POST | 2018

Important Benefits to Working With Architects

August 23, 2018 AT 18:21


Choosing the right design professional to work with can mean the difference between an enjoyable smooth experience that is engaging, fulfilling, and sometimes even fun - or a nightmare filled with cost overruns, construction delays, and other unpleasant surprises.

You have a choice of many different types of 'designers' for your project. But an Architect is the design professional with the most training and experience to help deliver your construction project successfully. Given the huge investment you're contemplating, shouldn't you have the best guidance and expertise available to you? As a comparison, would you ask anyone less than a obstetrician to deliver your baby and navigate the risks that accompany child birth?

Some of the benefits you would receive consulting with an Architect include:

ARCHITECTS CAN SAVE YOU MONEY!

+ Well-designed projects can be built more economically than poorly designed ones. Preparing detailed and accurate construction drawings significantly reduces design mistakes and makes it easy for a contractor to price the labor and materials required for your project (which takes much of the guesswork out of building). The more comprehensive a project is explained to the contractor through proper drawings, the less dollars he must assign for dealing with uncertainties.
+ Architects avoid more design errors - especially those common in plan books or with inexperienced designers - which saves money during construction.
+ Intelligent choices of materials appropriate to your budget will save time & money, and avoid future disappointment. There is no point spending hours searching for the perfect solid surface countertop if plastic laminate is the correct choice for your budget.
+ By focusing on energy efficiency strategies early in design - such as proper site orientation, optimizing the amount of natural light and heating from the sun (passive environmental design) and even durable material selection (improved life cycle cost) - your home or building can operate more efficiently and comfortably while saving you money each month.
+ Many clients prefer to get competitive bids for their project in order to obtain the lowest possible price. In this case, the only way to make sure that you are getting an apples-to-apples comparison between bidders is by having the detailed drawings and specifications that a competent architect produces.
+ Architects are familiar with local building costs and contractors and can make suggestions to simplify a design and reduce construction cost to help find a solution for the best value.
+ Done proficiently, great design will be reflected in the increased market value of your home or property.

ARCHITECTS SEE THE BIG PICTURE

+ Architects have more comprehensive design experience and are trained to manage the design process.
+ Architects help the decision making process by bringing their training, experience and knowledge of different construction methods, materials and energy saving or sustainable design expertise to the table.
+ By carefully listening, architects are skilled at transforming client requirements into an architectural expression that relates to context and complies with bylaws, building codes and construction best practices.
+ Architects are highly skilled at synthesizing disparate ideas, turning initial concepts for a broad range of spaces into functional, sustainable and elegant solutions that further a client's initial vision.
+ Architects also create efficient plans that purposely accommodate future adaptive changes (e.g. accessiblity needs, occupant or technology changes) or establish a way to phase the work efficiently to make it economically viable.

ARCHITECTS DESIGN BEST OVERALL

+ Architects provide creative ways to solve problems under the constraints of time, budget, availability of materials and deliver more interesting work that relates better to the site, meets specific client needs contribute to community or civic life.
+ Architects understand and capitalize on scale and context, culture and the qualities of life to create spaces for particular purposes and people.

ARCHITECTS MAKE LIFE EASIER (REDUCED HEADACHES, PROBLEMS, FRUSTRATION + STRESS)

+ Solving as many problems on paper before construction starts is much less costly than solving them as things are being built. A well thought-out and complete set of construction documents will reduce the number of problems that arise during construction.
+ Construction projects - especially renovations and additions - are full of unknowns. Unanticipated issues frequently arise requring expertise. An architect will be present to help find solutions to problems as or before they occur, suggesting possible cost-saving alternatives, and acting as your unbiased advocate during construction.
+ The architect can be your agent - the professional figure that mediates your interests throughout the duration of the project interfacing with others involved (contractor, engineering consultants, etc.).Your advocate will be a seasoned design professional.
+ Since they have an education in overlapping design & construction areas, the architect can coordinate all the design and engineering disciplines in order to be comprehensive and consistent and to minimize conflicts.
+ Building is a long process that is always intricate and troublesome, especially because you - the owner - are already busy with life. Hiring an architect can provide peace of mind, ensuring that the design and building process go smoothly.
+ Most architects can handle the tough aspects of contract negotiation on the client's behalf, allowing them to maintain a cooperative relationship with your contractor.
+ Architects (and Engineers in their specific disciplines) are the only licensed design professionals. To become licensed, an architect must have an absolute minimum of eight years combined education and experience, as well as pass a series of rigorous comprehensive examinations (similar to the bar exam for attorneys) covering a variety of topics such as site planning and programming, theory/history of architecture & design, engineering (general structures & lateral forces, mechanical & electrical design), and construction means, methods & technology. Some project types do not legally require you hire a design professional (but this post reveals some of the wisdom in doing so).

