Updated: Jul 8, 2019
Architects typically do the following:
· Meet with clients to determine objectives and requirements for structures
· Give preliminary estimates on cost and construction time
· Prepare structure specifications
· Direct workers who prepare drawings and documents
· Prepare scaled drawings, either with computer software or by hand
· Prepare contract documents for building contractors
· Manage construction contracts
· Visit work sites to ensure that construction adheres to architectural plans
· Seek new work by marketing and giving presentations
People need places to live, work, play, learn, shop, and eat. Architects are responsible for designing these places. They work on public or private projects and design both indoor and outdoor spaces. Architects can be commissioned to design anything from a single room to an entire complex of buildings.
Architects discuss with clients the objectives, requirements, and budget of a project. In some cases, architects provide predesign services, such as feasibility and environmental impact studies, site selection, cost analyses, and design requirements.
Architects develop final construction plans on the initial proposal after discussing with clients. The architects’ plans show the building’s appearance and details of its construction. These plans include drawings of the structural system; air-conditioning, heating, and ventilating systems; electrical systems; communications systems; and plumbing. Sometimes, landscape plans are included as well. In developing designs, architects must follow state and local building codes, zoning laws, fire regulations, and other ordinances, such as those requiring reasonable access for people with disabilities.
Architects use computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) and building information modeling (BIM) for creating designs and construction drawings. However, hand-drawing skills are still required, especially during the conceptual stages of a project and when an architect is at a construction site.
As construction continues, architects may visit building sites to ensure 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.
Architects may also help clients get construction bids, select contractors, and negotiate construction contracts.