Why Should You Use an Architect During the Construction Process?

An architect’s work does not end once construction plans have been approved.

Architects are an invaluable resource during the construction phase as they already have a deep knowledge and understanding of the project. They can add value by acting as the Owner’s “eyes and ears.” This allows the Owner to focus on their business instead of overseeing both. If hired, the Architect can act as the Owner’s Representative, answering Contractor questions, observing the progress of construction and quality of the work, and report on all aspects of the project. The Architect is the perfect advocate to make sure the Owner receives the intended results – on time completion, quality workmanship and within budget. What experience do Architects have to make this happen?

Navigating Contracts

How does the Owner select a qualified Contractor?

An architect will have the experience and relationships necessary to guide an Owner through the selection process of a Contractor who provides the best balance between expertise, time and cost. An Architect can assist with suggestions for qualified Contractors, a formal process to request and receive their bids, to the review and selection of the most qualified bid. Architects can also help the Owner write an industry specific contract to stipulate the terms and conditions of the build. The Architect can, through the course of the construction, advise the Owner if the work conforms to that contract.

Project Management

Who helps the Owner oversee the project?

Architects have a full understanding of the building plans, the code requirements, and all of the complex details that go into documenting the design. Architects are intimately familiar with the products and materials required and the level of expertise necessary to install them. They employ specific management processes to communicate with the Contractor, their sub-contractors and vendors, answering questions and problem solving. Architects will have the experience to observe the progress and quality of the project and provide an accounting of the ongoing construction, balancing that with the intended budget and schedule. An Architect represents the Owner’s interests in the project.

Construction Observation

How does the Owner know if the construction is progressing as planned?

Architects are an advocate for their client throughout the building process. Architects monitor construction progress as a whole and attend site meetings on behalf of the Owner. They receive, interpret and answer Contractor questions, assess potential changes in the work, and review payment requests by the Contractor to ensure the Owner only pays for work completed. An Architect hired to observe and manage the project frees the Owner to stay focused on what they do best, running their own business.

Problem-Solving

What happens when there is a question?

It is almost inevitable that something will not go according to plan during the construction phase. There are a myriad of ways a project can go off-track, from unforeseen conditions found on the site, shortages and delays, to changes or disputes. An architect is a professional problem solver. They routinely guide an Owner through such occurrences, identifying the issues, assessing the relevancy and feasibility, and ultimately, propose informed solutions to mitigate the situation. With such a complete and detailed knowledge of the design, documentation, and the construction process, who better is equipped to manage and champion the Owner’s expectations than an architect?

An Architect traditionally works with the Owner to realize their vision of a new building project from concept to move in. Think about employing the expertise and value an Architect can bring to your project during construction. Contact Simon Oswald Architects today to see how we can take your next project from Design to Completion!

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