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An architect, 1893.
| Architecture |
|Competencies||Engineering, technical knowledge, building design, planning and management skills|
|See professional requirements|
An architect is a person who plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings that have human occupancy or use as their principal purpose.Etymologically, the term architect derives from the Latin architectus, which derives from the Greek (arkhi-, chief + tekton, builder), i.e., chief builder.
Professionally, an architect's decisions affect public safety, and thus the architect must undergo specialized training consisting of advanced educationand a practicum (or internship) for practical experience to earn a license to practice architecture. Practical, technical, and academic requirements for becoming an architect vary by jurisdiction.
Throughout ancient and medieval history, most of the architectural design and construction was carried out by artisans—such as stone masons and carpenters, rising to the role of master builder. Until modern times, there was no clear distinction between architect and engineer. In Europe, the titles architect and engineer were primarily geographical variations that referred to the same person, often used interchangeably.
It is suggested that various developments in technology and mathematics allowed the development of the professional 'gentleman' architect, separate from the hands-on craftsman. Paper was not used in Europe for drawing until the 15th century but became increasingly available after 1500. Pencils were used more often for drawing by 1600. The availability of both allowed pre-construction drawings to be made by professionals.Concurrently, the introduction of linear perspective and innovations such as the use of different projections to describe a three-dimensional building in two dimensions, together with an increased understanding of dimensional accuracy, helped building designers communicate their ideas. However, the development was gradual. Until the 18th-century, buildings continued to be designed and set out by craftsmen with the exception of high-status projects.
In most developed countries, only those qualified with an appropriate license, certification, or registration with a relevant body (often governmental) may legally practice architecture. Such licensure usually requires a university degree, successful completion of exams, as well as a training period.Representation of oneself as an architect through the use of terms and titles is restricted to licensed individuals by law, although in general, derivatives such as architectural designer are often not legally protected.
To practice architecture implies the ability to practice independently of supervision. The term building design professional (or design professional), by contrast, is a much broader term that includes professionals who practice independently under an alternate profession, such as engineering professionals, or those who assist in the practice of architecture under the supervision of a licensed architect such as intern architects. In many places, independent, non-licensed individuals may perform design services outside the professional restrictions, such design houses and other smaller structures.
In the architectural profession, technical and environmental knowledge, design and construction management, and an understanding of business are as important as design. However, the design is the driving force throughout the project and beyond. An architect accepts a commission from a client. The commission might involve preparing feasibility reports, building audits, the design of a building or of several buildings, structures, and the spaces among them. The architect participates in developing the requirements the client wants in the building. Throughout the project (planning to occupancy), the architect coordinates a design team. Structural, mechanical, and electrical engineers and other specialists, are hired by the client or the architect, who must ensure that the work is coordinated to construct the design.
The architect, once hired by a client, is responsible for creating a design concept that both meets the requirements of that client and provides a facility suitable to the required use. The architect must meet with, and question, the client in order to ascertain all the requirements (and nuances) of the planned project.
Often the full brief is not entirely clear at the beginning: entailing a degree of risk in the design undertaking. The architect may make early proposals to the client, which may rework the very terms of the brief. The "program" (or brief) is essential to producing a project that meets all the needs of the owner. This then is a guide for the architect in creating the design concept.
Design proposal(s) are generally expected to be both imaginative and pragmatic. Depending on the place, time, finance, culture, and available crafts and technology in which the design takes place, the precise extent and nature of these expectations will vary.
Foresight is a prerequisite as designing buildings is a very complex and demanding undertaking.
Any design concept must at a very early stage in its generation take into account a great number of issues and variables which include qualities of space(s),the end-use and life-cycle of these proposed spaces, connections, relations, and aspects between spaces including how they are put together as well as the impact of proposals on the immediate and wider locality. Selection of appropriate materials and technology must be considered, tested and reviewed at an early stage in the design to ensure there are no setbacks (such as higher-than-expected costs) which may occur later. The site and its environs, as well as the culture and history of the place, will also influence the design. The design must also countenance increasing concerns with environmental sustainability. The architect may introduce (intentionally or not), to greater or lesser degrees, aspects of mathematics and architecture, new or current architectural theory, or references to architectural history.
A key part of the design is that the architect often consults with engineers, surveyors and other specialists throughout the design, ensuring that aspects such as the structural supports and air conditioning elements are coordinated in the scheme as a whole. The control and planning of construction costs are also a part of these consultations. Coordination of the different aspects involves a high degree of specialized communication, including advanced computer technology such as BIM (Building Information Modeling), CAD, and cloud-based technologies.
