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What does an Architect do?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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Just about any public building that is found in any city or town has its origin with an architect. The architect is a trained professional who is central to the development of both the planning and the design components that form the basis for the construction of a building. Here is some background on how an architect works, and why the utilization of a competent architect is so important to any building project.

Derived from the Latin word architectus, the main purpose of an architect is to produce a design for a physical structure that meets the aesthetic, structural, and safety factors that must go into the construction of any type of public building. Generally, an architect is invited to bid on a construction project that is being undertaken by a municipality, private business or non-profit organization.

Taking into consideration the anticipated function of the space and any requests for aesthetic features that may be especially appealing to the client, the architect will work on designing a structure that will offer the best of all worlds. Ideally, the completed design will be functional for the purposes envisioned for the building. Clients will find design elements that are appealing worked into the overall layout of the projected facility, and every aspect of the new building will be designed to comply with local building codes and standards.

Once a design is accepted by the client, the architect usually continues to be associated with the building project, all the way through to completion. Serving as part of a design them that includes construction professionals, the architect will work to ensure that the original design is carried through to the finished product, with no alterations in materials or design that would lead to safety issues or compromise the quality of the building.

It is not unusual for architects to work long hours during a building project. Buildings are generally long term projects that may take from several months to several years to complete. It is not unusual for a prominent architect to be working with several projects simultaneously, with each construction detail being unique and the demands varying from project to project.

Most jurisdictions have specific minimum requirements that an architect must meet before being able to practice his or her profession. Certification by local and state governments, meeting educational criteria, and understanding local safety codes are among the more common requirements. Generally, architects as a profession are happy to comply with these sorts of requirements, as they help to ensure that buildings are designed and constructed that are stable and safe for human occupation.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including Practical Adult Insights, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By Bhutan — On Sep 20, 2010

Greenweaver-Sometimes a project architect is hired to design and oversee a large design project. The project manager is an architect who is responsible for the completion of the design project.

He or she will usually have an assistant project manager that often has to approve contracts that are sometimes several million dollars at a time.

These architects ensure that the original vision that the architects had is being executed and the project is completed on time and on budget.

By GreenWeaver — On Sep 20, 2010

Cupcake15-I just wanted to say that there are landscape architects, while they are not architects in that they don’t design buildings; they typically design the outer space of a home or building.

The landscape architect is concerned with designing arrangements of plants that work well together and grow in a particular climate.

They often conduct soil analysis to determine the ideal arrangement. In addition, the landscape architect designs the irrigation system, waterfall, and ponds that might add beauty to the property.

They also design the space with pavers and put together a landscape design that is offered to the owner of the property.

This not only includes the placement of the design structures, but it also includes that material as well as their estimated cost.

This is the first stage of the landscape process. The landscape architect is licensed and will often hire subcontractors for the other design stages.

By cupcake15 — On Sep 20, 2010

Residential architects develop new designs that make a home more athletically appealing as well as functional. These designs also add value to the home, but must be carefully prepared as to meet safety standards.

Usually a residential architect will use design software such as CAD in order to determine which design is best for the home. The architect plans are then drawn up so that the homeowner can then hire a contractor to complete the work.

Commercial architects by contrast, design commercial properties or any property related to a business. Sometimes the architect projects include designing a new office building, while other times it might include designing changes to an existing building in order for it to be more functional and updated.

Green architects design structures that contain recyclable material. The architect not only designs the space, but also offers recommendations regarding materials used for the construction phase.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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