The Varied Tasks Undertaken by Modern Architecture Firms
Simply put, the role of architecture and the firms that dispense its services is to assist with the design and the construction of buildings. The term itself is actually derived from a Greek word, which translates roughly as “chief builder” and, based upon that alone, it is clear why those who have chosen to pursue this profession are required to meet some exacting academic and practical requirements.
From ancient times and well beyond the medieval era, the sole responsibility for both the design and the construction of buildings was allocated to carpenters, stonemasons, and similar craftsmen. In practice, it was only the steadily growing knowledge of fields, such as mathematics and physics that eventually led to the role of the architect as a standalone specialist and that, one day, would encourage the formation of architecture firms dedicated to this hybrid of art and science.
Technology also played a role in the advancement of the profession. The introduction, first of paper and later of pencils, made it possible for those who had the necessary knowledge and ability to prepare pre-construction plans. Through their understanding of perspective and the use of projections, by the early eighteenth century, architects were able to represent the three-dimensional structure of a building as a two-dimensional drawing.
Since those days, however, the role of architecture has expanded considerably, and firms are no longer limited to providing just the design and draughting services. Today, they are often called upon to play a far broader role in the planning and monitoring of the construction process itself. The service has become a more client-centric one in which the firm’s personnel assume a project management role. For instance, they might undertake to investigate applicable building codes and local planning and zoning regulations to ensure their designs will be fully compliant.
Typically, once an architecture firm has completed its design and has obtained the client’s approval, its next step will be to post a tender for the construction of the project and to assist the client with the award process. Once the tender has been awarded, it will continue to provide project oversight and to act as the liaison between the client and the builder, undertaking added tasks, such as arranging payments, providing quality control, and ensuring deadlines are met, if required.
Naturally, adding these additional services will add a little extra to the basic fee, but there can be very little doubt that, when allowing a credible architecture firm to undertake them, a client should save a great deal more than he or she will have spent to procure them.
Today, both those responsible for the design of a building and those tasked with constructing it have been finding themselves faced with some challenges that are unique to the twenty-first century. In some cases, there may be concerns regarding the impact of a new building on a neighbouring construction of historical importance. More frequently, however, it is the potential impact on the environment in general that poses problems.
Consequently, many architecture firms have now chosen to specialise in the incorporation of green principles and more sustainable building materials into their projects. Widely recognised for its exceptional designs, its skilful application of the latest technology and its client-first policy, JK Designs is one such firm.