At all times in the design, the architect reports back to the client who may have reservations or recommendations, introducing a further variable into the design.
Architects deal with local and federal jurisdictions about regulations and building codes. The architect might need to comply with local planning and zoning laws, such as required setbacks, height limitations, parking requirements, transparency requirements (windows), and land use. Some established jurisdictions require adherence to design and historic preservation guidelines. Health and safety risks form a vital part of the current design, and in many jurisdictions, design reports and records are required which include ongoing considerations such as materials and contaminants, waste management and recycling, traffic control and fire safety.
Previously, architects employed drawingsto illustrate and generate design proposals. While conceptual sketches are still widely used by architects, computer technology has now become the industry standard. However, design may include the use of photos, collages, prints, linocuts, 3D scanning technology and other media in design production. Increasingly, computer software such as BIM is shaping how architects work. BIM technology allows for the creation of a virtual building that serves as an information database for the sharing of design and building information throughout the life-cycle of the building's design, construction and maintenance.
As current buildings are now known to be high emitters of carbon into the atmosphere, increasing controls are being placed on buildings and associated technology to reduce emissions, increase energy efficiency, and make use of renewable energy sources. Renewable energy sources may be developed within the proposed building or via local or national renewable energy providers. As a result, the architect is required to remain abreast of current regulations that are continually tightening. Some new developments exhibit extremely low energy use.However, the architect is also increasingly required to provide initiatives in a wider environmental sense, such as making provision for low-energy transport, natural daylighting instead of artificial lighting, natural ventilation instead of air conditioning, pollution, and waste management, use of recycled materials and employment of materials which can be easily recycled in the future.
As the design becomes more advanced and detailed, specifications and detail designs are made of all the elements and components of the building. Techniques in the production of a building are continually advancing which places a demand on the architect to ensure that he or she remains up to date with these advances.
Depending on the client's needs and the jurisdiction's requirements, the spectrum of the architect's services during construction stages may be extensive (detailed document preparation and construction review) or less involved (such as allowing a contractor to exercise considerable design-build functions).
Architects typically put projects to tender on behalf of their clients, advise on the award of the project to a general contractor, facilitate and then administer a contract of agreement which is often between the client and the contractor. This contract is legally binding and covers a very wide range of aspects including the insurances and commitments of all stakeholders, the status of the design documents, provisions for the architect's access, and procedures for the control of the works as they proceed. Depending on the type of contract utilized, provisions for further sub-contract tenders may be required. The architect may require that some elements are covered by a warranty which specifies the expected life and other aspects of the material, product or work.
In most jurisdictions, prior notification to the relevant local authority must be given before commencement on site, thus giving the local authority notice to carry out independent inspections. The architect will then review and inspect the progress of the work in coordination with the local authority.
The architect will typically review contractor shop drawings and other submittals, prepare and issue site instructions, and provide Certificates for Payment to the contractor (see also Design-bid-build) which is based on the work done to date as well as any materials and other goods purchased or hired. In the United Kingdom and other countries, a quantity surveyor is often part of the team to provide cost consulting. With very large, complex projects, an independent construction manager is sometimes hired to assist in the design and to manage construction.
In many jurisdictions, mandatory certification or assurance of the completed work or part of works is required. This demand for certification entails a high degree of risk - therefore, regular inspections of the work as it progresses on site is required to ensure that is in compliance with the design itself as well as with all relevant statutes and permissions.
Recent decades have seen the rise of specializations within the profession. Many architects and architectural firms focus on certain project types (for example, healthcare, retail, public housing, event management), technological expertise or project delivery methods. Some architects specialize as building code, building envelope, sustainable design, technical writing, historic preservation(US) or conservation (UK), accessibility and other forms of specialist consultants.
Many architects elect to move into real estate (property) development, corporate facilities planning, project management, construction management, interior design, city planning, or other related fields.
Although there are variations from place to place, most of the world's architects are required to register with the appropriate jurisdiction. To do so, architects are typically required to meet three common requirements: education, experience, and examination.
Educational requirements generally consist of a university degree in architecture. The experience requirement for degree candidates is usually satisfied by a practicum or internship (usually two to three years, depending on jurisdiction). Finally, a Registration Examination or a series of exams is required prior to licensure.
Professionals engaged in the design and supervision of construction projects prior to the late 19th century were not necessarily trained in a separate architecture program in an academic setting. Instead, they often trained under established architects. Prior to modern times, there was no distinction between architects, engineers and often artists,[ citation needed ] and the title used varied depending on geographical location. They often carried the title of master builder or surveyor [ citation needed ] after serving a number of years as an apprentice (such as Sir Christopher Wren). The formal study of architecture in academic institutions played a pivotal role in the development of the profession as a whole, serving as a focal point for advances in architectural technology and theory.
