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Last edited 29 Dec 2020
The ‘design architect’ (sometimes referred to as a ‘concept architect’) will have been charged with carrying out the creative design, i.e responsible for devising the architecture in terms of planning the building, its spaces and overall appearance, as well as its relationship with its environment. This will include plans, elevations, computer generated images (CGIs) and other concept drawings that may have formed part of the successful planning application.
The project architect (sometimes called a ‘job architect’) develops these broad-brush designs into a detailed design, ensuring the building is fully buildable from a technical perspective in accordance with the concept architect’s vision (and that of the client).
The project architect’s function might include:
- Undertaking site surveys.
- Creating a set of construction (or ‘working’) drawings for the contractor and local authority which satisfy building regulations in terms of constructability, thermal, fire, acoustic and public health criteria and so on. This includes detailed plans, sections, elevations, floor/wall/roof construction and other drawings that allow construction of the building.
- Writing the specification to complement the drawings; this will include requirements for materials, site procedures and construction technique and so on.
- Liaising with the local authority/building control officer before, during and after construction has been completed.
- Coordinating input from the client, contractor and other outside consultants such as the structural engineer, quantity surveyor, services engineer, landscape architect, acoustic consultant, local authority and others.
- Maintaining quality control by visiting the site during construction or ensuring there is a continual on-site presence if warranted by the project.
- Compiling a list of minor defects or omissions at completion (‘snagging’) for the contractor to rectify.
- Contract administration.
The project architect will typically be qualified to RIBA Part 3 and must be registered with the Architects’ Registration Board (ARB). Depending on the size of the practice, the project architect may employ a team of supporting architects, in-house architectural technicians (technologists), interns, model-makers and other professionals to progress the design.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Appointing an architect.
- Appointing consultants for building design and construction.
- Architect's Registration Board.
- Architectural assistant.
- Architectural styles.
- Architectural technologist.
- Architectural technician.
- Architect's fees.
- Architectural training.
- Concept architectural design.
- Consultant team.
- Design coordination.
- Design liability.
- Design methodology.
- How to become an architect.
- Introducing architectural technology to India.
- Lead consultant.
- Lead designer.
- Practice management.
- Scope of services.
- The Architects Act.
- The role of architects.
- Year-out student.
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