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William Henry PhD – Perspectives – Architect’s REAL Viewpoint

bill henry

The Architect’s Role In Construction

By William Henry, PhD

The public’s perception of an architect is often quite simple. Of course the real world can be quite different than traditional perceptions.

The simplest perception of an architect is a person hired to design a structure by the future structure’s owner, who also hires a contractor to undertake its construction. There are situations in which this perception is totally accurate, but generally only in the simplest situations such as a party desiring to build a home or place of business. However, many projects are much more complex.

Commercial projects can involve many complex issues some of which might include land acquisition, zoning and land use issues, and compliance with many different applicable building codes, other regulatory laws and ordinances.

The relationship of the architect to the owner will vary. It may depend on the scope of skills offered by the architect. Some architects are purely designers, perhaps even just glorified draftsmen. Others may be artists who provide skills that can lead to the design of very creative and original projects. There are architects who have obtained education and experience in planning, which relates to the overall relationship of the project with its neighborhood and sometimes the community as a whole.

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The complexity of a project can cause it to involve not only the architect and contractor, but may also require subcontractors and consultants and perhaps even attorneys. A project may require a project manager and/or a construction manager. In some cases the architect may play those roles, may be hired to oversee those who do, or work as part of team with them. Some projects are so complex that no one person can deal with all of the moving parts, hence the need for some or all of the parties mentioned.

There are, of course, firms that offer all of the needed services in a one-stop-shop environment. An owner or developer may fire such a firm to oversee every aspect of a project’s development. In some cases such firms may even engage in their own projects, thus becoming the owner and/or developer.

The role of the architect has evolved in the same way that the scope and complexity of projects have grown. These changes have created the need in some cases for specialists who deal with limited aspects of a given project and have limited the place for the architectural generalist.

bill-henryWilliam Henry PhD is the Principal in Charge of RGA-Design, LLC a full service architectural and interior design firm that has served as the architect of record for over 1,000 projects across the State of Florida (Registration number AA0003523, AR007521). He has lectured and written widely on the above topic. His most recent publication is ‘Return of the Master Builder’ available on Amazon Kindle e Books. Henry’s contact information is whenry@rga-design.com; (813-226-2220 Ext 204) or visit the company web site at www.rga-design .com or www.buildingdoctorfl.com.

Copyright © 2016 REAL Exclusive Magazine www.getrealexclusive.com
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