Architect

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  • People need places to live, work, play, learn, worship, meet, govern, shop, and eat.
  • Architects are responsible for designing these places in all their natures, functions, shapes and sizes.
  • Architects are licensed professionals trained in the art and science of building design. They develop the concepts for structures and turn them into images and plans.
  • Architects create the overall look of buildings and other structures, but the design of a building involves far more than its appearance:
  • Buildings also must be functional, safe, and economical and must suit the needs of the people who use them.
  • Architects consider all these factors when they design buildings and other structures.
  • Architects may be involved in all phases of a construction project, from the initial discussion with the client to the final delivery of the completed structure.
  • Their duties require specific skills: designing, engineering, managing, supervising, and communicating with clients and builders.
  • Architects spend a great deal of time explaining their ideas to clients, contractors and others involved in the process.
  • In some cases, architects provide various pre-design services: conducting feasibility and environmental impact studies, selecting a site, preparing cost analysis and land-use studies, or specifying the requirements the design must meet.
  • The architect then prepares drawings and a report presenting ideas for the client to review.
  • After discussing and agreeing on the initial proposal, architects develop final construction plans that show the building's appearance and details for its construction.
  • Accompanying these plans are drawings of the structural system; air-conditioning, heating, and ventilating systems; electrical systems; communications systems; plumbing; and, possibly, site and landscape plans.
  • The plans also specify the building materials and, in some cases, the interior furnishings.
  • In developing designs, architects follow building codes, zoning laws, fire regulations, and other ordinances, such as those requiring easy access by people who are disabled.
  • Continual revision of plans on the basis of client needs and budget constraints is often necessary.
  • Architects may also assist clients in obtaining construction bids, selecting contractors, and negotiating construction contracts.

     

  • The architects’ job is not complete until all construction is finished, required tests are conducted, and construction costs are paid.
  • Sometimes, architects also provide post-construction services, such as facilities management.
  • They advise on energy efficiency measures, evaluate how well the building design adapts to the needs of occupants, and make necessary improvements.

     

  • Often working with engineers, urban planners, interior designers, landscape architects, and other professionals, architects in fact spend a great deal of their time coordinating information and work from other professionals engaged in the same project.
  • Architects sometimes specialize in one phase of work. Some specialize in the design of one type of building: hospitals, schools, or housing areas for example.

Others focus on planning and pre-design services or construction management and do minimal design work.

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  • Competition is expected, especially for positions at the most prestigious firms, and opportunities will be best for those architects who are able to distinguish themselves with their creativity.
  • In recent years, some architecture firms have outsourced the drafting of construction documents and basic design for large-scale commercial and residential projects to architecture firms overseas. This trend is expected to continue and may have a negative impact on employment growth for lower-level architects and interns who would normally gain experience by producing these drawings.

     

  • A growing number of students are graduating with architectural degrees and some competition for entry-level jobs can be anticipated.
  • Prospective architects who have had internships while in school will have an advantage in obtaining positions after graduation.

     

  • There should be demand for architects with knowledge of “green” design:
  •            Green design, also known as sustainable design, emphasizes the efficient use of resources such as energy and water, waste and pollution reduction, conservation, and environmentally friendly design, specifications, and materials.
  •            Rising energy costs and increased concern about the environment has led to many new buildings being built green.
  • Employment of architects is strongly tied to the activity of the construction industry and some types of construction are sensitive to cyclical changes in the economy:
  •            During recessions for example; non-residential construction of office and retail space tends to fall as funding for these projects becomes harder to obtain and the demand for these spaces falls.
  •            Firms involved in the design of institutional buildings, such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and correctional facilities, will be less affected by fluctuations in the economy.
  • Residential construction makes up a small portion of work for architects, so major changes in the housing market would not be as significant as fluctuations in the non-residential market.
  • Others workers involved in the construction and maintenance of buildings include construction managers; engineers; landscape architect; urban and regional planners.

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