectural Designer, nurture your innovation, and make your time more valuable behind a pencil than on the build site. Architectural Designers sketch out all sorts of structures, from hospitals to restaurants to bridges. In fact the range is so broad, that typically you’ll choose an area to specialise in. But no matter which area you choose, your process is always somewhat the same. You begin each job by researching the proposed project and interviewing the client. You need to be aware of the lot size for the building, budgetary restrictions, utility availability to the site, building codes and the customer’s desires before beginning your design. taking all of these components into consideration, you use hand drawings and CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software to create structurally sound and visually enticing building that suits a client’s needs. In most cases, given that you specialise in the design side of things, you’ll hand off the project to someone else after these designs are created. Depending on the company you work for, you may work as part of a design team or as an individual to create blueprints from scratch. For this reason, you must work well with others, be detail-oriented, and love expressing creativity.

Architects design all kinds of buildings. They design schools and skyscrapers. They design hospitals and hotels. They also design churches, train stations and plain old regular houses.

Any building that is used by people was probably designed by some architect.

Okay then, but what does the word “design” mean? A design is simply a plan. Before constructing a building, an architect needs to draw a plan of the building. Sometimes architects will make a cardboard or plastic model of the building.

The building is then built by a construction company which follows the directions of the plans for the building. The architect will closely supervise the construction company to make sure that the building is built according to the plans.

Okay then, but but what does an architect do when he or she draws up a plan?

Architects have to thnk of many things before they draw up the plans for a building. First they have to think about what the building will be used for. How many people are going to use the building at the same time? What types of activities will these people do in the building?

An office building will need lots of small rooms for offices. A school will need many medium-sized rooms for classrooms. And a train station will need one larger room for hundreds of people to pass thru at the same time.

All of these building must be built so that they can be used efficiently by everyone who walks through their doors. When architects discuss what the building will be used for, they talk abut the “function” of the building.

But the function of a building is just one of many things an architect has to think about when designing a building. Good architects also spend a lot of time making sure a building is safely designed, and making sure the building will last for many years.

A building that is not safely designed could catch on fire or fall down on itself.

Architects have to design building so that people can escape from the building in an emergency. Of course, some emergencies, such as earthquakes or tornadoes, destroy even the safest buildings.

A few years ago an architect had a real surprise when one of the buildings he designed collapsed under the weight of a foot of wet snow. The building was a sports arena with a large, curved roof. The heavy snow put so much pressure on the roof that the roof collapsed. Luckily nobody was in the sports arena at the time.

Besides thinking about the function and safety of a building, architecs also spend time creatively thinking about how they want the building to look. Just as a painter decides which paints to put where in a painting, an architect decides where to put the rooms, walls, and open spaces in a building.

Just as different painters have different styles of painting, different architects have different styles of designing. One architect might like to use a lot of circles and curves in his or her buildings. Another architect might like to design buildings that look sleek and flat.

So architects have to be good artists and good scientists when they design a building. The building must be pleasant to look at, pleasant to work in and strong enough to be safe from most natural disasters.

Trying to do all these things at the same time is part of the challenge and excitement of being an architect.

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