Architects' fee structures are typically based on a percentage of construction value, as a rate per unit area of the proposed construction, hourly rates or a fixed lump sum fee. Combinations of these structures are also common. Fixed fees are usually based on a project's allocated construction cost and can range between 4 and 12% of new construction cost, for commercial and institutional projects, depending on a project's size and complexity. Residential projects range from 12 to 20%. Renovation projects typically command higher percentages, as high as 15-20%.
Overall billings for architectural firms range widely, depending on location and economic climate. Billings have traditionally been dependent on the local economic conditions but, with rapid globalization, this is becoming less of a factor for larger international firms. Salaries also vary, depending on experience, position within the firm (staff architect, partner, or shareholder, etc.), and the size and location of the firm.
A number of national professional organizations exist to promote career and business development in architecture.
The International Union of Architects (UIA)
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) USA
Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) UK
Architects Registration Board (ARB) UK
The Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) Australia
The South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) South Africa
Association of Consultant Architects (ACA) UK
Association of Licensed Architects (ALA) USA
The Consejo Profesional de Arquitectura y Urbanismo (CPAU) Argentina
A wide variety of prizes is awarded by national professional associations and other bodies, recognizing accomplished architects, their buildings, structures, and professional careers.
The most lucrative award an architect can receive is the Pritzker Prize, sometimes termed the "Nobel Prize for architecture." Other prestigious architectural awards are the Royal Gold Medal, the AIA Gold Medal (USA), AIA Gold Medal (Australia), and the Praemium Imperiale.
Architects in the UK, who have made contributions to the profession through design excellence or architectural education, or have in some other way advanced the profession, might until 1971 be elected Fellows of the Royal Institute of British Architects and can write FRIBA after their name if they feel so inclined. Those elected to chartered membership of the RIBA after 1971 may use the initials RIBA but cannot use the old ARIBA and FRIBA. An Honorary Fellow may use the initials, Hon. FRIBA. and an International Fellow may use the initials Int. FRIBA. Architects in the US, who have made contributions to the profession through design excellence or architectural education, or have in some other way advanced the profession, are elected Fellows of the American Institute of Architects and can write FAIA after their name. Architects in Canada, who have made outstanding contributions to the profession through contribution to research, scholarship, public service, or professional standing to the good of architecture in Canada, or elsewhere, may be recognized as a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and can write FRAIC after their name. In Hong Kong, those elected to chartered membership may use the initial HKIA, and those who have made a special contribution after nomination and election by The Hong Kong Institute of Architects (HKIA), may be elected as fellow members of HKIA and may use FHKIA after their name.
Architects in the Philippines and Filipino communities overseas (whether they are Filipinos or not), especially those who also profess other jobs at the same time, are addressed and introduced as Architect, rather than Sir/Madam in speech or Mr./Mrs./Ms. (G./Gng./Bb. in Filipino) before surnames. That word is used either in itself or before the given name or surname.
Landscape architecture is the design of outdoor areas, landmarks, and structures to achieve environmental, social-behavioural, or aesthetic outcomes. It involves the systematic design and general engineering of various structures for construction and human use, investigation of existing social, ecological, and soil conditions and processes in the landscape, and the design of other interventions that will produce desired outcomes. The scope of the profession is broad and can be subdivided into several sub-categories including professional or licensed landscape architects who are regulated by governmental agencies and posses the expertise to design a wide range of structures and landforms for human use; landscape design which is not a licensed profession; site planning; stormwater management; erosion control; environmental restoration; parks, recreation and urban planning; visual resource management; green infrastructure planning and provision; and private estate and residence landscape master planning and design; all at varying scales of design, planning and management. A practitioner in the profession of landscape architecture may be called a landscape architect, however in jurisdictions where professional licenses are required it is often only those who posses a landscape architect license who can be called a landscape architect.
Construction is a general term meaning the art and science to form objects, systems, or organizations, and comes from Latin constructio and Old French construction. To construct is the verb: the act of building, and the noun is construction: how something is built, the nature of its structure.
A project manager is a professional in the field of project management. Project managers have the responsibility of the planning, procurement and execution of a project, in any undertaking that has a defined scope, defined start and a defined finish; regardless of industry. Project managers are first point of contact for any issues or discrepancies arising from within the heads of various departments in an organization before the problem escalates to higher authorities, as project representative.
