The success of any real estate project is dependent on the selection of the right architect for the job. Not only is the architect primarily responsible for the conceptual stages of the development, but is also concerned with the design and eventual planning of the build. He/she will be instrumental throughout, as an architect is uniquely equipped with both creative prowess and knowledge of relevant codes and practises for the completion of the development.
An architect’s role, in short, is to take a list of requirements and parameters from their client and turn them first into a concept, then a proper plan, and finally into an actual construction. The ability to complete this process is developed through full accredited training at a college or university, most likely followed by internship with an experienced architecture company where they will acquire relevant experience in a more hands-on role. Extensive training for architects is especially important because their work can have a direct impact on the safety of the public.
Architects normally specialize in a specific field within architecture, such as landscape design, urban planning, housing, interior design or engineering (amongst others). These specializations exist because of the huge variety of industries that require their services- all of which have unique requirements of their architects who in turn must have very specific skill sets.
The importance of academic qualifications in choosing an architect, as we mentioned earlier, cannot be overstated. The ideal candidate should be accredited by an esteemed institution, such as one of the following:
- American Institution of Architects (AIA)
- Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
- Royal Institute of British Architects
Affiliation with one of these institutes instantly lends credibility to an architect and shows that they have satisfactorily met all the requirements of a professional in the industry and in their specialization of choice. However, it is not quite a guarantee of a given architect’s suitability to your project.
The final (although equally important) criteria for choosing an architect should be their willingness and ability to communicate well, as well as your belief in them as a suitable candidate to see your development through to completion. When you meet with an architect you’re considering for the job, take into account how well you get along with each other- you needn’t be best friends for your professional relationship to be successful, but the length of time over which you’ll have to liaise with this person means that a certain amount of affability is preferred. And perhaps most importantly, don’t settle for a sub-par architect. If you are at all unsatisfied with your choice, the chances are your final impression of the project will be the same.