EXPOSURE TO THE BEST METHODS AND MATERIALS

+ A large portion of an architect's time is focussed on continuing professional education mandated by provincial self-governing associations. This occurs in both mandatory (structured) and discretionary (non-structured) activities such as research, presentations, teaching, topical seminars or conferences and reading trade publications, visiting regularly with product reps and trade shows, and talking to industry representatives. At One One Ten, we do our best to stay on top of the latest products and developments in residential and commercial construction in order to stay current with the latest research on construction assemblies and techniques and peer practices.
+ Architects can lead and present you design options that you may not otherwise consider.
+ An architect will be able to guide you and suggest products you may not know about or gain industry access to better service, showrooms and resources that you will not have access to alone or with other in-store designers or technologists (draftsman).
+ Architects expressly represent your interests as YOUR design professional with unbiased professional advise and experience. Architects are not building in add-on services with the sole aim of selling you products or merchandise (like in-store design advisors do to sell you THEIR tile, flooring, cabinets, fixtures, etc.).

HIGHER QUALITY CONTROL

+ Architects streamline the complex process of design, obtaining permits and the construction process through structured communication processes to ensure schedule, deadlines and milestones are met.
+ You will have peace of mind knowing that a professional is observing the construction process from start to finish to make sure that you're getting the design and materials you're paying for.
+ You will often have a better relationship with the contractor (an important team partner) because they are more likely to be accountable to professional communication processes and contractual agreements facilitated by teaming with an architect.
+ You will have access to contractors, subcontractors, and other resources, with a proven track record in the type of project you are planning. This is an important benefit for you! Merely finding reputable contractors is often one of the biggest hurdles for homeowners and commercial developers.

STATE-OF-THE-ART TECHNOLOGY

One One Ten is highly computerized with hardware and software that many other design practices don't have or are not trained to utilize. We employ a variety of digital 3D and 2D graphic communcation tools with any traditional media that most clearly conveys our design intentions to clients. Some of these tools are more analytical in nature, in terms of modelling design performance options for daylighting and sustainable features.
+ Architects communicate ideas through drawings and three dimensional models. There are multiple ways to represent architectural ideas and better understand a project - from simple plan and elevation sketches to detailed construction documents. We use three dimensional modeling to understand more complicated sites and use multiple tools to help clients achieve a balance of necessity, function and aesthetic rigor in building. We strive to be masters of the many tools we use.

ARCHITECTS CAN VISUALIZE YOUR PROJECT BEFORE IT IS BUILT

+ This artistic mix of capabilities should be important to you because our approach and use of evolving technology will provide you with a far better understanding of your project before it actually gets built - giving you a better sense of what the exterior and interior spaces will feel and look like under different conditions, and how aspects of the design relate to one another than any static representation can convey.

Some of the visualization possibilities include:
+ Compositing a photograph of an existing residence or commercial property and generating a photo-realistic image of the propsed design improvements.
+ Are you concerned about how much glare or sunlight a new deck will be getting? A computer employing the right software can generate a time-lapse video of the shadows moving across a design form on any given day of the year, for your particular longitude and latitude, in an accurate 3D model of the design.
+ With a 3D model of the design you can investigate views or walkthrough through your new spaces allowing you to study the design intent at your leisure (and make adjustments before the design is translated into construction drawings or built).
+ Do you wonder what your design would look like if it were finished differently? You can assess material substitutions almost instantaneously without going to the expense and hassle of mocking them up physically.

All of the construction documents are produced by Computer-Aided Design/Drafting (CAD) or through a delivery model and software known as Building Information Modelling (BIM), as appropriate to your project. In addition to creating highly legible documents that contractors love, client-requested changes are more easily accommodated.

~

Nothing is more exciting than designing a new residence, commercial property or tenant improvement for yourself or business. Nothing will affect the success of your project more than the right architect with the best skillset and knowledge. Our practice utilizes an engaging Discovery Consultation to help clients make real progress and reach their building goals without wasting precious time and money or repeating steps.

If you feel ready to discuss your early project ideas, please contact Principal Architect Spencer Court to find out more about our blueprint for success or to begin your tailored proposal to get you on track making real progress.
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