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is a professional organization for architects in the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the AIA offers education, government advocacy, community redevelopment, and public outreach to support the architecture profession and improve its public image. The AIA also works with other members of the design and construction team to help coordinate the building industry.
Landscape design is an independent profession and a design and art tradition, practiced by landscape designers, combining nature and culture. In contemporary practice, landscape design bridges the space between landscape architecture and garden design.
Building design refers to the broadly based architectural, engineering and technical applications to the design of buildings. All building projects require the services of a building designer, typically a licensed architect. Smaller, less complicated projects often do not require a licensed professional, and the design of such projects is often undertaken by building designers, draftspersons, interior designers, or contractors. Larger, more complex building projects require the services of many professionals trained in specialist disciplines, usually coordinated by an architect.
Design–build is a project delivery system used in the construction industry. It is a method to deliver a project in which the design and construction services are contracted by a single entity known as the design–builder or design–build contractor. It can be subdivided into architect-led design–build and contractor-led design–build.
The Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) is a United States national association of more than 8,000 construction industry professionals who are experts in building construction and the materials used therein. The Institute is dedicated to improving the communication of construction information through a diversified membership base of allied professionals involved in the creation and management of the built environment, continuous development and transformation of standards and formats, education and certification of professionals to improve project delivery processes, and creation of practice tools to assist users throughout the facility life-cycle. The work of CSI is currently focused in three areas being standards and publications, construction industry professional certifications, and continuing education for construction professionals.
A general contractor, main contractor or prime contractor is responsible for the day-to-day oversight of a construction site, management of vendors and trades, and the communication of information to all involved parties throughout the course of a building project.
The architectural technologist, also known as a building technologist, provides technical building design services and is trained in architectural technology, building technical design and construction.
Formerly called the Intern Development Program (IDP), the Architectural Experience Program (AXP) is a comprehensive training program created to ensure that candidates pursuing licensure in the architecture profession gain the knowledge and skills required for the independent practice of architecture. The program is developed, maintained, and administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and is required by most U.S. architectural registration boards to satisfy experience requirements for licensure.
Building information modeling (BIM) is a process supported by various tools, technologies and contracts involving the generation and management of digital representations of physical and functional characteristics of places. Building information models (BIMs) are computer files which can be extracted, exchanged or networked to support decision-making regarding a built asset. BIM software is used by individuals, businesses and government agencies who plan, design, construct, operate and maintain buildings and diverse physical infrastructures, such as water, refuse, electricity, gas, communication utilities, roads, railways, bridges, ports and tunnels.
A specification often refers to a set of documented requirements to be satisfied by a material, design, product, or service. A specification is often a type of technical standard.
In the field of architecture an architectural plan is a design and planning for a building, and can contain architectural drawings, specifications of the design, calculations, time planning of the building process, and other documentation.
Architectural engineering, also known as building engineering or architecture engineering, is an engineering discipline that deals with the technological aspects and multi-disciplinary approach to planning, design, construction and operation of buildings, such as analysis and integrated design of environmental systems, structural systems, behavior and properties of building components and materials, and construction management.
Integrated project delivery (IPD) is a construction project delivery method that seeks efficiency and involvement all participants through all phases of design, fabrication, and construction. IPD combines ideas from integrated practice and lean construction. The objectives of IPD are to increase productivity, reduce waste(waste being described as resources spent on activities that does not add value to the end product), avoid time overruns, enhance final product quality, and reduce conflicts between owner(s), architect(s) and contractor(s) during construction. IPD emphasizes the use of technology to facilitate communication between these parties involved in a construction process.
An architectural drawing or architect's drawing is a technical drawing of a building that falls within the definition of architecture. Architectural drawings are used by architects and others for a number of purposes: to develop a design idea into a coherent proposal, to communicate ideas and concepts, to convince clients of the merits of a design, to assist a building contractor to construct it based on design intent, as a record of the design and planned development, or to make a record of a building that already exists.
An urban planner or an urban planning engineer is a professional who practices in the field of urban planning.
Professional requirements for architects vary from place to place, but usually consist of three elements: a university degree or advanced education, a period of internship or training in an office, and examination for registration with a jurisdiction.
Architectural technology, or building technology, is the application of technology to the design of buildings. It is a component of architecture and building engineering and is sometimes viewed as a distinct discipline or sub-category. New materials and technologies generated new design challenges and construction methods throughout the evolution of building, especially since the advent of industrialisation in the 19th century. Architectural technology is related to the different elements of a building and their interactions; it is closely aligned with advances in building science.
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