The Value of an Architect
When choosing someone to help you design your next project, you have a number of options. Traditionally Architects are the best placed building professionals to help you, and here are a few reasons why:
Architects are highly trained:
You’re just to about to embark upon a self-build house, or a new factory, or hotel; which may well be one of the most expensive single purchases you ever make. You have a choice of designers; do you choose the person who has the appropriate qualifications, or do you choose the person who has no training at all?
Choosing an Architect means that you are commissioning someone who is highly trained. The title ‘Architect’ is legally protected, and can only be used by in the UK somebody who is listed on the ARB Register (www.arb.org.uk) Those listed on the Register must have at least 7 years of training (which takes place in both a University and Practice Environment); before passing a rigorous professional competence exam.
Architects are not just trained in Design, they are also taught a huge range of subjects during their 7+ years of learning; including Project and Contract Management, Planning Regulations, Conservation, Sustainability, Structures, Building Regulations, Acoustics, Health and Safety, Environmental Control amongst others. This well-rounded training makes Architects the most suitable people to place at the heart of a Design Team.
Importantly, Architects are trained to think laterally, see solutions and solve problems; which when combined with all the other parts of their training, gives them a unique skill-set and place within the construction process.
The training doesn’t stop once Architects are qualified. All Members of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) commit to lifelong learning and have to complete over a week’s worth of training every year in order to make sure they are aware of the latest legislation, or technological developments, in order to provide their clients with the best service and solution for their site. Many other providers of Building Design Services are not subject to these important requirements.
We’ve all had to spend more time than normal in our homes during the recent lockdown. It’s at times like these that we’ve been able to appreciate those little extras which make a little difference; perhaps that window which frames a view down the street or some stunning landscape, or a section of extra height in a room which adds a little bit of interest to the internal ceiling line, or an ingenious bit of hidden storage which helps you to create some space for the virtual keep-fit session each morning.
Architects can work with your brief to transform an ordinary space into something special, providing a space which will give pleasure for years to come.
Architects Add Value:
How often do you see the phrase ‘Architect Designed’ on the Sales Particulars for a house? It is because the involvement of an Architect is seen to add value to a property.
In projects we’ve been involved in, we’ve designed schemes which have allowed the landowner to increase the value of their site ten-fold. House and building extensions regularly sell for more than they cost to design and build.
Adding value isn’t just about increasing the cost of a property; value can be added in other ways, such as creating a better quality of space for people to work or study, which improves well-being and productivity.
We’ve also even helped to reduce the cost of construction projects by re-designing layouts to improve the efficiency of the building; or by bringing existing floor space back into use, when the building was earmarked for demolition.
Finally, there’s also the fact that a well-designed building costs less to operate, which leads nicely on to the next point;
Architects have the skills to deliver Sustainable Buildings:
As mentioned earlier, Architects have an all-encompassing training, which also includes a great deal of focus on Sustainable Design.
The building fabric is possibly the most important consideration in designing Green Buildings. If the building fabric is wrong, then even the most efficient heating systems are going to struggle to work effectively and at their full potential.
There is a lot more than meets the eye to designing a Green Building, and Architects have the skills to deliver. It all begins with the siting and basic design of the building, followed by the detailing, and then on to how it operates and functions.
Their unique training allows an Architect to be involved every step of the way and means that the profession has a key role to play in delivering buildings which are going to allow the UK to meet its obligations to provide the zero-carbon buildings of the future.
This approach doesn’t just apply to new buildings, hpa Chartered Architects also have a proven track record in improving the energy efficiency of older buildings, which makes them more cost-effective to run and fit for the future.
Architects provide Peace of Mind:
As mentioned earlier, Architects are highly trained and are regulated. Architects also have to carry insurance in order to practice; other people offering ‘Architectural Design Services’ don’t need to be.
Also, there’s lots of legislation you need to know in order to get a building project moving. On a recent project, where we worked alongside a developer to create 25 new houses, around 17 different consents were needed to be obtained in order to get the work on site underway.
Having a professional involved who can guide you through the maze of paperwork, such as consents and industry standards, will make sure that your project is done correctly and complies with the various pieces of legislation.
Architects can lead your building project:
Architects can help you with your project from inception through to completion. Services can include feasibility studies, concept sketches, planning drawings, construction drawings, project managing construction work on site, preparing and coordinating a construction contract whilst the works are in progress, and carrying out post-occupancy evaluation.
Architects are also ideally placed at the centre of the whole process to choose and co-ordinate a design team to help you. On more complicated projects, you may need help from other Consultants, such as a Planning Consultant, Ecologist, Landscape Architect, Energy Assessor or Quantity Surveyor. Architects are used to assembling the right team for the project; as well as coordinating and leading the consultant team as the works progress.
During the later stages of the project, Architects can assist in recommending specialist contractors with the relevant experience who may be suitable for the specific need of the project.
At hpa Chartered Architects, we have an experienced team, which contains one of the largest of numbers of Architects in the North Lancashire and South Cumbria area working together in one practice. Our Architects work alongside two Senior Technologists, and an Interior Designer; complemented by our in-house specialisms in both Planning and Conservation. Please get in touch with us if you’d like find out about how we can add value to your project.